Boulderdash How to Choose Your Bouldering ShoeApr 28, 2003 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in Sport and OutdoorThe Bottom Line Cranking on cracks and nubs take precidence over comfort.
So you decided to pick up bouldering BRAVO! Welcome to the world of the 20' wonders. When it comes to bouldering compared to all other types of climbing out there its a whole new bag.
Bouldering for those of you who don't know is a type of climbing that works routes less then 30' off the ground. There is no ropes to protect you just a crash pad and a few spotters from keeping you getting hurt. The joys of it is that you can work hard moves with very little climbing to get up to it. Also you can pull a few boulder problems in the time it takes to do one pitch climb.
When it comes to climbing shoes for bouldering your needs and wants are going to change quite a bit from what you are used to. The best comparision for this would be gym climbing. Nice, short, quick but never easy.
Because you aren't working a multi pitch climb where your shoes need to be very solid and semi comfortable, bouldering gives you the option to climb hard and then take your shoes off right after. This pretty much means that you can throw comfort out the window. Shoes should be very tight (still not to the point of absolute pain) to allow absolutely no foot movement.
Bouldering has been rising in popularity quickly over the last few years because of this companies are starting to make shoes just for it. Some things to look for is the shoes with an increase in sensitivity. Most boulder problems don't put you in a position to see your feet esp when your in a top out (finishing on top of the boulder) when your feet are under the lip and just searching for feet. A sensitive shoe here well make it much easier here to find that little nick that takes you from a heap on your matt to pumping your arms on the top.
Another feature that is being intoduced is the Power Toe design. In this design the toe box is bent down focusing wieght and power onto your big toe. This allows you to utilize all your power in a very small area, perfect for that hard crank.
WHAT AM I LOOKING FOR
Like with any climbing shoe you are looking for the same thing, what best suits me. If you are a power climber then use it with shoes such as the 5.10 Dragon or the LaSportiva Testerosa. If you are a pretty climber (rely on body position rather then cranking and dyno's) then a sensitive shoe such as the anasazi velcro or my personal favorate the anasazi lace up is going to be a shoe more up your alley.
IN THE END
Boulder is a beast of its own color, it well try to chew you up and spit you out with out thinking twice. Help to even the odds with a good pair of shoes that suit you. Ask around see whats good and what others have to say. As always remember shoes might be cheaper on line but always try them on before you buy them. One companies 10 is another companys 8 1/2.
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