The two companies collaborated on a pair of climbing shoes and a pair of street shoes, proceeds of which go directly to building climbing walls in Boys and Girls clubs around the country and purchasing day passes for Boys and Girls club members to visit local climbing gyms.
The world knows Kevin Jorgeson for free climbing the Dawn Wall on Yosemite’s El Capitan with Tommy Caldwell in 2015. But Jorgeson’s goal to help kids get into climbing stretches back before the pair attracted a media storm with their ground-up ascent of the Valley’s hardest big wall climb. In 2010, Jorgeson built a climbing wall in a Boys and Girls club in Sonoma, California. Wanting to do more, he partnered with So iLL founder Daniel Chancellor, to form 1Climb. In 2017, the organization erected a climbing wall at a Boys and Girls Club in St. Louis, Missouri. This year, thanks to a donation from Toms shoes, it's erecting another wall in Los Angeles.
Fifty percent of proceeds from the limited-edition rock shoes—a co-branded So iLL climbing shoe ($150)—and 25 percent of proceeds from the lifestyle shoe—a beefed-up version of Toms’ Alpargata ($89)—both sold through an Indigogo campaign that launched on Tuesday, will go toward building more climbing walls without the help of major brand donors. (Donors can forgo the shoes and have 100 percent of their money go to building climbing walls). Both shoes are based on existing classic So iLL and Toms designs, with made-in-the-USA Dark Matter climbing rubber outsoles.
“You can take a passive approach and just watch the sport grow on its natural trajectory, or you can spark it and be proactive,” says Jorgeson in a promotional video on the Indiegogo page. “That’s what this is all about. Why not bring climbing to the next generation instead of waiting for them to find it?”
The shoes are a limited release, available for preorder on Indiegogo for the next 30 days.