These are my first and only pair of climbing shoes. (I didn't have an option at the time of purchase) My foot is really about a size 8, but because of my high arches and wider toes, I typically wear an 8.5 street shoe. I tried on several sizes of this shoe and the laced version. I found that the 8.5+ (41.5) velcro fit best. It pinched my toes at first, but I didn't want extra room in them. As others have said, the first few days in them were a little painful but now that they have broken in I barely notice them. I just undo the velcro while top rope belaying rather than doing the on/off routine I watch some people do with their shoes. When its warm out, the rubber of the soles is nice and grippy but that dissipates in cool weather. All in all I am content in my purchase, and if I had other experiences to compare these to I might even give them a 5.