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gbclimber


Feb 23, 2008, 8:10 AM
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What are the Best Trad Shoes
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I'm getting more into trad climbing and my gym shoes are way too uncomfortable for an all day thing. Any suggestions?


(This post was edited by gbclimber on Feb 23, 2008, 8:11 AM)


ja1484


Feb 23, 2008, 8:12 AM
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I have a suggestion: Search.


yakiman


Feb 23, 2008, 9:23 AM
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Certain brands seem to fit different feet, so I all I can talk about is what works for my foot type. Sportivas fit me really well. Evolves fit pretty good. 5.10's, not so well but stealth is the stickiest rubber. I prefer lace-ups. Broken in Muiras are my favorite. Mythos are fine too. For multi. pitch I like Evolve bandits. There is NO shoe that will make up for inefficient technique. I have found that fist to off-width cracks usually mandate a certain amount of suffering no matter what shoe I have on (maybe thats why I like wide stuff).

It really comes down to technique. I have seen V8s sent in chacos and 5.11 trad. sent in vintage EBs.

Get a comfortable slip-lasted lace-up. My 2cents. I gotta split cause I'm heading off to Frenchman Coulee for a day of climbing, friends, and more climbing. Out.


gt29905


Feb 23, 2008, 10:16 AM
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Barracudas, they do everything well.

But only if they fit you.


caliclimbergrl


Feb 23, 2008, 11:44 AM
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My favorite trad shoes are La Sprotiva mythos -- they've always worked really well for me on cracks and although I've heard people say they're not as great for smearing, they've worked pretty well for me.

However, I've read a lot of recommendations and talked to a few guides and semi-pro climbers and most of them prefer to climb cracks with flat slippers like the Anasazi Moccasym. They usually get them in the same size as their street shoes for this purpose. They all say that the shoes that are made for trad are too stiff for their tastes. When I asked about pain, one guide told me that the moccasym just molds to the crack so well that it doesn't hurt your foot the way a stiff shoe does when you try to jam in the crack. I find it interesting that most pro or semi-pro climbers would never put their feet in the stiff shoes made for trad climbing and prefer slippers that I've always thought of as sport shoes -- but I've heard this from too awesome climbers to dismiss it.

I tryied the moccasym though and it didn't work for me. I have narrow feet -- even for a girl and I found that even if when I tried on smaller sizes that I might use for gym climbing or sport climbing, the width was still to big and my foot was sliding around. I'll still probably be on the lookout for a flat slipper that runs narrow or that has velcro, but my mythos have been working great for years, so for now, I'm going to stick to those.

(This post was edited by caliclimbergrl on Feb 23, 2008, 11:47 AM)


Partner angry


Feb 23, 2008, 12:04 PM
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Re: [caliclimbergrl] What are the Best Trad Shoes [In reply to]
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Just to clarify, the Moccysym is a different 5.ten model than the Anazazi. I think you know that, just a brain fart.

I tend to agree with you about the sport shoe thing. If I want to climb really hard trad, I'm pretty much going to be in a pair of Evolve Talons. Downturned, cambered, soft, and tight. Way sporto sport shoes. Hell, they might even be bouldering shoes!!!!

The exception to this, and this is likely what the OP is talking about, is pure crack shoes. Where upwards of 90% of your foot placements are in the crack. In "crack jamming" you need a different type of shoes. Something that will fit as far as possible into the crack and allow your toe to lay flat enough that you can actually put your foot into the crack.

Mythos, Moccysyms, Evolve Quest, Evolve Rave, 5.ten Pitons, and other stuff built along those lines will work best. Find the ones that work best for you.

My personal favorite "supa crack shoe" is an Evolve Quest with some extra rand so I don't punch my toe knuckles through.

A few months ago though, Evolve came out with the Quest AF. It has a better fit midsole and heel, is generally stiffer, and already has the rand covering what it needs to. I am currently convinced that for pure cracks, there is not an equal on the market.

Give them a few days to break in, they aren't nearly as stiff as you'd think by playing with new ones. Trust me, they aren't actually stiff shoes, give em a few days. They edge and face climb nearly as well as any sport shoe out there, are comfortable all day, and fit great into cracks. You can't do wrong with them.

FTR, I do not work for or have any sponsorship from Evolve, I just climb in their shoes because they outperform anything else I've tried.


onceahardman


Feb 23, 2008, 12:33 PM
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Rope-soled kletterschue.


petsfed


Feb 23, 2008, 1:03 PM
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While it is true that the Anasazi Lace-up and Velcro are on a different last from the Moccasym, its name is technically the "Anasazi Moccasym". That's just pedantry though.

I have narrow feet but I love the moccs because I always stretch them to fit my feet. Feel free to search on that subject. Basically you end up with a custom molded shoe. Pretty nice actually.

As far as what makes a good trad shoe, that depends on what kinds of trad routes you'll be doing.

Technical, gear protected face climbs? Get quality sport shoes.

Crack climbs? Get burly randed shoes with stiffness commensurate with the width of the crack. The wider it is, the stiffer you'll want (within limits). Don't forget the low profile toe.

Mostly short climbs? Sacrifice all-day comfort for performance. Longer climbs? Get something comfy that you can still climb reasonably well in.

All around trad shoes tend to be sport shoes that are sized up a touch. I wear Muiras and Moccs, with a pair of Enduros for the wide stuff. I can wear socks in all of them (and with the Enduros I have to since they're a shade too big).


paintrain


Feb 23, 2008, 9:41 PM
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Mythos


byran


Feb 23, 2008, 9:59 PM
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There's been two pairs of shoes that I've really liked. The Five Ten Anasazi laseups (which I heard they discontinued). They've got a flat bottom, you can feel the rock, and they edge, smear and jam well. Plus they were only $35 at the Five Ten outlet in Redlands.
And recently I got the Evolve Quests which I'm really liking. I got them comfortably sized so my toes aren't curled and I can wear them all day but they still preform well. You can't feel the rock quite as well as the Anasazi's though. And the Quests are $30 at the Evolve outlet in Garden Grove.

So basically you just want anything with a flat bottom, not downturned. That way you can edge, smear, and jam them. Plus I find with trad i'm doing more walk offs than rappelling so it's good to have shoes that are comfortable enough to walk and scramble in. Ideally you would also want something that protects your ankles but I can't find hightops these days. My ankles have scabs on top of scar tissue on top of more scar tissue. But I guess that's what tape is for.


josephgdawson


Feb 23, 2008, 11:50 PM
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Barracudas if you fit them right. I use mine for multipitch 5.9 to 5.11+ fingercracks. I love them. I fit mine with a slightly bent/knuckled toe.


Partner j_ung


Feb 24, 2008, 6:35 AM
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I still have my Montrail Wasabis and Magnets, which are, bar none and by far, the most comfy shoes I've ever worn. (Too bad they discontinued them, IMO. BUT, for loooooong routes, I actually prefer to wear my Moccasyms. I pull them off between pitches.


k.l.k


Feb 24, 2008, 9:13 AM
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Re: [caliclimbergrl] What are the Best Trad Shoes [In reply to]
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caliclimbergrl wrote:
I've read a lot of recommendations and talked to a few guides and semi-pro climbers and most of them prefer to climb cracks with flat slippers like the Anasazi Moccasym.

Well, it depends on what you mean by "trad" and "all day." Yes, a lot of really good "trad" climbers like Dean Potter can wear Moccasyms for tons of their climbs. But two things you should remember: First, these folks climb every day and have spent years developing exceptionally strong feet. Second, they typically are using these rigs on steeper climbs because they are better than most of us. That means that they aren't standing on the tips of their toes for hours. For a few pitches of difficult vertical or overhanging crack, even I prefer a very soft shoe like Moccasyms.

But when climbing miles of easier ground, i.e., the sort of multi-pitch 5.8 and 5.9 ground that makes up lots of typical trad climbing, many guides just keep their approach shoes on.

If you plan to do the sort of "all-day" trad that would include, say, West Ridge on Cathedral Peak, Regular Route on Fairview, Moby Grape on Cannon or even Royal Arches, then Moccasyms or another soft slipper may not be the best choice. (I routinely see folks straight out of the gym, heading up the 4th class slabs at the start of Cathedral with a heavy pack, 20lbs of cams, and painful slippers on their feet--future clients for podiatric orthos.)

If you are going to climb 5.7-5.10 trad routes, multi-pitch, "all day," then I would definitely use a shoe like the Mythos, or Acopa Spectres or JBs or something comparable. If you buy only one pair, laces are recommended because they can help your feet adapt to the swelling they will do at high altitude or if it starts to snow and you need a pair of liner socks or you end up at the head of the wrong gully and have to slog out a thousand feet of class 2 on the descent.

If by "trad climbing" you mean you are going to go to a couple short pitches of steep cracks right off the road, then by all means get a pair of slippers sized so that your feet will lay flat. If you are going to crank off 5.12 multi-pitch on steep cracks, then a softer, sportier shoe will help you to get more weight on your feet, but then you're probably not reading this thread anyway.


petsfed


Feb 24, 2008, 9:33 AM
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k.l.k wrote:
If you are going to climb 5.7-5.10 trad routes, multi-pitch, "all day," then I would definitely use a shoe like the Mythos, or Acopa Spectres or JBs or something comparable.

Why the Mythos but not the Moccs? They're just as soft.

The reason the moccs are so popular is because you get the softness of the mythos, but there are no laces to shred. That's why so many people use slippers as crack shoes. It has NOTHING to do with actual performance, and everything to do with the fact that the average lace up is not designed to protect the laces from cracks.


k.l.k


Feb 24, 2008, 10:08 AM
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Re: [petsfed] What are the Best Trad Shoes [In reply to]
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yeah, mythos would not be my first choice, but at least when new, they are stiffer than the Mocs and the laces let you adjust volume w/o taking them off or just waiting for the leather and plastic to stretch. if i'm spending all day on my feet, on a route too hard for approach shoes, then i prefer something beefier. if i were going to do 10+ pitches of steep 5.12 cracks, and i'm not, then i would use my Mocs.

for a weekend climber on the routes i listed above, say 10+ pitch deals on mostly easy, sub-vertical granite, a mix of slabs, ledges, and various kinds of cracks, with some talus-hopping gully or slab descent, carrying a day pack, a soft slipper is a really bad idea. people pick up a mag with a pic of dean potter wearing mocs to solo half-dome or of someone on a 5.12 thin hand rig in IC and think, "boy, that's just what i need to slog up a 1000 ft of 5.5 sierra granite before i grovel down the snow-filled descent gully."

i do understand that for most folks, "trad climbing" means a short steep crack right next to the road, followed by a rest and some scrib, then maybe another short crack or two and then off to the beers. but since the op specifically said "all day," and was new enough to be uncertain of the best sort of footwear, then it seemd quite likely that he or other interested lurkers would be headed out for the sort of routes i'm talking about.


caliclimbergrl


Feb 24, 2008, 10:43 AM
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Re: [petsfed] What are the Best Trad Shoes [In reply to]
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I agree with you there -- which is a big part of why I still use my mythos most of the time. And wouldn't wear anything else while I'm recovering from my ankle injury and am trying to build the muscles in my foot back up.

I guess it just depends on what you mean by trad climbing. Having spent most of my time trad climbing in Squamish, trad to me means cracks. Either a day of cragging where I'm trying to tackle 5.10 finger cracks where a slipper with a very flat toe would fit best, or multi-pitch climbs where most pitches are high quality cracks. For those, I'd bring a day pack with me that had approach shoes in it for the walk-off. In that case, the shoe I would want would depend on the grade and the type of crack. I'd still probably wear my mythos for anything that was wider than a hand crack or was a more adventurous climb (talus fields, scrambling, etc).

It's not just Dean Potter that uses slippers for trad -- most expert climbers use them for thin cracks and I think it's worth knowing that is an option -- even as a beginner. Maybe it's not the best beginner trad shoe, but it's probably the best finger-crack (or smaller) shoe for anyone with the ability to climb thin cracks. And if it's a multi-pitch that includes thin cracks, you'd have to weigh out everything else you're saying: what are the other pitches like, what else am I going to have to do, how long will I be on the wall, how uncomfortable are slippers for me, etc. And if they're sized so that your foot lies flat, slippers are pretty comfortable for climbing and belaying. I do agree though that scrambling over talus fields or wearing them for a walk-off decent wouldn't be a good idea.

I guess the moral of the story is that all trad is not equal and even different types of trad climbs (and trad climbers) might require a different shoe. Can we all at least agree on that?


petsfed


Feb 24, 2008, 5:24 PM
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Re: [k.l.k] What are the Best Trad Shoes [In reply to]
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k.l.k wrote:
for a weekend climber on the routes i listed above, say 10+ pitch deals on mostly easy, sub-vertical granite, a mix of slabs, ledges, and various kinds of cracks, with some talus-hopping gully or slab descent, carrying a day pack, a soft slipper is a really bad idea. people pick up a mag with a pic of dean potter wearing mocs to solo half-dome or of someone on a 5.12 thin hand rig in IC and think, "boy, that's just what i need to slog up a 1000 ft of 5.5 sierra granite before i grovel down the snow-filled descent gully."

Well, user stupidity doesn't make it a bad shoe.

On any route that I would carry a day pack, I'd haul up my approach shoes. The additional comfort I get on the descent coupled with the added performance I get on the route VASTLY outweigh the compromise-benefits of a shoe you can do the descent in. That's true at any grade. The only real advantage I can see to a single shoe solution (if you were wearing a day pack) is if you were in a situation where you needed to change between shoes a lot. In which case I'd just suck it up and size my approach shoes to perform better.

All of that said, I don't typically wear my moccs on long routes since my local "big" area is mostly face climbing where my Muiras perform a lot better.


k.l.k


Feb 25, 2008, 8:38 AM
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PF-- Of course Mocs aren't a "bad shoe." I always have a pair around, and for someone with a high-volume or asym foot, they may be the only choice. But in the context of this thread, what would be the best buy for someone coming out of the gym and into the mountains, I would not recommend a slipper as a first choice.

For anyone just starting into "trad," and with access to big climbs (i.e., anyone in the Northeast or Rockies or West Coast), I always recommend a fairly beefy, lace-up shoe, sized comfortably. That shoe will cover a wider range of situations than will a slipper or over-sized "gym" shoe. Most trad climbers keep such a shoe in their rack even after they've gone on to pushing their limits (i.e., Petsfed has Enduros).

A supportive shoe is especially important for beginners or folks who are coming out of the gym, because your first priority has to be volume over difficulty. A new/intermediate "trad" climber should spend as much time as possible on the rock, preferably on multi-pitch routes, well below their limit, typically less than vertical, in order to gain experience with pro, rock, weather, routefinding, etc. An experienced climber is probably going to wear approach shoes for, say, Eagle Buttress or Tenaya Buttress or West Ridge of Conness. But our OP will probably want shoes for those outings, at least in his first season as he goes on to add to the multi-pitch stuff he's doing at the Leap. As a side benefit, that lace-up can be adjusted as feet swell at altitude, will work in wide cracks or on slabs, will help get you across the snow gully to the base of 3rd Pillar, and will be adequate for most harder roadside stuff, or at least on the routes where he can't simply use the gym/sport shoes he already owns.

After a season or so, someone who decides they are going to stick with trad will probably want to add Mocs or something similarly specialized to the rack. But the beefy shoes can get resoled and always be there for long days, or wide stuff, or just days where you take friends up easy routes for the day.

Of course, lots of other folks reading this thread are basically planning for sport trad, short routes next to the road that come as close as possible to the stuff they already climb in the gym. But they are going to spend most of the day sitting on their ass at the base of the crag, waiting their turn on the rope, so it really doesn't matter what they have on their feet.

As for Caligirl, Squamish is a bit of a special case, since (unlike the northern Sierra) it has very little featured rock in the mid-5th range, and once you've done Diedre a few times, you pretty much have to get into the real meat of the area which is techy thin cracks, especially in the 10a to 11c range. But even if I were to get back to Squamish, and wear my Mocs on Exasperator, I'd still take my JBs if I were going to do Grand Wall again or even Sentry Box. With your Mythos you can get up all that stuff and run up Ingalls Pick or OuterSpace or pack into the Enchantments for the West Ridge of Prussik.


theirishman


Feb 25, 2008, 9:46 AM
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yo it's all about the 5.10 Pitons for trad climbing! Ive used the pitons for a year now and absolutely LOVE them. Then are really good for thin hands and up, pretty good for slab, and the foam makes belays bearable! Also the full toe rubber is REALLY nice, and they are stiff, for hard finger trad i just use my Anasazi Velcros!


krusher4


Feb 25, 2008, 10:39 AM
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I like Ballet Golds and Trad masters


the_climber


Feb 25, 2008, 10:54 AM
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Old Boreal Ace's (which are about to be resoled.... again) and Tradmasters are what I generally use. It works for "me" as they fit "my" feet and are comfortable all day.


Partner robdotcalm


Feb 25, 2008, 11:33 AM
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byran wrote:
There's been two pairs of shoes that I've really liked. My ankles have scabs on top of scar tissue on top of more scar tissue. But I guess that's what tape is for.

These things work quite well and are more convenient than taping.

ankle protectors

r.c


sspssp


Feb 25, 2008, 12:39 PM
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petsfed wrote:
The additional comfort I get on the descent coupled with the added performance I get on the route VASTLY outweigh the compromise-benefits of a shoe you can do the descent in. That's true at any grade.

I take issue that you can't get high performance in a shoe you can do the descent in.

For multi-pitch climbing, I wear a pair of Mythos that are sized comfortably. I've done some pretty long Yosemite descents with the Mythos. Not saying it is the best way to go, but its doable.


petsfed


Feb 25, 2008, 2:11 PM
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sspssp wrote:
I take issue that you can't get high performance in a shoe you can do the descent in.

For multi-pitch climbing, I wear a pair of Mythos that are sized comfortably. I've done some pretty long Yosemite descents with the Mythos. Not saying it is the best way to go, but its doable.

Its true though. A shoe that has a wide enough toe box and enough padding to allow good time on a grueling descent is not going to be that precise, sensitive or aggressive (if that's what you need). I would not dream of doing any of the scree-field descents that I've done, certainly not in the face of a coming storm, even in my Enduros. It would be shear suffering, and it'd slow me down.

Climbing and walking require different things from shoes and trying to compromise between the two means that both will suffer, in my opinion, more than is allowable.

Not to get into some kind of pissing match, but what were these long Yosemite descents like? I've never been to the Valley, so I don't know. What I do know is that if the descent is more than a mile or so, I'm bringing approach shoes. Blisters that prevent me from climbing the next day just aren't worth it.

Incidentally, the enduros were not my first shoes, or even my second pair. I picked them up last summer so I'd have some ankle protection and extra stiffness for offwidths.


dynamo_


Feb 25, 2008, 2:23 PM
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For me, Mythos resoled with Onyx rubber...fire.

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