How Curling Shoes Work?
Curling shoes work based on their soles, both shoes in a pair have different soles, the one called gripper have rubber sole for maximum traction and grip and the other shoe called slider have smooth plastic or Teflon sole for easy sliding and sweeping on ice.
Curling shoes are very unique shoes, because it is not very common to have different soles of shoes. Soles are the main part of any shoes and can be of different types. Like in slip resistant shoes, rubber soles have tread design to maximize the friction and increase traction.
Just like that curling shoe have one gripper shoe that is same as slip resistant shoes and will have rubber sole but the other pair of shoes called as slider will be smooth and reduce the friction to maximize the sliding and sweeping capacity.
What do curling shoes look like?
As mentioned above the curling shoes have a gripper and a slider shoe. Both have opposite function and play very important role in stability, movement and sliding of player.
Curling Shoes have a pair of shoes with different shoe for each foot. One is called as Gripper Shoe and the other one is Slider shoes. Both have different functions, as name explains, the gripper have rubber pad on outsole to get a traction on ice/floor. The slider with flat outsole provides slipping nature to mantain the movement of curler or a player.
This is the shoe with rubber sole. Rubber sole is most slip resistant one and the specific design of grooves on outsole of shoes maximize the friction and ultimately increase traction and grip of shoes.
Gripper is very important to give push to player. Once the player push, he requires strongest grip to leverage the full force of push. Otherwise, if grip is not strong, players will lose some force in slipping and it will reduce the extent of push.
Gripper comes in various types, sometimes it will have grooves on soles and sometimes there will be grip pads attached to outer soles.
The slider shoe has smooth sole that is made up of plastic or Teflon. It should be very smooth to reduce the friction, so it will increase the sweeping and sliding of player on ice.
Types of slider
The slider comes in various types, the Full Slider is that if there is plastic or Teflon on whole outer sole. Many brands like BalancePlus used to make full Slider shoes but now they discontinued them, other brands like Asham are still manufacturing full slider curling shoes.
The other type of slider is Disced Slider or Disc slider, in this there will not be plastic on whole outsole, instead it will be in form of 3 to 5 discs. This is latest technology as it doesn’t add much weight to shoes and also disc slider distributes the weight equally all over outsole making a player more stable.
Moreover, the thickness of plastic also matters, the thicker the slider will be the more sweeping capacity it will have.
The thicker slider will have more price than thin slider. We recommend a medium sized slider to beginner level players.
What do the bottom of curling shoes look like?
The bottom of gripper will be of rubber and most probably will have grooves or tread design, but slider shoe bottom will be smooth with plastic on whole outsole of disc of Teflon on outsole.
What are curling shoes made of?
Curling shoes upper is made of mesh or leather and sole of gripper is made of rubber and outsole of slider is made of Teflon or hard plastic.
Can you modify regular shoes into Curling Shoes?
Yes, many people and even professional players wear custom made shoes for curling. You just have to modify the outsoles of shoes to make them suitable for the game.
One most famous example is Matt Hamilton, a professional player who have worn modified Nike Shoes for curling in Olympic sports.
Can you ice skate in curling shoes?
No, curling shoes have gripper that is made of rubber and will not work for ice skating. The other shoe of pair is slider and it can be used for skating but gripping one cannot.
Do curling shoes have cleats?
No, curling shoes don’t have cleats.
Are curling shoes warm?
Yes, being isolated and thick upper curling shoes are warm.