Caverntours is supported by its audience. We may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you when you buy through links on our website. Learn more

What is Edging in Climbing?

what is edging in climbing

When it comes to climbing, there are many techniques that you can use to maximize your performance and achieve your goal as a climber. But before learning the most complicated techniques, you must first learn fundamentals such as edging.

But what is edging in climbing? Edging is a fundamental footwork technique that any climber uses during the climb. Regardless of the type of climbing, this skill will be used every time you go up and climb.

Edging is used when standing on your feet just enough to move up to the next foothold. But how do you do it? Let us find out in this article.

The Basics of Edging

What is edging in rock climbing? Edging is used in every type of climbing. It is used mainly in face climbing or technical climbing. There will be moments during the climb when you barely stand on your feet to move up to the next surface.

Whether it’s granite, sandstone, limestone or climbing in the gym, your edging technique will be responsible for determining how you will be able to stand on the foothold. Your entire shoe will not fit on the surface since it is small. So, the edge of your shoe will be responsible during this moment.

When it comes to edging, the shoe is essential as it connects to the surface and applies pressure to it. The inside edge of the shoe is used more when edging as the climber’s big toe is the most powerful during this moment.

On the other hand, the outside edge will be used to backstep or traverse, where you kind of round your foot on the edge to reach further by using the outer edge. There are many types of edging shoes that you can use to help you execute proper edging techniques.

However, it is not only the shoe that is important. You also need to practice your edging technique to be comfortable every time you are doing the technique. Practice is vital, and developing the foot muscles will also help.

Things to Remember when Edging

things to remember when edging

When to Use?

During the climb, there will be times when the foothold is small, where your whole climbing shoe will not fit in. When the time comes that your only choice is to use the tip of your toe area to deal with the small space, then your edging skills will be used.

Edging Basics

The area where the big toe of your foot is located is called the inside edge of your climbing shoe. On the other hand, the site where the pinky toe is situated is the outside edge of your climbing shoe. When a climber focuses the whole body weight in any of these areas to make him steady, that is what you call edging.

How to Do it?

Most of the time, an edging climber will rest most of the weight on the inside edge of the climbing shoe. The reason is that the inside edge is where the big toe is located. The big toe is the strongest and the more agile foot and plays an essential role when edging.

The climber can drive himself up the rock by squishing the inside edge into the foothold. This situation allows the climber to have the opportunity to find the next handhold while steadying himself to plant for the next move.

When traversing or moving along the wall, the climber will use the outside edge during this moment. With the outer edge having lesser strength, edging using the outside edge of your shoe needs to be quick.

Overall, edging will require full foot strength to maximize your performance. You must also practice constantly, embrace the pressure, and familiarize yourself with the proper balance to work well when edging.

Shoes that are Best for Edging

To maximize your performance with edging, you need to wear edging shoes. A slipper or softer downturned shoes usually used for smearing will not maximize your performance. Using your barefoot is a choice but using edging shoes is way better.

Most climbing shoes can be used for edging. However, flat shoes will maximize your edging performance because they can absorb more of the pressure and stress of standing in a very small space.

When it comes to edging shoes, there are so many of them that are available on the market. All the different shapes are available, from a soft edging shoe to a downturn style. It is all about maximizing the usage of your feet when edging.

A stiff shoe gives you more support as it makes you use fewer muscles. But, the most important thing is to practice your moves. Improving your edging skills is all about repeating them until it becomes perfect.


Edging is all about having the right pair of climbing shoes, finding a good foot placement, proper application of pressure, and neatness of the rock surface. Learning what edging is in climbing is essential for beginners since this technique will be used often during the climb. Edging is a fundamental technique that can only be mastered through consistent climbing and practice.

Leave a Comment