Rock climbing has become one of the most sought-after adventure activity for people who are passionate about speed, challenges, nature, and fitness. This high-intensity activity of precision requires a balance between footwork, decision making and control over the body. Apart from giving you an extensive workout, it is exciting, full of fun and a thrilling experience. Hence for performing such high risk and challenging task, you need to have the perfect gear and tools with you. Understanding the unique and specific nature of this sport, companies like Climb Fit have a dedicated range of shoes for rock and mountain climbing enthusiasts.
Are Climbing Shoes Really That Important?
According to www.outsideonline.com, climbing shoes are one of the most important components of the climbing gear. It is the protective layer between your foot and the rock, therefore the right grip, comfort, and protection are very much necessary. Based upon your level of expertise, (beginner, intermediary or an expert), you can buy the gears required for rock climbing at local or online stores.
Types Of Climbing Shoes
• Neutral shoes: These shoes prioritize on the comfort level. Ideal for amateur climbers, they allow the foot to lie flat inside the shoes. This shoe has a thick rubber sole. The midsole gives comfort and the flat design makes it easier to get into the cracks. However, they are not ideal for difficult overhanging climbing routes.
• Moderate shoes: They have a downward design, making it suitable for technical climbing like cracks, multi-pitch climbs. with a sticker rubber and thin sole, it has a better grip as compared to neutral shoes. These are less comfortable than neutral shoes and durability wise not very promising.
• Aggressive shoes: Made for experts, these shoes have a downturn design with an elevated heel to route all power onto the big toes and provides better grip to place the foot in difficult small holds. Comfort and durability wise they are even less than moderate shoes.
Certain Features Of The Shoes Which Should Be Evaluated Are:
1. Sole: The sole of the shoe has three components- outsole, midsole, and insole. Sole is the rubber exterior, and is the part of the shoe which stays in continuous contact with the rock. It is made from various rubber blends which differ in durability and stickiness or grip on the rock surface. Climbing shoes usually have a split sole which has two separate rubber patches on either side leaving the middle part of the sole which provides better grip and flexibility to the foot. Midsole located just above the outsole gives rigidity and shape to the footbed. Its role is to evenly distribute the pressure created while climbing. Innersole is what is in physical contact with your foot.
2. Rand: These are on the edge of the sole, it has a rubber band sought of elasticity, which expands the shoe wider when we place our foot into it and then moves back to the original shape, hence help to suck the foot tight over the footbed for better grip and flexibility.
3. Heel cup: Climbing shoes have elevated heels to move all the power onto the toe area for better support.
4. Toe rubber: In climbing shoes, the toe should be tightly supported in front. These toe rubbers help to get tight grip on the surface in tough terrains and also ensures the safety of the foot.
5. Uppers: These are the fabrics usually made of synthetic leather or pure leather to cover the foot from the top
6. Closure: This component tightens the uppers of the shoes once you fit in your foot to create firm and strong support and grip. There are usually common patterns of closure- laces, Velcro or slip-on.
7. High tops: Certain models of climbing shoes are of ankle length design protecting the ankle from an injury caused due to rubbing with the rock while climbing.
The material used is usually leather, there are two varieties lined and unlined leather shoes or synthetic material which does not stretch much. Make sure to choose the right shoe based on your comfort and of course the climbing challenge you are aiming for.