A climbing shoe or kletterschuh is a piece of foot wear designed for rock climbing. Typical climbing shoes have a close fit, little if any padding, and a smooth, sticky rubber sole with an extended rubber rand. Most climbing shoes are very specialized, and are unsuited to walking and hiking, so climbers carry them to the base of the rock.
Rock climbing is an offshoot of mountaineering, and early rock climbers used heavy-soled boots designed for alpineering or hiking. Modern shoes use carefully crafted multi-piece patterns to conform very closely to the wearer's feet. Leather is still the most common upper material, but lately many companies have begun using other materials such as fabric and synthetic leather. Advances in material science have resulted in a variety of sticky rubber compounds developed specifically for rock-climbing. Climbing rubber is becoming increasingly popular on non-climbing shoes. Approach shoes are hybrids between light-weight hiking shoes and climbing shoes. They are comfortable enough to wear for long distances, but many are also suited to class 5 climbing. Many kinds of river shoes also use sticky rubber due to its ability to retain traction even on wet rocks. Specialty shoes for use with flat pedals for Mountain Biking are now being manufactured with sticky climbing rubber.
The rubber is often attached to the leather using Barge Cement. This cement has the ability to bond to both rubber and leather very well.
Climbing shoes fit closely to support the foot. Most climbers do not wear socks inside their climbing shoes for a more precise fit.
Only shoes designed for Performance are downturned. Downturned is when the toe box is bent downwards. This increases the ability to stand on small holds and pockets. Disadvantages are that downturned shoes tend to be less comfortable than regular models and are not as optimal for smearing.
Patent No. D611,231 Issued on March 9, Assigned to Calzaturificio S.C.A.R.P.A. S.p.A., Ornamental Design for Sports Climbing Shoe (Italian Inventor)
Mar 10, 2010; ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 11 -- Davide Parisotto, Asolo, Italy, has developed an ornamental design for a sports climbing shoe. The...