“My foot slipped,” you say, as you rationalize falling off once again.
The truth is, it’s too easy to blame the “slipperiness” of your climbing shoes, when it’s far more likely that it’s an issue with technique. No-one likes admitting that they suck – even beginners.
It’s funny, even as a beginner there’s a tendency to lay the blame on anything other than technique, because it just seems impossible to grip through where you just slipped. Really though, all that means is that proper technique makes such an incredible difference that it can make “impossible” climbs look easy.
When even looking at harder routes as a beginner, say, in a bouldering place, it looks downright impossible for anyone to be able to do, no matter the skill level. Then, that thought gets absolutely demolished when a skilled climber comes along and breezes through it as a warm up.
Technique really does seem like some kind of elusive “grip magic” when you’re starting out.
However, having said all this, if your shoes really do suck, then it is entirely possible that they’re making it harder for you than it needs to be.
If you’re just using some knockoff mystery brand of climbing shoes then it’ll just make it much harder to get acclimatized to good footwork.
However, if you’re using literally any shoes by La Sportiva, then your footwork clearly just sucks. You can’t use your shoes as an excuse. Even in a less beginner friendly pair of top class shoes that have an aggressive downward curve to them like the Solution will still perform perfectly. You’ll just be complaining about your feet hurting rather than your feet slipping.p
Anyway, if you have good climbing shoes and you’re simply looking for a technique that’ll make the biggest difference to your footwork, then check out this post here.
Otherwise, if you want some top tier climbing shoes that are worthy for all-day wear, then the TC Pros are unparalleled. It’s a favorite of pro climbers, but unlike practically every other high performance shoe out there, it’s easily comfortable enough for beginners because of the neutral, relaxed shape.
I reviewed them here in my post about them being most durable climbing shoes that pros use.
Also, if you’re looking for a budget option that’s still miles ahead of your average climbing shoe, then the La Sportiva Finale are the best choice. Here’s the men’s version, and here’s the women’s version. They’re similar to the TC Pro in that they focus on having a comfortable fit and stiffer sole than most climbing shoes.
The main difference is that they’re not as padded as the TC Pros, so they’re not as soft on the inside. Bear in mind that they’re still way more comfortable than pretty much any other beginner shoe out there. The lack of padding would be more of an issue if you’re doing really tough climbs on rough walls that beat up your feet.
Things like crack climbing are notorious for that, but if you’re a beginner you’re not going to do that kind of climbing for a long time.
As a beginner, you’re not going to be able to climb all day anyway, so the padding of the TC Pro climbing shoes aren’t that necessary. It’s just nice, and it makes them extra comfortable. The Finale is going to be easily good enough for a beginner or intermediate climber.
I mean, they’re even good enough for advanced climbers. You’ll see how most climbing shoes are such a step down in quality over La Sportiva’s shoes once you’ve tried them. There’s a good reason why they’re literally the go-to shoes for pros.