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Having trouble finding downturn shoes that don't cause excruciating pain -- pls help!
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Apr 4, 2016
I've been climbing for nearly 20 years in La Sportiva Mythos, and have always loved them for their comfort. But recently I've been shopping around for my first pair of downturned shoes for harder sport climbing and bouldering (and by harder, I mean mostly 5.12 / V6 ish).

I've tried on Mira VS, Solutions, Testarossas, and Geniuses, and all have caused unmanageable pain in the knuckle of my big toes. What I'm wondering is if this is something that will go away after the break-in period, or if there is some way to mitigate the discomfort.

Most folks who I have talked to said that these shoes tend to be uncomfortable when they are new, but not excruciatingly painful. I don't think it's that I'm trying sizes that are too small, as there is room in the heel in most of the sizes I've tried. I've tried loosening the laces a bunch, but that doesn't seem to help much. I literally cannot put standing pressure on my big toes without the pain being unbearable.

Should I just try wearing new shoes on the sofa for a couple weeks until they soften/stretch slightly and my feet get used to them? What are my options?
cashmab
Joined Jul 7, 2014
1,555 points
Apr 4, 2016
Try the Evolv shaman. They are designed to have room for your knuckels. Also. Sometimes flat shoes just fit some feet better. jbrown2
From Bend, Oregon
Joined Jun 29, 2011
123 points
Apr 4, 2016
Tenaya Paul Hassett
From Aurora CO
Joined Oct 25, 2002
179 points
Apr 4, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Aleks
climbing friend,

it sound slike you try on the shoes that are bad fit for your quite stinky feet, and must try other brands. You should be able to size them quite snug and comfy, or down to very painful if you desire.
Aleks Zebastian
From Boulder, CO
Joined Jul 3, 2014
162 points
Apr 4, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Cradle of the Deep 5.13a
I second trying the new Evolv Shamans, they're incredibly comfortable for a downturned shoe, and perform very well. Luc Ried
From Batesville, AR
Joined Mar 22, 2014
457 points
Apr 4, 2016
TC Pros climb 5.14, they should be fine, get those. TLyons
From Lynbrook, NY
Joined Aug 3, 2015
110 points
Apr 4, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Cochise Stronghold—me on the left
I climbed for 8 years in mythos, up to 12c, and then i got a pair of TC pros and they kinda changed the game for me. Lately, I've been trying to get some even more aggressive shoes as well, even though I have no patience for painful shoes. I hated the miuras, and just got some vapor vs, which are pretty good. I still think the TCs are the best shoe around for me. Evan Belknap
From Placitas, NM
Joined Mar 10, 2008
80 points
Apr 4, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks
Here's a third vote for Shaman's, it sounds like you really need the knuckle box feature that they have. Super comfortable shoes that climb great. kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Joined Aug 12, 2010
2,061 points
Apr 4, 2016
I can only wear downturned shoes with a cupped sole shape. All the others either have too much wiggle room or excruciating pain depending on size - none of the LS models you mentioned work for me. I don't know how anyone wears the non-cupped aggressive models. Evolv/Mad Rock/Scarpa all have them on at least a few of their high end shapes, and then it's just a matter of deciding which company's shape fits your foot best - for me, it's just Evolv and Mad Rock that work. MattH
Joined Sep 10, 2011
331 points
Apr 4, 2016
Try all the different brands, not just Sportiva. The mythos is not a shoe that caters to any particular foot, so theres no telling which brand will fit your foot best.

Evolv, scarpa, five ten, butora, tenaya, and mad rock all make a wide range of downturned shoes. I'd recommend the mid range (similar to the muira vs) rather than the super aggressive models since it's your first pair.

The one that fits best is the one you should buy. It should not be painful, it should be snug, no dead air, and probably a touch uncomfortable with some pressure due to the downturn.
John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Joined Feb 1, 2004
2,461 points
Apr 4, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Belaying 2nd (or was it 3rd? 4th?) on Turk's Head ...
TLyons TC Pros climb vertical/slab 5.14...it sounds like he's looking for something for overhangs. Ted Pinson
From Chicago, IL
Joined Jul 11, 2014
178 points
Apr 4, 2016
The OP says nothing about overhanging routes.
You can't climb anything if you are in excruciating pain.
TCs are more aggressive than the Mythos but not wildly turned down as the Solutions and can be sized relatively comfortable and still preform well.
If something cant be climbed in TCs, work on your technique and do a few more push up/ pull ups, shoes wont make the difference.
TLyons
From Lynbrook, NY
Joined Aug 3, 2015
110 points
Apr 4, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Belaying 2nd (or was it 3rd? 4th?) on Turk's Head ...
That's a rather myopic perspective. Different shoes are suited to different purposes...even TC doesn't wear the Pros when he's bouldering or climbing steep sport routes. The TS said he was looking for downturned shoes for bouldering, so it's pretty clear that he's looking to get on something overhanging...otherwise, he wouldn't need a downturned shoe. Sure, one theoretically could climb steep sport routes with TC Pros, but you wouldn't be much better off than with Mythos. Ted Pinson
From Chicago, IL
Joined Jul 11, 2014
178 points
Apr 4, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Rappelling after setting up TR on AKD
Another vote for the Shamans. I've found mine to be very comfortable. I can knock down several bouldering problems without any need to take them off Henry Holub
From Altus, Ok
Joined Nov 6, 2015
512 points
Apr 4, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo by Julie Ellison
Check out the Katana Laces, I've found them to have the best comfort:performance ratio of any downturned shoes I've ever owned. Mine were slightly painful when new but broke in to be comfy yet still very high performance. Trevor.
From Boise, ID
Joined Apr 16, 2012
727 points
Apr 4, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: en route to wham ridge  Photo by Carl Schnitker
I usually hate downturned shoes but I have fallen in love with the LS Python, although I'm not sure if they are still being made. It's slightly downturned slipper with one velcro strap at the top. Half the time I don't even need to use the velcro because it just fits the shape of my foot so perfectly. It is also a fairly soft shoe so will be similar to the mythos in that sense.

They aren't so comfy for all day long climbs but are plenty comfy for single pitch if you take them off to belay. They're only ever painful if I haven't climbed in them for a week or two (when they aren't worn for that long they start to stiffen up a bit and have to be stretched out slightly) but it only takes one session to get them back to normal fit.
eli poss
From Durango, Co
Joined May 9, 2014
422 points
Apr 4, 2016
You also have to remember shoes fit a little tight/uncomfortable brand new out of the box compared to a good break in. Not saying get shoes that hurt to stand in by anymeans. You could maybe try a pair of your buddies aggressive shoes he's had a while. Scott Bissi
From Cazenovia, New York
Joined Nov 24, 2014
6 points
Apr 4, 2016
I'm going through the same thing. Been climbing in the Mythos. Looking for a more aggressive shoe for steeper routes and overhanging boulder problems. I've tried on almost EVERY shoe out there. I had finally found a pair that were pretty comfortable out of the box: Tenaya Tarifa...

But...

After one day of climbing with them, no more. They went from being super comfortable to me not being able to even stand up in them. No joke. I couldn't put any pressure on my feet what so ever. My feet could not support my own body weight. I had to go back to the Mythos.

I don't know what it is. I don't know how everyone uses these super down-turned shoes that are sized 3 sizes too small. It baffles my mind.
FourT6and2
From San Francisco, CA
Joined Mar 31, 2015
72 points
Apr 5, 2016
cashmab wrote:
I've been climbing for nearly 20 years in La Sportiva Mythos, and have always loved them for their comfort. But recently I've been shopping around for my first pair of downturned shoes for harder sport climbing and bouldering (and by harder, I mean mostly 5.12 / V6 ish).


Well, you certainly don't need a downturned shoe for that.

Curt
Curt Shannon
Joined Jun 3, 2006
21 points
Apr 5, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: After a very very damp and cold evening climbing o...
La Sportiva geniuses are apparently very comfortable and i love my speedsters no edge. The evolv shammans and their "love bump" is used by pretty much all high end down turned shoes, from the sounds of it you don't have a hugely wide foot so i wouldn't buy this seasons shamans (pretty wide) and last seasons model can be picked up pretty cheap now. that guy named seb
Joined Oct 24, 2015
182 points
Apr 5, 2016
If Mythos were comfortable right out of the box, you might have a more symmetric foot. Most of aggressive shoes will be built on asymmetric last, this might explain the pain you are feeling on your big toe. Look for less asymmetric shoes. Again, different companies will use different lasts for their shoes, you might need to shop around.

Evolv sells "Luchadors", comes in both laces and velcro.
amarius
Joined Feb 23, 2012
23 points
Administrator
Apr 5, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
Shoe recommendations are next to useless. What fits others comfortably might be painful to you. Go to a shop that has a variety of brands and find the brand that caters to your foot shape the most. Sounds like you've only tried on one brand. Try Evolv, Five Ten, Butora, Tenaya, etc. You may not find something that feels like you're getting a foot job, but you're likely to find something that performs well and isn't painful. Nothing will be as comfortable as Mythos in my opinion because they are little more than a lace up slipper. Performance shoes take some getting used to if you've been wearing Mythos the entire time you've been climbing.

Don't get talked into drastically downsizing. Most performance shoes are lined and will stretch very little. You have to downsize with Mythos because they're leather and unlined and will stretch a size and a half. If it's painful when you put it on, it's likely to stay that way. Find something that you can stand to walk around in and stand on small holds without being in a shitload of pain, and then allow a few sessions for them to break in.
Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Joined Jul 30, 2011
1,216 points
Apr 5, 2016
FWIW I'm terrible at shoe sizing. I was told when I started climbing years ago to go "as tight as you can stand". The result: I have one part of shoes that I can only wear for an hour or 2 now,and really hurt my toes if I accidentally kick the wall a bit, and another pair that gives me the same problem as you, my big knuckle on the left foot ends up in so much pain I can't climb.


I recently bought another pair of shoes because of this, and was still stuck on the "tight as possible" mentality. I bought at REI, and probably returned 4 pairs of shoes before I got the sizing right. My big toes is pretty much flat, and my small toes are just slightly curled and the shoes are comfortable, and I don't feel like I lost any control.


FWIW you may just be using shoes that are too small for you.
Brian L.
Joined Feb 19, 2016
81 points
Apr 5, 2016
Jake Jones wrote:
... You may not find something that feels like you're getting a foot job, but you're likely to find something that performs well and isn't painful. ...


... Do you know what a foot job is? lol
Quinn Baker
Joined Mar 2, 2016
0 points
Apr 5, 2016
Scrapa have wide feet n love em n with the boostics dat heel doe CRAG-list-KILLA
Joined Feb 27, 2016
60 points
Apr 5, 2016
In my smallest shoes I actually find they are more comfortable when I have the velcro tight (what are laces? :D) It's similar to other high performance shoes, pulling the laces or velcro tight will get your heel all the way into the heel pocket and free up some room around your toes. I don't really get why I see people warming up in the gym with their shoes loose, it just looks painful to me. Jason4Too
From Bellingham, Washington
Joined Apr 26, 2014
1 points


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