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Rock climbing shoes for big toe arthritis
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Feb 16, 2017
Unfortunately, age is creeping up on me and my big toe arthritis needs to be mitigated longterm. While I work on other ways of protecting it, I need a new indoor gym shoe ASAP (outside, I'll keep to my tc pros, which seem to be fine for now).

Requirements:

- as stiff as possible
- spread the pressure at the tip among multiple toes rather than just focused on the big toe
- downturned toe not a priority

For reference, I've been wearing (and loving) scarpa boostics.

Any ideas (also if anyone thinks there is a better all day trad shoe than the tc pro for my circumstances, I'd love to hear about it!
Aaron Liebling
Joined Jun 1, 2010
320 points
Administrator
Feb 16, 2017
aliebling Liebling wrote:
Any ideas (also if anyone thinks there is a better all day trad shoe than the tc pro for my circumstances, I'd love to hear about it!

Define 'better'. More comfy, better performance, what?
TC sized correctly is the best of both worlds, IMHO. I wear my street size.
For gym shoe...5-10 pink? The new Sportiva....Finale?
Muscrat
Joined Oct 27, 2011
3,040 points
Feb 16, 2017
I learned about a bunion and arthritis in my right toe over a year ago. It sucks but I have made it manageable. I climb in Mythos ans Scarpa Instincts and feel much better. But I also throw a toe spacer in between my big toe and the next or keep my shoes on as little as possible. Also there are exercises that can be done that strengthen tendons in the foot and muscles supporting it.

Id be curious to look at a pair of Red Chillis, the have models with a wider toe box giving some relief.
Tony Bob
From Lakewood
Joined Apr 4, 2015
0 points
Feb 16, 2017
I have hallux limitus and arthritis and have been searching for shoes too. I recently picked up the La Sportiva oxygyms on a whim and really like them for the gym. They are velcro so you can take them off between climbs, the toe box is relatively foot shaped and very stiff. I'm not sure how the men's fit compares to women's but I've been happy with them. The stiff toe takes some getting used to since you can't feel your toes on holds as well, but I have much less pain because that joint isn't bending as much. Good luck with the search! vwall
Joined May 14, 2012
0 points
Feb 16, 2017
I'm definitely in the "take my shoes off between every climb" camp. It helps a ton.

I think the tc pro is as good (balance of performance, regular comfort and arthritis-comfort) as a shoe is going to get for me outdoors.

Anyone have experience with some of the boreals? Something like the marduk?

Or maybe the scarpa techno x?
Aaron Liebling
Joined Jun 1, 2010
320 points
Feb 17, 2017
I have the same issue with my big toe. I bought a pair of 5.10 Verdon lace ups. They have a molded plastic piece under the forefoot to help with edging but it also helps reduce toe pain in my case. Kevin Mokracek
From Burbank
Joined Apr 5, 2012
45 points
Feb 17, 2017
I've known a few w/ big toe issues that like the Scarpa Boostics, as it's very stiff and very asymmetric (aligns the big toe fairly straight) with only a moderate amount of downturn, but the toe box is fairly high volume, which doesn't encourage flat toes.

I don't like the TC Pro that much as it's a bit too symmetric (which I hate in general in a climbing shoe as that + tight fitting is just bunion waiting to happen); the new (bumble bee yellow) Scarpa Vapor lace has both low volume toe box and more asymmetry than the TC Pro (and in general, the Scarpa line has wider forefoot and more asymmetry than the equivalent in Sportiva).
reboot
From Westminster, CO
Joined Jul 17, 2006
50 points
Feb 17, 2017
I know I say this all the time but...Katana Laces. I have big toe issues and can climb comfortably in only TCs and Katanas. Don Ferris
From Eldorado Springs
Joined Nov 27, 2012
0 points
Feb 17, 2017
Don Ferris wrote:
I know I say this all the time but...Katana Laces. I have big toe issues and can climb comfortably in only TCs and Katanas.

You should try the yellow Vapor Lace. I have both TCs & KLs, the Vapor Lace is comparable in low volume & stiffness but with better big toe alignment.
reboot
From Westminster, CO
Joined Jul 17, 2006
50 points
Feb 17, 2017
Take the insole out of the shoe you use now, lay it on a piece of tin or aluminum sheet metal. Draw around it with a sharpie. Cut it out, duct tape the edges and put it in the shoe. Reinstall the insole. This will make the toe bed stiffer and have more support. It will probably make a popping sound when you walk on it but it may do the trick.

You could try just the toe bed to the mid-sole first.

Best of luck! JB
John Barritt
From OKC
Joined Oct 13, 2016
862 points
Feb 17, 2017
I put an extra layer of rubber on the bottom of my gym shoes to accomplish the same. Ruins sensitivity, but I haven't had any feeling in my big toes for 10 years anyway... so no effect for me :-) John Butler
Joined Apr 13, 2016
0 points
Feb 17, 2017
I don't have arthritis, but I do have a case of turf toe (basically a tendon that is too loose and allows my toe to flex to far). For this I have found the Five Ten Quantum sized at or 1/2 size bigger than my street shoe to be perfect. The sole is really stiff, it is very slightly downturned, but doesn't feel like it. Awesome Shoe.

And to answer the question, no there is no better multi-pitch trad shoe than the TC Pro. They just plain nailed it.
Ryan Hamilton
From Orem
Joined Aug 11, 2011
0 points
Feb 17, 2017
I ordered two sizes of vapor lace. We'll see if one of them works out. The quantum looks like a nice alternative if they don't.

Thanks to all for the feedback!
Aaron Liebling
Joined Jun 1, 2010
320 points
Feb 26, 2017
reboot wrote:
I don't like the TC Pro that much as it's a bit too symmetric (which I hate in general in a climbing shoe as that + tight fitting is just bunion waiting to happen); the new (bumble bee yellow) Scarpa Vapor lace has both low volume toe box and more asymmetry than the TC Pro (and in general, the Scarpa line has wider forefoot and more asymmetry than the equivalent in Sportiva).


I got TC pros for the first time last month and I'm feeling bunion pain. Damn! I thought they would be great after getting really broken in, but now I'm not so sure.
JaredG
From Tucson, AZ
Joined Aug 16, 2011
0 points
Feb 26, 2017
I have hallux rigidus in both big toes; I had surgery on both feet. Next step for me is a fusion.

For years I climbed in evolv's with a custom, carbon fiber orthotic in each climbing shoe. They worked perfectly. Due to circumstances surrounding the production of the orthotics, I had to switch to TC Pros and I am so happy. I no longer need to rely on orthotics and my toes are very comfortable all day. They are stiff, yet you can stick to anything. A great shoe for someone with arthritis.

(My entire story is on rockclimbing.com under "chronicle of my toes"

Good luck!
gblauer
From Wayne, PA
Joined Jul 27, 2008
695 points
Feb 26, 2017
I also have arthritis in the big toe of my bigger left foot. One thing that has helped over the years independent of climbing shoes is to tape the two middle toes on that foot together. My big toe is the longest of my toes and the tape forces the other two toes to provide more support for my big toe which alleviates some of the discomfort. One suggestion for indoor shoes would be Velcro katanas. You might be able to still find some available sizes and the shoe is built on the same last as the TC pro. They are easy on/off and stiffish for support. Lastly, I often climb in my TC pros even in the gym. The holds are positively huge compared to outdoors (I climb in Eldo) and even if they are not working ideally, who cares- it is just training anyway. Drop a grade and get the same workout outcome. BigRob
From Louisville, CO
Joined Jul 5, 2007
5 points
Feb 27, 2017
IF THE SHOEs FIT ?
Sz12 old shoes, that would be good to stiffen/Retro-Fit !(?)?!


I'm always on the look out for pairs of sz40's but also I need a 39.5 right shoe, so I can fill out the 40.5s with a pair of custom orthotic foot beds. In so doing, trying to hit the sweet spot
( for me=39.7 & 39.98999)

The key for me has been boot lasted a flat based construction, where
the foot bed can be removed, and replaced.

If you have a custom made orthotic' make a tracing, or use one pair for climbing shoes.

I've done it my self with mixed results, the better shoe shops do amazing work

to try to have , ~FIXED~ Individual Foot -shoes was once a niché market,(BITD, 90s- Meekan in SLC Utah )
I'd take a chance with in a full size either way and try to arrive at the best material.

Getting the right shape to give fore-foot support is key, and worth a bit of trial & error.

I was super happy the 3/4mm leather and had tried wood, A maple laminate,

There's a sprayed wood product that can be ' backed' glued to thinner leather

Set in stenciled. Of your tracing, the long strips.can be individually stiffened

If that makes any sense ? These strips That are cut to allow thicker toe or match both.

are worked into the boot then a standard, replaceable foot bed is optional,

The feeling ~> as it is --> (?) is good !,
better than, EB's or "Vasque Shoenards" Does anyone have a pair of Le' Menstels' low tops ? or these in a 40.5?Scarpa Made Stiff Shoes
Michael Schneider
Joined Apr 24, 2014
85 points


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