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sid_rock


Feb 28, 2003, 12:47 PM
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shoe - "hot water treatment"?
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I am new to climbing, so be easy on me, fellas :) I just bought my first pair of climbing shoes yesterday. It's a Merrell Reach Pro Velcro (the salesperson at the store told me it was perfect for indoor climbing). It's a 44 (US 10.5), the same size as my street shoes. But GODDAMN is it ever TIGHT!! My toes are totally curled in and squished together. Walking in them is very painful, and I walk like there's a fist up my a$$. I briefly tried climbing in them, and pushing off my toes was PAINFUL.

Having read other shoe threads on this forum, I am guessing that these will soon stretch and fit me like a glove. However, I would like to accelerate this process (and skip the painful part!) by the "hot water treatment" some people suggested. Can anyone tell me more about this process? Any pros/cons I need to be aware of?

Thanks,
Sid Rock

PS: This is a great place to hang out, you guys rock! I'd also bet there are more members with six-packs on this forum than any other forum on the internet!


flying_dutchman


Feb 28, 2003, 1:01 PM
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that sucks when you buy your first pair of shoes and the dude selling them to you says that the 'experts' climb with shoes two sizes too small and cons you into following suit. A begginner dosen't need that extra pain when starting to climb.

As for stretch; don't count on it. All shoes stretch a little but it won't be noticeable.

The two sizes smaller thing is a way that retailers can drop another pair of shoes on unsuspecting newbies and make more money


climbjs


Feb 28, 2003, 1:03 PM
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Hey Sid. Welcome to rc.com! It's always great to have new members pitch in!
As far as your question, I've never tried it. I've head that you can put on your shoes and soak them in water. My concern would be that the leather may get stiff after they dry. My Moccasyms got quite sweaty and the leather stiffened up. I don't wear them anymore.


burz


Feb 28, 2003, 1:09 PM
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You are going to find that your shoes will stretch, but not much lenghtwise. In other words get used to your toes hurting. Sorry...


bakedjake


Feb 28, 2003, 1:26 PM
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ha ha ha ha haaa ha haa ha ha the initiation begins. Grin and bear it your bottom dogs will acclimatize in time. I went to a well known store where the salesperson told me I should get size 7.5 when I wear a 10.5, the schmuck it's a physical impossibility. I ended up taking a size 10 and wish I would have gone for 10.5. And the other posts are right they don't stretch very much.


rockrat


Feb 28, 2003, 1:26 PM
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I have the same problem with my shoes, except that I bought them over the net and never got to try them on. When ever I don’t climb I put shoe insets in them (the shoe insets for fancy shoes) and crank them up a few sizes, so next time you put them on they should be a little stretched and give your feet a little break. Hope this helps.

Peace.


Partner wideguy


Feb 28, 2003, 1:27 PM
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Yeah, I got the same story when I was looking, " Buy small. If they are comfortable, they won't work." from a couple guys at EMS and others. Finally one guy at REI said, " Dude, are you climbing El CAp or just screwing around at you local crag? Buy comfortable. Here try these on that wall over there."
Bought a pair of 5.10 Spires that are comfortable-snug and don't think they've held me back yet. See if you can still return yours. You'll probably thank yourself. If and when you become a 5.14+ monster, then buy the toe crunchers, but by then you'll probably have more than one pair anyway.

Just my $.02


tucsonalex


Feb 28, 2003, 1:29 PM
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My philosophy is to buy whatever shoes are the most comfortable. I tried on every pair of shoes in the store and bought the ones that fit the best. I think a good shop won't mind going the extra distance to have another satisfied customer. I buy 90% of my gear there and I don't mind paying a little extra over internet prices to get good service. Getting back to the point, I think any gains made by a tight fitting shoe will be offset by having them fit well and therefor you can concentrate more on climbing. Bottom line: climbing shoes do not have to be painfull to do their job.


bakedjake


Feb 28, 2003, 1:32 PM
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thats so funny wideguy, ems was where I got the errant advice


jhwnewengland


Feb 28, 2003, 1:40 PM
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Well, I'd say you bought them too big. Your feet just need some time to get used to it. Honestly, if you bought the shoe the same size as your street shoe, DON'T go bigger. They'll be sloppy and useless in no time.

I find it funny that he writes that he got them the same size as his street shoe, and everybody starts with the "two sizes smaller is BS" stuff.


jhwnewengland


Feb 28, 2003, 1:43 PM
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And the guy at REI was just trying to make a sale by telling you what you wanted to hear. It's a great sales tactic - they don't care whether the shoe really fits you or not, they care whether you buy it or not.


mauriceb


Feb 28, 2003, 1:44 PM
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JH - Way to actually read the original post. I was thinking exactly what you expressed until I came to your post

maurice

edited to add content
My first pair of shoes were the same as my street shoes, maybe half size smaller, and they did finally stretch. Occassionally I would sit around the house in them to help my feet adjust but as for walking, you were smart and bought velcro. Pull them off as soon as you're done withthe climb. I have to unlace mine

maurice


burz


Feb 28, 2003, 1:47 PM
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Comparing your street shoe size to a climbing shoe size is just a starting point for trying on shoes until you find something that fits. Tennis shoes, boots, sandals, dress shoes, etc. all run different sizes, some smaller, some bigger. In general you can say to buy your climbing shoes smaller, but what the guy likes wearing tight fitting dress shoes that are sized small, then maybe the climbing shoes should be the same size? The point is, a beginner does not want his toes curled up in the end of his shoe.


Partner coldclimb


Feb 28, 2003, 2:11 PM
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I've found that my climbing shoes are a half-size smaller than my regular shoes.


kixrox


Feb 28, 2003, 2:35 PM
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Having your toes crimped and your feet wrapped tightly is a new experience for your feet, and like your hands, back and the rest of your body that is new to climbing, your feet will require some break-in time.

When I started, I couldn't wear my shoes for 10 minutes before having to take them off due to cramping. Your feet will adjust. Buying the same size as your walking shoes was probably a fair size to start with.

As you learn to toe walk on texture and tiny ledges, you will realize the importance and benefit have having your toes slightly crimped. They will get used to it and after a while you will forget about your shoe dilemma and enjoy the challenge of climbing.


jhwnewengland


Feb 28, 2003, 3:36 PM
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burz is right that shoe sizes are really not comparable, and street shoe size is just a reference point. However, I'm glad that some others are starting to express the idea that they probably aren't too small. There's no need to turn this into a salesman-bashing thread, with ten people in a row claiming that you should climb in what's comfortable.

For reference: My first pair of shoes were 1.5 sizes smaller than my "street shoe," and they were Boreal Zens, which run small. They killed for a while, but my feet got used to them. Then I got Anasazis in the same size, and they fit the same way, but my feet were used to them so I loved them.

I bought a pair of Mythos a week ago, this time 2 sizes smaller, but the Mythos are a very different shoe. The 8.5 Mythos is much larger on me than the 9 Anasazi Velcro, which is the way I wanted it.

All in all, I'm glad my first pair of shoes were so small. It turns out that was the right size, so I got used to tight shoes quickly. I've got a couple huge bone spurs on my big toes, but I can edge like a madman.


miker


Feb 28, 2003, 3:52 PM
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1 and 1/2 sizes smaller works for me.

But my feet are starting to look like knurled hobbit feet....the price you pay.

miker


yosemite


Feb 28, 2003, 4:27 PM
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I've never tried the hot water treatment. What I do to accelerate the break-in process is to take the shoes to the garage, turn 'em upside down, and beat the crap out of the soles with the biggest hammer I can find. Tends to loosen things up a bit.


Disclaimer: I would never suggest anybody do anything like this to anything.

Gene


totigers


Feb 28, 2003, 4:44 PM
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My climbing shoes are the same size as my boots. Acually my mom bought my first set of shoes because she didn't want me falling off the rock since I was climbing with tennis shoes. As soon as I opened them, I put them on and climbed the door jam. It was a snap and I couldn't believe how well they stuck then I had to clean the rubber off the wall since I left a skid mark with the shoes, but they worked.
I still have them too.
:D


sid_rock


Feb 28, 2003, 4:44 PM
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In reply to:
What I do to accelerate the break-in process is to take the shoes to the garage, turn 'em upside down, and beat the crap out of the soles with the biggest hammer I can find. Tends to loosen things up a bit.
Gene

Good suggestion, Gene. I think your technique would also work spendidly on ex-girlfriends who refuse to return phone calls.


yosemite


Feb 28, 2003, 4:47 PM
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No need to call ex-girlfriends. Besides, it pisses off the wife no end.

Gene


greatgarbanzo


Feb 28, 2003, 4:53 PM
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Dont worry man.. the secret is on toes callouses... (hope I spelled it right..)

They will grow pretty soon, just be sure to put some foot powder on your shoes.

For all of you who think he is using the wrong size check this out:

I live in Venezuela, here is not a matter of "sizes", is a matter of "availability", what they have... you buy... (if you want to keep climbing.)

I am a size 12 US and use a size 9 US. Painful? not anymore (after 3 months...) Actually they feel quite confy now.


curt


Feb 28, 2003, 6:45 PM
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I haven't used the water trick for fitting shoes in some years. I did use it with the original (1983) Fires.

If you do employ this technique, use cool water--not hot. Cool water will work just as well and hot water will adversely affect the glue that holds the shoe together, which will result in premature delaminations of the sole and rand.

Curt


blackboard


Mar 1, 2003, 12:24 AM
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Merrel makes climbing shoes? The closes I've seen are the Merrell Jungle Climbing Shoes which aren't actually climbing shoes but "street shoes inspired by rock climbing."

I can't find any climbing shoes at Merrell's website either. I'd be interested in seeing what they have to offer, since I'm a big fan of their mocs.

Can I ask what you paid for those shoes?


galt


Mar 1, 2003, 1:12 AM
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Welcome to the site!
Sorry about your shoes but I simply have 2 things I'd suggest to you.
a) Rock climbing shoes aren't made to walk in. Granted they shouldn't kill your feet to walk a few feet (pun intended), but most of the time you have them on you should be going vert.
b) You may want to try cutting your toe nails. My first pair of shoes were TIGHT! I tried leaving them on when I was around the house (on the puter', watching 24... yea I'm addicted) and they always seemed to hurt my toes BAD. Anyway I cut my nails pretty short and the pain subsided. Granted this may not help you, but it made a world of difference for me.
Goodluck, have fun, and again welcome to the site!

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