It's all a matter of practice, then. If you spend a lot of time on rock then you'll be able to make better use of cambered shoes, such as the Five Ten V10 ($130; www.fiveten.com), a slip-on "slipper" design with a strongly cambered sole. Great shoes, but ideal for technical climbers with some skills and experience.
Still, there are lots of great rock shoes out there that the occasional climber can use and enjoyand that include Velcro closures. Five Ten, for instance, makes a shoe called the X-Ray ($89), which is a low-top, all-mountain shoe that's perfect for the intermediate climber. A snug fit, but not uncomfortably so, and Velcro closures for easy on and off. La Sportiva's Mythos ($120; www.lasportiva.com) is a low-top lace-up shoe, but still one of the best for all-around climbing.
Check out more essential climbing gear in Outside's 2004 Buyer's Guide.
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.