I Climbed for the first year or two in a really big, bad fitting, £40 pair of climbing shoes from go outdoors and I did not realise at the time but they were genuinely holding my climbing ability back!
When should You buy new climbing shoes? You should buy new climbing shoes as a beginner as soon as possible, beginner shoes are not really worth it in hindsight. Its also time to buy a new pair of shoes when the rubber wears out, usually on the toe.
Its taken me a good Four years of trial and error to understand the mistakes I was making with new shoes as a beginner climber, So I am really pleased to be able to share these key points with you now!
1. Beginner shoes
I have a lot of respect for those beginner shoes, they really did serve me well.
You know the ‘beginner shoes’ there cheap and never fit that well…
There sensible because it means your not investing £100 in a pair of climbing shoes, because you might find out your not that keen on climbing.
Or if your only planning on climbing a couple times with your mates there is no point getting a ‘Performance’ pair of shoes.
However, once you know you are going to continue climbing for the forseeable future and WANT to get better…
You need to ditch those saggy begginer shoes as soon as possible!
I was using mine all the way up to about 6c+ indoors and I was trying my first 7a.
Climbing shoes have a massive impact on our climbing ability because there a big part of how we interact with the wall.
if your shoes dont fit well there making it harder than it has to be for you to climb!
I really recommend getting a better pair of climbing shoes as soon as possible if any of this resonated with you.
They are worn out
Secondly, you do want to get some new climbing shoes if your current pair have worn out.
‘Worn out’ can mean you have a hole in the rubber or there just generally falling apart!
Once your climbing shoes have a hole in them your ability to stand on small footholds will be negatively impacted.
You will also probably experience a lot of pain as your standing pretty much on your naked toe!
if your climbing shoes look anything like this please just get a new pair!
There are some times shoes with holes are aceptable.
Firstly if the hole isnt on the rubber you stand on but on top of your toe it wont effect your climbing ability and there not worth replacing.
Having a hole on the top of your toe (usually big toe) indicates you likely drag your foot up the wall as you step up.
This is sometimes helpful for balance and staying balanced but its not always beneficisl and will mostly judt indicate bad footwork.
If you notice this i suggest focusing on fixing it when you warmup for climbing, but you dont need to replace your shoes just yet!
Secondly, if all the wear on yor shoes is just at the seams and edges like my pair (see above) theres no need to replace them just yet.
You shouldnt be using the seams of the rubber so even if they are peeling you shouldnt feel like you need to get some new climbing shoes just yet!
Unless you want to 🙂
Best pair of climbing shoes
I wear the Scarpa VS-Rs and the La sportiva Miuras and they cover all my high climbing demands between them.
The VS-Rs got me up my first 8a and numerous HARD boulders, while the Miuras are super comfortable for long days and technical climbing!
If your interested in a new pair of climbing shoes, check out my reviews for these shoes here.