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Petey
Nov 25, 2005

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but the Patriots secondary happeneth to them all.

- Ecclesiastes

I recently started climbing at the local gym regularly again after almost six years of rare visits. I've updated some of my gear (new harness, new ATC, etc), but I think I need some new shoes.

My other shoes are probably eight years old and, truth be told, have never had a grip I could trust and, more importantly, have never fit me well. I have atypical feet (very narrow heels, very wide soles, completely flat feet). I'd like to buy new shoes.

What's the best way to buy new shoes? My climbing buddy told me he just orders anything promising off Zappos and then returns the rest. Anyone else have other ideas, trusted brands, state of the art suggestions, etc?

88h88 posted:

I know my technique sucks pretty bad, I've been watching others climb and getting advice but still struggle on occasion. Fun as hell though.

I struggle with technique a lot. I have a much more powerful upper body than lower body, and I tend to instinctively enjoy big, dynamic, campusy power moves. My favorite climbs are big, jungle-gym boulder overhangs. The problem is that this makes me have terrible technique on most sport routes.

One way I've been dealing with this is by asking the local gym rats to direct me to routes that are the opposite of my instinct: that require a lot of footwork, that lack big jugs, that can only be solved through weird, stemmy movements upward where you are forced to move your feet up high to reach more handholds. I've found that it's really improved my spatial understanding of the wall by forcing me to think differently and further develop my weaknesses.

If your technique sucks, try finding routes that work on your weaknesses and take away your strengths!

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Petey
Nov 25, 2005

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but the Patriots secondary happeneth to them all.

- Ecclesiastes

Blog Free or Die posted:

Does your gym not sell shoes? I got my first few pairs at mine; they were a little more expensive than online (even with 10% member discount), but it's great to be able to try different sizes/models on and then immediately attack some boulder problems with them.

You could even act like they don't fit and then order them online

It does. Thought about this too.

Petey
Nov 25, 2005

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but the Patriots secondary happeneth to them all.

- Ecclesiastes

Got the black diamond harness / atc / biner / chalk kit *and* a 10 visit punch card to my local gym for Christmas: http://amzn.to/Vv3t3B

Going to try on some shoes at my local gym and go from there.

e: actually, I figured I'd post some more info on my current shoes; if anyone has any guidance, then that would be great, and if not, at least my post might be helpful.

I have Bufo Weapons. I ordered them through a friend in 2006 ("hey, we're getting a group discount on climbing shoes. want it?" "sure!") and have been using them since. They don't appear to be widely distributed. The only review I could find was on http://www.worldclimb.com/profiles_index/2916.php:

quote:

I've probably worn 200 rock shoes over the past decade, but good shoes for under a hundred bucks have proven a rare commodity. The Bufo Weapon, is proudly in the minority. With two young children at home, my climbing trips have become less frequent, as evidenced by my puny forearms and jerky footwork. The bright side is that my rusty condition makes me the ideal shoe tester -- I must rely entirely on leather and rubber to get me up the stone. The Weapon gave me just the leg up I need. A low-cut sport shoe with a moderately stiff midsole, slightly asymmetrical last and firm yet sticky rubber, it climbs well beyond its pricetag. A slightly pointed toe wriggles into mono pods, yet yields enough front-point power and precision to press off the smallest chip. The generous sticky rand and heel can grip aretes with the best of 'em. Comfort and fit-wise, the Weapon feels more like an all-around shoe than foot-crushing sport wear. A great relief for feet -- and pocket-books -- alike.











It's hard for me to say whether these shoes are good or bad since it's been so long since I've climbed in anything else. With that said, here are some of the reasons I am considering other shoes:

* I think they are too small in several dimensions. I have duck feet (narrow heel, wide sole, zero arch) and these shoes seem to kind of pinch them together in an uncomfortable way, not only horizontally but vertically. If I try to stand on my toe on the wall, the *top* of the shoe pushes down on my big toenail very intensely, making it too painful to really stand on my toes in places.

* They seem to not have that great of a grip. Which is weird, because the Bufo reviews are pretty good for rubber, but I have trouble trusting my feet precisely because these shoes seem to slip quite easily. They don't seem to stick to the rock the way other folks' seem to. Is being stored in cold weather bad for rubber? I usually keep my gear in my trunk.

* The laces are great for cinching up tight, but wag around and get in the way, so I'd be interested in trying a velcro shoe of some kind.

I will be climbing almost entirely within rock gyms and love to boulder if that helps.

Petey fucked around with this message at 19:00 on Dec 25, 2012

Petey
Nov 25, 2005

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but the Patriots secondary happeneth to them all.

- Ecclesiastes

Papercut posted:

I think the 2nd best exercise for climbing is yoga. Flexibility, balance, the body awareness to be able to move in very controlled ways, plus major shoulder and core strength are all huge for climbing.

My gym includes free yoga designed for climbing. It's awesome.

Petey
Nov 25, 2005

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but the Patriots secondary happeneth to them all.

- Ecclesiastes

Just had my first nice flapper in a long time today:



Trimmed off the skin. It doesn't seem to be that deep - didn't hurt when I washed it out, just a little sore when I bend my finger. What's a good rule of thumb to let it heal before I boulder around again? Or do I just tape it?

Petey
Nov 25, 2005

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but the Patriots secondary happeneth to them all.

- Ecclesiastes

That's one benefit to my bufos: not only do my feet never get sweaty in them (whereas after 15 minutes in evolv's they are soaking wet), but they somehow don't stink either.

Petey
Nov 25, 2005

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but the Patriots secondary happeneth to them all.

- Ecclesiastes

Speleothing posted:

Leather vs synthetic. Simple enough.

Which is which in this scenario?

Petey
Nov 25, 2005

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but the Patriots secondary happeneth to them all.

- Ecclesiastes

Cybor Tap posted:

It's so good to hear that you " get it". That's something that the lot of us who have been climbing for years now knew from day one. I like to tell my students that some will get the "itch". You HAVE to finish that one problem you tried. You'll go over the moves in your head time and again. You'll know each rock in a problem and be able to visualize exactly which hand goes where and which foot steps in which direction for every move.

As someone who's been climbing off and on but is back "on" at the moment this is the thing that is both the most difficult and most rewarding thing. I have pretty good upper body strength so whenever I start climbing my instinct is to just do the biggest juggiest campusiest moves on any given wall. Then, as you move onto actually challenging routes that push you out of your comfort zone, you realize it's really a puzzle, and you have to know every move, and so them slowly, and do them exactly right.

Normally I hate puzzles. Bouldering is about the only domain in which that is not true.

Petey
Nov 25, 2005

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but the Patriots secondary happeneth to them all.

- Ecclesiastes

I've been bouldering twice a week for the last few weeks and have been ramping up from V0s to V3s. However, just today I noticed my first tendon pain: while gripping something (at home) with my right hand such that my hand hinged shut with pressure on my fingers, my middle finger's right knuckle flared up with a throbbing soreness. I don't notice it generally, but if I either extend or close that finger all the way, the knuckle is definitely sore "inside," which I understand to be characteristic of tendon aggravation.

What do I do? I want to take the most cautious, best-healing approach, whether that constitutes time away from bouldering (or rocks in general), some kind of treatment / assistance, or some combination of the two. What does taping do for instance? Should I use it?

armorer posted:

As a general rule you should learn to differentiate tendon pain from muscle pain. If you have an ache / twinge / whatever and it is in an area generally devoid of muscles (elbow, wrist, finger joint) then you should pay attention to it. Don't just pop some Aleve and climb on it anyway, it will only get worse. That said you don't necessarily have to stop climbing if you develop a pain like that. A lot of the time you can just climb different routes for a while until it fades. If you are climbing a lot of crimps and develop a nagging pain in one of your digits, go climb overhung stuff for a week of two instead. That type of variation should give it time to sort itself out.

I'll note that none of my stuff was particularly crimpy (I don't have that strength yet), so I'm a bit concerned because I'm not sure if that means (per this post) that it shouldn't have developed. I'm not sure if I ramped up too aggressively.

Also: I saw some earlier references to "warming up tendons." Is that actually a thing? If so, how do you do it, and how do you know when it's done?

Petey fucked around with this message at 16:40 on Mar 9, 2013

Petey
Nov 25, 2005

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but the Patriots secondary happeneth to them all.

- Ecclesiastes

Thanks all. I don't want to stop - I had finally been able to crush a few projects! - but maybe I'll take this as an opportunity to rest, life some weights, continue with yoga, etc for a few days.

Petey
Nov 25, 2005

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but the Patriots secondary happeneth to them all.

- Ecclesiastes

Stangg posted:

It keeps popping and sending shooting pains up my leg when I try and walk.

I am not a doctor but this sounds like a good reason to go see someone who is!!

Petey
Nov 25, 2005

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but the Patriots secondary happeneth to them all.

- Ecclesiastes

Pander posted:

How do you climb cracks without swearing to god that your wrists will just SNAP and your radius will soon be sticking out of your arm flesh if you miss a move?

I get terrified of losing my balance and breaking my arm/hand/wrist/ankle/whatever if I have it jammed in a crack

Just close your eyes, relax, and try not to think of Kevin Ware.

Petey
Nov 25, 2005

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but the Patriots secondary happeneth to them all.

- Ecclesiastes

1) What's the best way to clean the bottoms of climbing shoes?

2) Anyone in the Boston area been to either the new Watertown or Somerville gyms yet? I've been loyal to Metrorock, but one of the new ones is less than a mile from my house...

spandexcajun posted:

For content, I was in St. George, Utah visiting relatives a few weeks ago. I have driven though Zion national park a few years ago and wanted to go back so... I hired a guide and took my son and myself canyoneering! It was awesome, we technically were not in Zion as the park does not allow guided trips (sounds dumb, but whatever). We did two canyons, a total of like 10 repels and a bunch of downclimbing and slot squeezing. It was amazing, like nothing else like I have done on rock. Our guide even put up a top rope for us, we did not have shoes but climbed a few easy, fun routes nonetheless.

This is the only pic I have handy, my son got better ones:



I would love to go out and do more someday, those guys do some crazy stuff. Any canyoneers in this thread?

I was in Europe last week and came across a place that does this in the Pyrenees. Looked awesome but couldn't fit it into my schedule. Good to know they have something here in the states!

Petey fucked around with this message at 02:58 on Jul 9, 2013

Petey
Nov 25, 2005

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but the Patriots secondary happeneth to them all.

- Ecclesiastes

armorer posted:

I am kind of confused by this question, because they are generally just a flat slab of rubber. I've never actually had to clean (or even contemplated cleaning) the bottoms of my climbing shoes.

Mine - which are 6 years old at this point - seem to be permanently dusty / chalkdusty to the point where the traction seems to be suffering. However, if this isn't a straightforward question, then there may well be something wrong with my shoes as opposed to them being dirty / dusty / etc.

dewer posted:

The new watertown gym is awesome. Really nice, much less crowded than metro. Better bouldering and lead.

Great, thanks. I'm going to go check it out as soon as I can. I'm pretty sentimentally attached to Metrorock (and my climbing buds and yoga instructors), and I just reupped my 6 month membership two weeks ago, but it will be pretty hard to forego a really nice gym a mile from my house, especially if I can use their lifting facility to replace my gym membership as well.

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Petey
Nov 25, 2005

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but the Patriots secondary happeneth to them all.

- Ecclesiastes

Year of the Monkey posted:

You have a pair of shoes that have lasted you six years?! Have they been re-soled during that time? I go through at least a sole a year! I know I'm a bumbly but I didn't think I was being that careless. How long do shoes last for everyone else?

Re cleaning them: I just use soap and water where appropriate. It's pretty understandable if you're climbing outdoors a lot.

They're 6 years old, but I took a several year hiatus in there; I got them in 2006 (when I was climbing regularly) and then didn't climb much between 2007-2012. I'm only asking because the point of failure for me seems to be my feet as often as not, and it's not because I'm not trusting them.

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