Mad Rock recommends that you consider multiple factors besides size when picking out climbing shoes, and the information provided here is meant to help guide you in your decision. Below you will find additional information about how to determine which fit is best while looking at the shape of the shoe, shoe construction, which shoe will fit best for the kind of climbing you intend to do, as well as your experience level.
• Once you look at this information, double check the PRODUCT FEATURES and SPECIFICATIONS info for the specific pair of climbing shoes you are interested in, then review Mad Rock's conversion charts above to help determine your ideal size.
Mad Rock's Fit Rule of Thumb for Beginners:
As a general rule of thumb, climbing shoes that are comfortable are too large. Climbing shoes that are painful are too tight, and shoes that are uncomfortable are ideal. And there is no incorrect way to eat an Oreo, just in case you were wondering.
• FIT: When considering your correct fit, use the numerical sizes as a guideline. The level of shoe discomfort you feel goes up with the increase of the climbing level. By wearing a smaller fit, your feet are forced to mold firmly into place, eliminating the risk of "roll" and giving you increased sensitivity and pin-point control while climbing. If the shoe fits you too big, the shoe will roll around your foot and give you weak footing.
The Shape of Last:
You know how there's more than just one breed of dog, and though they are all dogs, they're not all the same? Climbing shoes are like that, too. Not all climbing shoes have the same sole patterns, and that's to accommadate for multiple foot shapes and types of climbing. Some sole patterns are more symetrically displaced towards the big toe than others, and they can be anywhere from flat mildly asymmetrical to pronounced or aggressively turned down.
Mad Rock offers three types of sole patterns: Aggressive, Moderate, and Mild.
• AGGRESSIVE: These are designed for advanced climbers, specifically for steep environments. Between strong foot muscles and a shoe that will help you get in beneath the grip to the grip, this type of sole will get you there.
If you are interested in an aggressive last, look at Mad Rock's Demon and Con-Series climbing shoes.
• MODERATE: The most all-round type that also work great in vertical to slightly overhanging, these are designed for intermediate and advanced climbers. Pronounced cambers are ideal for steep routes, but on mildly overhangng or vertical route the down-pointed form of the foot makes moves like edging and smearing super difficult. The moderate last is a sweet solution to this problem with a performance fit, giving you awesome precision for great edging and smearing ability.
If you are interested in a moderate last, look at Mad Rock's Mugan Tech, Jester, and Con-Series climbing shoes.
• Mild: Mild lasts are designed for beginner and intermediate climbers, particularly suited to easy angled/vertical climbing. When the grade is easier, typically that means the foot holds are bigger, thus removing the need for an aggressive shoe. Which also means that when the route is less steep, you will be standing on your feet. That is why mild lasts are flatter than others and frequently have a stiff midsoele for greater support and more room in the toes.
If you are interested in a mild last, look at Mad Rock's Flash, Phoenix, and OnSight climbing shoes.
* Please note that having a tighter fitting climbing shoe is not a bad thing, particularly when you begin to push your grade limit.