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Socks and Climbing Shoes Your missing Out

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,936

Here's an idea to save this thread - post up the photo of the hardest route/problem being climbed in socks. Bonus if it's the FA. I'll start - Jeff Gruenberg on Vandals (5.13 the Gunks), then the hardest route east of the Mississippi:

kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 621
Tradiban wrote: However, no troll. If you wear a sock your feet won't grip the inside of the shoe as well and slide a bit, rendering your edging less effective. Sometimes it takes a little chalk on the feet beforehand for the sweaty type in order for this to work.

I think there's an assumption of wearing socks meaning that there's room for play inside the shoe. Which is true in many cases. 

Some (I say "some" to mean "me") will sometimes (I say "sometimes" to mean "when it's cold" and "when I'm in a masochistic mood and focusing on edging problems because my arms are weak") have a set of shoes where they fit them so that they're comfortable without socks and tight with socks so that there's no play. 

This has worked maybe once when I nailed the fit, but mostly they end up overly tight and constricting and then my coal feet turn to diamonds under the pressure and end up hurting even more against the cold. 

Also I barely ever freeclimb anymore when it's cold and much prefer to aid (I say "I barely ever freeclimb anymore when it's cold and much prefer to aid" to mean "my opinion on this matter is irrelevant and I'm just yapping online because I'm bored")

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,620
kevin deweese wrote:

I think there's an assumption of wearing socks meaning that there's room for play inside the shoe. Which is true in many cases. 

Some (I say "some" to mean "me") will sometimes (I say "sometimes" to mean "when it's cold" and "when I'm in a masochistic mood and focusing on edging problems because my arms are weak") have a set of shoes where they fit them so that they're comfortable without socks and tight with socks so that there's no play. 

This has worked maybe once when I nailed the fit, but mostly they end up overly tight and constricting and then my coal feet turn to diamonds under the pressure and end up hurting even more against the cold. 

Also I barely ever freeclimb anymore when it's cold and much prefer to aid (I say "I barely ever freeclimb anymore when it's cold and much prefer to aid" to mean "my opinion on this matter is irrelevant and I'm just yapping online because I'm bored")

I should say that I almost always am wearing socks while climbing, actually usually I'm wearing approach shoes and socks but when shit starts getting real I pull on a super tight pair of leather shoes that have conformed to my foot so that they are comfortable-ish and tight for precision climbing. Wearing socks ruins that precision feel that I need when I'm climbing steep slab on dime edges.

Doug Chism · · Arlington VA · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 5

Just because an elite climber can climb 13s in socks that does not mean a 5.10 climber can’t climb better without them, everyone is different.

I wear socks for all day trad but for single pitch sport I prefer tighter shoes with no socks. 

Mikey Schaefer · · Reno, NV · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 261

I often use compression socks on longer routes. It keeps the swelling down in my feet which I find very helpful. I notice a small bit of performance loss but not too bad.  When I’m cragging I wear normal socks with bigger shoes to warm up. Definitely not super high performance but so much more comfortable.
When Dana Drummond and I put up Border Country in Yosemite we joked that it couldn’t be 5.12 because we could do it with socks on. We seriously contemplated calling it 11+. The grade seems to have settled on 12c. 

Chris Cragsocks · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 25

I finally found my brethren! All hail the non smelly foot.

So fellow cragsockians, what's your go-to brand or style? I like to climb in liners since they're so thin. The REI one's are my current workhorse, but the seam isn't flatlocked.

Christian Hesch · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 12

for all day comfort, I'll go with a 45.5 instead of 45.0, and a pair of medium thin Dri-Fit socks. I also carry a pair of performance dri-fit socks in the pack, and those tend to come out around 2-3hrs into the day, or as needed, as it allows for the natural tendency of the foot to swell. Finally, if it's a long day and my foot is still too tight, I can go to no sock, so it's a pretty nice way to climb longer days, IMO. Also gives me two options for my approach shoes for the hike back to the car, depending on whether i need more room in them or not.

Cesar Cardenas · · San Diego, CA · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 20
TaylorP wrote:

Come on you can't just say that and not give us a video!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM_dJB36Ox8 5.13 Joshua tree in socks.

https://youtu.be/sxOk6SBHbV0?t=111 5.13+ in Josh in socks (same guy)

All the strong climbers I know climb in socks FWIW

Soooo I think it doesn't matter and what really matters is whatever the individual climber is used to.
Zay Ban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2019 · Points: 5
Cesar Cardenas wrote:


Soooo I think it doesn't matter and what really matters is whatever the individual climber is used to.

Excuse me this is a circlejerk thread for sock lovers, not tolerance.

Jake P · · Costa Mesa · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 0
Doug Chism wrote: Just because an elite climber can climb 13s in socks that does not mean a 5.10 climber can’t climb better without them, everyone is different.

I wear socks for all day trad but for single pitch sport I prefer tighter shoes with no socks. 

True. It’s just a good reminder that there are plenty of other things to consider before decrying socks as performance busters.

Reminds me of an overweight cyclist counting grams when it comes to performance gear.

Abogado Chris · · San Diego, CA · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 1

Sounds to me like a bunch of people are wearing the wrong size shoe or a shoe that does not match the shape of their foot.

You shouldn’t need a sock to make the shoe fit tight enough to stop your foot from slipping in the shoe and developing blisters no matter how long you are on the wall or in the shoes.

If a shoe is tight enough AND fits your foot shape properly, the shoe will also be comfortable enough to wear all day long without socks.

But most people decide they want to wear TC pros or Moccasyns before they ever try them on. Who gives a fuck if the heel is too wide, too narrow, or the toe box is too wide or too narrow, the length fits and these are the shoes all the serious climbers wear so they must be the only choice right?

Climbing shoes should fit like a glove, comfortable without enough room for socks. If you have enough room to wear socks you’re shoes aren’t sized properly.

If you want to wear socks for warmth then by all means go ahead, wear the wrong size shoe and make it the right size with a sock. But if warmth is not your concern and comfort is, then a properly fitting shoe is the way to go.

Example, Five Tens don’t fit my feet, I have tried several different models, even the correct length was not that comfortable. The heel is wrong, my foot slips around even when the shoes are short enough for my toes to be painfully curled up.

La sportivas, I can wear and walk around in “performance” shoes like the genius and futura, with turned down toes. For true all day comfort their Mavernik slippers originally made for kids are what I wear. I have literally worn them for 8 hours at a time and walked a few miles between boulders with them on. If I wore socks with any of my la sportivas they would not fit right, they would be too tight. But if I was dead set on buying some five tens even though they don’t fit my feet properly, then I would probably wear socks to make them fit right.

Zay Ban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2019 · Points: 5
Abogado Chris wrote: Sounds to me like a bunch of people are wearing the wrong size shoe or a shoe that does not match the shape of their foot.

You shouldn’t need a sock to make the shoe fit tight enough to stop your foot from slipping in the shoe and developing blisters no matter how long you are on the wall or in the shoes.

If a shoe is tight enough AND fits your foot shape properly, the shoe will also be comfortable enough to wear all day long without socks.

But most people decide they want to wear TC pros or Moccasyns before they ever try them on. Who gives a fuck if the heel is too wide, too narrow, or the toe box is too wide or too narrow, the length fits and these are the shoes all the serious climbers wear so they must be the only choice right?

Climbing shoes should fit like a glove, comfortable without enough room for socks. If you have enough room to wear socks you’re shoes aren’t sized properly.

If you want to wear socks for warmth then by all means go ahead, wear the wrong size shoe and make it the right size with a sock. But if warmth is not your concern and comfort is, then a properly fitting shoe is the way to go.

Example, Five Tens don’t fit my feet, I have tried several different models, even the correct length was not that comfortable. The heel is wrong, my foot slips around even when the shoes are short enough for my toes to be painfully curled up.

La sportivas, I can wear and walk around in “performance” shoes like the genius and futura, with turned down toes. For true all day comfort their Mavernik slippers originally made for kids are what I wear. I have literally worn them for 8 hours at a time and walked a few miles between boulders with them on. If I wore socks with any of my la sportivas they would not fit right, they would be too tight. But if I was dead set on buying some five tens even though they don’t fit my feet properly, then I would probably wear socks to make them fit right.

BBOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 621
Abogado Chris wrote: Sounds to me like a bunch of people are wearing the wrong size shoe or a shoe that does not match the shape of their foot.

You shouldn’t need a sock to make the shoe fit tight enough to stop your foot from slipping in the shoe and developing blisters no matter how long you are on the wall or in the shoes.

If a shoe is tight enough AND fits your foot shape properly, the shoe will also be comfortable enough to wear all day long without socks.

But most people decide they want to wear TC pros or Moccasyns before they ever try them on. Who gives a fuck if the heel is too wide, too narrow, or the toe box is too wide or too narrow, the length fits and these are the shoes all the serious climbers wear so they must be the only choice right?

Climbing shoes should fit like a glove, comfortable without enough room for socks. If you have enough room to wear socks you’re shoes aren’t sized properly.

If you want to wear socks for warmth then by all means go ahead, wear the wrong size shoe and make it the right size with a sock. But if warmth is not your concern and comfort is, then a properly fitting shoe is the way to go.

Example, Five Tens don’t fit my feet, I have tried several different models, even the correct length was not that comfortable. The heel is wrong, my foot slips around even when the shoes are short enough for my toes to be painfully curled up.

La sportivas, I can wear and walk around in “performance” shoes like the genius and futura, with turned down toes. For true all day comfort their Mavernik slippers originally made for kids are what I wear. I have literally worn them for 8 hours at a time and walked a few miles between boulders with them on. If I wore socks with any of my la sportivas they would not fit right, they would be too tight. But if I was dead set on buying some five tens even though they don’t fit my feet properly, then I would probably wear socks to make them fit right.

Your foot-shape privilege is showing. Terra Incognita will be posting a blog about you soon. 

Conor Pesci · · everett, wa · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0
Tradiban wrote:


 Sometimes it takes a little chalk on the feet beforehand for the sweaty type in order for this to work.
wait, people don't regularly chalk up their feet? Man, I've been wasting time and money ...
Tradgic Yogurt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 55
Kirtis Courkamp wrote: I use to believe in not wearing socks and climbing shoes, but boy was I missing out. I changed and have never gone back. Keeps them smelling a little bit better, yes I can feel the rock under my toes, and my shoes are comfier. What's not to love. Just make sure you're not wearing a thick sock otherwise it might not work; however wool socks and TC Pros are a game-changing cold weather climbing combo. Who else is a sock and shoe fan out there?

What is sort of Euro namby pamby idea is this? ;)


(I'm told that, much like bowline vs figure 8, the US's no sock approach is a peculiar and dogmatic stance about this thing we love.)
Not Hobo Greg · · My Van · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 200
Tradiban wrote: If you want to stick to dime edges ditch the socks and make sure the shoes are tight, so tight you can't wear socks with them.

Here’s what I don’t get: you climb 5.10 on a good day. Multiple people here have shown you folks climbing 5.13 in socks. Yet you continue to hold your ground. You’re just a chump at that point. If you’re gonna spray about climbing, try backing it up with actual climbing ability.

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,620
Hobo Greg wrote:

Here’s what I don’t get: you climb 5.10 on a good day. Multiple people here have shown you folks climbing 5.13 in socks. Yet you continue to hold your ground. You’re just a chump at that point. If you’re gonna spray about climbing, try backing it up with actual climbing ability.

Lol, there's so much you don't know Hobo. Let us know when you crack into 5.10 so we can compare apples to apples.

Btw, I tossed a few banana peels around the base of some 5.6s, figured you would likely find em and pick em up for me.   
The Monument · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2019 · Points: 0
Hobo Greg wrote:

Here’s what I don’t get: you climb 5.10 on a good day. Multiple people here have shown you folks climbing 5.13 in socks. Yet you continue to hold your ground. You’re just a chump at that point. If you’re gonna spray about climbing, try backing it up with actual climbing ability.

I’ll just leave this here...you aren’t as charming as you think to the actual locals...

Not Hobo Greg · · My Van · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 200
The Monument wrote:

I’ll just leave this here...you aren’t as charming as you think to the actual locals...

JTNM became JTNP in 94, Boomer.

All but two of those are redpoints and flashes. I undersell my abilities unlike sprayers like Tradiban. But here’s the difference: you won’t hear me say “You can’t climb hard in socks” to people who are actually climbing hard in socks.
Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,620
Hobo Greg wrote:

JTNM became JTNP in 94, Boomer.

All but two of those are redpoints and flashes. I undersell my abilities unlike sprayers like Tradiban. But here’s the difference: you won’t hear me say “You can’t climb hard in socks” to people who are actually climbing hard in socks.

Think about the difference between overhanging routes and slab routes.

And...you just sprayed about how many 5.10s you've climbed. Bravissimo!
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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