How low have you gone downsizing?


Original Post
Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

So I figured if I'm not going to be a strong climber, I may as well look like one, and decided to pick up a pair of LS Solutions. I have weird feet and wanted to see how low I would have to go to get rid of the bagginess in the heel/ankle area, which turned out to be 44 (10.5 US), a full 2 1/2 sizes down from my street size (13). I tried it on mostly as a joke but it actually ended up fitting and didn't kill my toes, and with the softness of the shoe and leather upper, they've actually become quite comfortable. This got me wondering: what's the lowest people have downsized and actually been able to wear?

Ronald B · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

I assume this depends heavily on the particular shoes we're talking about. But for what it's worth, for the 3 different pairs of shoes I have owned over the years, I haven't been able to go more than one full US size down without it being really painful and unpleasant.

Bill Czajkowski · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 15

For me it depends on the brand. For Evolv, about 1/2 size down; for La Sportiva about 2-2 1/2 down. Scarpa, Boreal, and Butora are closer to the 1/2 size I think.

Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 45

I'm a 10.5 street and comfortably climb in 41.5 TC pros

Jason Todd · · Cody, WY · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 643

";I'm a 10.5 street and comfortably climb in 41.5 TC pros";

Wow! I'm also a 10.5 street and TC pros in a 43 are too tight for more than a pitch at a time. Probably my Mortons Toe.

Jack C. · · Idaho · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 175

I'm almost always an 11.5 street shoe. 9 in sportiva usually isn't tight enough. Evolv's at 10 are usually okay. Scarpa instinct lace ups are the last pair I bought in a size 10 and they're still too loose. I'd bet I could go a full three sizes down on those and still get them on. I'm accustomed to crushing my feet, obviously, and my toes and heels look absolutely gnarly to prove it.

Edit: Oh maybe the biggest kicker are my mocc's. The pair I squeeze into are a size 7. So that's 4.5 sizes down I guess to answer your question.

Noah Yetter · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 10

On topic: I wear 11 or 10.5 street shoes, and 41.5-43 Sportivas depending on the model. I may have crammed my foot in a 41.0 at some point just to see if I could.

Real answer: Sportiva sizing is just a number. Their translation to US street size barely qualifies as a starting point and shouldn't be considered meaningful.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

Totally agree. I tried on 5.10 Blackwings in 12.5, which were incredibly painful, and my Shamans were 13 (old) 12.5 (new). Honestly, the 10.5 Solutions feel about the same.

Jack C. wrote:I'm almost always an 11.5 street shoe. 9 in sportiva usually isn't tight enough. Evolv's at 10 are usually okay. Scarpa instinct lace ups are the last pair I bought in a size 10 and they're still too loose. I'd bet I could go a full three sizes down on those and still get them on. I'm accustomed to crushing my feet, obviously, and my toes and heels look absolutely gnarly to prove it. Edit: Oh maybe the biggest kicker are my mocc's. The pair I squeeze into are a size 7. So that's 4.5 sizes down I guess to answer your question.
I think we have our winner!
that guy named seb · · Britland · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 0

I wear a size 10 (Uk) la sportiva approach shoe and go down to a size 5.5 in my la sportiva speedsters i recently got a pair at 6.5 and it's a shit show, and i can wear them for ages without any discomfort. My TC Pro's are a size 7 and depending on how i lace them they can be crazy comfy.

that guy named seb · · Britland · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 0

Just remembered i have actually tried on a size 4.5 in speedsters, they weren't too bad until i went onto a tiny foothold.

Stephen C · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

I wear a 9-9.5 (US sizes) street shoe typically and wear size 38.5 Solutions and Speedsters. They fit me well without being painful.

Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 5

I can't fathom how someone can downsize 4-5 sizes regardless of the shoe. Evolvs in my street shoe size give me a aggressive fit and I can downsize 1-2 sizes in 5.10 and LS for a similar fit. Anything smaller is painful without even putting weight on them. This thread makes me wonder how loosely people wear their street shoes.

Aleks Zebastian · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 0

climbing friend,

you have the small feet.

you know what they would be saying...

Colin Johnston · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0

I think the way you wear your street shoes has a pretty big impact on your answer here.

Most of my non-technical footwear is anywhere from a 9.5 to a 10.5 depending on brand and use. However, almost all of them seem to be a UK size 44 according to the label.

For most Sportiva shoes I'm a 42.5 or 43 and that's still tight enough where I'd pop them loose to clean an anchor and can actually watch the blood flow back into my toes.

Stephen C · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0
endgame56 wrote:I think the way you wear your street shoes has a pretty big impact on your answer here.
I size down my climbing shoes a decent bit - 42/42.5 ish street shoe and 38.5 in the Sportiva shoes I mentioned. My street/hiking/approach shoes are all sized similarly. My feet don't slide around and my toes are not quite touching the end of the shoe.

I think how much people downsize climbing shoes has to do with foot shape, foot volume, climbing style (bouldering, sport, trad, whatever), pain tolerance to the break-in, as well as just how used to it your feet are.

In 5.10 dragons and teams i wear 8.5 or 9. Smaller than that and I wouldn't be able to get my foot in the shoe.
gspup · · Sweet Ridge, CO · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 0

This is definitely confusing...some of you people really like small climbing shoes or something.

I wear a 9.5 street shoe and both LS tarantulace and TC's are 42.5, which would be the recommended size. They are usually used for more than 1 pitch and I have never thought about wearing an uncomfortable climbing shoe anyways. Not really a big deal when you only climb 9's haha.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45
Seth Jones wrote:I can't fathom how someone can downsize 4-5 sizes regardless of the shoe. Evolvs in my street shoe size give me a aggressive fit and I can downsize 1-2 sizes in 5.10 and LS for a similar fit. Anything smaller is painful without even putting weight on them. This thread makes me wonder how loosely people wear their street shoes.
This is a good point. My feet are technically 12.5 by the foot measurement thingy, but I like to have a bit of room in the toebox for normal wear/hiking so usually buy a 13. Also, Evolvs and 5.10 tend to run true to size, it's
Sportiva that is ridiculous.
Colin Johnston · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0
gspup wrote:This is definitely confusing...some of you people really like small climbing shoes or something. I wear a 9.5 street shoe and both LS tarantulace and TC's are 42.5, which would be the recommended size. They are usually used for more than 1 pitch and I have never thought about wearing an uncomfortable climbing shoe anyways. Not really a big deal when you only climb 9's haha.
Lots of variables in play, that's for sure.

I'm probably a 10.5 in the majority of shoes I own and a 43 in the Miura vs is pretty much full crimpin' with my toes.
sherb · · Loveland, Ohio & Wheat Ridg... · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 0
Ted Pinson wrote: decided to pick up a pair of LS Solutions. I have weird feet and wanted to see how low I would have to go to get rid of the bagginess in the heel/ankle area, which turned out to be 44 (10.5 US), a full 2 1/2 sizes down from my street size (13). I tried it on mostly as a joke but it actually ended up fitting and didn't kill my toes, and with the softness of the shoe and leather upper, they've actually become quite comfortable. This got me wondering: what's the lowest people have downsized and actually been able to wear?
This is great to know they stretch ...... I was thinking about selling my never climbed in Solutions at a loss (few in the market for my shoe size) b/c they hurt my feet when I put them on -but I can put them on. I wear a size 35 in street shoe and these are 33.5 Solutions. I am now a believer in comfortable shoes because when my feet are in such pain I can't stand, performance goes drastically down instead of up. The problem is I have extremely wide, flat yet short feet- think duck paddles, or an infant's foot.
ps Sportiva isn't the issue, my 33.5 Katana Velcro & 34 Miura (both women's models) are super comfy.

endgame56 wrote: I'm probably a 10.5 in the majority of shoes I own and a 43 in the Miura vs is pretty much full crimpin' with my toes.
Also, when people write their street shoe size and climbing shoe size, can they write it in the same sizing system? I don't want to pull out my shoe conversion chart.
Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

Oh, for sure. I had to bail on a pair of Katana laces that were sized too aggressively (44.5) for that very reason. I think shoe stiffness makes a huge difference. These became comfortable within 1 boulder session. I don't know how people survive the break-in period for Miuras...45s killed my toes when I tried them on but I had huge ankle pockets.

JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 5

I'm on the super-downsize end of the spectrum. I wear a 9.5 (42.5) street shoe. In my active shoe rotation I have:

Testarossa (38.5)- Steep Sport
Python (38.5)- Bouldering, Gym
Miura Lace (39)- Vertical edgy sport and trad
Miura Velcro (39) - Vertical edgy sport and trad
TC Pro (39.5)- Single pitch granite, hard multi pitch
TC Pro (40) - Moderate multi pitch

So, my smallest shoes are 4 sizes down from street shoe, and my biggest are 2.5 down from my street shoe. I could see going as large as a 41.5 in TC Pros if I wanted a big alpine shoe to wear with socks.

I think that how tight you can go depends a lot on the shape of your feet and toes. Some people have straighter toes that don't like to bend, whereas others (myself included) do well with scrunched toes. Its really just about finding the shoe and the size that works for you.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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