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Climbing Shoes Versus Mountaineering Boots-What are the Effects on Physical Performance?

The aim of the study was to analyze the effect of different climbing shoes (climbing shoes versus mountaineering boots) on heart rate as measure of physical performance. Five female recreational climbers (36.1 ± 14.1 years/180.9 ± 6.2 cm/72.6 ± 8.5 kg) and five male recreational climbers (34.4 ± 4.9 years/179 ± 3.2 cm/78.8 ± 10.8 kg) with regular climbing activity absolved twice a route 5b+ with climbing shoes respectively mountaineering boots. A significant increase of average heart rate from 94.3 ± 16.7 to 136.1 ± 38.3 beats per minute was detected when using climbing shoes (p<0.01). With mountaineering boots a significant increase of heart rate from 101.8 ± 11.4 to 148.3 ± 39.5 beats per minute was detected (p<0.01). End values of heart rates per minute were significatly higher when climbing with mountaineering boots versus with climbing shoes. (p=0.02) interestingly, the Additional exertion was taxed with 1.75 ± 0.5 grades on French scale implying a serious additional challenge when climbing with mountaineering boots versus climbing shoes. In consequence, relevance of manner of shoes is pinpointed and especially when climbing several pitches in the nature for reasons of security a margin of around two levels French Scale is recommended.

Author(s): Benedikt Gasser*

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