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Best Climbing Holds 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated December 1, 2018
Best Climbing Holds of 2018
The best climbing holds will make your fairytale dreams come true! Before you spend your money on climbing holds, start by familiarizing yourself with the various types. We’ve narrowed down our options based on the customer feedback (read positive reviews), functionality, material and size. In other words, we’ve put all fundamentals into consideration to come up with a comprehensive list that suits various needs. Here, I will review 3 of the best climbing holds of 2018, and we will also discuss the things to consider when looking to purchase one. I hope you will make an informed decision after going through each of them.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this climbing holds win the first place?
The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing!
Why did this climbing holds come in second place?
Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money.
Why did this climbing holds take third place?
I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time.
Climbing Holds Buyer’s Guide
It is suitable for installation on a 1-inch thick board.
Ensures durability with the construction since it uses plastic material.
2Textured Rock Climbing Holds for Kids with Installation Hardware – Climbing Rocks for Your DIY Rock Wall
Climbing Shoe Features
Heel Loop: Small loops at the back of the climbing shoe, used to pull the shoe onto your foot.
Rand: A piece of rubber that runs around the shoe between the sole and the upper. Used to provide extra grip for toe hooks and while your foot is in cracks.
Slingshot / Heel Rand: This is the band of rubber that runs around your heel. Slingshots are used for heel hooking and the shape and tightness of this feature will also affect the overall shape of the climbing shoe
Toe Box: The front of the climbing shoe where your toes live. These have a variety of different shapes including symmetrical, asymmetrical and pointed with each suited to a different type of climbing
Footbed: The inside part of the shoe that your foot rests on.
Midsole: Found between the footbed and the sole of the shoe, the midsole provides stiffening and support for your foot.
Climbing shoe uppers are usually made from leather, lined leather or synthetic materials.
Lined leather offers the durability of leather but with a little less stretch. You might be down to about half a size difference after a lined shoe wears in and better yet, you feet should be the same colour coming out as they were going in.
The rubber that a climbing shoe is made from can also effect your climb. Soft rubber provides greater grip and traction on difficult surfaces while harder rubber gives more support, allowing you to edge and use power more precisely.
Climbing Shoe Fit
No matter what style or model of shoe you go for, climbing shoes should fit properly without damaging your feet. Well fitted climbing shoes are snug without any big gaps or sags as you move your foot. The tongue of the climbing shoe should also sit flat without buckling because this will rub against your foot as you climb, causing discomfort.
Many people will buy climbing shoes that are smaller than their regular shoes, causing their toes to fold at the knuckle and bunch up. This pinched shape makes your toes crimp, creating a strong base to climb from.
Crimped feet can seem uncomfortable at first and you should never buy shoes that cause you pain in this position, but it is a style you might want to explore as your climbing progresses. Still, there are plenty of great climbers out there who climb with their toes flat so it really comes down to personal preference.
There are shoes which have an additional plate in their soles. It distributes the burden on a bigger area and thereby facilitates standing. Although a large part of the feeling is lost. Soft shoes (without plate) mould itself to the steps and are almost glued to the rock. With a bit of experience, you can directly feel whether your foot will hold, however, standing is a bit more exhausting.
The plate distributes the weight and thereby facilitates standing at the expense of feeling
Pre-tensioning and downturn
The most important questions for buying shoes are first:
Requirements: Should the shoe be more comfortable (beginners or long, multipitch route touring) or aggressively tight (very small foot placements, overhangs)?
Pre-tensioning: Are you climbing difficult roofs (with pre-tensioning) or rather vertical/slight overhang (no or slight pre-tensioning)?
Heel area: Is the shoe for bouldering? Then a tighter heel.
The right size
After that, you need to find the correct size. There are a few pointers that can help you:
La Sportiva tend to be very big and often wide. If your usual size is 38, you can easily start at 36.or even 3With Scarpa you can also subtract 1.to sizes. Evolv and Five Ten are pretty close to the normal size of everyday shoes.
Three different foot forms
When looking for a fitting shoe, you should consider that not every climber has the same foot form. There are three different types: If the big toe is the longest, it is called an “Egyptian” foot form, if the second toe is the longest, they are called “Greek feet” and if both are approximately the same, it is called “Roman feet”. It is therefore possible that certain models or manufacturers simply won’t fit you. In those cases, it is better to try on an entirely different shoe, instead of different sizes. Many manufacturers have already put a wealth of information about their shoes on their homepages. On the sites of Red Chili or Rock Pillars you can find very detailed information in which shoe is best for which foot form.
Trying them on
The most important thing when trying on climbing shoes is taking enough time. While wearing them you should especially focus on whether you feel pain in the heel or the toes. Stand on edges (stairs, steps) several times – sometimes just with the tip, sometimes a bit sideways. Walk around a bit – are you in pain? Or is there a lot of air somewhere? Of course, climbing shoes are not “comfortable” in the general meaning – but you shouldn’t faint with pain just from trying them on. Even though most climbing shoes widen a bit, especially in the beginning it isn’t a good idea to buy especially tight fitting shoes. Also, caution when trying them on: The feet widen up to half a size during the day – therefore, the shoes should be tried on during the time of day you intend to use them (which is usually in the evening).
First things first
First of all, you can narrow down your options quite a bit by thinking about the type of climbing you usually do.
From left to right: The Boreal Joker, a comfy, flat shoe; the Red Chili Corona, a great middle ground; The Evolv Talon, a serious downturn for serious overhangs
Foot shape is one of the most important factors to consider when buying climbing shoes. A poorly fitting pair of climbing shoes can totally ruin your day, week or even climbing career. It literally be make-or-break for new climbers; if your first pair of shoes is so badly fitted and uncomfortable, it will put you off heading to the wall or crag. This obviously means less climbing, which in turn means less progression, leading to frustration and giving up altogether.
Here we’ll try to give you some understanding of foot shapes, and give you some examples of climbing shoes that fit these shapes.
From left to right: the Evolv Bandit, a fairly high volume climbing shoe; the Evolv Valor, a mid-volume climbing shoe; the Evolv Geshido, a low volume climbing shoe
Climbing Shoe Width
From left to right: The Boreal Joker Plus, a wide fitting shoe; the La Sportive Katana, a mid-width shoe; the Red Chili Spirit, a narrow climbing shoe
Width is a more commonly understood variable, and a good width-wise fit is more obvious when trying climbing shoes on. Too narrow, and your toes will be pushed into uncomfortable and ineffective positions, too wide and the shoe will roll around your foot when edging. The most obvious place to feel whether the width of a shoe suits you is obviously around the widest part of your foot, at the first knuckle of your toes. If it is too tight here and causes immediate discomfort, you probably need something wider and conversely if there’s any space here you need a narrower climbing shoe.
From left to right: The Five Ten Stonelands have a deep heel cup; the Scarpa Vapour V have an average heel depth; the Evolv Valor has a fairly shallow heel
The heel is probably the trickiest part to get right when choosing new climbing shoes. If the heel is too baggy then the shoe may be inclined to slide off your foot when pressure is applied to the toe. That said, it is very rare to find a perfectly fitting heel, so don’t be put off an otherwise perfect shoe by a small amount of space under your heel. Keep an eye out for too much pressure on your Achilles tendon, as this is a hotspot for blisters and causing immediate discomfort.
From left to right: the Five Ten Blackwing, a super soft climbing shoe; the Evolv Geshido, a semi stuff shoe; the Five Ten Anasazi Lace, which is stiff and supportive
Climbing shoes vary a lot in stiffness, providing different levels of support, sensitivity and smearing ability. A soft climbing shoe will be more sensitive, allowing the climber to feel minute footholds and precisely place their foot, which is great for overhanging routes and problems, but not so helpful on vertical or slabby terrain. For climbing slabs and vertical walls, the best climbing shoes are stiffer to provide support for the toes when edging and using small holds.
From left to right: the Boreal Joker Plus Velcro comes with hard wearing rubber; the Evolv Shaman comes with with rubber that balances friction and durability; the Five Ten Anasazi comes with Stealth rubber, regarded by many as the stickiest around
Tips for Buying Climbing Shoes
The competition for Favorite Volume was fierce this year with new comer Dimension Volumes coming out on top. Based in Montreal, Quebec and run by Kristopher Feeney, a cabinet maker and long-time routesetter, Dimension is perfecting the simplicity of wood volumes with what many are calling the best volume texture on the market.
Many setters think they can make wood volumes at home, but creating quality construction that can withstand the abuse of a commercial environment takes a professional approach that few can mimic in their garage. By using lightweight fiberglass reinforcement on the inside of each panel joint, Dimension has created some of the lightest and strongest volumes money can buy.
But when it comes to wood volumes, texture is everything. Too many of today’s volumes, whether wood or fiberglass, have either a slippery yet bomb-proof texture or a texture that comes off with the first few passes with a pressure washer. According to Dimension’s sales rep, Louie Anderson, “Dimension’s texture mix hits a perfect blend of durability, ability to hold chalk, all without an aggressive texture.”
Atomik Climbing Holds is a manufacturer of high quality rock climbing holds and Ninja Warrior products proudly manufactured by us in Provo, Utah, USA. Shop our selection of unique climbing wall holds today!
This complete DIY tutorial will make it easy to build a home climbing wall. Includes project budget, material list, and step by step photos.
Fit & Construction
Your harness should be comfortable and well fitting. The waist belt should be above the hips and the leg loops secure but comfortable – being able to get your middle finger between the leg loop and your leg, at all points, is a good indication of a solid fit. Initially it should be easy to walk around in and cause no rubbing, discomfort or major restrictions. Make sure the buckles don’t dig in when you are sitting down. A poorly fitting harness can not only be uncomfortable but also potentially dangerous. When sitting in the harness you should be upright, but not leaning forward. If the harness fits correctly around 75% of the load will be taken through the leg loops and 25% through the waist belt.
All harnesses are based on a similar deign: that of a leg loop system (often detachable) attached to an adjustable waist belt. The waist belt construction can range from a simple “Alpine style” webbing and individual double-back buckle – often used as group/hire harnesses due to their simplicity and durability – up to a heftily well padded arrangement with two “auto-locking” buckles. If you are going to be using, and more specifically loading, the harness regularly then you will require a padded harness. This does not necessarily infer that you require an overly padded product; in fact the best comfort levels are often achieved by matching/contouring the padding to the load bearing webbing/tape – with the Arc’teryx harnesses being the ultimate example of this technology. This avoids the digging in, common in some cheaper brands that use great wadges of padding stitched/laminated into the much thinner (by comparison) load bearing webbing.
Not too long ago this was a moot point, due to the fact that pretty much all harnesses used a standard double-back buckle to adjust all points on both waist belt and leg loops. In recent years the introduction of “auto-locking” buckles, used by most major manufacturers on at least some of their products, has given another dimension to the previously simple feature. Both types of buckle are fully safety and CE complaint, however the advantage of the new “auto-locking” style is that, unlike the manually thread double-back system, it is impossible to forget to fully thread it, plus it’s an obvious benefit for climbing in colder climes where fiddling with buckles is an obvious difficulty. That said, despite the fact that the standard buckles are reliant on you remembering to fully do them up, there is something wholesomely solid about a fully secured double-back buckle. As the old saying goes, “you pays your money you takes your choice”. Inset: A Wild Country “Ziplock” buckle, an example of the new auto-locking style buckles.
Care & Maintenance
As your harness is the critical connection between you and all other components of your climbing system – rope, gear, belay etc. – it is important to keep your harness in good condition and when possible, away from harmful elements, such as chemicals and direct sunlight. When in storage keep your harness at room temperature in a dark place and ensure it is dry before being put away. If your harness becomes overly dirty or is exposed to sea water/spray, wash it in lukewarm water with a product such as Nikwax Tech Wash or Beal Rope Cleaner. Dry the harness in a warm (not hot) room away from direct sunlight.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Climbing Holds wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Climbing Holds
- №1 — Atomik Climbing Holds 21 Classic Pack Bolt Ons
- №2 — Atomik Climbing Holds 100 Pack Rock-Like Bolt On – Includes Jugs
- №3 — Atomik Climbing Holds 100 Pack Steep Wall Bolt Ons – Comes with Slopers