Q:

Where can I find children’s climbing shoes?

I seem to remember climbing shoes for kids being available years ago, but now that I actually have a kid I can't find them. Does anyone still make climbing shoes for children? J Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada

Apr 3, 2007
Outside
Outside Magazine
La Sportiva Fuego Climbing Shoe

La Sportiva Fuego Climbing Shoe

A:

Climbing shoes? As in, rock-climbing shoes? Or more all-around youngster-sized hiking/mountain boots?

If the former, there are several. La Sportiva’s Fuego ($60; sportiva.com) is a pint-sized version of its grown-up rock shoes, with sticky rubber soles and slip-last design for a snug but comfortable fit. Velcro straps make the on-off part easy. For a bit less cash, Mad Rock’s Mad Monkey (madrockclimbing.com) has the close fit and grippy soles of adult shoes for a mere $39. That’s not bad, although I realize you’ll get probably one season of use out of them, given the nature of growing feet.

For more of a hiking shoe, Hi-Tec’s Tormenta ($35; rei.com) is a reliable choice, with decent support for young ankles and a sturdy midsole for support. It’s not a good wet-weather shoe, however, with too much stitching and nylon. Merrell’s Summitt III ($60; merrell.com) is a down-sized version of an adult hiking boot, with full-grain leather uppers and a waterproof bootie. They’ll need some break-in, though.

As for a “mountaineering" boot for a child, well, I don’t think you’re going to find much. You’ll need to wait until he/she grows up to be a size seven or so, and can fit into something such as the Raichle All-Degree Lite GTX ($175; rei.com).

The Gear Guy reports from 2007 Winter Outdoor Retailer, the bi-annual gearapalooza in Salt Lake City. Check out his top picks for gear to watch in 2007.

Filed To: Rock Climbing, Footwear

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