If you think that choosing a suitable footwear for a climbathon is easy, you should think again. I was surfing around for new content for this blog, when I remembered to check the Federation for Sports Altitude website. Apart from knowing that the 21st Mount Kinabalu Climbathon this year will be held earlier that usual, (August 25-26), I also notice a good resource on choosing shoes and gear for the participant/contestant of the event.
So, if you are thinking of taking part in the climbathon, you may find this guide useful.
Shoes and gear â€“ a skyrunnerâ€™s mini guide
In the mountains, speed means safety: the ability to move quickly in the face of an oncoming storm or to have to descend rapidly due to hypoxia can be decisive issues.
Variable temperatures, terrain and altitude all require products that are technical, light, thermal, breathable and elastic that protect without restricting your movements and hence, speed.
Skyrunning has helped to revolutionize this concept.
Trail running shoes with a good grip and a protective upper to resist water and snow are a must. See the table below for recommended styles currently available. What to wear? In certain races, some items are compulsory: like full-length tights or long, microfibre pants, a long sleeved top or cyclistâ€™s top with pockets in the rear for a lightweight windproof jacket. Sun glasses, a head band, or gloves may also be listed as compulsory accessories. Ski poles are usually an optional.
Ordinary road running gear â€“ shorts and singlet – is acceptable in shorter races in warm climates without too much altitude. The list of compulsory race material is indicated in the race brochures and in the rules for each race. In training at high altitude, never leave without a windproof vest, tights or microfibre pants, hat and gloves. Away from marked courses an altimeter/compass is useful or take a GPS. Don’t forget a water bottle and energy bars. Technical fabrics and lightweight trail running shoes are continuously evolving â€“ the whole kit has lightened from 3 kg when skyrunning started in the early 90s – to less than 1 kg. Shoes and equipment are featherweight and functional.
The following shoes have been selected by the FSA Technical Committee as suitable for skyrunning.
Rating: good***, very good****, excellent*****
Weight: Based on menâ€™s size 9 (US)
***This guide is for climbathon athletes, NOT for regular mountain climber***