TC Pros for thin cracks?


Original Post
Gavin Towey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 0

So my old trad shoes recently died and I picked up a pair of TC Pros to replace them as my new all-day shoe.  I love the ankle protection since I'm doing more fist and offwidth cracks.  However I find the toe of the TC Pros way too boxy to fit into finger cracks.  I'm trying to up my trad leading game into harder stuff and having trouble getting my feet to stick enough to send a 11a finger crack.  Which is lame because otherwise my hands feel pretty good on the finger jams.

And yes, I know "climb harder" is probably going to be the #1 response.  I'm trying, haha.  I was wondering if other have had a similar experience where TC Pros aren't great for thin cracks or if I just need to get better.

Fritz N. · · Durango, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 115

What size feet do you have, and are your toes curled at all? In my flat-fitting 43's, I can jam 0.75-sized cracks pretty well (the start of Swedin-Ringle, Rock Lobster, Coyne, etc). Anything smaller and I'm looking for flared sections of the crack. This is about the same for me as using Moccasyms. Supposedly Katana Laces are great for thin crack jamming, but mine are sized for face climbing.  

aclayden · · Denver, CO · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 90

Maybe not ideal, but can be done:  

Conventional wisdom would be using a slipper (mocc, super mocc, etc.) or thinner/chisel toe shoe for finger cracks (e.g., katana lace), but if you're strong you can make any shoe work I would think.

John L · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 173

I have found Miura's and tighter fitting TC pros to work pretty well for finger-sized cracks in Vedauwoo. I don't know what works in the Creek though. It honestly seems like there is no universal best finger crack climbing shoe. Just from watching climbing videos it seems to vary from solutions, to TC pros, to katanas and everything in between. I would love to hear other people's input. I have two pairs of TC pros: one for OW + long multi pitch, a much smaller pair for thinner cracks. 

Gavin Towey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 0
Fritz N. wrote:

What size feet do you have, and are your toes curled at all? In my flat-fitting 43's, I can jam 0.75-sized cracks pretty well (the start of Swedin-Ringle, Rock Lobster, Coyne, etc). Anything smaller and I'm looking for flared sections of the crack. This is about the same for me as using Moccasyms. Supposedly Katana Laces are great for thin crack jamming, but mine are sized for face climbing.  

This is where I'm at too.  I'm pretty sure I have 43 as well and I can fit them in a .75 ok (which is bridging and ring locks for me).  When it gets down to .5 and smaller is where I have problems.  At that size I can find really good constrictions for my knuckles but the feet are a no go so far.

walmongr · · Gilbert AZ · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 85

TC pros for long milti pitch days. I have a pair of  anasazi pinks I like for the thinner technical stuff. 

Fritz N. · · Durango, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 115

I doubt anyone with size ten feet can get decent toe jamming on laser-cut 0.5's unless they're wearing cross-country ski boots. I usually rand smear in a corner or get as much of the outside blade of my foot in as possible, pointing my feet straight upward.

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530

Tc pros are not for thin cracks. Katana Laces are for thin cracks. I wish my feet fit in them, because I'm constantly bummed watching my wife hike thin cracks that I have to fight pretty hard for. 

Trevor. · · Boise, ID · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 834
John Wilder wrote:

Tc pros are not for thin cracks. Katana Laces are for thin cracks. I wish my feet fit in them, because I'm constantly bummed watching my wife hike thin cracks that I have to fight pretty hard for. 

Check out the Kataki if the Katanas aren't fitting. They're similar shoes but definitely have a different fit.

John L · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 173
Trevor. wrote:

Check out the Kataki if the Katanas aren't fitting. They're similar shoes but definitely have a different fit.

Have you done finger cracks in the Kataki? I can't fit a Katana either, but can't tell if the Kataki is more aggressive than the Katana. 

mountainhick · · Black Hawk, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 120

moccs and supermoccs for me. Painful, but thin.

Benjamin Mitchell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0

I have an easier time climbing thin cracks in my Katana Laces or Miuras over my TC Pros. For what it's worth, if you watch Boys in the Bugs from the last Reel Rock you can see Matt Segal climbing a 5.14 finger crack in TC Pros.

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

Check out the Kataki if the Katanas aren't fitting. They're similar shoes but definitely have a different fit.

Doesn't the kataki have a bit more of downturned "knuckle" fit to the big toe? In a true finger crack that doesn't matter since you don't get past the knuckle, but I like my katanas with a slight curl for the .5-.75 stuff. 

The scarpa vapor lace is another option, really similar to the katana lace. 

reboot · · . · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 125

Katana lace/Kataki/vapor lace all have similar amount of downturn. As far as the fit, the toe box of KL is the widest and the most symmetric. Kataki and VL has the same asymmetry (pointy @ the big toe), with the Kataki being a bit wider. KL and Kataki has similar (lower) volume, VL is a bit higher, but still low volume. KL is the stiffest, followed by Kataki and VL, all are on the stiffer end. Sizing is similar between KL and Kataki (though b/c Kataki fits my feet better, I downsized 1/2 euro), add an euro size for VL, as the typical Scarpa to Sportiva sizing conversion. 

All in all, the differences are fairly subtle, but when you are trying to fit something for both crack climbing & edging, fit becomes very important.

Trevor. · · Boise, ID · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 834
Nick Drake wrote:

Doesn't the kataki have a bit more of downturned "knuckle" fit to the big toe? In a true finger crack that doesn't matter since you don't get past the knuckle, but I like my katanas with a slight curl for the .5-.75 stuff. 

The scarpa vapor lace is another option, really similar to the katana lace. 

I've got the Kataki and Katana Lace in the same size(eu43). I've logged maybe 25 pitches in the Katakis so far, still not yet entirely broken in but getting there. Katanas are on first resole(C4) with hundreds of pitches on them. Here are my initial impressions and comparisons:

The Katana Laces, even heavily broken in, feel quite a bit tighter at the same size than the Kataki. Compared side to side, the Kataki is longer than the Katana, although this is partly exaggerated by the thicker heel rand rubber. I'd say the Kataki fits 1/2 size larger length wise on the interior of the shoe.

The Katakis seem very slightly narrower in general, but not significantly so. Might be due to level of break in though. 

The forefoot on the Kataki seems a touch more downturned and stiffer than the Katana, but again, that could be due to level of break in and different rubber. 

I would say the Kataki is ever so slightly more asymmetrical(pointed at the toe) than the Katana Lace.

The big toe bump is more pronounced on the Katana Lace by quite a bit with my foot in the shoe. In the Katakis, my toes lay almost entirely flat, probably in part due to the entire shoe being longer at the same nominal size.

The toe profile at the very tip of the shoe on the Kataki seems exactly the same as the Katana, meaning it should fit into thin cracks equally well, if not better.

The heel tension on my Katanas is pretty rough. I can't wear them for more than 30 minutes or so before I'm in major heel pain. On the other hand, the Kataki heel feels just as secure, but with less tension, and way less of a hot spot. For me, the heel is the biggest difference between the shoes, and is a MAJOR improvement in terms of fitting my feet.  

As far as climbing goes, I've only gotten to climb at Squamish in the Katakis so far. On granite thin hands to finger cracks, they worked great, with way less toe knuckle bump discomfort than my Katanas would have given me. Hand sized cracks were about the same as Katanas. Edging performance was impressive as expected for this type of shoe, smearing up friction slab was a bit rough at first, but as they broke in seemed more doable, although not ideal. I suspect a resole with C4 will really improve smearing performance without giving up too much in the way of edging.

I'll be interested to get on some thin desert splitters with the Katakis this fall. I expect they will work very well for that purpose  

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

Awesome Trevor, thanks for the details and pics. The kataki toe looks far flatter than it did in the sportiva promo pics (where I thought it was similar to the otaki). That's the same size between your kataki and katana?

I always found the katana sizing a bit wonky, I'm a 42 street/approach shoe. 41.5 in KL for cracks and a non knuckled fit. 39.5 skwama on the comfy end of performance, 39.5 testarossa for the stupid tight end of performance.

Zachary Winters · · Mazama, Washington · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 137

Recently tried the Katana Lace, Kataki, and Vapor Lace side by side, and thought I'd share my findings.

Vapor Laces runs a half size smaller.

Katana and Kataki run the same (others found otherwise, but they were identical for me)

Kataki has a significantly higher volume heel than the KL. This was the most noticeable difference between the two.

The second most noticeable difference btwn the KL and Kataki is the very stiff heel of the Kataki. While better for hooking, I found out to bite into my ankle when turning my to jam. This was the deal breaker for me.

Kataki has a tiny bit more downturn than KL, barely noticeable. Vapor Lace has much less, almost completely flat.

Vapor Lace is much softer than both the others, though still medium-stiff. Similar to an Anasazi Pink stiffness.

Vapor Lace has the rubber toe patch, which made it seem bulkier for .75 sized cracks.

Vapor Lace are light!

I went with the Katana Lace. My first pair of KL were tight for face climbing and took many resoles. They are edging machines, but the finger crack performance was lacking (very bulky with toes curled). This pair is sized very comfy for multipitch and crack, and they still climb thin granite face climbs really well. I definitely recommend going with a bigger and more flat to fit with the KL. The stiffness helps them edge really well even sized up.

Xan Calonne · · Joshua Tree, Ca · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 25

FWIW:

Others  have hinted at it, but I believe it depends more on rock type than the crack size. For granite, it's rare that you are doing endless thin toe jams, and more common to use a combination of techniques. Here, TC pros shine. They have served me well on all of the harder granite cracks I have attempted (and Mason Earle seems to have worn them on his send of Cobra Crack this past summer, so there's that). I think due to the shoe's stiffness I feel confident (and somewhat comfortable) pushing super hard on the rand, which bites well in corners, pods, and other irregularities in the rock, and even on the edges of thin cracks when I am using more traditional jamming technique. 

I haven't climbed many Indian Creek-style splitters, so I don't have much insight there, and the tc's seem less popular for that. However, I do know several folks who prefer them for climbs like Moonlight Buttress. ymmv.

Happy Climbing!

Dirt Squirrel · · Golden , co · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 50

No joke: I did crime of the century at Squamish in Air tommy's after trying it in moccs. I immediately gave away the moccs at the base of the climb. 

Izzy Nawfal · · Redondo Beach, California · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 165
Dirt Squirrel wrote:

No joke: I did crime of the century at Squamish in Air tommy's after trying it in moccs. I immediately gave away the moccs at the base of the climb. 

Interesting! Here's my experience and yet another data point relevant to the thread. I used my Otakis in lieu of my usual TC Pros (which I love!) on Crime of the Century last week.  I'll be using my Otakis or Katakis for similar thin cracks from now on. 

Zachary Winters · · Mazama, Washington · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 137
Dirt Squirrel wrote:

No joke: I did crime of the century at Squamish in Air tommy's after trying it in moccs. I immediately gave away the moccs at the base of the climb. 

Totally. My Moccs only come out to play at the Creek. I know a lot of good climbers like Moccs for granite (Will Stanhope, Steph Davis, and Dean Potter come to mind), but my feet just aren't strong enough for that.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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