How Can SPIDER-MAN Stick to Walls with Shoes On?

Have you ever wondered "How can Spider-Man crawl on walls if he has gloves and shoes on?"

Fantastic question, the short answer is that he can't but it's a little bit more complicated than that. So let's back up a little bit. Spider-Man has a ton of powers, right; spider sense, proportional strength of a spider, all that goodness, but it was actually sticking to walls that inspired the character.

Stan Lee explained, quote, "I've told this story so often it might even be true, I can't remember. But I was saying, I saw a fly crawling on the wall. And I said wow, suppose a person had the power to stick to a wall like an insect. So I was off and running. And I thought, what will I call him? I tried Mosquito-Man, that didn't have any glamor, Insect-Man, that was even worse. I went down the line and I got to Spider-Man. It sounded mysterious and dramatic, and lo, a legend was born," end quote.

And this power of sticking to walls was important to the character's overall design. Once Stan Lee got the approval to go ahead with the character from Martin Goodman, he took the idea to Jack Kirby to flesh out the character a little bit more and draw up some pages. But Stan Lee hated Kirby's designs, he said it was too heroic. So he instead gave the job to Steve Ditko, who was only supposed to be the inker. And Ditko would be the one who came up with Spidey's iconic costume.

He explained his inspiration, quote, "One of the first things I did was work up a costume, a vital, visual part of the character. I had to know how he looked before I did any breakdowns. For example, a clinging power, so he wouldn't have any hard shoes or boots," end quote.

This is why Spider-Man's costume is typically portrayed as a very thin fabric from head to toe as opposed to armor like a lot of other superheroes. His clinging power simply wouldn't work if there was too much between him and the surface he was trying to stick to. In fact, in Amazing Spider-Man #1, it clearly states that his shoes are so lightweight they can even be folded to fit into his back pocket. This is different than some of the movies, which show his shoes having these sneaker-like soles to them.

Going a little bit further, Amazing Spider-Man #90 shows that when he's just in his civilian clothing, he has to take off his normal shoes in order to use his spider-cling powers. The shoes are simply too thick but the costume is thin enough to work. Now, obviously, a lot of these examples are from the past so newer comics might show some inconsistencies but this is how Spider-Man was intended to be.

I hope that answers your question, let me know in the comments if you have any other comic book questions you'd like me to answer.

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