HOW TO BREAK IN CLIMBING SHOES?
Climbing is one of the most exciting undertakings, which comes with a lot of zeal and anxiety; climbers usually prepare adequately before the material climbing date as they are sure that good preparation results in a successful climbing. A climber prepares on several areas before they embark on their task. For instance, they have to gather all they have to carry on the material day. The key to all preparations to be made will involve the kind of costumes to be worn, which will revolve around the footwear. The climbing shoes are taken to be a paramount part of the climber's journey to successful climbing.
Let’s assume that you have made all the arrangements on how to undertake your climbing exercise, and since you understand the importance of footwear in this exercise, you purchased your brand new pair for the same. You have even gone ahead to confirm that your pair has the best shoe insole, among other key features considered paramount in climbing shoes. Now your worry is how to break it so as to have a conducive exercise altogether on your day. Despite the excitement which comes with a new pair of shoes as one plan on their adventure on them, one has to put it into consideration that climbing shoes should be extremely comfortable. The required level of comfort in these shoes can only be achieved by breaking them if they are newly acquired from the market.
The importance of shoe breaking will be that it will help the wearer's feet adjust to its shape and size as well as make if comfy before one wears it to embark on a long-distance. It will also work on preventing foot injuries while one is climbing. Shoe breaking can be achieved through the following ways:
Through wearing it: this shoe breaking method requires one to have the shoes on for several hours while in the house. One can do this as they conduct household chores or even while on errands. This practice will give room for your new pair of shoes to stretch, thus adjust to accommodate the shape of your feet.
Layering it: This will require one to wear their new pair of shoes with several thick layered socks. This is done to widen the shoes' size, so it has to give your feet the right fitting. While practicing this shoe breaking method, you should not worry about your feet developing blisters or bruises as the socks' thick layers will take care of that.
Freezing it: One may wonder how a pair of shoes can be frozen, but several people have tried this method, which has yielded positive results. It involves having two plastic bags filled with water to attain the size of the wearer's feet, then carefully squeeze them to fit in the shoes just exactly the way your feet will. While conducting this, you should ensure that the shoes are laced up to attain the same tightness you wear it on. When this is done, the shoes are left in the freezer overnight; by the water inside the plastic bags turning ice facilitates the shoe enlargement and expansion hence breaking the shoe. When the shoe is removed from the freezer, it is supposed to be thawed to defrost it. This will not only stretch the shoe but also enhance its drying.
This will be followed by proper drying of the shoes which had been in the freezer overnight. This should be attained by first ensuring that the shoes are filled with fabric materials, which will help prevent them from going back to their normal size when they dry up. The fabric materials will also help in drying the shoes by absorbing water from them. When the shoes are dry, remove the fabric materials and have them on immediately so as to ensure that they do not shrink back to their normal shape and size by molding into the shape and size of your foot. Finally, make sure that you wear the shoes after freezing, thawing, and drying; at first, they should be worn to carry out short climbs while adjusting to longer ones as time goes by.
Fitting of Climbing Shoes.
Climbing shoes should be designed to fit tightly, but the designer should ensure that they do not fit so tight to be painful. Climbing shoes should have different types of shapes, depending on the type of climbing one does. For instance, bouldering, which is an exclusive type of climbing, requires a kind of shoes that are designed to allow the climber to be able to bend their toes be able to grab the surface while giving them extra strength, especially at the toe area. It is recommended that the shoes to be used on bouldering should be tight to fit the feet like a glove.
On the other hand, shoes made for crack climbing are made to have a relaxed fit. The toes of the wearer on these shoes lie flat to have a wiggle room. This is so because one has to get their feet into thin cracks, wiggling them into place. Several climbing shoes will give one a little tighter feeling than their usual athletic footwear. This is because such shoes are supposed to help you maintain one’s balance while hanging onto the side of the rock wall by their toes or feet.
While purchasing new footwear, one is advised to try them by taking their time in lacing them up properly, taking a little walk on them, among other practices that will enable you to test the comfort of the footwear you intend to purchase. You are advised to ensure that you are buying the kind of footwear that offers you the right feel and fit you crave to have. It is also important for one to remember that their shoes will take time before they mold well to their feet, as this will guide on the right size of a shoe to acquire.
It is also worth noting that unlined leather shoes may stretch by a size or two; therefore, if you are purchasing one, you have to consider going for one having a little tighter than you would have with any other shoe. Another important feature to look at while purchasing climbing footwear is their closure system, as they are important in holding one's foot securely in their shoes all through.
It is crucial to ensure that you get the size of your first pair of shoes right; to achieve this, you have to ensure that you acquire the footwear of the right length. The shoe should just fit cozily and offer the wearer ultra-comfort. Your initial stages in this sport should be used to learn the climbing techniques rather than being concerned about the feet and shoe state. Having this knowledge will enable you to acquire your first footwear with the right features to offer you comfort on your first day to climb.
Upon practicing climbing for several days, you now need to think of getting your first pair of shoes to aid you in advance to the next level. The kind of shoes to be acquired this time should have features to enable one to tackle harder routes as well as give the climber what is required to climb for longer periods. The shoes should give the climbers feet glove fit and mold with it properly to enable them to get to the next level.
By the time you get to the point of going for a third pair of climbing shoes, you are a seasoned climber, and definitely, you understand well what you require from the climbing shoes and get the exact right. One need also to get it clear that, for their shoes to take them where they require, as long as climbing is concerned, you have to give them the care they require.
Most of the climbing shoes are not gender-specific, though this does not necessarily make the shoes made for men suit women, a factor which can be attributed to feet of different shapes. It is undebatable that men have feet of different shapes compared to women; for instance, men have larger as well as wider feet than their counterparts; thus, need for a kind of footwear that will comfortably cater to those needs. However, several shoe manufacturers design the kind of gender-neutral shoes such that whether worn by either men or women, they will offer the right fit.
A climber should ensure that they acquire the type of footwear that is a little less tight than the footwear they wear for high performance. Comfort should always be the determinant factor for one choosing the kind of footwear they opt to go for. To offer this, the shoes should fit snugly, not tightly, as some people may think they should. Fitting them so tight will mean that the chances of developing aching feet are high, as tightfitting shoes will give rise to a kind of pain that is usually associated with such. One need also to understand that climbing shoes are all about functionality and not looks; therefore, one needs to be wise while selecting the climbing shoes as the type of the footwear one chooses for climbing is a very key factor to determine whether they will have to make it to the top or not. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned climber, all you need is just a shoe of the right fit and the one that offers you the comfort you need.
How to Stretch Footwear.
It is not an engaging activity for one to acquire a pair of shoes, which is exactly their right size, however at times, one might find themselves having a shoe which is a bit small to fit you well. Though this does not happen commonly, it is usually an annoying experience; one should not mistake it for a disaster since it has a way of solving it. There are various ways which can be used to stretch almost all kind of shoes if one finds them not fitting. Here are some of the methods which are recommended to be used for shoe stretching purposes:
Using a shoe stretcher.
This method involves the use of a shoe stretching item called a shoe stretcher. Though this method uses less effort, easy to apply, and straightforward, and user-friendly, it produces excellent results. It is an ideal method recommended to be used if shoe stretching involves an expensive pair of shoes that one might fear damaging while broadening them. This method is believed to be the most adjustable mode as it offers room for additional blocks and plugs on it to target particular problematic areas within the shoe.
Shoe stretchers are of two types, that is, one-way shoe stretcher and two-way shoe stretcher. The one-way type stretches out only the width of your shoe while the two-way type stretcher stretches both the breadth and the length of your footwear. One may be required to purchase a pair of stretchers since they are made to be used for an individual right, and left shoes that is the one made for the right footwear cannot be used for the left footwear. A stretcher will need to stay on your shoes for around eight hours to give the correct size, whereby they will adapt that size permanently.
You are wearing your shoes around the house.
The only key requirement while using this method to stretch your shoes is two pairs of thick socks and your time, then you are about to go. The reason for the two pairs of socks is to attain the required thickness; however, when you have a pair of socks of the right thickness, you can as well use a single pair.
The procedure involved in this method is simple as all that you must do is wear your two pairs of socks or the one pair (if the pair meets the required thickness) then have your shoes. Upon wearing your socks and shoes, the next step will involve you walking around the house for thirty minutes to facilitate stretching. To get the right results, you have to repeat this process for some time since the shoes will not just stretch in one day to give you the right fit for your feet.
This method is cheap as it requires easily accessible materials and that it does not need any special equipment, thus making it the most suitable method for users who cannot afford advanced pairs of shoes and stretcher. Though this method will enable you to create an extra room in your shoes, it may not work in a situation where the footwear fits tightly at the toes or the ankles. Another shortcoming of this mode of enlarging your footwear will be that walking around your house on thick socks can be quite uncomfortable, making some people want to find other methods of stretching their shoes.
This requires one to stuff their shoes with materials such as socks; to attain this, you have to roll up several socks into small, tight balls and thrust them into your shoes. This should be done keenly to ensure that all the corners of the shoes are filled as well as the toe box. When the shoes are completely filled, they should be left overnight to stretch on their own. Adding socks or any other materials to the shoes should continue with adding more materials from time to time until extra space is created so that one can fit their shoes comfortably.
The shortcoming in this method is that it will take several days before the shoe attains the right fitting, though the best if one is not in a hurry with stretching their shoes. Compared to wearing the shoes, this method is much more comfortable as you will not be required to have your shoes on and walk around on them. This method is also cheap as it uses accessible materials such as socks and other materials which are filled in the shoes.
Using Shoe Stretch Spray.
This involves the use of a special type of spray, which facilitates shoe stretching. The shoes to be stretched are spayed from the interior then worn around the house for a period of around one hour. This can be done repeatedly for several times until the shoe attains the right fitting. Unlike wearing shoes and stuffing methods, spraying works faster as well as being comfortable. This method can also be combined with stretchers to produce the best results, as the spray will speed up the process by softening the materials making your footwear. Using other shoe methods already sprayed with a shoe stretcher will make the process more efficient and effective as minimal force will be required to stretch the shoes. This method's shortcoming is that it is expensive as one has to purchase the shoe sprayer, which is costly.
Stretching your Shoes through Stretching
This method requires one to have a ziplock bag and a freezer simply. The ziplock bags are filled with water to a one-third way up, then closed up carefully. The ziplock bags already containing water are then inserted inside the shoes to carefully fill the space in all corners of the shoes. The filled shoe is then placed into a freezer and left overnight. This method works because when water freezes, it expands; thus, it will enable the expansion of the footwear upon expanding. The technique can be used repeatedly until the shoes attain the right fitting.
This method will require you to have your shoes on, whereby they should be worn with two pairs of thick socks. One is then allowed to blast them by use of a blow dryer on medium heat for a period of around thirty seconds. The shoes should be kept on the foot upon dying them to prevent them from shrinking back to their normal size. After the process, the shoes will need to be treated by the use of a leather conditioner to ensure that the leather does not dry out and that cracking does not occur.
Taking your Shoe to the Cobbler.
This is one of the best shoe stretching method as it involves taking your shoe to an expert who has a good understanding of different varieties of shoes. The cobbler is also likely to have some specialist machines which apply pressure and heat to the shoes, gently enabling them to stretch. The challenge with this method is that not all towns have a specialist cobbler, so some people may lack these crucial services forcing them to rely on other stretching techniques. This method works best for all types of shoes ranging from shoes for playing basketball to soccer boots.
Having seen how climbing footwear can be stretched in case they do not fit well upon their purchase; we need to see some of the top shoes for climbers in the market today.
Best Climbing Shoes in the Market Today.
Like any other sport such as basketball, which requires shoes for basketball players, climbing also has a special kind of footwear designed for climbing. Here is a list of some of the top shoes for climbers:
Black Diamond Mens Momentum Lace Climbing Shoes.
This pair is designed to be lace-up climbing footwear, which is constructed by the use of synthetic materials to give improved flexibility, strength, and grip with different kinds of surfaces. They are made on the same design as the Black Diamond brand’s though this one is modified to have a reliable set of laces to offer the wearer a better fitting and an excellent level of adjustment. These features make Diamond Momentum Lace offer a great balance, stability, and comfort.
They provide great traction with different surfaces since they have a medium -flex midsole as well as NeoFriction outsoles. These soles are designed in a way that makes them able to bed slightly for difficult terrain and surfaces but, at the same time, withholding enough strength to help the climber climb on smooth surfaces.
Evolv Shaman Climbing Shoe.
These are unique kinds of climbing footwear, for they are colorful and designed for high performance. They are effective in climbing uneven surfaces since they have a notable downturn. They have a strong heel design, which offers the climber additional support despite the situation of the surface they traverse on. This pair is modified to facilitate the use of three single sets of Velcro straps, making it easy for the climber to make easy adjustments on their way. Shaman Climbing Shoe is also designed to produce a mesh-based tongue which gives more room for airflow as well as wick away any form of wetness developing on the feet that may distract a climber from a perplexing climb. The heels of these shoes are made from tough materials making the shoes durable. The uppers of these shoes are modified to be supportive, thus increasing the comfort of these footwear.
Five Ten Men’s Anasazi Moccasym Climbing Shoe.
These shoes are constructed in a unique design to give them a great range of performance and make them safe for climbing. They are modified to have a three-point pull tab to facilitate quick slip at any time the wearer has them on. Their outsoles are made of gum rubber and modified to offer great traction with various surfaces in which climbers might come along during their climbing. This ensures that the wearer’s feet are well protected in all the prevailing conditions on the terrain one traverses on. These pairs of shoes are resolvable, making it possible for one to replace their original soles with soles of their choice. This enables one to acquire the best insole for the shoes if they are not comfortable with the type their pair upon purchasing. Their main sole is made from stealth C4 rubber, which makes this them stand out as versatile with excellent traction that handles various types of terrains, including rocky areas.
La Sportive Men’s TarantuLace Rock Climbing Shoe.
These shoes are made of leather material; they are modified to have a quick-pull as well as lace- based adjustment system that facilitates quick and efficient tightening and loosening of shoes to attain your preferred fit. This offers the wearer comfort as well as making the outsoles and heel padding more effective to ensure that the climber remains well gripped to various types of surfaces they come across while climbing.
Scarpa Men’s Instinct VS Climbing Shoe.
These are men's climbing shoes, which are constructed with special textiles and synthetic materials for maximum climbing performance. These kinds of shoes can even serve you on rock and rough surfaces. They are designed to have a special Vibram XS grip, which aids the wearer to perform a heel hook without subjecting the heel to harm's way. This factor will aid the climber to access a unique, versatile move of climbing. The forefoot of this pair uses Vibram XS Edge, which improves the durability and grip strength of the climber’s toes. They have synthetic inner soles for the maximum protection of the wearer's feet; this kind of insoles also improves the shoe's ability to resist any kind of deformation when one is climbing up footholds or thin ledges.
La Sportiva Men’s Skwama Rock Climbing Shoe.
These are heavy-duty shoes made for climbing rocky surfaces; they use a special heel cup, which is modified to produce excellent traction with different kinds of surfaces. It has a well-designed toe box that uses patches of sticky rubber to provide the climbers with an extra grip as they traverse on smooth as well as rough surfaces rock surfaces. These features offer an increased level of stability, thus assuring climbers’ security during climbs. They are designed to produce a unique shape made by the use of materials that can easily stretch as well as flex to give their wearers maximum level of comfort.
Five Ten Hiangle Men’s Climbing Shoes.
These shoes are constructed with very strong rubber outsoles, making them suitable to be used in tough and hard climbing situations. This is because these outsoles are modified to produce an excellent grip with terrains of different kinds. Their uppers are made of supportive split-grain leather, which is summed up by a Velcro strap closure system, which is adjustable to give a climber the exact fit they require. This pair comes with a well-designed toe box to enable the wearer to control their movements as well as the feet's reaction to several surfaces. This will also provide superb traction and control, enabling the climber to tackle tough climbs.
Tanaya Oasi Unisex Rock Climbing Shoe.
The unique part of Oasi is that they are suitable for use by both genders. They are modified to produce a versatile, flexible, and adaptable design that can be used in various climbing activities, including the toughest and hardest. They are modeled to provide comfortable fitting. On top of this, they are made of supportive materials to offer the climber's feet the much-needed safety and stability while climbing. They come with a curved downturn as well as angled toe-box, which will aid one in placing their heels on a low ground level, therefore enhancing a higher level of control over the climber's movements thus easing the task of gripping onto with the fore as well as the back of their feet when required to. They come with a unique closure system, therefore enabling the climber to adjust them to attain their right fitting. This factor makes one stable, comfortable, and flexible in undertaking any kind of climbing.
Butora Endeavor Wide Fit Climbing Shoe.
These pair is constructed from a combination of several materials, including stable and flexible leather and breathable mesh. They are made more comfortable by having a poron memory foam, which is used in constructing their interior. They make the perfect pair for beginners since they are designed to have features for normal exercise footwear. They have a sticky outsole that provides superb traction with different kinds of surfaces, a factor which offers the much-needed stability by climbers.
Climbing, just like any other sport, relies much on footwear, for you to get it right, you should go for the kind of footwear which will make you achieve your objectives as long as climbing is concerned. Upon purchasing climbing shoes, you have a duty to ensure that they remain in good condition all through to serve you accordingly. This will include repairing the shoes in case of any damage and ensuring that they remain clean all through. If replaceable parts become worn out, they should be replaced immediately; for instance, you should ensure that you have your shoe insoles best all through.
There are currently multiple shoe dealers in the market who supply different kinds of footwear depending on the wish of customers. The quality of footwear supplied varies depending on many factors, leaving shoe buyers in a situation where they have to buy to try the footwear quality of a given dealer. Freaky Shoe Company is one of the shoe dealers; however, they operate online, making their services accessible by people from different corners of the globe. For more information about freaky shoe company, visit their website: freakyshoescom.