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So I went to a climbing gym yesterday with a buddy of mine and did bouldering...I think that's what it's called. No ropes, we just climbed up little shapes on the walls. Anyhow it was a very fun time and I think some of my strength training went to good use, now I'd like to get a pair of shoes appropriate to the sport. Any suggestions?

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I asked a friend of mine about them and he said they wouldn't be as good since those shoes are not reinforced in the front like climbing shoes are. I imagine your toes would have a lot of weight on them individually in the shoes you show. Still seems like something neat to toy with though.

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  • 6 months later...

I used to manage a gym and have been bouldering for years.

Start out with some cheap climbing shoes from REI.

Go with Mad Rock or Evolv, or whatever fits comfortably but snug and is a great deal.

Wear them until your feet get strong, and then take them back and get a nicer pair that fits what you like to climb.

You'll quickly learn that even with bouldering there are several different styles to choose from, and climbing shoes are designed to excel at specific styles of climbing. Get 5.10 Anasazi's if you like to climb straight up vertical faces with small holds and lots of friction moves.

If you prefer dynamic moves on steeply overhung cave walls, get a shoe with lots of rubber around the heel for heel hooking, a good, sharp downturn in the arch, for pinpoint toe control, and a good amount of rubber over the toes for toe hooking and protection from the cave ceiling.

If you climb a lot of everything, try Evolv or Mad Rock, as they make more all-around models.

Avoid Scarpa, La Sportiva, Boreal, or anything that sounds Spanish or Italian if you are looking for a vegan shoe. The Southern Europeans love their leather.


Once your feet get strong enough, you can start doing workouts in some of those 5 Fingers shown above. They are great for increasing arch strength, balance, toe strength and foot muscle coordination.

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