Well, my La Sportiva Kataki climbing shoes (size 38.5 (M) EU) came much sooner than I expected! They were delivered in the early afternoon today and I eagerly took them to the climbing gym to begin breaking them in!!! They have Vibram XS Edge rubber on them, so they were much different than climbing in my Skwamas, which have the Vibram XS Grip 2 rubber on them!!! I had to get used to several things in switching over to the Katakis today. The first was the fact that they have laces instead of Velcro, and the Skwamas are more of a technical slipper as well, even though they have a Velcro strap. So, technical slipper with Velcro to unlined lace-up. The sole is one piece on the Katakis, whereas the sole of the Skwamas consists of the forefoot and the heel – the sole is split. Less flexibility in midsole of the Katakis, and more break-in time as a result. I had forgotten how painful the initial break-in period can be! I did get the correct size Katakis this time, though, because there’s no extra space in that S-Heel cup and my foot isn’t crunched into a horribly abnormal shape inside the shoes – just a little toe-curl. They cinch down well and stay tied, so I’m in business! As I mentioned before, it was a different climbing experience with the different rubber on the soles – rubber I haven’t climbed with for a while, but I quickly got used to it and climbed 16 boulder problems with them over the course of a half an hour. My feet were killing me and it was time to take them off at that point. More break-in time tomorrow, because that was enough for today! I forget how long it took me to break my La Sportiva Otaki climbing shoes in, but it was a lot longer than it took for me to break in my Skwamas! These Katakis will be great once they’re broken-in well.
When I was at the old bouldering gym, I was the first one in the gym to own a pair of La Sportiva Katakis and I got them the day of the Montana Bouldering Championships! That was exciting!!! I’ve loved these shoes since the day I got them, but I decided that the size 39 (M) EU that I had ordered was just too large for my feet, so I sized down a full size instead of a half size, which was a mistake. I should’ve sized down the half size to begin with and I would’ve been crushing routes in them all last summer! Oh, well. I have them for this summer, now, and I’m going to get them good and broken-in so that they are perfect for my outdoor routes on the ropes!!! I can’t wait! I need to lose a few pounds before I get back into my climbing harness, but I’m working on that. Bouldering is strengthening my body and my grip back up and I’m trying to do a fair amount of cardio to increase my endurance. I feel like I need to take a trip to the climbing gym a couple of hours away for something new and a road trip, or change things up somehow. I feel a little bit stuck and at a plateau of sorts, because I was sick for the first two months of the year and lost so much to that illness!!! I’m building back up slowly from the basics, but it feels really stale somehow. We’ll have to fix that with some more challenging problems on the bouldering walls in the days to come as I break these new Katakis in!!!