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Do you Wear Climbing Shoes into the Gym Bathrooms ...

Original Post
Ska Ggs · · NorthEast Stuck · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 50

Besides the obvious unsafe activities, anyone else have pet-peeves about those unwritten rules of etiquette?

Mine is watching climbers run in and out of the restroom in climbing shoes. Is it just me or does anyone else find that rude? You end up using your hand on a hold after someones shoe exits the toilet. I know its annoying but toss on those other shoes first, right?

Victor K · · Denver, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 170

"People are SO disgusting" - Jonathan Richman.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 210

If you can keep your shoes on long enough to go to the bathroom in them, they’re not fit properly.

Em Cos · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 5

I think it's a bit gross, and I don't really like to run around anywhere in my climbing shoes, I prefer to leave wearing out the soles to the rock (and gym wall). But even if no one ever did this again, I wouldn't exactly consider climbing holds a clean surface. Assume the holds are filthy, wash your hands after climbing/before eating. Does it really matter if they've been touched by shoe rubber that touched a restroom floor when they've all probably had other people's blood on them at some point?

SeƱor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 526

My gm has signs on the bathroom doors explicitly forbidding wearing climbing shoes inside.

I rather doubt it is all that much of a health issue.

That said, I try to keep from licking the holds as much as possible.

ChrisMurphy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0

The gym I go to has signs on all the bathroom doors telling us not to wear our climbing shoes in there

Sam Cieply · · Venice, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 25
ChrisMurphy wrote:

The gym I go to has signs on all the bathroom doors telling us not to wear our climbing shoes in there

So does my gym, and EVERYONE does it anyway.

amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20

Microbial Sequencing Analyses Suggest the Presence of a Fecal Veneer on Indoor Climbing Wall Holds

Artificial climbing walls represent a unique indoor environment in which humans interact closely with a variety of surface types. Climbing wall holds may mediate transmission of organisms between individuals, and yet there are no studies that identify microorganisms present on these surfaces. In the current study, the microorganisms found on climbing wall holds were characterized by analysis of amplified SSU rRNA gene sequences. In contrast to many other studies of built environments, the majority of microorganisms on holds were most closely related to microbes annotated as being recovered from environmental sources, such as soil, with human skin also representing an important source. Regional patterns were evident as rRNA gene sequences from the marine cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus were abundant in gyms found within 16 km of the ocean. Enterobacteriaceae were present on 100 % of holds surveyed, and the members detected are commonly associated with fecal matter.

greggle · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0
AndrewArroz wrote:


mpech · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 2

if climbing gyms were a significant vector for disease transmission, we would know about it by now... 

Dead Head · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 65

I absolutely Hate it when people leave large chunks of chalk on the mats, especially on days when I don't bring chalk.  Really grinds my gears.

Marcelo F · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0
Andrew Child · · Corvallis, Or · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 691

I wear my shoes into the bathroom. Its really not a big deal guys.

Tapawingo Markey · · Reno? · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75

It annoys me slightly. What annoys me more is people climbing routes with their bare feet at the gym.

Chris Hill · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2007 · Points: 0

I agree, no climbing shoes in the bathroom but I was more grossed out by the guy standing at the urinal and eating a powerbar.

Eric Carlos · · depends · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 40

I hate having to touch ropes that were laying on floors that people walked on after walking into the bathroom.  


Dead Head · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 65
Tapawingo Markey wrote:

It annoys me slightly. What annoys me more is people climbing routes with their bare feet at the gym.

I this doesn't bother me as much because hand are significantly dirtier than feet.  It's just that feet have a certain "dirty" stigma, which is partly true.

David Kerkeslager · · New Paltz, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 137

I agree it's disgusting when people wear their climbing shoes into the bathroom, but it's more realistic to remember to wash your hands after you climb than to expect climbing holds to be clean. Anything that a lot of hands touch is going to be gross.

LLubchenco · · Carbondale, CO · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 25

I had literally never thought of the whole bathroom to holds cross-contamination. Thanks for making every hold look like a urinal...

the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

What kind of a gumby goober walks around in their climbing shoes? Let alone to the bathroom? Look, if you want to cover the soles of your shoes with urine and poo, fine. But, keep in mind that walking around in them reduces their life span. Bring a pair of flip flops for Pete's sakes. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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