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Shoe Recommendation for Sensitive Feet


Original Post
Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,615

Looking for wear-all-day shoe recommendations for my wife.  I have a feeling that something wide and with a stiff sole might work.  More details ...

For the last decade, she has been mostly gym climbing.  Lately, she has become interested in easy multi-pitch.  Trouble is her shoes.

At the gym, she usually slips them off after every route - we generally climb moderate routes.  Outside, face climbing and edging bring excruciating pain.  Her foot history includes a radical bunionectomy on one and some bone removal on the other.

If you have sensitive feet and a recommendation, I'd be grateful.  Thanks, All.

David Hous · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Nov 2001 · Points: 195

 Unfortunately there is no substitute for going to a good shop and trying on bunch of different shoes.

  I have had a lot of foot issues and I am now doing my outdoor climbing mostly in a pair of Scarpa techno x’s.  There was definitely some break-in time, but they are great edging platform. They also smear reasonably well but no one would call them sensitive!

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 442

The evolve addict might be a good choice. It's very comfy with little to no downturn and a fairly symmetrical last with full leather upper that allows stretch. And since it's a slipper, it takes 2 seconds to slip on and off if she still wants to take off her shoes at the belay.

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 745

She could take her shoes off at belays on multi-pitch climbs, too. Obviously need to be careful not to drop them, but even slipping the heels off can help a lot. Some people bring down booties to keep feet warm while belaying.

If there is a climbing event/festival near you, there are usually shoe demos, and you cn take a pair or two with you for a day of climbing. if she is looking for new shoes, there is no substitute for trying them on, and actually trying to climb in them. A friend recently demoed a pair of shoes. She thought they fit her really well, just putting them on and taking a few steps. But it took less than half a gym route before she was saying ouch, no, these are not right.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Bill Lawry wrote:

Looking for wear-all-day shoe recommendations for my wife.  I have a feeling that something wide and with a stiff sole might work.  More details ...

For the last decade, she has been mostly gym climbing.  Lately, she has become interested in easy multi-pitch.  Trouble is her shoes.

At the gym, she usually slips them off after every route - we generally climb moderate routes.  Outside, face climbing and edging bring excruciating pain.  Her foot history includes a radical bunionectomy on one and some bone removal on the other.

If you have sensitive feet and a recommendation, I'd be grateful.  Thanks, All.

This would also suggest something flat-lasted rather than down-turned.

reboot · · . · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 125
Marc801 C wrote:

This would also suggest something flat-lasted rather than down-turned.

All else equal, maybe. Unfortunately, flat-lasted shoes tend to be much more symmetric (bends the big toe toward the other toes) than aggressively down-turned models. Also, if you have "turf toe", down-turned shoes can actually be more supportive.

To the OP, if you want relatively flat-lasted but stiff and asymmetric (straighter big toes), try the Sportiva Otaki/Kataki (men's models will be a bit wider but stiffer). They are the most asymmetric climbing shoes I know for the (little) amount of down turn. Should be relatively easy to find now that REI carries those. Scarpa Boostic is another to consider: similar asymmetry, even stiffer, but the toe box is higher volume (but narrower than the men's Sportiva models) so in practice the toes aren't as flat.

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,045

Boreal, aces, zephyr, or women's joker (laces)

All day comfort for slab climbing. 

No more than half size down from her street shoe if possible.

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,615

For those in the dark like me, one meaning of 'last':   A shoe last is a 3-dimensional wooden or plastic mold upon which a shoe is constructed. The last used during shoe assembly can affect the overall fit of a shoe, and all lasts include the following dimensions: Heel width. Instep height. Forefoot width.

I appreciate your thoughts, Lena (and everyone else's).   We climbed about 8 pitches over Saturday and Sunday during which the shoes did come off after each pitch.  She has indicated that is just not enough relief overall, not that anyone suggested it was so.

And her shoes are beyond worn out (almost only gym use), ones she purchased based on the shoe sales person's assertive advice.  It is time try a different type of shoe. :)

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,615

Ok - I'll summarize the advice so far.  Let me know if you would add something else.  I'll give her an update this evening.

  1. No substitute for going to a shop and trying on a bunch of different shoes.
  2. And get on the wall with them before committing to purchase.
  3. Favor flat-lasted while perhaps asymmetrical for straighter big toe
  4. Specifically mentioned makes / models:  Scarpa techno x’s, evolve addict, Sportiva Otaki/Kataki,  Scarpa Boostic, Boreal, aces, zephyr, or women's joker (laces)

Thank you, all.



DR · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2014 · Points: 675

Women's Mythos is gonna be the ticket I can almost bet on it. Its a flat lasted lace up that feels like a  bedroom slipper and unlined leather so it stretches.

If she is just looking to enjoy climbing and not have her feet hurt then no need for an aggressive or downturned shoe. Meaning Otaki,Kataki is, out Scarpa Boostic is out. Scarpa Techno could work but Scarpa tends to be narrow.

My list of shoes to look at would be. 

Scarpa Techno x

La Sportiva Mythos
La Sportiva Katana Velcro(the flat one)
La Sportiva TC Pro

La Sportiva Finale

Evolv Elektra/Defy

Five Ten Anasazi

Try on a bunch of shoes, find the shoe that fits her foot the best, ignore what may be called a unisex or women's shoe just try on both models and see what fits better. Might have to make more than one visit to try on shoes because it can be uncomfortable to cram your foot into climbing shoes for 30 minutes in a row.

Shoe demos at climbing gyms are a great way to try different shoes.
  

Deirdre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 10

La Sportiva makes an entry level shoe that costs about $80. I have wide feet and I find those are very comfortable. The Mythos are also good.

Abbie R · · Denver, CO · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 5
DRusso wrote:

Women's Mythos is gonna be the ticket I can almost bet on it. Its a flat lasted lace up that feels like a  bedroom slipper and unlined leather so it stretches.
  

Totally agree! I wear my Mythos on pretty much all multi-pitch adventures because not only are they already super comfortable, they're also super adjustable. The laces go all the way down to the toes. If you're feeling squished halfway through the day, just loosen all your laces. my feet are really wide at the ball of my foot and through the toes, and the Mythos are the most comfortable climbing shoes I've ever owned.

rafael · · Berkeley, CA · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 50

for my feet, even just a half size difference can turn a painful shoe into a great one. Not even a different model, just a slightly larger shoe. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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