New gym shoes - slipper?


Original Post
Apsu · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 5

Right now, my go to pair of shoes for the gym are my Solutions. I'm looking for a new pair of shoes to be used primarily in the gym, first because I would like to save my Solutions from unnecessary wear, but second because I will (hopefully) be coming off of a broken heel in a few weeks and want something comfortable. Once I can get back at it, I expect my sessions will be longer and on Veasy climbs rather than shorter project sessions, so I'd like to be able to keep my shoes on for extended periods of time (and for multipitch once I can get back at that).

I've got three pairs of shoes right now:

La Sportiva Solution - 44, Evolv Luchador (lace) - 47, Evolv Luchador SC (velcro) - 47. Street shoe size is usually around 12/12.5 US.

I use my Solutions for most things, my lace Luchadors for outdoor climbs that the Solutions aren't great for (thin and vertical/slab) and hardly use the velcro Luchadors because the lace ones are much more comfortable.

I've been thinking about going with a slipper, because they seem to be designed with comfort in mind, and should still be easy on/easy off. I've got four shoes in mind: Mad Rock Remora, Evolv Addict, 5.10 Moccasym and La Sportiva Mythos (yeah I know, they aren't a slipper).

I like that the Remora has more toe rubber than the others but since they're synthetic and have that rubber I'm not expecting them to stretch much. The Addicts are leather and should stretch, which I like, but are otherwise pretty uninspiring. The Moccs seem like Addicts but are much more expensive and probably not shaped well for my feet (long, narrow and flat, like skis) but I threw them in the mix because people seem to love them. The oddball Mythos are included because I've already tried them on and know that they would be pretty comfortable, but they seem tailor made for types of climbing I don't do often, crack and slab.

Any opinions on those shoes, and suggestions for sizes to try? There aren't very many shoe choices near me, so unfortunately I'll probably have to take a chance and order them online.

anotherclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 0

Mythos are very comfortable and will stretch quite a bit. Down size one to two sizes depending on how tight you are used to having shoes. Or perhaps don't down size if you want to keep pressure off your healing heel. Although, the back of the shoe does not push into the top of the heel the way a lot of other shoes do, so perhaps this is not necessary. This will give some looseness in the shoe and reduce the amount of edging power, but it is still usable. While there are people that use and like them for crack and slab, for me and probably a lot of other people with an unusual foot shape or that just want comfortable climbing shoes, they get used for everything. 

David Kerkeslager · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 30

The Moccasyms have become my go-to shoes nowadays, but they're thin, stretchy, soft shoes. I like this because it gives me a good feel of the rock, but the downside is they aren't supportive--they don't protect your foot at all. They're certainly comfortable between climbs, but on the wall I find my feet flexing a lot and over time this gets tiring. This is fine for short sessions, but for long V-easy sessions nursing an injury I'd probably go for a stiffer, higher-topped shoe with more padding.

This is a very immediate consideration for me because I'm recovering from a badly sprained ankle. My plan is to spend a good amount of time in my TC Pros when I'm back on the wall.

Of the shoes you mentioned, I'd go for the Mythos. I don't know much about the slipper shoes besides the Moccasyms, but the Mythos were very supportive when I tried them on.

The Moccasyms are lovely shoes, just maybe not appropriate for your situation.

John Summer · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

I know this isn't a slip, but the Scarpa Vapors are pretty comfortable. I use them for just what you're describing. Saves my boostics at the gym, unless I'm on a pitch.

Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,037

Just a few notes about your choices (hopefully something here is helpful):

Mocs: Very stretchy, very soft, don't edge well at all, but work well on friction slab and thin cracks, for me they have a very baggy heal that leaves a lot of dead space even when the toes are quite bent (like all 5.10 heals on me).  For comfort sizing, I size down 1 full size from my street shoes (10.5 street, 9.5 mocs) and that gives me a nice flat foot position after they stretch.

Addicts: These are like a much lower volume moc that edges much better.  The problem is that they seem to be too low volume for my feet, the heal doesn't have any dead space, but I certainly couldn't heal hook in them as there just isn't enough purchase on my heal and they would just pop off.  For my volume of feet, they are much less comfortable even though the length is correct because they squish everything together.  Sizing is similar to the mocs, with the exception of the volume.

Mythos: The only thing mythos have going for them is comfort.  They are pretty much terrible for any climbing except for friction slab, and why people use them for cracks is beyond me, but comfortable they are.  I haven't worn mythos in so long that I no longer remember the sizing.

Apsu · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 5

Thanks for the info guys!

John, I've tried the Vapor Vs on before after hearing the same thing and just couldn't get them to feel good. I think that's another instance of my feet not being the right shape for the shoes. I bought a pair of the older, red lace Instincts too and had the same problem. Scarpas just tend to be too wide/short for me I think.

David, I hope your ankle heals quickly! That's good info about the softness of the Moccs. I'm used to pretty soft shoes with my Solutions but I'll definitely try to get my working foot in one and see if it will be problematic. I've really started to like soft shoes since getting my Solutions, but you're right that it may be an issue with my heel, at least early on.

Ken and anotherclimber, your differing opinions about the Mythos are what I see whenever they get mentioned :P They really seem to be a love or hate kind of shoe. I'll try to get one of those on my good foot again too, but they're probably the lowest on my list (if for no other reason than I've never owned a slipper and have plenty of experience with laced shoes).

Ken, thanks for the comparison of the Moccs and Addicts. Pretty much confirms what I was thinking, that the Addicts were similar shoes but probably a better fit for my foot shape. One of the things that makes my lace Luchadors more comfortable than my velcro ones is that they're more narrow, so I can get them tighter without having to go for a shorter shoe. (Even though they're the same size, I think my lace pair are a hair longer than the velcros. Or they stretched more.)

Hopefully someone has some opinions on the Remora. They seem like just the right mix between a comfortable slipper and more technical shoe like the Solutions that I'm used to, but I've never gotten to try any Mad Rock products and can't find them locally.

Derrick Keene · · Kentucky · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 90

I would not recommend slip on's. I bought the Evolv Addict and even went a little too small cause I was afraid of them slipping off when heel hooking. They absolutley do slip off even before they loosened up to fit my foot better. I prefer velcro and non aggressive for comfort at the gym.

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

That (in addition to the rubber) is why I would strong ly recommend Moccasyms over Addicts, as the Moccs are leather and will stretch a TON.  Foot shape is largely irrelevant, as you get them super tight and they conform to your foot shape.  I've found that, as long as you get them tight enough to begin, foot slip shouldn't be a problem.  I would not chance a synthetic slip on unless it happened to fit my foot perfectly.

David Kerkeslager · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 30
Apsu wrote:

David, I hope your ankle heals quickly! That's good info about the softness of the Moccs. I'm used to pretty soft shoes with my Solutions but I'll definitely try to get my working foot in one and see if it will be problematic. I've really started to like soft shoes since getting my Solutions, but you're right that it may be an issue with my heel, at least early on.

Thanks!

I'm a little confused when you say you're used to pretty soft shoes with your Solutions, though. The pair of these Solutions feel the hardest to me of any of the shoes that I own. Are you sure you aren't talking about the Geniuses? Those are the second softest pair of shoes I own, after the Moccs.

I only bring it up because people might give you different sizing information if you were talking about a different shoe.

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

Solutions are very soft.  Granted, they're not Teams, but I'd put them more on that side of the spectrum than say Miuras.

David Kerkeslager · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 30

Interesting. I guess when I wore my Solutions I was so preoccupied with the pain in my feet that I misjudged how soft they were. :D

Apsu · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 5

Ted, Evolv says the Addict has an unlined leather upper with synthetic heel padding: http://www.evolvsports.com/shop/technical-all-around/addict/ Seems like the only shoe left in their lineup that is leather though? But yeah, the synthetic material is what worries me about the Remoras--otherwise, they look pretty cool.

Derrick, how did you size your Addicts, in terms of sizes you went down?

And David, yeah, I'd say my Solutions are pretty soft! Or soft enough that I can get them to flex quite a bit just by moving my toes :D Sorry to hear they didn't work out for you, they're by far my favorite shoe. After owning some Tarantulaces that put a bad taste in my mouth, I was skeptical about going back to La Sportiva, but I'm really glad I did.

And speaking of La Sportiva, both the Speedster and Cobra seem like exactly what I'm looking for, but I can't find retailers in the US that stock them? Anyone know of somewhere that does?

NCD · · NoVA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 25

Cobras are my favorite shoe for ARC traversing and are great for casual bouldering in the gym. Pythons are very very similar too just not quite as comfortable in the toes. I dont wear any other Spotiva shoes anymore as my feet seemed to change over the years and I need a wider shoe with small heel.  You probably dont want Speedsters, they are higher performance but they really bend your big toe kind of painful and are only good for single boulder problems. Speedsters favor a tight aggressive fit unless you have a high volume foot that will fill up extra space sized up. 

I can help with sizing if you are unsure ordering from Europe. Here are my equivalent sizes I've owned in the past,

Solutions in 39.5 (super tight bouldering) and 40 (routes)

Cobras in 38.5  (very tight bouldering pair from 2001 I no longer wear)

Cobras in 40 (super comfortable training shoe i still use for arcing. I can keep these on for 40 minutes easily and i still can heel hook with them decently.

Charlie S · · Ogden, UT · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 1,308

So I just purchased Remoras to replace my Stonelands Slippers for crack climbing. My experience with shoes is that all stretch a little.

I've put only 25 pitches in them, but I've been super impressed with the rubber. I'm hoping they stretch a little more. Heel hooking is surprisingly secure for now. I don't know if that'll be the case in 50 more pitches.

For sizing:

Street shoe:11/11.5

5.10 Anasazi (my go-to shoe): 10

Scarpa Boostic S: 43.5 (Regular Scarpa Approach shoes at 45)

Mad Rock Remora: 10.5 (11 out of the box felt high volume and loose)

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

Ted, Evolv says the Addict has an unlined leather upper with synthetic heel padding: http://www.evolvsports.com/shop/technical-all-around/addict/ Seems like the only shoe left in their lineup that is leather though? But yeah, the synthetic material is what worries me about the Remoras--otherwise, they look pretty cool.

Derrick, how did you size your Addicts, in terms of sizes you went down?

And David, yeah, I'd say my Solutions are pretty soft! Or soft enough that I can get them to flex quite a bit just by moving my toes :D Sorry to hear they didn't work out for you, they're by far my favorite shoe. After owning some Tarantulaces that put a bad taste in my mouth, I was skeptical about going back to La Sportiva, but I'm really glad I did.

And speaking of La Sportiva, both the Speedster and Cobra seem like exactly what I'm looking for, but I can't find retailers in the US that stock them? Anyone know of somewhere that does?

I believe that they are both out of production, like the Katana velcro sadly.  Yeah, judging LS by Tarantulaces is hardly fair.  Interesting that the Addict is leather - I thought it was synthetic because Steph Davis designed it to be vegan.  Might be a special version.  Either way, C4 is miles beyond whatever rubber Evolv is putting on their shoes, so there's that.

anotherclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 0
Apsu wrote:

Ted, Evolv says the Addict has an unlined leather upper with synthetic heel padding: http://www.evolvsports.com/shop/technical-all-around/addict/ Seems like the only shoe left in their lineup that is leather though? But yeah, the synthetic material is what worries me about the Remoras--otherwise, they look pretty cool.

After owning some Tarantulaces that put a bad taste in my mouth, I was skeptical about going back to La Sportiva, but I'm really glad I did.

Evolv makes several leather upper shoes. Although what you maybe looking for is unlined leather for the stretch to fit. The Raptor, Raven, and Addict is unlined leather. The Spark, Nikita, and Royale is partially lined leather. And the Ashima is completely lined leather. Also the somewhat recently discontinued Astroman is I think partially lined leather.

La Sportive Tarantula and Tarantulace are their bottom of the line beginner shoe that uses more durable, but much less sticky FriXion RS rubber. Like others have said I wouldn't judge them by that shoe alone. They make a wide variety of shoes that a lot of people love. Look how many people you see at the gym using Solutions, Katana, Muira, and Otaki. 

Derrick Keene · · Kentucky · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 90
Apsu wrote:

Ted, Evolv says the Addict has an unlined leather upper with synthetic heel padding: http://www.evolvsports.com/shop/technical-all-around/addict/ Seems like the only shoe left in their lineup that is leather though? But yeah, the synthetic material is what worries me about the Remoras--otherwise, they look pretty cool.

Derrick, how did you size your Addicts, in terms of sizes you went down?

And David, yeah, I'd say my Solutions are pretty soft! Or soft enough that I can get them to flex quite a bit just by moving my toes :D Sorry to hear they didn't work out for you, they're by far my favorite shoe. After owning some Tarantulaces that put a bad taste in my mouth, I was skeptical about going back to La Sportiva, but I'm really glad I did.

And speaking of La Sportiva, both the Speedster and Cobra seem like exactly what I'm looking for, but I can't find retailers in the US that stock them? Anyone know of somewhere that does?

I honestly can't remember the exact size, but they were tight enough that for several months I could only bear to wear them for one boulder problem and then take them off. Sadly I never felt stable heel hooking with them. 

Apsu · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 5

Thanks again for the advice everyone! I picked up a pair of size 43 Moccs at REI today to make use of their sale. They seem like they'll be a nice fit once they get some use.

Emmerson · · Portland OR · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 10

Get the LS Python or the Cobra you can get both for cheap and they're awesome! I've had both, super perfect for gym climbing and I even find myself bringing them outside to wear on projects! They do stretch a lot

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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