View Full Version : Bouldering

03-31-2007, 04:11 PM
Looking at Mad Rock Phoenix rock shoes. (I got wide toes, and want the wide toe-box). Back in the old days I went barefoot or just wore sneakers. http://www.rei.com/product/746020

Tried to convince REI to let me boulder on the bottom of the Pinnacle, but not sure they'll let me. Gotta go back on Monday when it's not busy and have a chat with the store manager. (Umm, yeah, I wanna stay within 2 feet of the ground, can I do that without being on belay? Hmm? Pretty please? And then I wanna buy a pair of shoes, ok?)

Haven't bouldered in about 15 years. Anybody else?

03-31-2007, 06:38 PM
What's bouldering??

03-31-2007, 07:41 PM
It's when people throw large rocks to see how far they can make them go.

Just kidding. It's a type of climbing where instead of going up you stay closer to the ground. Sometimes you just climb short routes or sometimes you do more lateral climbing. It's a great workout and you don't need to use ropes so you can get a lot of climbing in, in a shorter time.

Knott - They should let you boulder all you like if you're testing out shoes. Maybe they even have a pair that you can rent and you could take them to a climbing gym. There must be a million gyms in Seattle.

I miss climbing. I should start again. Maybe after IM. Believe it or not, I have a bouldering wall right outside of my apartment and I almost never use it.:(

03-31-2007, 08:52 PM
There's a great park at the "end" of the bike trail (along which is located RedHook Brewery!). It has a velodrome AND an outdoor climbing wall with multiple faces, lots of bouldering room.

I'm thinking a nice weekly ride to Marymoor park, a little bouldering, and a nice ride back.

And maybe a stop at RedHook....

04-01-2007, 07:21 AM
Bouldering was my husband's favorite sport until he fell at the climbing gym and sheared off his tibial plateau. He was using a spotter, too, but it didn't matter. He didn't fall far, and he landed on a pad, but he landed exactly the right way to do the most damage.

That was mostly bad luck -- the bone broke off right where he had a screw in the leg from his ACL surgery two years earlier; if it hadn't been for that weakness he probably would have shaken it off and walked away -- but he won't climb without a harness anymore. (And he really can't, he lost so much range of motion after the leg was put back together that he's just not as agile a climber as he was.) He still plans to get our kid-to-be into climbing classes, though, and says he'll encourage her to try bouldering when she's old enough (but still young enough to have those elastic youthful bones).

Unless she inherits my fear of heights ... I freak out on the kiddie wall! I will probably stay home when he takes her to the gym just because I don't want to communicate my neurosis to her.

uk elephant
04-01-2007, 09:41 AM
I love climbing and bouldering, but haven't done any in ages. I've made the mistake of living in totally flat places for the past 6 years with little access to climbing walls. And my brother keeps taunting me with all his climbing. He is out in Hell most week-ends and afternoons bouldering and climbing and is off to the Norwegian national championships next week-end to compete.

As for testing out shoes, I'm sure REI would let you give it a try although they may keep an eye on you so you stay below the height limit.

Hmmm....wonder where my shoes are now....somewhere in the loft. Maybe when I've finished my thesis and finished training for ALC I'll have time to dig them out and get back into a bit of climbing.

04-01-2007, 02:40 PM
My latest "heads up" regarding bouldering shoes: wrestling shoes!

Wrestling season is over, so the wrestling shoes are on clearance. (I can't find any in my size, bummer.) One boulderer said he got some for $18.

I'm thinking I'll just go barefoot like I did umpteen years ago and climb on some outdoor walls. If I feel the love, *then* I'll go buy some shoes. Meanwhile I'll scour the internet for cheap off-season wrestling shoes, just in case...:D

Edit: BTW, the Mad Rock Phoenix shoes didn't fit my wide toes AT ALL. None of the women's shoes fit me either. La Sportiva Cliff fit me nicely. Of course, they cost more than the Phoenix... poo.

04-01-2007, 06:29 PM
I have a wide toe box and have found very few velcros that fit me. i'm much more lucky with lace-ups, but I do like the versatility of a velcro. I have the 5.10 Ascent which is marketed as an 'all-day' trad type shoe, but I use it for everything. it's a bit soft at times for doing really technical climbing on tiny edges, but it works for most everything I can get on anyway.

I don't know about the wrestling shoes, though... the sticky rubber on climbing shoes really makes a difference. i climbed in some Mad Rock rental shoes which were super cheap and the rubber felt like climbing on glass, it was that slick-feeling. Also, particularly with bouldering, and once you get onto harder problems that are more overhanging and technical, you may find you want a shoe with more of a downturned toe. But then, these tend to be less comfortable, so it's hard to find a good compromise between comfort and aggresiveness.


04-01-2007, 06:31 PM
Could you try the shoes on the indoor wall at REI, or maybe purchase them, try them out at a local gym and if they dont perform the way you want you could retrun them. A few climbs should't change the sole that much. I have mythos, marathons and just got a new pair of 5 10s for alpine climbs

04-01-2007, 06:46 PM
That's what I gotta talk to the store manager about. (now, years ago this wouldn't've been an issue... ah, how things change...) I really think I'll just putter around barefoot like I used to, then see about buying shoes. The ones I liked best were the La Sportiva Cliff, though I'd like to try the 5.10 Spire. The Spire is what my REI rents out on the climbing wall, but they didn't have any in my size on the shelf that I could try on.

Tomorrow is my first day "off" on my new 4x10 shift clinic schedule. Gotta million things to do, REI might end up low on the totem pole.

And I agree; my feet don't do well with velcro. I end up with wads of leather here and there and strangled toes. I like the full-laceups, too.

Slippery soles: do folks still use wire brushes to freshen up their rock shoe soles? Or is that something from long ago that no-one does anymore?

04-02-2007, 03:20 PM
I know they will not be as high performance but I deffinately would not size them down too small. I have a pair of Mythos that I climbed in several years ago and I had sized them 3.5 sizes smaller. Granted they do stretch out and they are very sensitve to climb in however, I have mortons neuroma which made it far worse has the toe box is quite snug. I have spent a lot of time at Neptunes and talking with the climber there and a lot of the "older" guys climb in shoes that are comfortable...as in they don't have to stretch them out. I think I agree with them. I know this isn't exactly about bouldering but just thought I would give you my 2cents. my current shoes (I have 3 pair for various types of climbing) range from 1 to 1.5 smaller.

04-02-2007, 03:48 PM
I have a neuroma, too, so I really want a comfortable toe box. I wish the kids Mad Monkey was made in adult sizes! It has a natural toe box, which would not only make my neuroma happy, it would also let me use all my toes like being barefoot.

I didn't get to REI today, nor did I get to the free outdoor climbing wall. Maybe next week...

04-02-2007, 07:08 PM
I have had the most success with my mythos, the stretch a lot in width but not in length. They now make a women's version, but the mens would be wider. I haven't done too much bouldering, I have done a lot of alpine/trad climbing with DH. I need to do more bouldering to build up strength and power. Good luck on the hunt for the shoes...

04-02-2007, 08:20 PM
if you find a pair of 5.10s you could have someone in socal go to the 5.10 outlet store for you....

ohhhhh...*drooooool* just thinking about it makes me miss socal...jtree, red rocks is close, yosemite is close...

sorry, that didn't contribute anything...but you got me missing climbing!

good luck though!