Calluses on the hands and feet of a climber are not issues in the eyes of those passionate about the sport, but a sign of effort, practice, and consistency that is to be admired. Most of the time, when you’re on the walls, calluses can be your best friends, since they make your skin tougher and more resistant to the effort you put it through. Unfortunately, though, your best allies can quickly become your worst enemies if you don’t take good enough care of them.
A callus that is not taken care of is much more likely to snag on a rocky surface and take a significant piece of skin with it, one of the most common climbing injuries. The best pumice stones are what you need to prevent this from happening. Keeping the size of your calluses under control will greatly reduce the chance of injury, and that is why we are presenting in this article the best foot pumices you can find.
How To Choose A Pumice Stone – Buying Guide
Natural vs Artificial
Despite the current trends that are pushing us towards more and more “green” choices, as far as quality is concerned there is little to no noticeable difference between a natural pumice stone versus one that has been made with synthetic materials. In both cases manufacturers are careful as to make a stone that will wear down evenly after prolonged use, preventing mold or unwanted bacteria from accumulating on dead skin. Climbers will find in both a valid tool to take care of their calluses, so the final decision is entirely up to personal preference.
Aside from having the best harnesses or climbing shoes with them, climbers also have to take care of their bodies, which at the end of the day remains their first and foremost tools. Pumice stones are used to reduce the size of calluses that normally form on the hands or feet so that when you are climbing, they do not protrude excessively and snag on a piece of rock. If this happens it can lead to the callus tearing off and taking a significant part of the skin with it. This is painful but not as much as it sounds, with the most annoying effect being that it will make you much less comfortable on the rest of your climb until the wound has healed. Preventing this by keeping the size of your calluses under control is something every climber should consider when recovering from an effort.
The size of the pumice stone you intend to use is a matter of personal choice. A smaller stone might be best to be more precise and, therefore, might suit a climber’s needs better. Larger stones, however, provide better leverage and versatility since they can be used on other parts of the body as well. If you plan to bring one along on a hiking and climbing trip, you also might want something that does not get in the way.
The two most common shapes you will find for pumice stones are oval or rectangular. Oval shapes feel better in the hand but don’t have the corners that rectangles do and that can provide you with better precision and leverage. The shape you end up choosing will depend on how you intend to use the pumice stone and what you need one for. For fingertips, it’s good to have a sharper edge to reach the smaller folds after an intense training session, while for heels and wide a nice, wide scraping surface is more than enough.
Having a handle will not affect the quality of your pumice stone, but it can help a great deal with the precision with which you can use it. Just imagine the difference between pressing a button with the end of a stick or with a big, round ball. A handle can make a significant difference in the amount of pressure you can apply and might be very useful for users that have particularly hard calluses, which require a tougher treatment.
The pore size of the pumice stone will determine its coarseness, which, in turn, will directly influence the scraping capabilities of the stone. For climbers, who often have to deal with very tough calluses even if they choose to wear climbing gloves, it might be preferable to use a rougher and coarser pumice stone, i.e. one with larger pores. The rest of the skin will probably also be tough, albeit not as much as the real callus, and not be damaged by a coarse pumice stone, which will help in achieving faster results.
While most pumice stones are made only of stones, some incorporate ingredients that can moisturize and condition the skin, to add a second layer of treatment. Some contain soap, while others might have shea butter, aloe vera or even vitamin E. Most of these are intended more as beauty treatments, so they might not interest the toughest of climbers. However, if you think you might appreciate a little extra care, then you know there are options for you as well.
Q: How Long Do Pumice Stones Last?
The lifespan of a pumice stone is long, and it will depend mostly on how often you use it to take care of your calluses. As a general rule of thumb, you should consider replacing them when they become too small or too smooth to make any noticeable difference.
Q: Are Pumice Stones Safe?
All pumice stones, and especially natural ones, are completely safe to use. The only discomfort they might cause is if you rub them on skin that is too sensitive, but aside from that, you can be free of any worries.
Q: Are Pumice Stones Good For Your Feet?
Yes, pumice stones are a great way to take care of your feet and get rid of calluses and excess dry skin. This will leave your feet feeling soft and smooth and ready for the next climbing excercise you have planned.
Q: What Is A Pumice Stone?
A natural pumice stone is a volcanic rock that is formed when highly pressurized rock is ejected from a volcano. It has a unique foamy shape because of simultaneous rapid cooling and depressurization.
Globo Surf Overview
A pumice stone is not what you expect might become a favorite tool of a climber, but experience proves otherwise, whatever type of climbing you prefer. In our pumice stones reviews, we have shown you which are the best options out there to take care of your fingers after a long day on the walls, so you can nurse them back into top form and take on new and ever more stimulating challenges.