If you are planning on going climbing as a beginner, there is a need for you to be fully kitted. This is your best guarantee for a very good experience. Asides your clothing, climbing shoes are very important. We’re not just talking about just any climbing shoe, but the best climbing shoes for beginners.
The biggest mistake beginners make is going into the store and picking any kind of climbing shoe. For example, if you pick a climbing shoe with an aggressive downturn or a thin rubber sole, your climb is very uncomfortable.
We’ll be letting you in on everything you need to know about getting the best beginner to intermediate rock climbing shoes, why they are designed like they are, and how to choose the best fit for yourself. First, let’s review the best beginner rock climbing shoe brands.
|La Sportiva Finale||Lace||Leather/ Synthetic|
|Butora Endeavor||Velcro||Leather/ Synthetic|
|Black Diamond Momentum||Velcro||Synthetic|
|La Sportiva Tarantulace||Lace||Leather|
|Scarpa Vapor V||Velcro||Leather|
- Best Beginner Climbing Shoes Product Review
- Buying Guide
- Beginner Climbing Shoe Fit Tips
- Closure System in Beginner Climbing Shoes
- Upper Material of Climbing Shoes for Beginners
Best Beginner Climbing Shoes Product Review
#1 La Sportiva Finale
As a beginner, you must have decided on the type of climbing you want to engage in. La Sportiva Finale was made specifically for trad climbing. If you are looking for the best beginner climbing shoes for trad, this is it.
It is designed with a leather upper and a simple lace closure. It offers a combination of beginner performance, flexibility and most importantly, comfort. Because of the lace closure, you can adjust the shoe to fit you perfectly to your taste. It gives good performance on slabs, edges and steeper terrains despite its flat downturn.
The sole is medically stiff and flexible but it is not sensitive while you climb. There is enough padding to protect you from the impact while climbing. This is the best climbing shoe for beginners in terms of versatility and competence.
- It is one of the best beginner gym climbing shoes.
- The La Sportiva Finale is very suitable for multi-pitch.
- The shoe is suitable for beginners who are in sports climbing.
- The leather stretches with time but the lace closure makes it adjustable to fit in snugly.
- It is decent when climbing through cracks although most beginners don’t start with cracks.
#2 Butora Endeavor
If you are in search of the best beginner to intermediate climbing shoes, this would be your best bet. What makes this beginner climbing shoe special is because it is one of the best affordable beginner climbing shoes you can get.
The innovative design of this shoe is the first thing that catches the eyes. As an entry-level climbing shoe from the brand, it is awe-inspiring. The shoe is a combination of affordability, comfort and beginner performance. The shoe downturn is moderate which gives it a better performance than some other beginner climbing shoes.
It is a very good choice if you are looking for something to use until you get to an intermediate climbing stage. Butora Endeavor comes in both male and female forms. This means that there is an option for wide and narrow feet. The velcro closure makes it possible to adjust the fit. It is a good choice for climbers who don’t wear shoes for too long and would want to slip it on and off easily.
If you are a climber who goes for comfort, you would want to get the Butora Endeavour. The inner layer is also padded with memory foam that protects your feet.
- The Velcro closure makes it possible to comfortably slip the shoe on and off.
- The shoe’s leather/ synthetic closure stretches over time.
- The shoe is a vegan model.
- The top layer is made with open-cell foam that allows breathability.
- They provide the best beginner climbing shoes for wide feet and narrow feet.
- It has a moderate downturn which means that it won’t give the best performance on vertical or overhanging terrain.
#3 Black Diamond Momentum
Want to know what makes this one of the best rock climbing shoes for beginners? Three things: durability, comfort, and affordability. These are the three factors that make for the best entry-level rock climbing shoes. The Black Diamond Momentum checks all these boxes. At $100, it is one of the best inexpensive rock climbing shoes.
The shoe is designed with a microfiber toe liner and a breathable knit upper. This makes it very comfortable and durable. The shoe sole has a flat surface that can see you through shabby and almost vertical terrains. The Velcro straps make it possible to adjust the fit and take it off easily.
- The Black Diamond Momentum comes with high aesthetic value.
- The breathable-engineered knit is a positive aspect of the shoe.
- Best indoor rock climbing shoes for beginners
- Great rock climbing shoes for all-day climbing!
- The shoe is vegan-friendly.
- Best budget rock climbing shoes
- The shoe material stretches over time.
- Constant use can cause blisters
#4 La Sportiva Tarantulace
The La Sportiva Tarantulace comes with both comfort and fit. These are two factors that most beginners search for. The lace closure makes it hold your feet snug and prevent a slip-off while climbing. This makes it one of the best comfortable beginner climbing shoes. It is made with materials that are very agreeable to the feet. This makes it comfortable to wear for hours without feeling pain, blisters or discomfort.
While this shoe is comfortable, it is not the best performer but it also is not the worst. It is adequate for the terrains that most beginners would come across. It is a perfect blend of comfort and performance fit for beginners.
- With lace closure, you can adjust the fit to your precise hold.
- La Sportiva Tarantulace is very comfortable and would care less about wearing them for long. This also means that you’ll spend more time climbing.
- Lace closures may not be a preferred choice for all climbers because it is not so comfortable to get on and off.
- It may not be the best choice if you are looking for something to take you beyond beginner terrains.
#5 Evolv Defy
The Evolv Defy may not be the best relatively aesthetic climbing shoe, but it does give a decent performance for beginners. It is very comfortable and the best beginner climbing shoe on slabs. It is designed with a flat downturn and a stiff sole that reduces the strain off your calves while climbing. The stiff sole is also very easy to stand on and offers less sensitivity for beginners. The upper is made with materials that are cozy and supportive of your feet.
The stiff sole makes climbing for a long time easy and with less fatigue than shoes with softer soles. Worth mentioning is the fact that the Evolv Defy is one of the best beginner indoor rock climbing shoes. It can be used in the gym and for good hikes.
- The shoe is made with quality upper materials that make it more durable.
- If you are a person who loves climbing for long hours with your shoes on, this would be a good choice.
- The velcro closure gives it a fit adjustment for your feet.
- It is not suitable for anything other than slabs.
#6 Scarpa Origin
Some beginners look for something to use while advancing their climbing skills. Scarpa Origin was designed to tale beginners through the beginner’s phase, up till the intermediate level. The design was targeted at creating comfort and performance. It may just be one of the best comfortable beginners climbing shoes. What makes this shoe stand out is the focus on quality, design, and comfort.
The inner part of the shoe is padded which gives it a comfortable pillow-like feel. It was made with a flat sole to provide support and prevent pain due to jamming while climbing. Due to comfort, beginners may go on for longer than with an uncomfortable climbing shoe.
- If you are a climber who loves velcro closures, this would be a good choice.
- It is more durable and can take you through the intermediate climbing stage.
- The velcro closure may wear out causing a slip-off while climbing.
#7 Scarpa Vapor V
For a new design, this has proven to be one of the best beginner climbing shoes 2019 presented. Very rare is it to find climbing shoes that can take climbers from the beginner to the advanced level. Most advanced climbing shoes tend to sacrifice comfort for performance.
The Scarpa Vapour creates a perfect blend for comfort and performance. We have placed this climbing shoe in our list for beginners who are in search of a long term shoe. This shoe runs well from slabs to steeper terrains.
This makes for one of the best inexpensive beginner climbing shoes to date. It is versatile, flexible, has a moderate downturn and sees you through technical terrains. The soft materials used in designing this shoe gives it a cushy and comfortable feeling. It also makes for the best beginner climbing shoes for wide feet because the suede material is stretchy. The climbing shoe design makes it an all-round performer.
- It is one of the most comfortable and affordable beginner climbing shoes.
- Best for beginners who are into climbing for the long run and want a longer-lasting option.
- The Scarpa Vapour may be unsuitable for beginners that are not concerned about performance.
Heading out to get a climbing shoe as a beginner, you need to know the best place to get beginner climbing shoes, the best beginner climbing shoe brands and what to look out for when choosing beginner climbing shoes.
We’ll give you some tips on how to get your right beginner climbing shoe fit, materials to best consider and how to look for the right comfort and performance. This would be a guide based on what you want in climbing and your individual preferences.
Beginner Climbing Shoe Fit Tips
The choice of fit in beginner climbing shoes is very important and it varies from individual to individual. While looking for beginner climbing shoes, try out various brands to see which best suits your needs. We’ll be listing a few tips to help you get your right shoe fit.
Shop during the day
During the day, your feet can swell. Before going out to shop, take a wall or a hike or run. This way, you would be on the safer side while trying out your climbing shoes.
Try out the shoes in person
The surest way for you to get a perfect fit is to shop personally. If you send someone for your size, it may be smaller or bigger than you desire.
Explore your options
While shopping, don’t limit yourself to certain climbing shoe brands. Explore the different options available to you and see which best suits you
When it comes to size, be flexible
Sometimes, your standard size may not be your perfect fit. There are different shoe sizes and feet shapes. Go higher or lower to get your best choice. For example, you could get the best climbing shoes for beginners UK size 42 while you wear 41 normally.
Adjust the shoe closure to your preference
Before wearing the shoe, inlace or unbuckle the closure and adjust it to the limit and see if it gives you your desired fit.
Know the kind of fit you want
A beginner climbing shoe should not be very painful or too loose. It should hold your feet snug. If it is too tight, you may experience pain, bunions, blisters or sores. This could hinder your performance level. Alternatively, if the climbing shoe fits perfectly, you would feel less fatigue and experience a higher performance level.
Make sure your feet are aligned with the sole
Beginner soles are mostly flat or moderately curved. While testing shoes out, ensure that your feet are flat or curved with the sole. Give up an option if your feet are bunched above the sole.
Snug is Better
While trying out beginner climbing shoes, consider the fit concerning the length, breadth, and width of your feet. Avoid choosing shoes with space between your toes and the front of the shoe. While standing, your toes should touch the front. The back of the shoe should not pierce the bottom of your heels. A snug fit holds well without your feet moving but not too tight to be uncomfortable.
As you advance in climbing, it is normal to want to sacrifice the comfort of your shoe’s fit for performance. These tips would still guide you in choosing the right.
Closure System in Beginner Climbing Shoes
The closure system in a beginner climbing shoe differs and choosing one depends on present preference. There are three main choices of closure to loot at:
For ease in slipping your climbing shoes on and off, velcro closure is a good choice. They are very good, especially in the gym. While you adjust the hold, however, it becomes more asymmetric because the upper material overlaps. This may be a problem when it comes to the fit or feel of the shoe.
Lace-up shoes allow for a more customized fit than the velcro. The two sides of the shoe are divided and the lace is used to cinch it together to your precise fit. This type of closure supports a wider range of foot shapes than the other closures. The downside to this is that it takes longer to put on and get off.
The slipper/ slip-on shoes are not very common among beginner climbing shoes these days. They are made with elastic or starchy materials that let you slip them on and off easily.
The downside to these shoes is that they can easily come off while you are climbing which would be an uncomfortable situation. If you want to go for this closure, it is best to go for a very precise fit. You should know that it gets stretched over time and becomes loose in your feet.
When choosing beginner climbing shoes, you need to know what you want. If you require slip-on-and-off comfort, the velcro or slip-on climbing shoes would do. However, for a customizable fit, the lace-up shoe would be best.
Upper Material of Climbing Shoes for Beginners
The upper material in beginner climbing shoes vary. They all come with their advantages and disadvantages. Some beginner climbing shoes combine two or more materials to create a perfect and durable blend. Let’s look at the materials used in beginner climbing shoes.
Most climbing shoes come with a leather upper. Leather uppers may come lined or unlined. This helps to reduce the rate at which leather uppers stretch. They stretch more than any other material. It may go up to a size bigger. With this in mind, choose a smaller size to leave room for stretching over time.
Synthetic materials don’t stretch like leather or synthetic/ leather. While choosing a climbing shoe with synthetic upper, choose your exact size and not a smaller version. The downside to these materials is that they are less breathable than leather. This leads to sweaty feet.
Brands are now designing their climbing shoes with this combination to create a hybrid material. It combines the advantages of both materials while canceling out their disadvantages. Synthetic/ leather materials stretch only slightly and are more durable.
Knitted material is like the newest model climbing shoe brands are now using. They are produced using ‘Engineered Knit’ technology. It creates a more breathable, thin and strong layer of fabric. It stretches more but does not wear out over time. So, it is more durable than other materials.
What kind of Beginner Climbing Shoe outsole should I get?
Climbing Shoe Outsoles come in different thickness and stiffness. These factors affect performance and comfortability. Firmer outsole rubbers provide support while the softer rubbers give better grip and smearing during climbing. The former rubber is more durable than the softer. Outsole thickness affects sensitivity and performance also. For a beginner, it is best to get a thicker outsole and graduate from there.
Should I get different shoes for Gym and Outdoor Climbing?
No. There are beginner climbing shoes that offer multi-purpose. Check out our product review above to see the different options for both outdoor and gym climbing. While most beginner climbing shoes serve for all-purpose, some perform better in some aspects than others. You may want to look out for the best beginner indoor rock climbing shoes or the best beginner bouldering shoes to get better performance. For the other options included intermediate level, sport, trad climbing and more, you can check out this great climbing shoes article from ABC-Of-RockClimbing.com.
What Should I Consider in a Beginner to Intermediate Climbing shoe
Typically, beginner climbing shoes should be vetted based on performance, comfort, and sensitivity.
For performance, you need to answer the following questions: how well does the shoe perform on multiple terrains? How confident do I feel while climbing in it? How much do I slip unexpectedly while climbing on it?
With regards to comfort, ask yourself: how long can I go in these shoes without feeling pains or fatigue? How pleasant are they while I climb on walls? How well do they fit? Does the discomfort distract or disrupt my process while I climb?
For sensitivity: how much can you feel the rocks through your shoes? How well do they help you understand the footholds? How well does it help you to predict the limits?
Getting and taking the best beginner climbing shoe bouldering, sports climbing, trad or indoor climbing is a matter of personal preference. We have highlighted the best of the best beginner climbing shoes Reddit and other stores can offer.
We didn’t just stop there but provided very specific guidelines on getting a customized fit. It doesn’t take much to get hooked with your referred climbing shoe brand. Who knows, you might be coming back for advice on how to get the best beginner-intermediate climbing shoes. That is how fun climbing can be when you do it right.