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Patch on top of climbing shoe for crack climbing


Original Post
MikePond · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 85

So I love my Katana lace-ups, but my toes are bent, and when I foot jam it hurts like hell. The leather is just too thin on top of the toes. Is there a rubber patch, or burly rubber glue that I could put on to make them more tolerable for crack climbing? Ideally something sticky rubber so the friction is good, but I'll take what I can get.

I've heard of Free-sole and Shoe Goo, but haven't tried them. Thanks!

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,107

that's not going to help at all.  if your toes are bent it is going to hurt like hell pretty much no matter what.  get some bigger shoes and flatten your toes out.  and it will still probably hurt like hell, but not as much....

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 195

^^This.  It sounds like your shoes are too tight for cracks.  Get a flat lasted shoe sized so that your toes are flat.  I’ve heard of people putting a patch on top of their shoes to protect the upper, but it’s not going to make cracks any less painful.

Gavin Towey · · Bend, OR · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 0

TC Pros have a burly toe-box with lots of rubber on top & ankle protection for the wide cracks.  They don't fit in thin cracks for me but they're amazing for everything else.

Matt Zia · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 142

For what it’s worth, I wear Katana Laces 0.5 sizes down from street shoe and they’re my weapon of choice for just about everything besides off-width cracks. My toes are just barely curled in them and I have pretty wide feet to start with. Sized like that I find them super comfortable for crack climbing.

MikePond · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 85

yeah, I have TC Pro's .5 size up from the Katanas. They jam better but don't edge as well. In TC Pros, my toes are still curved a little (and have more rubber coverage on top of the toes, hence my quest for a rubber patch). So if anyone has any insight to my original question, I'm all ears.

Matt Zia · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 142

I mean...I know it’s not the answer you’re looking for, but every post responding to you has suggested that climbing cracks with curled toes tends to be pretty uncomfortable. Putting an extra piece of rubber on the toe box isn’t really going to change that. That said, knowing how to weight a foot jam wil often make it more comfortable regardless of shoe. Based on my own experience with Katana Laces and TC Pros, my toes are flat in the TCs sized the same as Katanas, and I wear socks in the size up. So my guess is that if your toes are curled in your TC Pros, and your Latanas are a half size smaller, your toes are likely curled too much to be comfortable in the Katanas. Again, based on my experience with both shoes.

Next time you get a really good sinker foot jam in the Katanas, try keeping your heel level or even dropping it a little bit and engage more of your instep in the crack. It’ll help take a bit of weight off the toe joints and also make it easier to stand on. If the crack is thin enough that you can’t get a full foot jam, don’t try to cram your curled toes in. Again, by dropping your heel a bit, you can engage some of the rubber along the outside of the little toe and get a bit more smearing than full jamming. On the thin crack, try not camming your foot quite so much as over-torquing will result in your foot slipping out. 
If that’s all stuff you know, sorry if that came off as patronizing. Crack climbing is weird and the technique is different, so there’s almost always a pretty steep earning curve. 

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,107

if you go with a bigger size it will also make it a lot easier to jam off-fingers to thin hands.  when your toes are knuckled up they make a thicker profile that is harder to go into the crack.  the shoes i use most for crack climbing, particularly on granite, are velcro katanas that are a half size big (fairly similar to a lot of the posters above).  i am still slightly curled so it is a bit of a trade-off of a bit of pain for a bit of face climbing ability.  if i know it will be pure crack i have some moccasyms that are pretty much like ronald mcdonald shoes.

Andrewww · · Concord, NH · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 625

Yosemite Bum/Evolv offers a super rand service for $15 where they do exactly what you’re asking for. 

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 491
Matt Zia wrote: I mean...I know it’s not the answer you’re looking for, but every post responding to you has suggested that climbing cracks with curled toes tends to be pretty uncomfortable. Putting an extra piece of rubber on the toe box isn’t really going to change that. That said, knowing how to weight a foot jam wil often make it more comfortable regardless of shoe. Based on my own experience with Katana Laces and TC Pros, my toes are flat in the TCs sized the same as Katanas, and I wear socks in the size up. So my guess is that if your toes are curled in your TC Pros, and your Latanas are a half size smaller, your toes are likely curled too much to be comfortable in the Katanas. Again, based on my experience with both shoes.

Next time you get a really good sinker foot jam in the Katanas, try keeping your heel level or even dropping it a little bit and engage more of your instep in the crack. It’ll help take a bit of weight off the toe joints and also make it easier to stand on. If the crack is thin enough that you can’t get a full foot jam, don’t try to cram your curled toes in. Again, by dropping your heel a bit, you can engage some of the rubber along the outside of the little toe and get a bit more smearing than full jamming. On the thin crack, try not camming your foot quite so much as over-torquing will result in your foot slipping out. 
If that’s all stuff you know, sorry if that came off as patronizing. Crack climbing is weird and the technique is different, so there’s almost always a pretty steep earning curve. 

Very solid advice. With the right angle of the ankle you can really get more pressure on the ball of the foot/underside of toe. Doesn't help in those damn .75 cracks so much though. 

 I also happen to use katana laces .5 down from my street size for crack climbing. Slight downcamber that flattens when weighted, but no knuckle to any toe. Awesome for thin hands and pods on granite finger cracks. It's a stiff enough shoe that they still edge well enough for the thinner 5.11 face pitches. For true micro edging the lack of precision in the large size shows though. 

Ryan Marsters · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 1,006

I don't particularly think it helps with jamming, but the best climbing/approach shoe protection patches include:

Mix:
-Barge cement, Gear Aid Aquaseal or Freesole
-Very small amount of ground rubber shavings

Apply to shoes as a patch or along the seams. Let dry.

I do this to the delamination spots on my TC pros and mountaineering boots. I add patches to the outer mesh blow out spots on approach shoes or trail runners. Lasts a long time and quite sturdy.

This is the same thing Rock n Resole does and they'll sell you the cement and shavings for $8.

MikePond · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 85

Thanks Andrewww and Ryan for the on-point answers - the Yosemite Bums super rand is exactly what I'm looking for. The RocknResole cement/rubber combo seems interesting. I'll be giving them a shot!

And to the others....thanks for bumping the post at least.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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