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  • Rock Shoes

    Simple question, and I'm just planning ahead with it. Do you think brand or price really matters on rock shoes? For instance, if I buy a $70 pair of climbing shoes, would it be that different from a $150 pair or a $45 pair? OR would there be a difference between brands like La Sportiva, Scarpa, evolv and Mad Rock?
    "Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck." -Roald Amundsen

    ADK 46- 35/46

  • #2
    For slide climbing - no. Just make sure they are comfortable, and large enough so you can stand up on the ball of your foot without the shoe squeezing your toes. For slides, older, "flatter" shoes are better. Some of the shoes designed for difficult overhanging climbs have aggressively "turned down" toes designed for "hooking" toeholds, and can be very uncomfortable when trying to walk up a friction slope.

    Now if you are planning harder climbing, then the type of shoe (design, rubber, brand, etc.) matters a lot.

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    • #3
      Great advice! Have any further suggestions for a shoes that works/worked for you?
      "Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck." -Roald Amundsen

      ADK 46- 35/46

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      • #4
        I think for slides, comfort and cheap price are the two keys. I use my old stretched out retired rock shoes. Some folks feel that 5.10's C4 or Onyx rubbers might be the stickiest out there, but it's a little subjective. Any rock shoe will stick WAY better than any other kind of footwear. I'm using an old pair of Evolv's right now, but that's only because I got a deal on them.

        Have fun!

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        • #5
          I have a pair of 5.10 Piton's that are awesome for smearing which is basically all you'll be doing on a slide. Just keep in mind that climbing shoes stick awesome on rock and virtually not at all to grass, mud, dirt.

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          • #6
            Nomad, I see your location is uʍop-əpısdn ƃuıdʎʇ. Are there any climbing gyms there? What about in the next town over: typing rightside-up?

            Seriously, I agree with tcd: comfort is key for slides.

            One suggestion is that if you're near a gym, you could buy a day pass with equipment rental, try out rock shoes—maybe even two or three of the same model in different sizes in your range—and get a real feel by actually bouldering and/or climbing in them. It seems many gyms use evolv shoes, which I've found are comfortable and work fine for beginning climbers. They're also relatively inexpensive. I have no doubt a basic pair—the defy vtr—would serve a decent climber well on most ADK slides when rock is dry, as long as they're comfortable, neither loose nor too tight.

            Another suggestion is to hit a retail spot and try on several different brands and models. I've gone through three pairs of LaSportiva and each was super comfortable. Similar to what Kaj said, I've found my 5.10 Moccasyms are great for smearing, reallly sticky, an ideal shoe for both steep slides and headwalls because they have awesome grip and, as slippers, can be put on/taken off easily/quickly. But they're not nearly as comfortable for me as LaSportivas, so I face a tradeoff there.

            I've never climbed in Mad Rock shoes but I certainly like their low-end prices. IINM both Mad Rock and 5.10 are made in the U.S. The Mad Rock Flash got great reviews for being very sticky (not sure about the Flash 2.0) and seemed like a steal at $70; depending on size you might be able to get a 2.0 pair for as low as $53.

            A specific tip is to the check out LaSportiva models Tarantula and Tarantulace. I've never tried them, but two of my climbing partners have pairs and each said they're very comfortable. The Tarantula is a slipper with Velcro straps, the Tarantulace a lace-up. If you want more range on how tight you dial in the fit, take a look at the Tarantulace. I often see either pair available on amazon for roughly 72-79 bucks.

            All of the shoes mentioned above have flat profiles.

            You asked a simple question, but for me the three-season slide footwear equation can get a little tricky. I've used soft mid hiking boots, trail runners, approach shoes or rock shoes on slides at different times under different conditions. A lot depends on the nature of the approach and its length, as well of course on the nature and steepness of the slide itself. One size doesn't necessarily fit all, though I've done a fair amount in a day, both bushwhacking and slide climbing, in only my Montrails or my 5.10 approach shoes.

            An example is Bennie's Brook: If I'm just hiking the slide up to the headwall, I use trailrunners, but if I'm climbing the headwall, I definitely bring rock shoes.

            Sorry for the long response. I share this because buying rock shoes opened other avenues for me—namely bouldering and climbing both outdoors and in gyms. I bought my first pair three and a half years ago, in order to climb slides, and now I enjoy rock climbing as much as I love hiking.
            You know I'm born to lose / And gambling's for fools / But that's the way I like it, baby / I don't wanna live forever "Ace of Spades" - Motorhead

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SoloJoe View Post
              A specific tip is to the check out LaSportiva models Tarantula and Tarantulace. I've never tried them, but two of my climbing partners have pairs and each said they're very comfortable. The Tarantula is a slipper with Velcro straps, the Tarantulace a lace-up. If you want more range on how tight you dial in the fit, take a look at the Tarantulace. I often see either pair available on amazon for roughly 72-79 bucks.
              I've been using the Tarantulace (mine unfortunately no longer have toe rubber) for the past year or so and I'll second the recommendation. They're super comfortable and a good all-around shoe. The flat sole is good for smearing.

              I'll probably opt for something a bit more aggressive for my next pair once my knee heals but I'll definitely keep the Tarantulaces around for the slides.
              http://www.flickr.com/photos/jjp24hockey/

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SoloJoe View Post
                Nomad, I see your location is uʍop-əpısdn ƃuıdʎʇ. Are there any climbing gyms there? What about in the next town over: typing rightside-up?
                Hahaha oh jokes.

                Nevertheless, I was hoping to try them. I knew some old Nordic Ski guys who did rock climbing and I should have asked where they go, I remember they were in a gym a handful of times... Thanks for the help!
                "Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck." -Roald Amundsen

                ADK 46- 35/46

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