"AJ Tips/Other Cooler Name" will feature a random helpful climbing tip at random inconsistent times, whenever I think of a good one! Their purpose is to be helpful and insightful to new climbers, and experienced climbers trying to break out of a plateau. It'll be a smorgasbord of info. You'll just want to eat it up.
My first "AJ Tip" is one that I've been sitting on for months, saying over and over to people in person, and trying to think of a way to get this absolutely crucial info out there, and then holy crap! I remembered I have a blog.
So here it is:
NEW and YOUTH CLIMBERS SHOULD BE CLIMBING IN SOFT SHOES.
You're never going to learn to 'trust your rubber' or pull with your toes if your shoes are so stiff you can't even feel what you're standing on.
Even if the dude at the RockShop is trying to sell you stiff shoes, PLEASE listen to me, seriously!! I have been doing this for almost twenty years... You do NOT need that support right now! You NEED to be able to feel your footholds!
Eventually if you graduate to hard slabs or long multi-pitch routes stiff shoes will come in handy, fo-sho.
But if you're a brand new boulderer or sport climber or a kiddo, soft shoes are key. I've literally given my softer shoes away to new climbers who were climbing in bricks and struggling with footwork. They saw a difference immediately.
Now that you're figuratively wealthy with all this knowledge, a good, affordable soft shoe to start in is the Evolv Addict, just 99 bucks. But this isn't an advertisement, seriously, just get into some soft shoes.
Photo from the Instagram of young Sara Griffith