One of my responsibilities as an athlete for Trango/Tenaya is providing shoe demos for various climbing gyms. Most recently, I spent a Sunday in Morrisville, NC at Triangle Rock Club, as well as an evening at Stone Summit in Atlanta, GA.
For me personally, the TRC demo marked the longest I’ve been separated from Baby Zu, who’s still nursing several times a day. She did just fine at home with her brother and Super-Dad! Both kiddos came with me to Atlanta, along with my mother-in-law. While I was at the gym, they got the chance to spend time with an aunt, uncle, and two cousins that live in the area.
For Trango, a demo serves several purposes. It promotes brand awareness – I often talk to people who have never heard of Tenaya shoes and/or think they are a new company. It also makes it possible for a Colorado-based company to make personal connections with climbers from all over. But most importantly, a demo allows climbers to learn about, then try out for themselves, what are, in my opinion, the best rock shoes on the planet!
You don’t have to have a lot of climbing experience under your belt to realize that finding the right climbing shoe is easier said than done. First of all, there’s the size issue. How should they fit? Should I size down to allow for stretch? Is it okay that my toes are scrunched up? Often an uncomfortable fit is due to a sizing error (generally too small!) But sometimes certain shoes just don’t fit well on certain feet, even if the “size” is correct.
Then there are the more specialized issues. Which shoe is best for bouldering/slab/cracks/multi-pitch? Smearing? Edging? Which shoe is the most versatile? These are all pieces to consider when solving the puzzle of which climbing shoe(s) are best for you.
For anyone who has ever pondered these 1st world problems, YOU SHOULD GO TO A DEMO!!! A shoe demo gives you the opportunity to not only TRY ON multiple styles of shoes, but also TRY OUT the shoes on the wall (or sometimes even on real rock, depending on the venue!)
Here’s how it works. Check out the demo schedule below, and choose an event close to you. Go to it. Strike up a conversation with the demo guys/gals (we’re all pretty cool, if I do say so myself…) We’ll get you set up with the right size/style of shoe. CLIMB! When you’re done, return the shoes. Go home and wait for a coupon code in your inbox that can be applied toward your favorite shoe at the demo! Easy enough, right?
Here’s the schedule…
Craggin’ Classic Salt Lake City, UT (Aug 28-30)
Craggin’ Classic Smith Rock, OR (Sep 4-6)
Craggin’ Classic New River Gorge, WV (Sep 18-20)
Rocktoberfest Red River Gorge, KY (Oct 9-11)
Hopefully you can find an event near you!