In search of shoes

What a horrible couple of weeks! My Evolv Defys have obliterated. They were getting old. Both pairs. And I’ve been trying not to buy climbing shoes for years because it’s always such a pain in the ass. However, I had to bite the bullet. I tried numerous shoes from numerous manufacturers in numerous sizes before I opted for the Scarpa Helix. I don’t know what manufacturers are doing with climbing shoes these days, but if your foot is slightly wide or your second toe is a bit longer than your big toe, or your heel is slightly narrower than the average human then you are in for a real hard time finding a shoe that works.

The amazing array of designs is staggering. As are the prices (seriously – more expensive than a rope?? WTF!!).

And after trying a gazillion pairs I drifted toward the humble Helix. And WHAT A SHOE!! Not only does it fit me well, it also comes in a wider range of sizes (or should I say sub-sizes). 10 1/3 US please! The shoe is wider at the toes and the soft leather gives just a bit to fit the foot comfortably after a few climbs. The best thing about this humble little shoe is that it seems to work really well as a traditional climbing shoe. It doesn’t perform particularly well in the gym. It has a lack of sensitivity due to a thicker sole, but it performs very very well on rock. It’s not overly expensive compared to other shoes and it’s nice to have laces again!

The Helix has my vote for a good all-round rock shoe. Save your $250 pointy tighty whiteys for the climbing gym and impossible overhanging twenty foot high sport routes. If you want all-day comfort and great performance in grovelling chimneys and off-widths, then look no further.