April 7, 2021

Should You Wear Socks with Climbing Shoes? (YES, But…)

by Roger

Whether you are a fan of climbing, or you just took someone climbing, there is a possibility that you will at times see someone who wears socks with climbing shoes.

Many people would laugh at this because they find it funny.

A lot of climbers prefer wearing socks when climbing.

Often, I will climb with socks too.

But do you wear socks with climbing shoes?

Let’s see when you may have to wear socks when climbing.


Table of Contents
Should you wear socks with climbing shoes
Should You Wear Socks with Climbing Shoes?

Do You Wear Socks with Climbing Shoes?

Yes, you can wear socks with climbing shoes. Although not many people do it, you can still put them on. Wearing a pair of socks when climbing will make you feel comfortable. Some climbing shoes are pretty uncomfortable. 

However, adding a pair of socks adds more cushion and makes your feet comfortable.

Climbers that wear socks when climbing usually wear socks that are not visible, especially if they have their shoes on. 

Why Should You Wear Socks with Rock Climbing Shoes?

Many people think it is not stylish to wear socks with rock climbing shoes.

Here are some of the reasons why you should wear socks with climbing shoes. 

1. A pair of socks will offer extra cushioning

Some climbing shoes don’t offer the proper cushioning.

Because of this, you are likely to feel stones, rocks, and cracks as you are climbing because of this.

If you wear socks, your feet will feel more comfortable.

A pair of socks makes a huge difference.

With socks, you will get extra comfort. Being comfortable enables you to walk for long without worrying about stepping on rocks. 

2. Your feet and shoes will stink less

Your feet are more likely to stink if you wear shoes without socks.

With the sweat that comes with climbing, your feet will likely acquire a foul smell due to sweating, catching bacteria, and fungus.

You can eliminate fungus by treating your feet properly.

Some people use deodorizers to do away with the smell, but this makes it worse.

Putting socks on will ease you from all these troubles.

Bacteria break down the sweat, and that is what causes it to smell.

Cleaning your climbing shoes after climbing is a must.

3. It feels different

When crack climbing, socks come in handy as they keep your feet from aching.

For those who tend to sweat a lot, you can use climbing chalk to reduce the smell of sweat.

However, climbing chalk will not put away the scent, but it will reduce sweating.

Putting on socks will save you all the trouble. 

4. Socks provide added comfort

As stated earlier, socks add extra comfort.

Wearing socks when climbing will add extra cushioning and prevent you from burning when you are rock climbing.

By putting on socks, your feet are protected.

Cotton socks absorb sweat. 

Wearing shoes with socks is so comfortable.

If you try it, there is no going back.

You will realize that your feet won’t smell if you do this often.

There are odor-absorbing socks that are made to take up the odor.

Wearing socks will relieve you from thinking about how your feet might hurt if you accidentally step on a rock while climbing.

The Advantage and Disadvantages of Climbing Socks

More people started using climbing shoes without socks when manufacturers added rubber on the sides of the shoes.

The rubber layer covers some areas near the top of your feet also.

Most climbers do not use socks in their climbing shoes as socks may not allow you to climb the sharp walls precisely.

With these points, you can get a better idea about using socks in climbing shoes.

The advantages of wearing climbing socks with climbing shoes

  • You can use socks to improve shoe fittings when the climbing shoes are loose. You will remove all the dead spaces from the shoes with socks. You can get decent socks when you cannot get smaller shoes.
  • You can use socks when you have climbing shoes on rent as people with athlete’s foot disease can leave fungal spores in the shoes. You can add an extra layer of protection with socks.
  • It feels less gross when walking around the gym with the socks in your climbing shoes.
  • Socks can prevent skin damage and chafe with prolonged climbing.

The disadvantages of wearing climbing socks with climbing shoes

  • Socks reduce your sensitivity as you cannot feel the object under your shoes with an extra layer of fabric.
  • Newer model shoes have rubber to hold your feet. Wearing socks will reduce friction. Your feet can slip from the shoes if you wear socks. The heel part of your feet has a higher chance of foot slipping.

Choose the Right Climbing Shoe Size for a Better Fit as a Beginner

Climbing with your socks on is way better than climbing without.

However, some rock climbing shoes are so tight, making it unable to wear them with socks.

If this is the case, you can consider getting another pair that will fit even with a pair of socks. 

When choosing climbing shoes, please choose a slightly bigger size so that the climbing shoes fit perfectly when you put on socks.

If you currently have fitting shoes, you can use them for other activities as you get a larger rock-climbing size. 

When Is It a Good Idea to Wear Socks in Climbing Shoes?

It is a good idea to wear socks in climbing shoes when your feet hurt due to rubbing as it provides an extra layer of foot protection.

You can also wear socks when you feel more confident with the sock.

Some people ask do you wear socks with climbing shoes.

You will get answers to most of the questions in this article.

1. Wear socks with climbing shoes with rental climbing shoes

If you have rock climbing shoes that you are renting at the gym, you should always wear socks, even if you think you are too cool to wear socks.

It isn’t worth the risk of catching foot fungus from the person who wore them last.

2. Wear socks with climbing shoes with old shoes

If you have an old climbing shoe that does not fit accurately, you can use the socks to improve fitting.

Socks will fill the empty spaces to make them a better fit.

Most people wore climbing shoes in the old days when there was a nail with the wooden stock at the tip of the climbing shoes.

People used thick socks to prevent foot damage.

3. Wear socks with climbing shoes for big walls and multi-pitch climbing

Some types of walls allow better support with socks in the climbing shoes.

There is no need to use tightly fitting shoes during everyday climbing practice.

You can use old climbing shoes with socks to improve the climbing experience.

You can focus on your technique during the practice.

It does not require wearing over-tight climbing shoes.

Climbing shoes are perfect for big wall climbs and multi-pitches as you have to continue for a long time.

4. Wear socks with climbing shoes for crack climbing

Athletes use cracks on the wall to claim in the crack climbing.

Using larger shoes in crack climbing increases the surface area is better.

You can use larger shoes with socks to improve fitting.

It will also help you with wedging during wall climbing.

Final Thoughts on Should You Wear Socks with Climbing Shoes

In the olden days, climbers wore socks when climbing.

But in between the many years that have passed, that changed.

Many suggested that climbing with socks on is rookie.

Socks add comfort to your feet.

Climbing with socks ensures that you focus on what you are doing because you are comfortable and without pain. 

Climbing is a fun activity.

Thus, it will be best if you are comfortable while you are climbing.

If you are uncomfortable, chances are you won’t enjoy it and probably never do it again.

Try to put on socks while you are climbing and feel the difference.

So, do you wear socks with climbing shoes?

Absolutely yes, climbers wear climbing shoes with socks. Ignore what onlookers are saying because of wearing socks. The important thing is you are comfortable. In the end, what matters is your safety.

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About the author 

Roger

Roger was born into a family of climbers. As the youngest of his siblings, he was also the most ardent climber of them. Small and agile, he practiced climbing all day. Today, Roger teaches children how to climb the large rock walls safely.

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