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How many pairs before you found the perfect multi-pitch trad shoes?


Original Post
Daniel Joder · · Barcelona, Spain · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

I have recently come back to the rock after a 30-year hiatus and have been on the hunt for the perfect all-day trad shoe. Back in the day, it was the Royal Robbins blue suedes or the ultra-stiff Black Beauties...then the magical EBs and Fires. Now, there are so many choices. I have now gone through about 4-5 different sizes and models and might be on to something with the Butora Alturas. We'll see as I break them in. Part of the problem is I have huge feet (my hiking boots are size 14 and street shoes are 13, so TC Pros won't work). I am just wondering how many pairs of climbing shoes you went through before you found the right model/size that was perfect for most of your multi-pitch trad climbing--or maybe you have a couple of pairs for different types and lengths of trad routes? And...just how many unused pairs of shoes are in your closet? Are you in the same class as Imelda Marcos?

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

TC Pros were pretty much the shoe for me, although I don't love them on slabs and they can get a little loose in the heel. I ended up getting a pair of Anasazi Pinks, which complement them well.

Nick D'Ambrosio · · Telluride,Co · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 10

I bought my Mythos 3 years ago. Sized down a half from street shoe size. Have never had any issues, super comfy, and reliable. I have a buddy who rocks the TC pros who says the exact same about them.

Keith Meister · · East Greenbush, NY · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 30

+1 for the TC Pro's

David Hous · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Nov 2001 · Points: 195

11 and still looking!
I started with those old RRs too, they were barely better that the sneakers I used before climbing shoes. I use my old 5.10 huecos for most moderate trad routes.
I also have size 13/14 feet and I'm bummed that la sportiva only makes a few shoes in my size.
Have you tried on Scarpa technos?
Rock and Resole is pretty good about stocking large sizes.

Nick D'Ambrosio · · Telluride,Co · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 10

I feel like after size 12 it gets difficult which sucks.

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

It really depends on what you are climbing. I own (oh lord) in the order of 20+ pairs of shoes. TC pro i have 3 pair. I am a true believer in the Katana Lace (i have 2 pair) for thinner cracks, pockets. Think TC pro with a Miurra toe.
And then there is Miura lace, miura vcs, mocs, mythos, and etc. I think it was 6 different shoes before the TC came out. Really the best multi-pitch all day.
I believe Ondra just did the Dawn Wall in Katana Lace.
$.02
Add: Still learning to read. I have a 46.5 street 12 1/2. The 46 TC pro is fine, so is the K. Lace. After 46...man, i hope my feet quit spreading, might have to trim my toes!

Nick D'Ambrosio · · Telluride,Co · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 10

I think half size down on comfortable multi climbing shoe is rule of thumb. If you're climbing over certain grade reconsider. 5.11 and under i think the
1/2 inch to street size works.

Daniel Joder · · Barcelona, Spain · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

Great comments. David, yeah, I do have a pair of Scarpa Techno Xs--just got them back from a second resole job at Rock and Resole in Boulder. The Technos were one of the few shoes I could get in my size and they have molded well to my feet. I do like them but they aren't quite as supportive and comfortable in cracks as the Butora Alturas, so they have reverted to my backup shoes. Also, I find I am liking the slightly stickier rubber in the Alturas--so far at least. I am at five different pairs of shoes now. Just bought a second pair of Alturas in 13.5 narrow (already have the size 14 wide) to see if they will be a bit less sloppy on my feet--I'm hoping they will break in nicely.

Billcoe · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 655
Daniel Joder wrote:I have huge feet (my hiking boots are size 14 and street shoes are 13, so TC Pros won't work). I am just wondering how many pairs of climbing shoes you went through before you found the right model/size that was perfect for most of your multi-pitch trad climbing--or maybe you have a couple of pairs for different types and lengths of trad routes? And...just how many unused pairs of shoes are in your closet? Are you in the same class as Imelda Marcos?
At the size your feet are, I'd suggest stuffing your foot right up into a cows ass, resoling the belly area with stealth rubber and you'll be good to go. As long as the cow isn't too small. Repeat for other foot. There. I just saved you $150 bucks and you'll be eating steaks for weeks. You're welcome! And there will be a bunch of pissed of Vegans come sniffing around shortly yelling hateful things no doubt. F em, you need shoes man.

Shoes are so personal. Mytho's seem to fit the most folks. But Tommy Caldwell didn't climb Dawn wall with them, he chose TC Pros instead. Ondra followed up that route and went with Katana Laces. So, it's all good as long as 2 things apply for you. 1st) they fit perfect, for you. 2nd) Cheap.

Try on as many as you can in your local shop, start with the Mythos is my advice. have @ 12 pairs in the basement, but sold a bunch off too. My current fav trad shoe is an ugly yellow Scarpa Thunder. I paid $35 for one and $40 for the other. I have 2 pair. Better than my TC pros, better than the Mythos, better than all of them etc etc etc. Never even owned a Scarpa shoe before. Good stuff. For me.

Good luck!
Tradgic Yogurt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 55
Billcoe wrote: ... But Tommy Caldwell didn't climb Dawn wall with them, he chose TC Pros instead...
If you designed shoes specifically for me, I'd probably climb in them all the time too...

Hilarious bit about the cows :)
Nick D'Ambrosio · · Telluride,Co · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 10

Lets just say Mythos half size down form street size is the answer.....????

Nat D · · Seattle, WA · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 765

Do they make katana laces over size 45?

I got a pair of Otaki's recently and am excited to compare to the katana lace. They are stiffer than a dedicated sport shoe like my solution or testarossa; but slightly more flexible than the Katana Lace, and a bit more aggressive. The patch of XS edge extends past the forefoot into the arch but isn't a full-sole like the katana or tc pro. the Otaki heel feels more secure than the katana, and the overall comfort is about the same.

Should be interesting, I was looking for a shoe to better compliment rather than overlap my TC pros for long days of trad that has a significant slab/face component, or cracks that are thinner than a fist, and I think the otaki might be a better ";opposite"; to the TC pro than the Katana.

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

Yes, Nat. I own a pair of 45.5s and I believe they go at least up to 46. I agree that the Katana is a very similar shoe to the TC, although mine are sized differently so they fulfill different purposes. The lower toe profile and downturn also makes the Katana better for finger cracks while the high top and padding make the TC an excellent wide crack shoe, so they're a good pair for crack climbing.

Daniel Joder · · Barcelona, Spain · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

Headed out in my bare feet to the local organic, free-range cow farm today (I'm in Boulder, after all)..thanks for the most excellent idea, Billcoe!

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,275

A dozen or so. Sadly, they no longer make the Lynx or Kaukulator, and I'm looking again. Indeed the TC Pro has awesome performance, but it doesn't fit quite right and is not as comfortable or as durable in cracks.

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,275
Ted Pinson wrote:Yes, Nat. I own a pair of 45.5s and I believe they go at least up to 46. I agree that the Katana is a very similar shoe to the TC, although mine are sized differently so they fulfill different purposes. The lower toe profile and downturn also makes the Katana better for finger cracks while the high top and padding make the TC an excellent wide crack shoe, so they're a good pair for crack climbing.
Have you seen/tried the Butara Altra? I've been curious about those, but not gotten to try them out on cracks yet. I borrowed a friends's pair for a knobby thin facce, and found they can't compete with my TC pros there, but like you said... that wasn't the point. I was just curious.

rockandresole.com/climbing-…
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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