For a rock climber, rock climbing shoes are the one piece of gear essential to perform at the very best. Unlike hiking boots and running shoes, rock climbing shoes have several unique features that make them ideal for ascending rock.
Rock climbing shoes are built for finding purchase on rock faces with little or no features to stand on.
Rock climbing shoes have a sole made up of sticky rubber designed to use friction to stick to rock faces with minimal features.
The soles of rock climbing shoes usually have firm, sharply defined edges that allow a climber to find purchase on miniscule ledges.
Climbing shoes are meant to adhere very tightly to climbers' feet, restricting toe movement. Many climbers only wear their shoes for 15 minutes or so at a time.
Where to Buy
Climbing shoes can be found online and sporting goods stores. The cost as of August 2009 is from $25 to $125.
Article Written By Billy Brown
Billy Brown is an outdoor sports writer living in Northern California.
An avid rock climber and trail runner, he's been writing about outdoor activities, fitness and gear since 2005. He regularly contributes to "The Record Searchlight," uncooped.com, and Trails.com, as well as other print and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Simpson University and is a NASM-certified personal trainer.