When choosing a gym shoe, durability and comfort are my primary considerations. For this reason, I recommend the La Sportiva Oxygym rock climbing shoes.
I’m an outdoor rock climber who goes to the climbing gym for training. While I do sometimes have fun climbing in the gym, if there is a choice between climbing outside and climbing at the gym, going outside always wins.
While climbing outside, I use an assortment of different shoes. While figuring out moves or doing long multi-pitches, I like to wear Mythos. When climbing on granite, I mostly prefer TC Pros. And when I’m trying to send a project with small footholds, I rely on my Miuras. However, this is only background information leading up to my main topic: rock gym climbing shoes.
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Projecting or multi-pitch rock climbing
Sending your projects with small footholds
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Indoor gym climbing
So, you’re probably asking, why don’t I wear my outdoor climbing shoes in the gym? No, it’s not to keep those plastic holds a little less dirty. I use a different pair of shoes because I don’t want to wear out my “real” climbing shoes while I train indoors.
Some of you may consider gym climbing to be “real” climbing, and that’s totally fine. I’m not here to judge or say that one style of climbing is more valid than another. If indoor climbing is more than just training for you, performance may be more of an influencing factor than durability or comfort when choosing the best indoor climbing gym shoes.
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- The rubber is durable
- They are comfortable, even for long periods of time
- I can wear socks with them when it’s cold
- They can stand up to gym crack climbing training
- I can wash them
Yes, you read that correctly. You can throw these shoes in the washing machine!
I love how long the rubber has lasted on these shoes. Even after years of intermittent use, the Oxygyms have not needed a resole. The rubber on this shoe (5mm FriXion) is hard and not extremely sticky. At first, I unexpectedly slipped off some of those especially polished plastic footholds. After some time, I became accustomed to the level of friction this shoe offers and simply became more aware of my foot placement. This could be considered a negative feature of the shoe, however, I have reframed it as a positive, because it has trained me to be more aware of how I position my feet.
These shoes are rather comfortable and the lateral symmetry plays a considerable part in this. The Oxygym has a low asymmetry, which means the longest part of the toe sits almost centered with the heel, giving you a more natural and neutral stance.
The hook and loop straps are simple to adjust, and make this shoe quick to take on and off. If it’s cold, I can conveniently wear socks and the shoe still fits.
Do you like to climb the artificial cracks in the gym? Have you ever tried this in Mythos? Did you also cut your laces after the fourth lap? Have you ever re-laced Mythos? Relacing the Mythos is a mission I’d rather not accept. How about Miuras? Have you ever tried to crack climb in these or any other “aggressive” rock climbing shoe? OUCH!
Of course, thrutching in a crack can destroy any shoe, but I’ve found that the Oxygyms have held up reasonably well to sand-papery gym cracks.
I guarantee that transporting your gear to the gym will be slightly more pleasant if your well-loved shoes aren’t fumigating the surrounding area with nasty foot stank. One unconventional and practical bonus of these shoes is that they are machine washable. But of course, don’t put them in the dryer!
The washability of the Oxygym shoes is a benefit to your other climbing gear, your car, and the others traveling with you. I don’t wash my shoes after every use, but once in a while, I find it quite satisfying to put my feet into fresh smelling shoes. Now THAT’S a novelty!
If you plan to save top performance for outdoor rock climbing and want an indoor climbing shoe that is long-lasting, comfortable, and washable, the La Sportiva Oxygyms are the shoe for you.
*Author’s note: even though I only mentioned La Sportiva shoes in this article, I am not sponsored or affiliated with La Sportiva.