Smearing and edging are two important techniques used in rock climbing that involve the use of the climber’s feet.

Smearing refers to the technique of using the sole of the shoe to grip onto a smooth surface, such as a slab or a featureless vertical wall. This technique is achieved by applying pressure onto the surface with the shoe, creating friction that allows the climber to maintain balance and control.

On the other hand, edging involves using the edge of the shoe to grip onto small features, such as tiny edges or pockets on the rock surface. This technique is used to create more precise foot placements, especially when the climber needs to transfer weight onto a small foothold.

Both smearing and edging are important techniques in climbing, and the choice of which to use depends on the type of climb and the nature of the rock surface. For example, on a smooth slab with no features, smearing may be the only option for maintaining balance and moving upward. In contrast, on a steep vertical wall with small edges and pockets, edging may be the only way to create secure foot placements.

In general, climbers use a combination of smearing and edging techniques, depending on the specific features of the climb. Experienced climbers are able to identify the type of rock surface and choose the most effective technique for each situation. By mastering these techniques, climbers can improve their footwork and move more efficiently and confidently on the rock.

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