Climbing shoes can make a huge difference to both your performace and your enjoyment of a day out on the rocks. Sadly the relationship between the two is often inversely proportional – the more performance, the less comfort. The more comfort, the less performance.
Climbing shoes need to be stiff to support your foot, as quite often, the entirety of your bodyweight will be standing on one toe. Too little support from the shoe, and there’s pain, cramp, a loss of grip and a generally fraught experience.
On the other hand, too much support, and you’ll barely be able to walk, you’ll be in pain, your toes will go numb and you’ll have a horrible day out.
It’s a tough balance, and one that doesn’t really encourage buying shoes on the internet. I think I’ve had at least three pairs, sold cheaply in an online sale arrive – only to find they’re not quite right for one reason or another. They become spare shoes, emergency shoes, or shoes you lend to other people (usually beginners) who think they’ll be free soloing el cap this time next week, until they realise that a lifetime of beer, pies and a career in IT has left them with the power to weight ratio of a sponge.
So. The Edelrid Typhoon shoe: It’s a fairly advanced shoe, not intended for beginners. It’s stiff, heavily toe-down (great for overhanging steep rock) and it’s not trying to be comfortable. Having said that, I found that they’re small for their size. I really struggled into them, and I was in active pain when I wore them. So I passed them around amongst the guys at the wall, and it’s not just me. These shoes are small and painful. Nigel, however, has smaller feet than me, and a higher pain threshold.
He’s has had these shoes at the indoor wall, and he’s had them on the actual rock, so i’ll pass you over to Nigel:
The toe of the shoe felt very positive from the very first wear which enabled me to climb with confidence, particularly important whilst slab climbing. The slightly stiff sole was great for edging outside and gave support on pocket and slab climbing.
These Velcro shoes make it easy to slip them on and off as although they are comfortable, after a couple of routes, I had to take them off due to quite a snug fitting toe box. Overall I found them to be a good all round shoe. (NB: Edelrid also have the Typhoon available in a lace version)
- Great rubber
- Strong construction
- Velcro – easy to get out of when the pain becomes too much
- Positive from the start
- Good heel
- Small for the stated size – try before you buy
Certainly contenders for your next pair of shoes if you’re climbing in the 7’s. Trying them on is essential, but if they fit, you’ll love them.