If this is your first pair of climbing shoes ever, you’re in for a treat! If you’re updating your climbing footwear or are purchasing a “second” pair for specific application you’ll realize an instant boost in control and ability - shoe manufacturers are continually designing better and better products and utilizing new high tech materials. Lace up, then read on.

Out of the box, shoes have the shape of the wooden “last” that they were made on. Try them on. Spend time with them. Hang out. It will take several hours (and a couple weeks of climbing) for your new shoes to “conform” to the exact shape of your foot. Wear them indoors to get used to them... if you have any questions whatsoever (or need reassurance) give one of our Sales Guides a call. If together you determine that another size or model would suit you better we can send them to you to compare (billed to your CC, but without any additional shipping charges) as well include a label and instructions for returning your initial pair. Remember, we can only exchange shoes in the new condition that have not been worn outside or climbed in, so wear them indoors and keep ‘em clean until you are happy with the fit.

In addition to being the correct length, you want to wear a shoe that has a similar shape to your foot. For top performance a shoe should fit close, without “dead space”. If this is your first pair of real climbing shoes, you’re going to want them to be comfortable. Beginning climbers don’t need the distraction of pinched toes or painful feet while trying to figure out the moves! Sometimes climbers prefer wearing a light sock for comfort, but this compromises performance to a degree. There is a myth about shoes stretching over time... some unlined slippers do in fact stretch, but most shoes are lined (or made from synthetic “Leather”) to prevent stretch and provide a more comfortable bare foot fit. Generally you can expect the length to remain unchanged, the width to soften and the shoe to take on the shape if your foot after several wearings. If in doubt, go up 1/2 size - this won’t compromise your initial climbing and will greatly contribute to your focus on other matters...and having fun.

For experienced climbers wanting more performance - a snug fit is essential... if you’re climbing micro edges or powering plastic you might feel you can’t get your shoes or slippers too tight! Beware though, cramming your feet into shoes “too small”, then cranking on sub atomic size holds will cause shoes or slippers to break down faster and will not last as long. Not to mention damage to toenails and the possibility of developing hammer toe or bone spurs. Most seasoned climbers will own several pairs of shoes: a comfortable high top for long crack routes and alpine rock, snug fitting low tops for face climbing and skin tight slippers for bouldering, gym work outs and pockety routes. Regardless of style, shoe shape is very
important for advanced climbers - this is why we carry several different manufacturers and models. If you feel the shoe you ordered is not fitting because of its shape - call your Sales Guide who has “feet on” experience with all models we sell - chances are we can match the shape of your foot (fax us the outline of your feet) to a model with the proper shape and performance criteria.

Congratulations, if you made it this far, you've got a couple of favorite shoes, tons of good climbing under your belt and probably are in search of a more technical shoe or slipper. When it's time to boost your footwork's performance and power - give us a call. We can "translate" your fit and sizing needs from brand to brand and model to model - to help you get equipped to up your climbing!

Remember, if you take care of your shoes they will provide good performance and value. How long they last is a function of how much you climb, your technique and the care you give them. Here are some tips to help you get the most from your new shoes:

1. Always air out your shoes after a day’s climbing - don’t leave them crammed into your pack.
2. Store shoes out of direct sunlight and extreme heat (never in the back window or trunk of your car).
3. Keep your shoes clean and dry. If shoes become excessively soiled or muddy they can be scrubbed inside and out with mild soap and water then air dried in the shade (do not use chemicals which can destroy rubber, leather & glue).
4. Brush sole clean (or spit and rub) before bustin’ the moves on the next route. This will give you maximum sticktion.
5. Keep shoes out of the dirt - use a square of carpet or rope tarp as your “launching pad”.
6. When planning for a resole, don’t let the soles or rands wear through before
sending them in. It makes the job more difficult, more costly and in the case of slippers - sometimes not practical. Be sure to order another pair - well in advance - so that you can still climb while your “old favorites” are at the resolers for a week or three! home - rock shoes


All feet differ in size and shape (even left and right)! All rock shoes are built on specific forms (called lasts) providing a unique shape (curve, camber, volume & sole profile) to provide the the best performance in their category. We can help optimize your climbing by confirming your shoe choice (or recommending another) based decades of experience and satisfied customers.