rock on climbing gear

Why we sell what we sell.

Our range of climbing gear is selected with 2 very important considerations in our minds

Number 1 – Would we use it ourselves?

And number 2 – Is it worth the price?

If none of us would want to use it why on earth would we expect anyone else to? Likewise, if we don’t think it is good value for money how could we expect someone else to spend their money on it?

rock on climbing shop

Not that we all agree what makes an ideal shoe, harness, rope or camming device for example. Or even chalk! So the range we have in our shop reflects the choices of the Rock On team. The great thing about this is that this leads to a very broad choice whatever you are looking for. Climbing wise, obviously.

As climbers and as shop staff we all have some personal bias or opinions based on our own experience and that of the people we have climbed with, but we view this as a good thing. We won’t simply regurgitate words and phrases from manufacturers’ brochures, but temper it with our own (and our collective) experience. This sometimes means cutting through marketing blurb and applying what we might know to what you might need.

This is especially important with certain stuff, rock shoes and ropes spring to mind where what is in the literature or the advert means almost nothing in the real world of your climbing.

rock climbing shoes

For a portion of Rock On wisdom(!?), scroll down to the gear category of your choice:


The right shoes will make you climb better. Hurrah!

However this is an incredibly personal thing, what’s right for you may not be right for anyone else and, equally, just cos your mate swears by their shoes doesn’t mean they will work well for you.

At Rock On we start by looking at your feet and trying to find shoes that either match the shape of your feet or will be filled by your feet. Rock shoes don’t have to be painful but they do have to be tight. Only you can judge how tight you can bear your shoes to be but we can guide you through the sensible options for your feet and explain the differences, how much they may stretch, soften and shape around you and whether they are an appropriate shoe for how (or what) you like to climb. You will almost certainly climb better (or harder) in a well fitting pair of not-too-technical shoes than you will in a badly fititng pair of very technical ones. Our job is to help you work out the difference.

This only works because we keep hundreds of pairs of rockshoes in each of our shops. If your feet are sized between a kids size 9 (27 continental) and an adults size 14 (49 continental) we should have the size and shape to fit you. If your feet are bigger than that we might still have some but maybe not much choice and if you are smaller than a kids size 9 does your mummy know you are on the internet?!

If you want to know more about the 50 or so models of shoes we keep in stock give us a call at our shop.

Why can’t you buy anything from this website? We want to ensure you get the right bit of gear for the right purpose. We really want to talk to you (it makes our job more fun too). If you know exactly what you want then that will be an easy conversation and if you don’t then that will probably be a slightly more involved conversation.

If after all this you still want to buy your rock shoes online… click here.

rock on climbing gear


Unlike rock shoes harnesses are a lot about comfort.


Obviously it is unlikely that your harness is going to be as comfy as an armchair but it should be more comfortable than having the rope tied around your waist, which is the alternative. Not all bodies are the same shape (how dull would that be?) so not all harnesses are the same shape. Many climbers are tall and lean with skinny legs, but there are plenty with big thighs, some with big bellies and some (but not many) with beer guts and stick legs. There are also some with tiny waists (mainly women) and some with tiny waist but not so tiny legs (also mainly women). Well, we have harnesses for all these shapes and for kids too.

It is vital to get your harness to fit well, tight enough to prevent you from falling out of it, yet comfy enough to wear all day.
Our shop has somewhere to hang in your (potential) harness if you so desire though it is worth remembering that a plushly padded harness that is comfy to hang in may be uncomfortably bulky when climbing, so there may need to be some compromise made here.

If you want to know more about the dozens of harness models we stock give us a call at the shop.

Again, why no online shop? We can’t stress enough how much we want to see you in person – to ensure you get the right harness for you. Come in for a fitting session.

If having said all this, you still want to buy your harness online, click here.

rock on climbing helmets


Helmet, why bother?

Helmets are always a personal choice but in many places it would simply be a foolish risk too far to not wear one. They are primarily there to protect your bonce from being hit by something falling on it, rather than you falling on it yourself. So sea cliffs, mountains, icefalls are obvious, there is always stuff falling off them, not just climbers.

Even on a short single pitch route is it still possible to be hit by stuff from above, especially if there is a footpath or road that runs along the top of it. And when you’re belaying and your partner is climbing above you you’re right in the firing line for anything they drop or pull off. . .

It’s a personal choice.

There is a choice of helmets (we stock around 15) available, but once again in climbing fit is mega-important allied with (for a change) comfort. If you can find a comfortable well fitting helmet you are much more likely to wear it more often. Most helmets have some degree of adjustment but some will adjust more than others. Some will have different sizes so it may be better to get a smaller sized helmet rather than a large helmet adjusted right down to fit a smaller head.

If you want to know more about the 15 or so models of helmet that we keep in stock give us a call, or come to see us in the shop.

If you really would rather buy your helmet online though, click here.

rock on climbing rope


A climbing rope has two main roles.

Firstly to stop you from hitting the floor if (or when) you fall off without breaking and also to absorb some of the force of your downward plummet so as to not break you.

This is a pretty tough combination and so a climbing rope is one of the most technical and least understood parts of a climber’s kit. Most ropes come with a large tag attached showing lots of numbers which you may think are there to help you decide which one to buy. Sadly they are not awfully useful for this. What they show are the results from the numerous tests all climbing ropes must pass before they can be sold. Depending on the likely use it is better if some of these figures are lower and some of them higher than an alternative rope, but so often these figures lead to some very strange conclusions.

So to simplify matters the main considerations are:

  • Single or Double (half) ropes?
  • Length?
  • Nominal diameter (or, perhaps more accurately, stated weight)?
  • Dry treated or not?

Throw into the equation:

  • Durability.
  • Impact Force.
  • Knotability.
  • Sharp edge capability.
  • Colour (Yes, this can actually matter sometimes).
  • Price.

Actually this all sounds confusing, luckily the team in the shop are pretty clued up on this stuff so use them for real world knowledge (they’ve got all the figures too). So if you want to know more about the dozens of ropes we stock call our shop.

And yes of course, if after all this you would still rather buy your new rope online, click here.