First of all, we have to talk about your shoes. Some people go climbing and wear regular sneakers. Other people use running sneakers, but both ideas not ideal. Instead, you need to wear a pair of climbing shoes.
Essentially, they’re special shoes that are designed to help you grip the rocks and footholds while climbing. They’re incredibly lightweight, almost moulding themselves to your feet, with a beak-like appearance. That sounds weird, but it’s the best way to describe them. A good pair of climbing shoes have a little curved dip at the front, which helps you cling onto the footholds as you climb.
You can’t use sneakers because they don’t have enough grip and are often a weird shape for a climbing wall. You’ll struggle to get a good base from your feet upwards, which affects your climbing technique.
If this is your first time, then we recommend getting some rental climbing shoes. This way, you get to grips (literally!) with the shoes and see how they work. From here, you can think about getting your own pair, if you’ll be at the climbing gym a lot.
There are plenty of excellent climbing shoes out there, and So iLL creates a brilliant range for people of all abilities. There’s The Street, which is suitable for intermediates, Free Range for more advanced climbers, and The New Zero for more elite-level climbing athletes.
Regardless of your ability, you need to wear a pair of climbing shoes when indoor rock climbing!
Scarpa have a long and distinguished history when it comes to quality craftsmanship. They have been around since 1938 and still remains family owned to this very day. You can read more about their history here
Founded in the foothills of the Dolomite Mountains, in the Asolo / Montebelluna region, an area long known for its quality, handcrafted footwear, SCARPA’s initial mission was to bring together all the best shoemakers in the Asolo area toward the goal of producing the best footwear anywhere. SCARPA stands for Società Calzaturiera Asolana Riunita Pedemontana Anonima, which means Associated Shoe Manufacturing Company of the Asolo Mountain Area.
Friday 18th October, 5-8pm
As a demo night special we are offering 20% off the RRP of All SCARPA climbing shoes in stock!
There is no better way to see how well the latest SCARPA climbing shoes perform than demoing during your regular climbing session. The SCARPA demo team will be on hand to get on hand to offer expert fitting and technical guidance aimed at matching you up with the best shoes for you. With over 150 demo shoes on the night there are plenty to go around, there is no charge to borrow the shoes during the demo however normal entry fees apply.
We will have a full size run of the DRAGO | NEW VAPOR V | FORCE V in both mens and womens styles.
A mistake many new climbers make is that they wear very restrictive pants or trousers. The critical thing to look for in good climbing pants or leggings is that they’re stretchy. You need to have a full range of motion while you climb, so ensure that the material stretches to allow this.
The same goes for shorts; you can wear them, but make sure they’re stretchy enough to provide you with all the range you need. Shorts that are too short can also feel really uncomfortable in the harness.
Climbing pants are actually super interesting because you can get them in all sorts of styles. There are typical leggings, which are tight-fit and stretchy, but you can also get climbing jeans as well.
So iLL sell men’s jeans that are made out of elasticated materials, meaning they are super comfortable and very stretchy. It feels like you’re wearing a pair of leggings, but they look like jeans. So, not only can you wear them to the climbing gym, but you can keep them on when you go out for your post-climbing beers as well!
For women, the best choice is a pair basic gym tights or leggins. Again, the leggings are similar to your typical gym leggings, but with more stretchability and make sure they have a high waist so they stay put whilst climbing.
If you are looking for a great pair of leggins check out the review of the ARC'TERYX ORIEL LEGGING by Sarah Josephson on the SHE WENT WILD blog. Sarah really gave these a good hiding whilst hiking in the Budawangs.
So, you’ve got all your climbing clothing, but what about the accessories? Climbers should have a variety of accessories with them in the gym. Most climbing gyms provide accessories that you can rent, including chalk, chalk bags, and gym brushes.
Chalk is essential for climbers as it keeps your fingers and hands dry, meaning you can grip onto things without slipping. So, you need a good chalk bag to keep your chalk in - so you don’t make an absolute mess on the gym floor!
Gym brushes are used when bouldering, and they basically help prepare the area you’re going to use. You brush down the different foot and handholds, meaning there’s no debris, sweat, or anything else on them.
Along with these accessories, it’s always good to have a gym bag with you. Get one with enough compartments to fit your phone, keys, and wallet inside while you climb. Also, there should be room for your other accessories too.
Speaking of which, So iLL has a full range of accessories that climbers will benefit from. As well as the ones mentioned above, you could also get some skincare accessories to look after your hands. After a few sessions, the skin starts to really harden up and get full of calluses, so the Skin Board accessory can be a real help. Basically, it’s a file for your calluses and nails, keeping everything tidy and avoiding painful blisters.
Nail clippers are also effective at keeping your fingers primed and ready for climbing, while strength trainers can be bought to improve your grip strength. Lastly, your fingers need a rest after all the work they get through, and the So iLL finger massager will help the muscles relax and recover.
On that note, that’s everything you need to wear or bring with you when indoor rock climbing. Get all of your gear together, and you’ll find the climbing experience is even more enjoyable!