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Best shoes for slab climbing?
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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Apr 25, 2013
Bucky
Ryan Williams wrote:
Soft shoes are great for pure friction slab, which you can find at many areas in NC, but they aren't versatile enough for me. It took me a while to realize this, but I finally figured out that a comfortably sized pair of stiff(ish) shoes works much better in most granite and/or slabby areas where edging and jamming are almost always needed at some point. With the exception of severely overhung routes, I climb everything in NC in one of the following: - Five Ten Galileo size 43 - Five Ten Galileo size 44


Agreed. Unless its a pure friction pitch (which is somewhat rare), then I like something that can edge and smedge. For example, if you want to climb Tuolumne knobby slabs, then Mythos are a death wish for your feet. I prefer the 5.10 Anasazi Blanco if I need more edging power and the Sportiva Viper if I need to do a bit more smearing.

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Apr 25, 2013
El Chorro
J. Albers wrote:
...if you want to climb Tuolumne knobby slabs, then a Mythos is a death wish for your feet...


Ouch, my toes hurt just thinking about that!

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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Apr 25, 2013
Bucky
Ryan Williams wrote:
Ouch, my toes hurt just thinking about that!


Yeah, most of the CA slab aficionados I know actually wear Aces or something similar to avoid the ouch of soft shoes. In fact, I know a guy who has a prosthetic leg and swears that his homemade shoe is cheating in the Meadows because he can rest ad-infinitum by simply standing on his "board" foot (then again Super Pete climbs 5.14 so take that for what its worth!)

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By photocodo
From Hendersonville, NC
May 4, 2013
The "crack"
so I went to the shop today and tried on the Mythos. I have a pretty wide foot and when I tried them on they felt pretty narrow. The guy who owned the shop said that he would recommend climbing 9 or 10 pitches in them and see how they feel because of the leather. is there anyone out there who has a wide foot and still climbs in the mythos? do you still like them or are they more of a shoe for the more narrow footed climber?

photocodo

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By sibylle
From Colorado
May 4, 2013
Stone of Ignorance.
I use the Mythos for pure smearing / friction ( but have narrow feet); and also use them for thin cracks - such as Serenity in Yosemite.
I use the Miura (in a smaller, more painful size) for climbs with more edging.

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By David Appelhans
From Lafayette
May 5, 2013
Imaginate
I have wide feet. I bought into the myth that mythos are so soft they will form to your foot after a bunch of pitches. But it didn't work that way for me. I've worn my mythos through a couple of resoles, but they still don't fit well and I mostly just use them when the climbing is easy so I can save my TC pros.

TC pros are a fantastic slab shoe. The stiff sole is helpful, and one you break them in they smear as well as edge.

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By Adam Baxter
From Estes Park, CO
May 5, 2013
PatrickV wrote:
Solutions.


Seems counter intuitive, but I agree.

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By Mike Morin
From On the Road
May 5, 2013
Lincoln Lake
I am a slab enthusiast and really like the way my Scarpa Force perform on slab. They edge well and also smear very well, making them a great all around slab shoe for me.

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By Mark Byers
May 5, 2013
Profile Pic
Mythos work great at Stone and Looking Glass. I haven't climbed at Cedar,yet, so I can't say how well they will work there. Being unlined leather, they will stretch quite a bit so make sure they are tight when you buy them

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By Christiney
Jun 3, 2013
How did they work out for you?

I have super wide feet (width is "E") and I wear mythos. As a reference my feet are about 8.5" long and 3.9" wide. healthyfeetstore.com/width-siz... Going by the width of my feet, if I were to have normal width feet, my foot should be a size 9-9.5 in men's shoes (and apparently some narrow footed men with my width feet wear size 11-11.5 shoes). However, I wear a size 3.5 in men's shoes.

Just climbed at Stone Mountain in NC which is primarily friction slab. Only did the easy grades, but my female green mythos was pretty secure, slipped maybe 2x over 2 days- and maybe it's b/c I wore socks to keep my shoes sweat-free. Plus these are my first mythos which I ordered online too long (size 34, I then got a size 33). It was a resole w/ the original Vibram XS Grip. My Five 10 fox (like coyote) conforms to my foot better but there is no room to wear socks w/ them. C4 is more grippy for pure friction but XS Grip vibram is better for edging (less deformation), and on a hot day such as this weekend, the vibram grip didn't soften/deform as much.

As for the pain, it was not bad. First day was multi-pitch where we did 4 pitches, and had a party of 3 (so slower). Did not take the mythos off at the belay. At the end of the 3rd pitch my pinky toes felt a bit of pain but I didn't take the shoes off till I got to the top of the 4th pitch.

I think ppl think that La Sportiva makes shoes for narrow feet b/c they start out narrow, then stretch in width to your foot. The leather on mythos does stretch, but the rubber where your feet are doesn't stretch too much, and I have rubber around the rands. However I think they are a pretty good choice and if I can wear mythos you can too.

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By josh villeneuve
From Enfield, CT
Jun 3, 2013
Futura's do it all but you can't beat precise feeling when holds become non-existent

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By teece303
From Highlands Ranch, CO
Jun 6, 2013
Aiding. Photo by Locker.
Caprinae monkey wrote:
It was a resole w/ the original Vibram XS Grip. My Five 10 fox (like coyote) conforms to my foot better but there is no room to wear socks w/ them. C4 is more grippy for pure friction but XS Grip vibram is better for edging (less deformation), and on a hot day such as this weekend, the vibram grip didn't soften/deform as much.


It's funny you should mention this. Locker and I just climbed some slab in near 90 degree heat. He's always telling me that Vibram sucks, and he's probably right. But on this day, I was not slipping as much as him. Sure enough, he told me that on hot days like this, Vibram actually is better at not deforming as much and greasing off.

I was just assuming that I was awesome and everybody else sucked. He had to go rain on my parade.

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By Mark Byers
Jun 6, 2013
Profile Pic
Timothy.Klein wrote:
It's funny you should mention this. Locker and I just climbed some slab in near 90 degree heat. He's always telling me that Vibram sucks, and he's probably right. But on this day, I was not slipping as much as him. Sure enough, he told me that on hot days like this, Vibram actually is better at not deforming as much and greasing off. I was just assuming that I was awesome and everybody else sucked. He had to go rain on my parade.


Shoes don't make a bit of difference. It was all you. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. ;-)

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By csproul
From Davis, CA
Jun 6, 2013
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background
PatrickV wrote:
Solutions.

Tried it once, and only once (had to switch climbing locations unexpectedly). Way too painful.

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By Dr. Rocktopolus
From Chattanooga, TN
Jun 6, 2013
Whipping on the redpoint crux of " The Theater Of Pain " 5.13b Cooks Wall, NC
That depends on how hard the slab climbing is... For more challenging routes I would go with a good face climbing shoe because it will be stiffer. Scarpa Instincts are a great choice!

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By slim
Administrator
Jun 6, 2013
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
for me, it is a lot easier to smear with a good edging shoe than to edge with a good smearing shoe. my favorite shoe for hard slab and thin face climbing is the 5.10 galileo. edges like a mofo and can smear pretty well also (once you get used to doing so with such a stiff shoe).

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By Savanna
Jun 6, 2013
Climbing with Lynn Hill at the New
I love my 5.10 Moccasyms for slab climbing! They smear on anything, and I rarely feel myself slipping. I got them a full size too small, and they've stretched to mold my feet perfectly.
No footholds? No problem.

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By Patrick Mulligan
Jun 6, 2013
The top of the tufa on Magma
Mythos, resoled with Stealth C4.

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By jeep gaskin
Jun 6, 2013
i'm all in with those that favor stiff shoes across the fore foot and flexible heel to toe. at the glass you will also want a shoe with the lowest volume toe box you can stand to wear for 4 hours. cedar doesn't have as many brows but it still has some, enough for a narrow toe box to help. other considerations, as long as the shoe you choose is flat lasted, size them tight. find yourself high stepping out of trouble on doc savage and you'll be glad you did. also make your choice based on what you feel is a precise shoe. looking at 30 footers is no time to feel clumsy. for what it's worth i'll remove rubber from the edge of a shoe with a utility knife until the edge of the shoe corresponds with the most powerful spot on the edge of my foot. climb hard. good luck.

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By Christiney
Jun 6, 2013
Timothy.Klein wrote:
It's funny you should mention this. Locker and I just climbed some slab in near 90 degree heat. He's always telling me that Vibram sucks, and he's probably right. But on this day, I was not slipping as much as him. Sure enough, he told me that on hot days like this, Vibram actually is better at not deforming as much and greasing off. I was just assuming that I was awesome and everybody else sucked. He had to go rain on my parade.


hahh, sorry to rain on your parade :/ Listen to Mark! While on the slab I thought it would not be fair if someone had a stickier, more comfy shoe. The North Carolina climbs guidebook downgraded a route due to the advent of sticky rubber.

I have both 5.10 rubber & vibram, so get both and decide what is best for the day. Maybe one foot Vibram and one foot 5.10! So regardless of rock and temperature you have one good foot.

I keep hearing people say board-lasted shoes for slab. Is that to reduce calf fatigue? I can't imagine it being good for friction.
And other people say get soft slippers to maximize friction - but does this enhance calf fatigue?

I read you should step straight in with your heel down to maximize surface area on the rock, and I saw a picture where the guy's foot is front of foot friction on the slab)



but I found myself with bad technique hobbling up the slab with one foot perpendicular to the slab. What is wrong with that? Other than it looking gimp-footed.

Mythos relaxing on slab tree
Mythos relaxing on slab tree


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Jun 6, 2013
J. Albers wrote:
Yeah, most of the CA slab aficionados I know actually wear Aces or something similar to avoid the ouch of soft shoes.

I've strongly disliked Aces just for that reason. I cut my teeth on slabby stuff at Josh and Suicide, and I always wanted some sensitivity so I know what I'm standing on. When I'm wearing Aces (and I've owned a pair), I felt like I was wearing mt. boots. They made the climbing harder for me.

I like my Mythos, but they aren't great for harder stuff--just too floppy. I have a pair of old Boreal Vectors that were a nice mix of preciseness and sensitivity, but of course they no longer make those.

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By Davis Stevenson
From Flagstaff, Arizona
Jun 6, 2013
Following up a new route out in the Mojave Desert.  Info coming soon maybe?  Fun 5.10 hands and fingers.
ptrgeorge wrote:
5.10 moccasyns my go to slab shoe

+1

Especially when they're a bit worn. Super sensitve.

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By Gargano
From Oakland, CA
Jun 6, 2013
TC Pro. Good friction. Stiffness provides great precision for micro-edging and keying in on little dimples. They excel on all other terrain, so you get it all in one package.

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By Brian
From North Kingstown, RI
Jun 6, 2013
Eiger summit
Mythos. Slab climbing - Just spread your legs and trust the rubber.

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By doak
From boulder, co
Jun 6, 2013
Drinking with Moses
I've been slab climbing for a long time in softish Evolv/5.10 shoes similiar to the Mythos (Defy, Saphires, Diamonds...) and have been happy with the results.

However, last week I was on Green Dragon on Glacier Point Apron trying my TC Pro's for the first time after setting up the rope with my Evolv shoes, and I was really happy with the TC Pros. The micro-edging was superior. And the smearing felt stable over the range of motion, from the initial high step to standing up on the hold. There was very little creap/oozing.

Need more convincing? Check out Beth Rodden on Kauk Slab. V8 slab. I dunno what that would translate to on a climb, the crux 13a pitches on Hall of Mirrors? Sick!
shelby.tv/video/vimeo/32117058...

Speaking of Hall of Mirrors, I couldn't find out what Alex was wearing on the recent 3rd ascent, but that's what I'd go with.

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