The smaller your rock climbing shoes are, the better right? This will increase your friction on the wall and help you stand on smaller footholds. Furthermore, they should hurt a lot and preferably make you cry.\n\n\n\nOr shouldn\u2019t they?\n\n\n\nLet\u2019s break the myth of \u201csmaller is better\u201d right now; the myth is exactly that: a myth. But like with every myth there\u2019s a truth somewhere.\n\n\n\nHow rock climbing shoes should fit depends on your feet and the type of rock or plastic you climb with them. And I believe that you can find a shoe that works both for your feet and the type of climbing you want to do.\n\n\n\nThat\u2019s why in this article I\u2019ll discuss the different parts of the rock climbing shoe and how they should fit.\n\n\n\nAre you ready?\n\n\n\nLet\u2019s dive right in.\n\n\n\n1. Possible Injuries Due to Wearing the Wrong Rock Climbing Shoes\n\n\n\nIf you think grinding your teeth while wearing tiny rock climbing shoes is all there is to it, you might want to think again. Because wearing rock climbing shoes that don\u2019t fit well can lead to a variety of injuries. Not all of them present themselves within the first months of use, some of them might even take years to develop.\n\n\n\nHere\u2019s an overview of the injuries you can develop in your feet. Obviously, it\u2019s not that this will imminently happen when you wear small shoes, but I believe they\u2019re worth considering.\n\n\n\nHallux ValgusHaglund HeelAchilles TendonopathyPlantar Fascitis\n\n\n\n2. Analyzing Your Feet\n\n\n\nBefore you buy any rock climbing shoes, let\u2019s start by having a look at your feet.\n\n\n\nYours might be thick, thin, high arched, low arched, flat, with or without a prominent heel, with uneven or even toe lengths. If you have been climbing for a while, you\u2019re likely to have calluses on the top of your toes due to the pressing of climbing shoes there.\n\n\n\nThere are 4 areas of the foot you should pay attention to:\n\n\n\nThe toes: how is the length of the toes relative to the others?The forefoot: how wide or thin is it?The arch: is it high or low?The heel: is it wide or thin? Does it protrude to the back? Are the Achilles connected higher up or lower?\n\n\n\nFiguring out what your foot looks like will give you a clear indication of which form of shoes will fit better.\n\n\n\nSo, now you\u2019re ready to hit the store to buy your climbing shoes. In the rest of this article, I\u2019ll explain what to look for in rock climbing shoes relative to your feet.\n\n\n\n3. How your Toes and Forefoot Should Fit in Rock Climbing Shoes\n\n\n\nYou want your toes to be flexed a bit so you can generate better tension, but not folded like the Chinese custom. You want functional feet inside your shoes not little lumps of skin and bone.\n\n\n\nIf the size of your toes is more equal a wider pointed shoe might be better than a smaller point. If you have a prominent big toe while the rest of the toes is being smaller, the opposite is true. With a wider forefoot, you want wider shoes, when your forefoot is thinner, a tighter shoe might be the way to go.\n\n\n\nTurn your rock climbing shoe upside down and compare it to a couple of other pairs to get an idea of what is wide, what is tight, and what is pointy and what is not.\n\n\n\n[photo of the front of rock climbing shoes\n\n\n\n4. The Arch of Rock Climbing Shoes\n\n\n\nThe arch of rock climbing shoes dictates the \u201caggressiveness\u201d of the foot. A stronger arch in the rock climbing shoe means a stronger arch in your foot. This results in more tension in the foot which helps to put more pressure on the toes.\n\n\n\nIf you climb on tiny foot holds and\/or need to put a lot of pressure on your feet, a stronger arch might be helpful.\n\n\n\nIf your feet have a stronger arch you might slide easier into aggressive shoes. This doesn\u2019t mean though that if your feet are flat that you won\u2019t. Because flat feet can be due to a weakness of the foot muscles and don\u2019t necessarily mean you can\u2019t arch your feet.\n\n\n\nI\u2019m not sure how strong of an arch is necessary for it to be advantageous. If a little arch is enough already or if an arch only works when it\u2019s really bent\u2026\n\n\n\nFinally, when it comes to arches, the midpart might have a sole or it might not in the case of rock climbing shoes which have 2 soles. 1 for the front of the foot, and 1 for the heel. The latter will stretch out more after use and can therefore be safely bought a bit smaller than single-sole shoes.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n5. How Your Heel Should Fit in Your Rock Climbing Shoes\n\n\n\nFor me, the heel is a particular area of complication when it comes to rock climbing shoes. I have a Haglund Heel on the left side. This is a bonification of the place where the Achilles tendon inserts into the bone. When there\u2019s too much pressure for too long it starts hurting a lot.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nSo, my message to you, pay particular interest to how the heel is cut out in your climbing shoe. La Sportiva, for example, is known to make shoes that fit tight all around the heel. In my case, that means more friction and more pain eventually. Furthermore, shoes, where the top edge of the heel comes more forward, can put friction on the Achilles tendon.\n\n\n\nYour heel shouldn\u2019t be anything close to loose though, because this will affect the friction of your heel hooks.\n\n\n\n6. Important to Remember Before Buying a Rock Climbing Shoe\n\n\n\nSo, the bottom line of buying climbing shoes is this, start by analyzing your feet and only then go buy climbing shoes. Then, when you\u2019re in the store try on as many as possible and consider which type of rock or plastic you want to climb and how much your shoe will stretch out. Look for a balance between comfort and performance.