New trad shoes or another pair of bouldering shoes?


Original Post
Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Hey guys,
I have been climbing for about 6 months, and a pretty solid v3 climber with a number of v4's at my local gym (I'm a gym rat). Right now I wear Vapor V's, and they are awesome for all sorts of climbing, from slab to roofs. But sometimes my gym gets really crowded, and it's a pain in the ass to sit around waiting for groups of v7+ climbers to project a route, and then take turns (sometimes you can wait at a wall for 20-30 minutes before you can go). So my wife and I were thinking about learning to top rope on days that are that busy.

I am sure that my vapors will be just fine for that kind of climbing. But I was just wondering if it would be worth getting a pair of shoes that are more suited to trad climbing, or if I should get the pair of Butora's that I have been eyeing.

The vast majority of my time will be spent on boulders, and typically overhanging rotes. So would it be a better idea to get shoes that I'd only use intermittently, or just another pair of bouldering shoes?


Phil Sakievich · · Tempe, AZ · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 30

Just get another pair of what's working for you. Typically a "trad" shoe is one that can be worn all day long and allows the toes to lay flat. This is bc trad is often synonymous with crack climbing and long multi pitch climbs. If your just TRing or even leading in the gym stick with the shoe that matches your preferred style. You'll find that sport climbing is not that far removed from bouldering.


Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 282

That sounds right to me, unless you climb somewhere that involves a lot of crack climbing or slab climbing. For those, and especially for cracks, you're really going to want something that keeps your toes flat.

Devil's advocate edit: I've heard good things about the vapors, so if they fit, why get anything new?


Eli · · Lives in a truck · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 2,411

Vapor V's are a good trad shoe.


Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 40

Yeah, was going to say...you already have a good all-arounder. If you're bouldering V4, you might notice a difference with a more aggressive shoe, but to be honest, 6 months...Vapors are a much better shoe than I had at that point.


Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Thanks guys. I started with the Helix;s, and loved them, but they stretched out in the first month to the point that I didn't trust my feet. It might have been an issue with that shoe specifically, but it was concerning enough to just go for a new model. And since I have super wide feet, I decided to stick with Scarpa.

Optimistic: I do love slab climbing. Never crack climbed before. And the vapors work fantastic on slabs at a v4. I am not looking for a shoe to replace them. More of a shoe to use along side, so I don't wear the vapors out too fast. Maybe to give me a little more confidence on some more difficult routes


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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