No single piece of climbing gear is more influential on your performance than your shoes. Getting the right shoe fit and feel for a given boulder or route is critical to climbing your best!

However, there are dozens of climbing shoes on the market with widely varying designs, looks, and prices. What’s the right shoe for your gym training and outdoor rock climbing? What features should you look for? How tight should you fit your shoes?

Our shoe expert, Michael Genauer from La Sportiva NA, will answer these questions and many more in this episode. Listen and learn how to make your climbing shoes perform better for you!

Reminder: T4C episode #97 provided a look into the science of chalk and optimal chalk use. Combined with today’s podcast #99, these two episodes provide a comprehensive look into the quality of your four points of contact with the rock. If you want to climb better, then you must strive to optimize your purchase with each contact point.


00:20 – Introduction

1:30 – Building on podcast #97, my interview with Kevin Brown about the science of chalk and optimal chalk use.

2:00 – Now we look at the feet! How shoe design, fit, comfort, and price affect footwork and climbing performance.

4:00 – Podcast sponsor PhysiVantage Nutrition. Save 15% off full-priced nutrition with checkout code PODCAST15. 

7:00 – Overview of shoe design, parts, and craftsmanship.

10:00 – Heel structure and performance.

16:10 – Downward pointing and asymmetric shoes for high-performance sport climbing and bouldering. Details on the La Sportiva “PD #”.

18:45 – Entry-level shoes versus high-performance fit.

20:50 – Why outdoor climbers likely need 2 or more different pairs of shoes….for optimal performance on different rock types and climbing styles.

22:00 – Lace-up shoes versus slip-on shoes.

27:15 – Lined versus unlined?

29:10 – How much should you “size down” your climbing shoes (compared to your approach shoe size)?

32:05 – Shoe fit for kid crushers! Tips to optimize performance and reduce risk of toe/foot injury.

33:20 – Shoe rubber, stickiness, and temperature effect on optimal rubber performance.

38:50 – Proper care tips for maintaining your shoe’s performance and extending the life of the shoe…so hopefully you can get a couple of resoles out of each pair of new shoes.

40:20 – When to resole your shoes?

46:10 – Does the country a shoe is manufactured in tell us anything about the quality and performance of a shoe?

52:00 – Closing thoughts, and discussion about La Sportiva’s new retail shoe in Boulder, CO.

Support the TFC podcast sponsor, PhysiVantage Nutrition. Get 15% off full-priced nutrition with checkout code: PODCAST15 (North America only). In Europe and elsewhere visit EPIC-TV Shop or to get your PhysiVantage!

Music by Misty Murphy

SAVE on  La Sportiva shoes here >>

Thank you! La Sportiva, Maxim Ropes, DMM Climbing, Friction Labs

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Copyright 2024 Eric Hörst | Horst Training, LLC.