General

Breaking in/stretching climbing shoes

The excitement of unboxing a new pair climbing shoes often nosedives as soon as you put them on.  In some cases, all that is required is a bit of breaking in, so that the shoe gets a little more flexible.  In others, you might have just gone a bit too small, and you need them to stretch to make keeping them on for more than five minutes even bearable.  My Shaman mk.1s were a case of the latter, and I wore them for six weeks without them easing up at all.  I would wear them whilst watching TV to try to hurry up the process.  No joy.  Naturally, I turned to the internet for solutions.

I tried the ‘stuffing them with wet newspaper’ trick.  No budge.  I tried the ‘take a hot shower with them on’ trick.  Nothing.  Then, a friend recommended shoe shapers.

IMG_4369

Shoe shapers, if you’re unfamiliar, are those things your Dad used to put in his favourite pair of brogues to keep them on point.  They are, as it goes, also the perfect solution to ill-fitting climbing shoes.  Just pop them in and leave them in overnight.  Try them the next day, see how they feel.  I left them in my Shaman mk.1s for the best part of a week (longer for the left foot, given that it was tighter) to get the perfect fit.  Predominantly-synthetic shoes, like the Shamans, will still have enough stretch in them for this to work.  Give it a go!

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