How To Not Lose Your Climbing Shoes

If you've ever been multi-pitch climbing, you've doubtless experienced just how painful even a comfortable pair of climbing shoes can become when you wear them for several hours straight; particularly when your feet are pushed up against the wall at a hanging belay. 

Ofcourse you could take off your shoes at the stance, but even if you're exceptionally careful when you remove them (something that's hard to achieve at a hanging belay), you still run the risk of dropping one or both of your shoes.   

Luckily, there's a simple way round this that climbers have been using for years and in this article we're going to walk you through it step-by-step. 

All you will need is roughly 60cm of 5mm cord. Technically, any piece of string or old shoe lace would work fine for this but the advantage of a cord is that you can use it as a prussik or to build anchors with in an emergency.

 
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Tie one end of your cord to the tab of your climbing shoe. We would suggest a re-threaded overhand knot as it is a little easier to adjust than a figure of 8 knot and uses up less cord.

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To make the ankle loop, take the other end of the cord, form a loop, and tie a double overhand knot to close it.

This is the same knot that most people use as a stopper knot when tying into their harness. The advantage of this knot is that it will slide up and down so that you can adjust the size of your ankle loop, but it is still stiff enough to hold securely.

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Et Voila! No more nervous moments on those hanging belays as you nervously ease your cramped up toes out of your shoes!

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If you are interested in any more climbing tips or have some of your own that you'd like to share, why not let us know in the comments below or in our new Gear Geek Forum!

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