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Feet getting slimy when doing the climby


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Nolan Huther · · Clarkson University · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 602

So I've noticed that when wearing my shoes for a while, my feet start to get sweaty and I lose friction between my feet and my shoes. Made a difference trying to stick some friction on small granite crystals recently- glad I was only cleaning the route... So does anyone else have any ways to prevent your shoes from getting like this? I was already taking them off between pitches. Socks? Chalking your feet?

Stich Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470

Try putting some Gold Bond foot powder in your shoe each time.


Moof · · Portland, OR · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 25

Clean your shoes.

Soak leather shoes in warm water, rub out the foot gunk with extra batches of warm water until the water is mostly clear.

I soak the insides of my sunthetics with a glug of rubbing alcohol, then run them through the washer in a mesh bag my harness came in.  They can then handle a lot more funk before getting slippy.

nathanael · · Riverside, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 307

you can also try thin socks. sacrilege to all the boulderers out there but it can help

highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35

Get stiffer shoes. As the last warms up it gets really soft. Some brands and shoes are worse about this than others. If you get a decent stiffness lined shoe, you should be fine.  Slippers are the worst offenders. 

Also, I think it's like 90% in your head. For example, I used to do a ton of deep water soloing, I never changed shoes after a fall. So my shoes were literally filled with water. As long as the outside rubber was dry, it was fine. Same experience with rain and snow in alpine environments too. 

Ryan Strickland · · Idyllwild, CA · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 131
Nathanael wrote:

you can also try thin socks. sacrilege to all the boulderers out there but it can help

Socks do it for me, and they don't even need to be particularly thin. Once you give it a try a few times, you will learn to feel the rock just as well with socks. Wearing socks keeps your shoes from getting as sweaty in summer, keeps them from stinking, keeps your feet warmer in winter, and makes foot jamming more comfortable. I wear socks 100% of the time. I also like that they fill out the shoe so that it fits more snugly all over, particularly near the ankle where I sometimes have looseness in a shoe that otherwise fits well. 

BoulderCharles · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 80

+1 for socks and stiffer shoes. If you have the right shoes you can climb hard without a problem. Remember that you already have rubber and leather between your foot and the rock...a thin sock doesn't really make much of a difference.

Nolan Huther · · Clarkson University · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 602

Hmmm... On the "stiffer shoes" comment, I see I failed to mention I was wearing Pinks. Might be a contributor but plenty of people seem fine. Maybe I just have sweaty feet, or I like excuses

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483

Certain dri on your feet st night

Scott Phil · · NC · Joined May 2010 · Points: 196

Socks are also a cheap way to extend the life of your shoes.

Julius Grisette · · Carbondale · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 5

Wear shoes so tight its a non-issue :/

highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35

I was giving my advice based on all the super hot days of climbing and wet days I've had. I certainly hope that average tightness pinks aren't the problem, I was going to try out my new pair of them today. Based on your description, I thought you had Evolve's. 

You could do an old school handlebar grip trick, spray your feet with hairspray and put your shoes on. When it dries, it'll stick your shoes to your feet. Or tincture of benzoin, pre-tape spray, staples, or carpet strips.

Jon Frisby · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 100

I've used Rhino Skin Dry on my feet to good effect. Topical methenamine in this concentration is not harmful

Nolan Huther · · Clarkson University · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 602
Jon Frisby wrote:

I've used Rhino Skin Dry on my feet to good effect. Topical methenamine in this concentration is not harmful

I thought you said "tropical methamphetamine" for a second

Pat A · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 20
highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion wrote:

I was giving my advice based on all the super hot days of climbing and wet days I've had. I certainly hope that average tightness pinks aren't the problem, I was going to try out my new pair of them today. Based on your description, I thought you had Evolve's. 

You could do an old school handlebar grip trick, spray your feet with hairspray and put your shoes on. When it dries, it'll stick your shoes to your feet. Or tincture of benzoin, pre-tape spray, staples, or carpet strips.

I have this issue too. Maybe I have particularly sweaty feet cause my wife says she doesn't know what I'm complaining about. Cleaning your shoes helps but doesn't eliminate the problem, so does taking them off between pitches. Stiffer and tighter shoes are better so are leather shoes imo. I haven't tried socks, call me style conscious, or powder.  

For grips I've always used a little brake cleaner to get them on and at least 3 pieces of stainless tie wire on each grip.  This may not work well for shoes.

Nolan Huther · · Clarkson University · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 602
highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion wrote:

I was giving my advice based on all the super hot days of climbing and wet days I've had. I certainly hope that average tightness pinks aren't the problem, I was going to try out my new pair of them today. Based on your description, I thought you had Evolve's. 

You could do an old school handlebar grip trick, spray your feet with hairspray and put your shoes on. When it dries, it'll stick your shoes to your feet. Or tincture of benzoin, pre-tape spray, staples, or carpet strips.

Nah they're great shoes, I've worn them for 8 hours or so without any problem, it was just my being extra sweaty or something trying to friction 10b granite crystals and having my feet slip inside the shoe- I might've been wearing a fleece... I might've gone a half size down in retrospect given the stretching. I can fit my foot with a medium wool sock in there now (tight but it was impossible before), but they also fit well without socks too. Its probably more of a me thing than it is the shoes

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

That is pretty much the best shoe you can get for that kind of terrain, so...probably not the shoe's fault. ;)

Politically Correct Ball · · From WA to AZ · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 5

I always climb in socks. Make sure they're cotton and not too coarse. Wool socks slide and coarse socks are cheese graters. 

Your shoes will always smell new and your feet will be comfy. 

t.farrell · · New York, NY · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 60

The shoe could just be too wide/not fit well. I've used miuras for a really long time and got some anasazis recently. The anasazis are sized about 1/2 size tighter and are super snug, but I still experience some slippage. I think the anasazis just don't fit my foot....could be the same for you?

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

Was it the tans, Farrell?  The tan has a very different fit; Pinks are narrower, especially in the heel.  I can get the Tan to fit but I have to cinch the back strap down all the way, whereas the Pink is pretty much perfect for my foot before tying.

Hobo Greg · · My Van · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 120

Without even blowing the onsight, I have removed shoes to chalk my feet. Once, because my laces were so F'ed from splitters, I had to relace and retie a shoe to make a move. Helps wearing socks and/or tighter shoes.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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