How to Choose Curling Shoes [Comprehensive Guide]

Curling is a game of precision and strategy, and every aspect of your equipment plays a pivotal role in your performance. Among these, curling shoes stand out. They’re not just any pair of shoes; they’re specially designed to offer grip, stability, and a smooth glide. If you’re looking to invest in a pair, here’s everything you need to know to make an informed choice.

How to choose curling shoes

The Unique Design of Curling Shoes

Unlike typical athletic shoes, curling shoes have a distinct design. They come as a pair, but each shoe serves a different purpose:

  • Slider Shoe: Typically worn on your dominant foot’s side, this shoe has a smooth sole, usually made of Teflon. It allows you to slide effortlessly on the ice during delivery.
  • Gripper Shoe: Worn on the non-dominant foot, it’s designed for grip, helping you navigate the ice without slipping.

5 Key Considerations When Choosing Curling Shoes

Consider the 5 elements below when choosing the right curling shoe.

Skill Level

If you’re new to curling, you may not want to splurge on the most expensive pair. Basic shoes with a thinner Teflon slider (around 1/16”) are suitable to start.

As you gain experience and need more control over your slide, consider shoes with thicker Teflon, ranging from 3/16” to 1/4″.

Type of Slider

There are two types of sliders to consider: Full-Sole Sliders and Hinged or Split Sliders.

Full-Sole Sliders offer a consistent slide, but can be challenging for balance. Hinged or Split Sliders provide more flexibility, allowing the foot to bend naturally during delivery.

It ultimately comes down to what works best for you and your curling game.

Shoe Material and Insulation

Ensure your shoes are made of quality materials like leather, providing both durability and necessary insulation against the cold.

Lacing System

Traditional laces are common, but there are also Velcro and slip-on options. Some high-end shoes even feature double lacing to secure the foot and ankle separately, offering enhanced stability.

Ankle Support

If you’re concerned about ankle stability, look for high-top designs or shoes with reinforced ankle support.

Price vs. Durability

Like any sport, there’s a wide price range for equipment. More expensive shoes often come with better build quality, additional features, and improved durability. However, even on a budget, you can find shoes that offer excellent value for their cost. Remember, the best shoe is one that fits your needs and budget.

The Importance of Fit

A well-fitted shoe can make a significant difference in your game. When trying on curling shoes:

  • Wear the socks you plan to curl in.
  • Ensure there’s enough room to wiggle your toes.
  • Check for any points causing pressure or discomfort.

Never compromise on fit.

Buying Considerations

When considering where to buy your curling shoes, remember that trying them on in-store can give you a firsthand feel for the fit and comfort. However, online stores might offer a broader range of sizes and styles. If purchasing online, ensure you are familiar with the sizing guidelines of the specific brand.

Customization and Accessories

Many professional curlers invest in customized shoes to perfectly fit their feet. Additionally, consider accessories like removable sliders or gripper covers to extend the life of your shoes and offer more versatility.

Making the Right Investment in Curling Shoes

Curling shoes are more than just footwear; they’re a connection between you and the ice, influencing your stability, slide, and overall performance. By considering your skill level, understanding shoe features, and ensuring a perfect fit, you’ll be well-equipped to make a choice that elevates your curling game.

Choosing the right pair of curling shoes is just the beginning. Embrace the sport, continue learning, and remember: every choice, from equipment to strategy, brings you one step closer to curling excellence.

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