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Sheffield's best shops for the climber

Photo courtesy of The Foundry.

With such a wealth of climbing nearby, it’s no surprise that Sheffield is also well equipped with gear shops. Staff are usually experienced climbers with knowledge and expertise that money can’t buy.

The Foundry Climbing Shop
The Foundry climbing wall in Kelham Island has a well-stocked shop that includes hardware, harnesses, shoes, guidebooks, and clothes. Staffed by climbers, if you are wondering what gear is required for a particular route, the chances are they will know it. And as it’s located in the climbing wall, you can get some training in and climb while you are there.

Best for: climbing shoes. There’s a huge range of climbing shoes to choose from here, and every make is sized a little differently. Staff will advise about style and fit of shoe depending on what you want to climb, and the advantage of buying from a wall is that you can try before you buy.

The Climbing Works
The Works is one of the largest bouldering centres in the world, and it has a small but perfectly formed shop selling a range of shoes, guidebooks, and the latest clothes, as well as fingerboards for training at home. The staff are knowledgeable climbers, and you can try shoes on the wall before you buy.

Best for: anything and everything bouldering-related! The shop stocks all the accessories that no boulderer would want to be without, including chalk bags, brushes, skin care, and of course, beanies.

Outside, Hathersage
Just beyond Sheffield's boundaries, in the Peak District village of Hathersage, Outside is more than just a shop. Its upstairs cafe is used as a venue for adventure film screenings, it hosts local mountaineering club meetings, and is a place to hang out and share rumours of dry rock if you get rained off.

Outside stocks a wide range of gear for climbing, running, camping, and backpacking – as well as clothing for all seasons. It has an extensive range of climbing gear, including hardware, guidebooks, rock and approach shoes, harnesses, boulder pads, and ropes.

Best for: expert advice. Whether you're planning a trip with a particular objective in mind or are investing in your first bits of gear, the staff here can recommend the best product for you.

An outdoors supermarket with a wide range of clothing and gear for all sports, including a climbing section. If you aren’t sure whether climbing will be for you or you're on a budget, Decathlon has own-brand and entry-level ranges that don’t break the bank.

Best for: families and budget gear. Decathlon’s own brands offer low price quality options, in particular stretchy climbing jeans, and children’s products.

Go Outdoors
Based in Sheffield since the '70s, Go Outdoors (formerly known as CCC) is another outdoors supermarket. It includes a climbing section, as well as extensive ranges for camping, walking, and clothing.

Best for: travel. If you’re planning a trip, Go Outdoors will stock everything you need.

Written by Anna Paxton


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