I am, I suppose, one of those rare women who lacks a plethora of shoes. I have one go-to pair of shoes for exercising. They are a pair of Merrel pace gloves, in the flashy lime and purple color combination. They work well for running and well for most things that I do at Crossfit.

But not everything.

This week, I went to a WOD that involved rope climbing. I was excited to see rope climbs on the menu. I haven’t done them very often, and definitely not since I got my strict pull up. I wanted to see how my increased pulling strength would affect my rope climbing skills.

The last time I tried rope climbing, I had a different pair of shoes. Those shoes made it impossible for me to get a grip on the rope with my feet. I thought, perhaps, these shoes would be different.

They were not.

In order to get a grip on the rope with my feet in my shoes, I had to pinch so hard that I managed to bruise the outside of my right foot. I ended up mostly relying on my arms as the rope continually slipped through my feet, but I was able to make a total of 3 climbs in the course of the 7 minute WOD. I felt pretty good about it, because I was able to get up there, supporting my weight with my arms when my feet slipped. But my foot is hurting and I can’t help but place some of that blame on the shoe.

Of course, that blame may be misplaced. I don’t know for sure, right? But I do know that the pace glove is a barefoot style shoe. The sole does not extend at all past the bottom of my foot. There’s no protection for that outer edge of my foot at all.

The other option is that my technique is simply wrong. Something that I’m doing to get the rope to stay between my feet is affecting the outside of my foot in a way that it shouldn’t. After watching some videos, I’m inclined to believe that I do need some technique practice.

But a new pair of shoes probably wouldn’t hurt.

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