Breaking in TC Pros?


Original Post
Alissa Doherty · · Boston, MA · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 105

I bought my first pair of TC Pros after years of pain jamming in my solutions. It was an incredible revelation to find that foot jams can actually be secure and comfortable.

I'm really psyched about them but found one issue: I can't seem to smear in them without slipping. Recently, I was just walking on a slab, and my foot (in a TC Pro) slipped out from under me like a skateboard. I've been carrying two pairs of shoes on multi-pitches now (TC Pro for hand cracks and Solutions for everything else) which is pretty annoying.

Does anyone have a similar experience or can anyone confirm whether this is just a break-in period? Has anyone had success re-soling TC Pros with a different rubber?

Matt Carroll · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 35

TC pros rock, and I would imagine that you just need to get used to them/break them in. Compared to my agressigve shoes I think they are way better on slab. I have no qualms with the rubber either. Honestly stick with them and I'm sure you'll come around to love em.

Tom Sherman · · Bristol, RI · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 416

Yeah they're like tap shoes when you buy them. Clap Clap clap

But they soften up, they have (waiting to be corrected) like a 5 mil rand (it's fatter than other shoes) and so you'll never feel the rock as much as other shoes. But they get better... soooo much better

From BlisterGearReview

"A Word of Caution on Sole Stiffness

The stiffness of the TC Pro, combined with its precise fit, makes this shoe unique, and it’s what gives it the stellar performance characteristics I listed above.

But it is, to my knowledge, the stiffest shoe on the market, and thus takes some getting used to. As Hannah noted in her review, at first you won’t be able to feel anything under your feet. This can be disconcerting since you can’t tell if your foot is sliding off a hold—you have to blindly trust your feet.

Hannah also points out that the TC Pro doesn’t do well on overhanging terrain. The stiffness of the sole combined with the shoe’s flat profile makes it nearly impossible to toe in and pull on overhanging feet. Granted, these types of pitches rarely exist on big-walls…

So to sum up, the TC Pro is intended for technical trad and big-wall climbing. Someone looking for a great sport climbing shoe might want to look elsewhere. If you prefer soft, sensitive shoes, like a slipper, the TC Pro probably isn’t what you’re looking for."

Alissa Doherty · · Boston, MA · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 105

Thanks! That's helpful. I had a feeling it might be a mental thing (not feeling anything under my feet) but then when I slipped walking, I wondered whether they actually lack grip. I'll stick with them!

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 866

I own both shoes as well.
In addition to less sensitivity, TC pros have harder rubber compared to the solution. XS edge. Smearing on less crystalline smooth rock will not be as easy. All rubber gets harder with colder temps. So this problem can be more noticeable in cool weather.

Padraig · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 100

You can always try scuffing up the rubber a little with a wire brush or gritty sandpaper, careful not to go too far where you need to resole significantly quicker

mountainhick · · Black Hawk, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 120

When new they feel a bit clunky. But a few days of climbing, they flex better and I am pretty well used to them. That said, I like them better after first and second resole with C4. They get comfy and more sensitive.

Tom Sherman · · Bristol, RI · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 416

So mountainhick I have 3 pairs awaiting resole in my closet. You an others highly recommend C4 rubber???

Thanks!

Matt Carroll · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 35

I got mine resoled w/ 5mil vibram from Rock and resole, I've been happy with it, although I have no comparison

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

That is a notable disadvantage of TC Pros. As others mentioned, I would recommend resoling with C4, which is softer and stickier. You might have to power down a bit more on tiny edges, although TBH I found the 5.10 Pinks edged just as well. C4 is just a superior rubber in every way from my experience.

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 866
Tom Sherman wrote:So mountainhick I have 3 pairs awaiting resole in my closet. You an others highly recommend C4 rubber??? Thanks!
I have one pair with XS edge and one pair with C4.

If you have multiple pairs, you may want options depending on rock and temperatures.
Don Ferris · · Eldorado Springs · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 175

I've been resoling my TCs with grip2 for about 5 resoles now. I like the grip2 better for everything EXCEPT tiny edges. An example would be the second dihedral pitch of Wunsch's Dihedral. There are some pretty key small edges up there where with the edge rubber I would have been able to gain a rest and perhaps it was all psychological but I swear I could feel the grip2 rolling off.

Ed Henicle · · Santa Rosa, CA · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 1,285

"It was an incredible revelation to find that foot jams can actually be secure and comfortable."

+1

Muscrat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 3,610

I have resoled 5 pair of TC's. C4 and X-edge. I vacillate, but at this point i prefer the X-edge. The shoe performs well with either, for sure, but the X-edge is really long lasting, edges well (duh) and after a few pitches, smears as well as the shoe will.
All that said i am a convert to the Katana Lace. I find the toe so much sweeter, it edges as well as the TC (almost) and with my giant feet (46) i find it takes to the thinner cracks better.
$.02

mountainhick · · Black Hawk, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 120
Tom Sherman wrote:So mountainhick I have 3 pairs awaiting resole in my closet. You an others highly recommend C4 rubber??? Thanks!
I like it better. Heed the opinions of others on this thread however. If I had multiple pairs, I'd probably do one in edge rubber, the rest in C4

(Come to think of it, I have a new pair in waiting. I guess I'll use them when in dime edge country.)

YMMV
Ksween · · Wakefield, RI · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 30

Alissa, I am on my 3rd pair of TC pro's. I love them for crack climbing, steep face and yes, even slabs. I find they work great on micro edges, and eventually break in to work well for smears. This can take a while, usually by the time they are ready for a new sole, they become slab climbing machines. This is with my size 12 clown shoes. I imagine this might take quite a while if you have much shorter feet with much less leverage. Stick with it, They will break in eventually.

My girlfriend had a hard time adapting to this, but found the evolv astroman to break in quickly, make her feet feel great in cracks, and still edge well.

Patrick Vernon · · Estes Park, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 935

Hey Alissa,

I also went from solutions to TC Pros for long routes and pure crack pitches. Both are equally comfortable for me, but the TC pros perform better in splitter crack and are now more comfortable overall all day. They also have a narrower toe profile.

It took a long time to break them in and get used to them. I sized them a bit small and at first they were extremely painful. My first time outside they felt like boats and I was slipping on terrain that should have been easy. I almost got rid of them but I held on to them and I am glad I did. The solutions are hands down better at slab and edging. The TC pros do soften up though, and now they perform reasonably well at slab and edging. You do have to adjust your footwork and comfort level of what you are willing to stand on and how much pressure to apply.

If a long route has mostly pitches that are going to require smearing (face and thin crack and below) I bring my solutions. If it is sustained meat and potatoes I bring the TC pros. If it is long and easy I bring the TC pros. Part of the reason I held on to them is that I think it is good for your technique to switch your footwork up and get out of your comfort zone.

As I said above it took a long time to break them in, I wore them around the house alot and even brought them bouldering a bit before I started breaking them in on easier long routes. Or I would repeat a pitch in TC pros after I sent in solutions.

They will soften up and get better, they are a good shoe once you break them in.

Mike Mellenthin · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 70
Tom Sherman wrote:So mountainhick I have 3 pairs awaiting resole in my closet. You an others highly recommend C4 rubber??? Thanks!
I've had pairs with both C4 and xs edge and personally couldn't tell a difference. YMMV.
SRB25 · · Woodside, ca · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 5

Hey Alissa. I may have missed it but how long have you had them? Seems new rubber takes a while to start to stick well.

Muscrat: how do the katana lace compare in fit (last shape) to TCs? I want a pair but the katana doesn't seem to like my foot. Scarpa vapors feel slightly better and have a similar shape and downturn as Katanas. Thanks in advance.

Edit: TCs, katana, Muira, solutions and most
If not all LS shoes are on sale 20-30% off S&C right now. SAC40 gets you $40 off over 200. AJ extra 9%.

Muscrat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 3,610

I find the katana's don't work for me. I like the miurra, futura, genius.
BUT the KATANA LACE are awesome. I climb lot of thin granite and pocketed volcanic. I size the TC pro and the Katana lace comfortably, same as my street shoe. I do not understand people who take the P3 platform and try and downsize as in an aggressive shoe? I can wear either the TC or the K. lace for 15 pitches with little or no problem. Try em, you'll love em! Especially if you have 'clown feet' (size 46).
ADD: I think of the K laces as the TC pro with a miurra toe.

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 60

I think you've gotten your answer in spades already, but one more opinion. I climb pretty much in just La Sportiva. I have a pair of Solutions, I used to have a pair of Mythos (until I lost one shoe---grrr), and so went with TC Pros as a replacement pair. Personally, I thought mine broke in pretty quickly. If you're really smearing in them, they will perform better once the soles have been worn, but I still thought they climbed pretty well out of the box. Part of the problem that some may have may be more because smearing is becoming something of a lost art. People climb more exclusively on steep sport routes or stay away from trad bolted face climbs. Here in CA, there's lots of slab, so it's pretty hard to avoid if you do any trad climbing. If you're still refining your footwork, it's going to seem even harder in a new pair of shoes. Keep climbing on them and I think you'll be happy with the results.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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