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Thread: VFF for rock climbing? page

  1. #1
    denbro01's Avatar
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    VFF for rock climbing?

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    Anyone have any experience with this?

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    gordo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by denbro01 View Post
    Anyone have any experience with this?
    You can do it, but you'll climb several grades below your potential in the cruel shoes. By squeezing your toes tightly together and forcing your foot into a downward curve, climbing shoes greatly strengthen the system. This allows you to do stupid things like put your whole body weight on an edge the size of a nickel. You've got to decide between comfort and impressing others.

    Gordo

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    denbro01's Avatar
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    My feet are finally starting to spread out and get some strenght, I don't want to sacrifice that by jamming them into those crazy small shoes. I'm looking to mostly do indoor and some bouldering. Not trying to go pro...just have some fun!

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    i've done a little light bouldering in my sprints, but i wouldn't do any real climbing in them. people on mountains always ask me if they're good for rock climbing, and i tell them they would be great for climbing if i could support all my weight on one big toe.

  5. #5
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    I've found that rock climbing performance is improved by NOT squeezing your feet into shoes six sizes too small, and by using a more 'beginnerish' shoe with a more supportive sole to compensate. Sizing down creates rigidity by squeezing the foot: I'd rather get rigidity from the shoe.

    Then again, I'm not flashing 5.12, so YMMV.

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    I have a lot of experience with this actually. Climbing barefoot or in VFFs is awesome, but as others have mentioned, you can't do some of the things that you can do in a normal climbing shoe.

    I often use Vibrams during my easier warmups, just for the fun of it -- but I definitely prefer to climb in climbing shoes. I've never found climbing shoes uncomfortable, nor do I think performance climbing necessarily has anything to do with trying to impress people... so despite what gordo said, I certainly don't see it as a matter of "comfort vs impressing people" -- simply a matter of "barefoot experience vs wearing something that allows you to climb your best".

    Anyway, go for it. It's a fun way to mix things up! Climbing is all about enjoying the experience. Climb in whatever shoes you have the most fun in!

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    ciep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by denbro01 View Post
    My feet are finally starting to spread out and get some strenght, I don't want to sacrifice that by jamming them into those crazy small shoes. I'm looking to mostly do indoor and some bouldering. Not trying to go pro...just have some fun!
    Definitely don't "jam them into crazy small shoes". That's just silly.

    Wear shoes that are comfortable. My street size is 11, my climbing shoes are size 9. This difference makes them nice and tight, with no dead space, in a way that is very comfortable for me. I could squeeze my feet into size 8.5s or even 8s, but that would hurt, so I don't.

    Everyone is different. I have friends who size down 3 sizes, and some who don't size down at all. Just try some on and do what feels right for you. If you want a suggestion for a great beginner shoe then I say check out the Evolv Defy. It's an extremely comfortable shoe (even when sized way down), at a great price.

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    I hate climbing shoes - if they were comfortable I'd have done a lot more climbing in the past. Something to consider!

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    Oh, one last thing (sorry)... VFFs are extremely likely to be damaged while climbing. With VFFs you'll be pretty much restricted to using the soles of your feet (where the durable rubber is). Toe hooking will lead to tears in the mesh upper very quickly, as will other techniques (like flagging with the sides of your feet).

    Worth considering since Vibrams are so pricey.

  10. #10
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    Definitely two opposite ends of the spectrum. most of the important stuff has been covered already. The VFF rubber is also not nearly as sticky as climbing rubber. I don't think cramming into climbing shoes for sport routes will do any real damage, especially if you wear VFF's a good bit otherwise.

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