Fashion genuine leather

Rock climbing toe shoes

I'll chime in from a fairly unique position with anecdotal evidence only.

I feel like most of the advice you'll get is from experts that talk down to you condescendingly if you even mention the b-word.

I'll describe my scenario and you can interpret it however you wish. I have been wearing minimalist 'barefoot' type shoes casually since probably earlier than 2005 and as time went on I did more and more barefoot, though I am careful not to do damage to my feet (e.g. running barefoot shoed on pavement etc or on sharp rocks/tarmac where glass may be present, running barefooted on grass/sand/dirt only etc.). On top of this, I trained barefoot doing Kung-Fu for a few years. So, needless to say, barefootedness resulted in some strength being developed in my feet.

Because of this, my feet became extremely sensitive (in a good way) to the ground beneath them; I could balance my body using individual muscles in my feet. So when I first tried indoor rock climbing, sure, I tried their shoes, and hated them. Put on my barefoot shoes (0mm cushion 0mm drop, Merrell 'Vapor Glove' FYI) and I just felt better. I then did an outdoor climb on sharp limestone in Greece. Same thing: tried their pro shoes, took them off after one climb because I hated them. Put on my barefoots (this time they were by a brand called 'Cushie', VERY soft!), and loved the feel of them against the rock. Went indoor after that, same story.

My most incredible experience was literally last Saturday. I went climbing at Mt Piddington near Sydney. Again, I had hired a pair of pro shoes. One climb, hated them, had to take them off. Then I did the unspeakable: I actually climbed everything else barefooted. No, actually no shoes at all. You can check out photos of the barefooted climbing here. Why "incredible"? I felt so connected to the rock, I had the most intense exhilaration and adrenaline through my body. I had so much feel and control through my toes and feet. The two downsides is that there are some places you can't place your bare feet (e.g. wedged tight between cracks) and after a few climbs you'll experience a fair bit of pain. But I didn't get any cuts or bruising, and the pain subsided after a couple of days anyhow. Also it's true that 'edging' is a fair bit harder.

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