Mountain Project Logo

How many pairs of climbing shoes do you own


Original Post
pete George · · Houston, TX · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 5,050

kind of a silly question, but I find myself tempted to buy another "backup pair" on the regular. I currently have 4/5 pairs that are near new and probably 7/8 pairs that are between well worn and probably should be trash and yet when I find a shoe that i like on closeout i have a hard time passing up the opportunity to stock up.

 What do you guys think? am I being a consumer whore or do you think its justified to stock up on shoes when they're drastically reduced (I wont spend over 100 on shoes and typically find deals on fairly high end but less popular for between 40-60)

Additionally I have recently switched gyms(I climb in the gym for the majority of the year) current gym has ridiculously textured walls, finding that my shoes are blowing out at least twice as fast as previously. its typical for me to keep two pairs of climbing shoes for 12 months in the 5 months this gym has been open ive blown out two pairs (one was resoled the other bought used with fairly light wear)

JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 95

Standard “n+1” syndrome. Where n is the number you own, and the number you need is always n+1.

JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 95

Stocking up when your favorite shoe is on sale, or is being discontinued, is totally reasonable. 

Dean O! · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2018 · Points: 0
pete George wrote:

kind of a silly question, but I find myself tempted to buy another "backup pair" on the regular. I currently have 4/5 pairs that are near new and probably 7/8 pairs that are between well worn and probably should be trash and yet when I find a shoe that i like on closeout i have a hard time passing up the opportunity to stock up.

 What do you guys think? am I being a consumer whore or do you think its justified to stock up on shoes when they're drastically reduced (I wont spend over 100 on shoes and typically find deals on fairly high end but less popular for between 40-60)

Additionally I have recently switched gyms(I climb in the gym for the majority of the year) current gym has ridiculously textured walls, finding that my shoes are blowing out at least twice as fast as previously. its typical for me to keep two pairs of climbing shoes for 12 months in the 5 months this gym has been open ive blown out two pairs (one was resoled the other bought used with fairly light wear)

Sounds like you know the answer. Overconsumption is a big cause for environmental issues. Buying multiple pairs of shoes is not necessarily harmful since the shoes are already produced. Basically, a sunk cost because they had to get manufactured any ways.

I think you seriously need to self-examine your motives. Why do you think you need more than 1 pair? What legitimate argument can be made for anything more than 2? Haters will cite different shoes for different purposes. That is hogwash and they know it. 

JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 95

Pretty much anyone who is trying to climb hard in multiple disciplines will need several pairs of shoes. If all of your climbing is in roughly the same style (like vert edging), or if you are just climbing moderates across all disclipines, I could see being able to use one model of shoe for everything. But if your climbing interests are varied, and you want performance in each discipline, you need a quiver. 

Caleb Schwarz · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 125
Dean-o N! wrote:

What legitimate argument can be made for anything more than 2? Haters will cite different shoes for different purposes. That is hogwash and they know it. 

Let me try my best:

1 pair of aggressive shoes (testerossas)

1 pair of crack shoes (tc pros)

1 pair of cheap shoes to trash in the gym to save the more expensive pairs for real climbing. (5.10 rogues)

Ancent · · Reno, NV · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 34

1 edge/techy shoe (right now, that's katana lace for me)-- I climb less sport, but this works for me when I need it to.

1 TC pro (because you can't climb sierra granite without it; just kidding.... but really)

1 Moc or other comfy trad/crack shoe

An unnecessary but really enjoyable comfy trad shoe (which is a 5.10 anazani guide shoe for me)

As many cheap-to-free gym shoes as I find. The weird thing is, the cheaper the shoe, the longer it lasts in the gym.

My sentiment is that having more shoes isn't wasteful if you climb a good amount. Each shoe will just wear out more slowly and you'll enjoy climbing more with the quiver that's right for you.

Muscrat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 3,625

27 pair; don't ask.

Wes C · · Cleveland, oh · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 136

I just bought a pair off here used to try out so that brings my total to 3.  My wife has 4 pairs.  My oldest child (9) also has 3 and my youngest (6) has however many pairs he fits in that aren't trashed from his brother +1 that he picks as his "own".  


I don't see a reason to have more than three as cited above.

David Kerkeslager · · New Paltz, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 128

1 pair for edging and most cracks (TC Pros)

1 pair for smeary stuff and narrow cracks (Moccasyms)

1 aggressive pair for overhanging stuff and bouldering (Geniuses)

1 gym pair (Oxygyms)

1 pair I never wear but keep around for some reason (Rogues)

The TC Pros need a resole, so I've been wearing the Moccasyms where I would normally wear the TC Pros, and it's been working surprisingly well, so it's causing me to rethink my approach a bit.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 502

I've got 4 excluding one that I intend to donate but haven't gotten around to it for about a year:

  1. a LS python for bouldering or hard sport climbing that rarely ever gets used anymore
  2. Super comfy Evolv Addict for long days of multi-pitch moderates
  3. Cypher codex I got for $40 on Cyber monday a few years ago for beater gym use
  4. Scarpa Vapor Lace for an all-around everything else shoe. 

I would say you really only need 2 pairs max of the same shoe so you can have one to use while the other is getting re-soled. Cheaper and less wasteful.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 491
  • 2qty pythons (one about dead), gym
  • 2qty katana lace same size, trad/vert to slab techy/alpine
  • 1qty testarossa, hardish sport past vert
  • 1qty skwama, bouldering and gym endurance sessions
  • 1qty maverink, friction slab
  • 1qty drago on order, to replace a dead pair of pythons
Noah Yetter · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 105

At least 16 different pairs, plus 2 extra pairs of my favorites. Most of this collection has amassed due to wanting to try everything to find what I like, also it's just fun. Only three times have I ever paid full price. I could probably strip it down to 4 or 5 unique pairs if needed.

Stagg54 Taggart · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 10
caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,450

12

bkozak · · Sterling, VA · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 70
  1. Stagg54 Taggart wrote:

One of my friends is a professional chef and he would laugh at you for what you said about cooking pots.  This is what a professional kitchen looks like.

You only need one pot if you make the same meal every time, like cooking rice.  However, if you make different things regularly, you need different tools.  Same with climbing.  Any chef worth their salt has tons of pots, pans, and knives because they all do things differently and work better than others at certain tasks.  Climbing shoes are no different.

Dan Knisell · · Townsend, MA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 2,860
Stagg54 Taggart wrote:

I couldn’t disagree more. The pots don’t make the cook, I agree, yet certain cooking techniques are better accomplished with a certain pot/pan type. The same logic applies to climbing shoes.

bkozak beat me to it. 

David Kerkeslager · · New Paltz, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 128
Stagg54 Taggart wrote:

You really only need 2 pairs.  1 to wear while the other one is getting resoled.  

Claiming that you need a different shoe for every different type or rock/climbing, is like claiming that you need a different pot for every meal you cook, or a different camera for every photo you take...  The pots don't make the cook, the camera doesn't make the photographer, and the shoes certainly don't make the climber...

In addition to what bkozak said, I've known a few photographers, and even roomed with one, and it's lenses you need a lot of, not cameras. And film, if you haven't switched to digital.

Your point is well taken about shoes, but you sure picked some comparisons where gear selection is a big part of what makes the practitioner successful. :P

Nate Doyle · · Sierra Foothills · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 39
bkozak wrote:

One of my friends is a professional chef and he would laugh at you for what you said about cooking pots.  This is what a professional kitchen looks like.

You only need one pot if you make the same meal every time, like cooking rice.  However, if you make different things regularly, you need different tools.  Same with climbing.  Any chef worth their salt has tons of pots, pans, and knives because they all do things differently and work better than others at certain tasks.  Climbing shoes are no different.

Does anyone else see that sit start?

pete George · · Houston, TX · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 5,050

I'm less big on having the heavy variety for needing certain shoes for certain climbs, my typical bag quiver  is a soft shoe a stiff shoe and a junk shoe. 

any opinions on rubber getting fucked up after sitting for a long time? I traded a six pack of beer for a pair of unused sportivas, they have been in my closet for years, took them out climbing and the rubber feels like glass, tried rubbing a tad off on the sandpaper walls, still didnt feel as good as any of my more regular(it sopuld be noted all my regular shoes are considered more high end and certainly newer) shoes

SeƱor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

If your new gym has Walltopia walls the trick is to stop dragging your feet along the vertical walls when lowering and to push off, bouncing down. Seriously, more than half the wear on shoes at a Walltopia gym is from that. Except, obviously, on overhanging terrain. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Climbing Gear Discussion
Post a Reply to "How many pairs of climbing shoes do you own "

Log In to Reply