Balancing Life and Competition Climbing

In comps, you will inevitably run into variables that you had not planned for that will force you to change your routine. For example, just a few weekends ago, at west coast divisionals, I was up first and only had 20 minutes to warm up. Although not ideal, I was able to limit my warm up to the bare minimum and still feel confident on the wall. Beyond my routine at the physical event, I’ve worked to develop similar eating, sleeping, and training habits. This familiarity and consistency between comps helps me to relax and maintain focus when I’m at the comp.

balancing life + competition climbing.png

Continue reading

Climbing Competitions Are a Lot Like Math Exams

Climbing is inherently a very metaphorical sport. Climbing mountains, overcoming challenges, reaching new heights… it’s all there. The weird thing is that it is in mathematics as well, and it is without a doubt in everything else someone could be passionate about. What exactly is ‘it?’ The process. The highs, the lows, the hard work, the doubt, the ‘almost’s’, the frustrations, the successes, and, most importantly, the failures.

Continue reading

A Quieter Side of Climbing and Managing Headspace

When many people think of climbing, they think of it as mainly a social activity. On the other hand, many people believe that climbing is primarily a physically demanding sport and they don’t often consider the mental challenges it can provide.While both these things are true – (most of the time climbing is done with friends or in a social environment), and I won’t argue the fact that fighting with gravity is pretty physically demanding – there is another side to climbing and fighting with your head can frequently prove more challenging than defying gravity.

Continue reading

3 Steps to a Climbing Lifestyle

Four years I lived in Mt.Laurel, NJ. Climbing, to me, was just a hobby. I would climb three days a week if I felt like it, and would occasionally go climbing outside on the weekends. The closest bouldering was 1.5 hours away in the neighboring state of Pennsylvania. We also had the Gunks three hours away, which hosted world class bouldering and trad climbing, and that was my first real taste of what a climbing area should be. After taking a few trips to the Gunks, I realized I wouldn’t be calling New Jersey home for much longer.

Continue reading

5 Tips to Project Smarter

For the past few years, I have been lucky enough to visit some of the most amazing climbing destinations all over the country. I love visiting new areas, sampling new classics, and experiencing new rock in general. Although it is incredible getting to spend so much time doing what I love, I have found a few ways to make the most out of the time I have at a new area. I have learned some crucial lessons that can make a climbing trip much more productive.

Continue reading

How to Care for Your Climbing Shoes

<p><img src=”” alt=”how to care for your climbing shoes.png” width=”769″ height=”433″></p>
<p>There’s a lot of advice out there — some serious, some not so very — about how tight your climbing shoes should be. (e.g. “Your climbing shoes should fit snugly, but should not cause pain” to “Your climbing shoes should feel a little like you’d imagine foot binding would feel!”) <br><br>Bottom line? Snug is good — painful is bad! You don’t want to end up with any number of nasty foot conditions (bunions, toe deformities, bleeding under the toenails, etc.) because of climbing shoes that are simply too tight! That said, it’s not as common to hear people talk about whether to wear socks or not, and how to avoid ending up with stinky climbing shoes! <br><br>In light of that, we thought it would be useful to discuss how to wear (and care) for your climbing shoes. After all, you spend a lot of money and put a lot of thought into getting the best shoes, so you naturally want them to last.</p>
<h2>Socks or Skin?</h2>
Aside from wearing socks with rented climbing shoes for hygienic reasons, most climbers skip socks when lacing up or strapping on their climbing shoes. Many recommend a light dusting of talcum powder or baking soda to absorb sweat, but you’ll need to be careful not to let it build up. The key is to go light and tap as much of it out as possible before wearing your shoes.<br>
<h2>Caring for Your Climbing Shoes</h2>
It’s true that over time, most climbing shoes will develop a funky odor due to an accumulation of sweat, skin cells, dirt, etc. The question is, what can you do about it? Most climbers have developed their own “techniques” for dealing with odor (powder, sprays, sachets), but is that enough? Here are some “dos and don’ts” for properly caring for your climbing shoes:<br>
<li>Take off your shoes between climbs to let both the shoes and your feet dry.</li>
<li>Wipe out the insoles and linings with a damp cloth after a day of climbing and let your shoes air dry, being careful to avoid direct sunlight, which can damage your shoes.</li>
<li>Spot clean the uppers with a little rubbing alcohol diluted with water. (You can use an old toothbrush for stubborn spots.) Be careful not to soak them, though, since soaking the leather will ultimately cause it to stiffen and break down.</li>
<li>Wipe down the soles with a little rubbing alcohol at the end of the day to remove dust and grime and help restore stickiness.</li>
<li>Remove your shoes from your pack as soon as you get home. Doing so will help prevent mildew and minimize odor.</li>
<li>Use a deodorizing powder (lightly) or spray as needed to minimize odor. Anne-Worley Moelter, who owns a climbing and fitness facility, recommends sticking a couple of dryer sheets into shoes when not in use to keep them smelling fresh. She also recommends using an anti-fungal foot spray to kill germs.</li>
<li>Make sure that the soles of your feet are clean before putting your climbing shoes on!</li>
<li>Consider re-soling if your shoes’ soles wear out before the uppers do (this is pretty common). Resoling will be less expensive than buying new shoes. (Look online for repair shops that resole climbing shoes.)</li>
<li>Wash leather climbing shoes in the washing machine!</li>
<li>Walk around in your shoes when you’re not climbing. Many climbers carry along a small square of carpet or tarp to step on before getting on the rock. Dirt interferes with the effectiveness of your climbing shoes’ all-important sticky soles!</li>
<li>Leave your shoes in your pack for an extended period. The more they’re exposed to air, the less likely they are to develop a rank odor.</li>
<li>Leave your climbing shoes in a hot car. Extreme heat can deform rubber and delaminate rand (the rubber strip above the sole that wraps around the shoe). And consider the fact that heat is actually what cobblers use to remove soles from shoes!</li>
<p><br>Looking to replace your worn climbing shoes, or in the market for your very first pair? Butora has just what you’re looking for! We offer premium climbing shoes for every level of experience.</p>
<p><a href=”” target=”_blank”><span style=”font-size: 16px;”><strong>Click here to shop now!</strong></span></a></p>