Tag Archives: climbing equipment

Gear Review: Best Shoes for Zion Crack Climbing

Being a crusty trad climber is quite romantic. There is something sexy about scars on the back of your hands, the frayed and mungy gear, and, of course, the nuts. Few climbers are willing to endure a hanging belay. I can’t explain why one would twist their fingers into tiny cracks or grind and thrutch their way up 6-inch offwidth cracks. Trad climbing can be torturous, but I love it. I do not judge climbers on their preferred discipline for moving over rock, but I find trad climbing, especially long multi-pitch routes, provides the most intimate climbing experience. Like most intimate experiences, one must use some sort of protection and my series of gear reviews aims to help you practice safe trad climbing in Zion. Being a big wall climber here requires a fairly high pain tolerance, and in this installment I will discuss protection for an often abused and mutilated appendage, the foot. The best climbing shoe is one with a comfortable fit, a stiff sole, and protection for the techniques specific to crack climbing. Shoe construction falls into two main categories: slip lasted and board lasted. The “last” is the form on which the shoe is built. A … Continue reading

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