Maybe a bit of a weird question - I grew up climbing barefoot. Climbing in shoes just seems strange to me, and impractical as well, I use my toes a lot :P I just recently decided to start climbing again, and suddenly it occurred to me that this practise might be frowned upon - what is the policy at the indoor climbing venues in Amsterdam? And what do YOU all think about it? I know that the Dutch can be weird about bare feet...I still remember my first summer in Holland, walking to the supermarket in my bare feet, and 2 people offering to buy me shoes along the way :)
I think there are enough hygiene issues involved in indoor climbing without wanting to put my hands where someone's bare sweaty feet have been!
The few times I've seen someone try to climb barefoot in a hall, staff have stopped it.
When you get onto higher grades, climbing in bare feet is simply impractical. Your toes won't give you either the support or the stickiness you need for smaller footholds. That said, I once saw someone lead a route outside in bare feet, but it was only a 4.
And bare sweaty feet are different from bare sweaty hands...how?
If we're going to talk hygiene, I can mention much nastier places where people put their hands than their feet!
But thanks, you've answered my question :)
I guess I'll just have to get used to the shoes.
I used to climb outside...I've never climbed indoors. And while I was never graded, I'm guessing that I was climbing at around level 8 at my best. You can use your toes to grip on an overhang, but not when you're wearing shoes :)
Doing French 8th grade routes in the early nineties meant you were world elite and if you did them bare footed you could have given Wolfgang Gullich and Ben Moon a run for their money :-)
Even French superstar (back then) Patrick Edlinger did only 7a in the eighties on bare foots http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4tzXZXyBTM#t=4m15. Ah well, his excuse was he had to do it solo :-))
But seriously, barefoot climbing indoors is not appreciated and therefore most climbing gyms don't allow it.
I can imagine that if you grew up without using shoes you will have seriously strong feet. But even then, hard routes cannot be done without good climbing shoes.
Oops. I was in a rush when I typed that reply - the 8 was supposed to be a 7. And with that said, I actually hadn't realised that there were different types of grading..that's how clueless I am to the grading system, I always climbed alone. The person who said that the routes I'd climbed were grade 7 was a South African climber, so I suppose he was using the South African system. I'm nowhere near an elite climber - that was all many years ago.
I promise I won't ever expose any of you to my bare feet :)
Thanks Daniel, handy indeed.
I understand the hygiene issue.
I'm definitely going to give it a try with shoes, although I'm sure it will feel weird at first...
imagine if you had to climb wearing gloves!
I'll see you this evening, looking forward to meeting you :)
Hi Johnny, If there is such a thing as sticky, supportive climbing gloves, I would love to have them! When I wash my hands after climbing, they feel all scratched up....like having loads of little paper cuts. And some of the holds still feel rough to me.
And well....my hands are not so pretty and soft anymore. :-(