Shoes play a vital role in your climbing, even if you’re a professional climber or you’ve got lots of experience. Shoe function to maintain your safety and help you while climbing. However, just like most climbing gear, a wide variety of shoes are available in the market, and as a result of the various climbing heights.
With the uniqueness in the feet size of individuals, choosing the best climbing shoe seems a herculean task. Nonetheless, you need not worry as we will guide you to make an informed decision on the best shoes for climbing.
|La Sportiva Miura VS||Leather||Aggressive|
|Scarpa Instinct VS||Moderate||Synthetic|
|La Sportiva Men’s TarantuLace Rock Climbing Shoe||Leather||Aggressive|
|Five Ten Anasazi Lace shoes||Moderate||Synthetic|
|La Sportiva TC Pro||Flat||Leather|
- Best Climbing Shoes Reviews
- BUYER’S GUIDE
Best Climbing Shoes Reviews
#1 La Sportiva Miura VS Climbing Shoe
Undoubtedly, one can say that the LA Sportiva Miura VS is one of the best climbing shoes available in the market. This shoe known for its high efficiency and performance is designed with a hook-and-loop closure construction. In addition to its sturdy convex-shaped design which gives you mastery of the little edges and tiny pockets.
To improve the efficiency, flexibility, and output in resistance to stretching, a slip-lasting construction design with uppers made of leather and Dentex synthetic linings. When the need arises, one can decide to incorporate another sole to these shoes.
The weight of a pair is only one pound three ounces. Therefore, if you’re in need of a solid, aggressive shoe, the La Sportiva Miura VS is the best option for you.
- Good fitting of laces, especially for narrow feet.
- No digging into the Achilles by the heel of the shoe
- Sturdy and solid construction
- Quick lacing system
- Guarantees comfort while climbing
- The height of the toe box is excess.
#2 Scarpa Instinct VS Climbing Shoe
If your utmost desire in climbing shoes is sensitivity and power, then you’ve got to buy the Scarpa Instinct VS. This is considered the best shoe for bouldering available in the market. It is also a great option for sport climbers, with the uppers made with Lorica synthetic leather which prevents gripping the sole and stretching to help with hooking.
The climbing footwear is designed for steep climbing to rocks, with an innovative system that gives room for optimum protection of the big toe, without excessive pain like experienced in other shoes. The fitting is capable of being customized, with its two-part sole for ease while maneuvering rigorous routes. With a weight of 16.5 ounces, these are a bouldering favorite.
- Great and tight-fitting
- Excellent edging
- Great for wide feet
- Often very painful to wear
- Overstretch and wear easily
#3 La Sportiva Men’s TarantuLace Rock Climbing Shoe
People who enjoy climbing different heights and structures, from sport climbing to gym climbing, bouldering and crack climbing will love this climbing shoe for sure. This climbing shoe provides the comfort, support, and traction you need.
It is designed in an asymmetric pattern with the intention of supporting while climbing and improving performance which often requires certain techniques and maneuvering skills. This allows users to enjoy a breathable and comfortable shoe, giving their feet the warmth it needs while climbing for hours. Also, the unlining in this shoe mold your feet, giving you the feel of a second skin. Simply amazing.
As a professional climber shopping for new climbing shoes, or you’re just venturing into climbing, these climbing shoes give you the needed support and durability you need.
Manufactured using natural and synthetic leather together, it is comfortable and absorbs moisture well. Every seasoned climber knows that in climbing, the footwear has a role to play in performance. This is an ideal option for tough climbs, where maneuverability of the terrain is needed.
- Comfortable and offers protection
- Swift lacing harness to give a snug fit
- Great grip and durability using the Durable FriXion RS
- Leather lining for moisture management
- Difficult to wear without help from an expert
#4 Butora Endeavor Climbing Shoe
Flexibility and expertise are enabled when using this climbing shoe as it does not compromise performance but delivers comfort and support. The Butora Endeavor is the best climbing shoes for a beginner. It gives precision and support while climbing, with a natural fitting and a triple fork web design, giving a perfect for to your leg.
The footbeds made with split leather improves comfort and performance. Inside the shoe is a lining made of organic hemp that helps in order control and prevents stretching. This shoe is best for versatile climbers, irrespective of whatever climbing style he or she chooses.
- Suitable for gym and climbing
- Good fitting
- Appropriate for beginners and professionals too
- Best for wide feet
- Not an aggressive shoe
- Run Small distances
#5 Five Ten Anasazi Lace shoes
The Five Ten Anasazi Lace comes as one of the top rock climbing shoes with its excellent all-round performance. If you need a reliable shoe for climbing, you should consider this product. It is great for various terrains such as edging and crack climbing.
The climbing shoe is sturdy and supportive, while the C4 rubber makes it possible to navigate difficult terrain like professionals. With its high heel tension design, users can enjoy the great comfort it brings. The shoe is adjustable to a perfect fit with its lace closure.
- Excellent for mountain climbing
- Good fitting
- Sturdy sole
- Great for gyming
- The shoe is not breathable
#6 La Sportiva TC Pro Climbing Shoe
The La Sportiva TC Pro is ideal for crack climbing and edging. It works well for rock climbing as it protects users’ feet and ankles when stuck in crack due to its foam padding. Cuffs are incorporated to guard your ankles and avoid scraping.
With these shoes, your toes can lie flat and proper airflow is enabled through the perforations and ventilation tongues. If you plan to climb any big walls, you’re advised to get a pair of LA Sportiva TCPro shoes for yourself.
- Snug and Comfortable
- Soft and stretchy
- Suitable for rock climbing
- Great for use in gym and bouldering
- A tendency for the tongue to roll inwards
- Vibram XS Edge rubber isn’t sticky enough
- Original rubber breaks away easily
#7 Evolv Shaman Climbing Shoe
Evolve Shaman’s new design has earned it a spot on our top climbing shoes in the world. The redesign came with a more fitting hold. The shoe now has rubber for toe hooking. Also, it was redesigned with a front strap which improves toe scumming while climbing.
It has a roomy box toe design which has a downturn shape. This comes along with toe rands made with different thickness levels that increase its durability. The new hook-and-loop strap allows you to adjust it so your feet meet the arch. These qualities make up for a good fit.
On other qualities, the suede material used in the redesign is resistant to stretching and dries fast. From our description, you must have realized that the redesign is far from the previous model. If you want to know if this is the best climbing shoe to buy, read our pros and cons.
- Gives accurate toe hold and placement.
- The edges are sharp and sticky.
- Designed specifically for serious climbers.
- Best fit for rock climbing and bouldering.
- The new design is totally a vegan model. It is one of the best vegan rock climbing shoes
- It increases your confidence when working on your toes.
- More durable than other models.
- The Evolv Shaman can be uncomfortable or painful at first
- The shoes are in smaller sizes
- Too aggressive and would not be suitable for new climbers.
- Not recommended for use in the gym.
Buying a climbing shoe needs special care and attention so as to purchase the best. When buying the best shoe for climbing, there are some factors to consider, and this buying guide will highlight a few for you.
What to Look for in Good Climbing Shoes
When buying new climbing shoes, there are a few things to keep in mind. If you already have experience with climbing shoes, then you know roughly what to look for and what is essential. For beginners or for those who want to try something new, there are several tips for the right purchase of climbing shoes. Here, we explain what is important when buying the best climbing shoes and what you should pay special attention to so that you are satisfied with the choice:
Choose the right size
A climbing shoe should be a bit smaller than a normal street shoe. The reason for this lies in the fact that the climbing shoes should fit closer to the foot, which promises better handling and feel when climbing. However, it is not generally possible to say how tight a climbing shoe should be or what size it should be. Rather, it depends on the type of climbing, the level of performance of the climber and his well-being.
For climbing in high alpine terrain, for example, you need tighter shoes than for sport climbing. Bouldering requires more tight-fitting shoes than alpine climbing. The higher the level of difficulty, the tighter the shoe should be. As a rule, experienced climbers need different shoes for the different disciplines and levels of difficulty. This makes climbing more comfortable, safer and relieves the feet. If you’re not sure how big the new shoes should be, give it a try.
Borrow different specimens of different sizes in the climbing hall and test which size is best for you while climbing. Note that the shoes of different manufacturers can be of different sizes. Also, the climbing shoes expand a little with increasing use and become wider. Even if the shoes feel a bit too tight at first, that’s not a bad thing, because they will widen over time.
For the manufacture of climbing shoes, the producers choose either leather or various plastics for the upper. The two solutions have certain advantages and disadvantages. Leather is more robust and therefore also more durable, but it also expands more easily and loses its original shape over time. The plastic shoes are different – they are not so hard-wearing, but they keep their shape.
However, most climbers prefer leather because it is more comfortable as a material. Plastics also absorb unpleasant smells more easily than leather. What you ultimately choose is a matter of taste and is up to you. Synthetic or synthetic leather is still coming. This fabric combines the advantages of the two materials mentioned.
The right inner material is just as important for your comfort. The climbing shoes with inner lining sit better and more comfortably than others and do not expand as much. The disadvantage is poor ventilation, which leads to increased sweating and the development of unpleasant smells. Shoes without an inner lining, on the other hand, have better handling.
Types of feet
The climbing shoes differ from each other in the shape of their feet. There are three different types of feet: Roman, Greek, and Egyptian. If the climber’s big toe is longest, it is the “Egyptian” foot shape, if the toes are roughly the same, you have a “Roman” foot shape, and a “Greek” is present when the second toe is longest. Depending on the manufacturer, there are also several shoe models for these different foot types. It is helpful if you inform yourself in advance directly from the manufacturer or on the Internet.
You can find climbing shoes with symmetrical and asymmetrical lasts on the market. It is about the symmetry of the individual shoe and not of the two individual shoes to each other. As a rule, a shoe with asymmetrical lasts fits more tightly than a model with symmetrical lasts. Such shoes are closer to the foot, which affects comfort. This type of shoe is particularly suitable for experienced climbers.
The preloaded shoes have a shorter sole. From the side, you can see that such a shoe is a bit crooked and the toes and heel bend down. In technical jargon, this curvature is also called a “downturn”. The preload brings decisive advantages to the climber. This not only makes the shoe snug, but it also increases the pressure you can put on the wall with your toes.
In difficult terrain, you can use even the smallest column or step to stand on tiptoe on it. The preload of the shoe, therefore, indicates the pressure level with which the heel plate presses the foot forward in the shoe. The more difficult and risky the tasks in the rock are, the greater the preload should be. However, beginners should avoid bias because they will initially compete on less demanding routes that do not require bias.
Without a doubt, a climbing shoe with a stiff midsole provides more sure-footedness. You need this property when climbing in a climbing hall, for example, if you want to climb small ledges. In the outdoor area, on the other hand, things look different – here a rather soft, sensitive midsole is required. Keep in mind that you need more foot strength with a soft midsole.
As far as the closure is concerned, you will hardly find any differences to conventional shoes. There are generally three different types of fastenings – climbing shoes with laces, with a Velcro fastener or slippers. The laces can be better adapted to the individual foot shape. The result is a better feeling in the feet and toes, which is necessary for sure-footedness. The disadvantage is a relatively long dressing and undressing. Things look very different with Velcro shoes – they can be put on and taken off extremely quickly.
You will appreciate this on demanding routes where you need tighter shoes. Shoes closed with a Velcro are also popular when bouldering because you should rather use narrow shoes. The slippers are the last to be mentioned. They have an elastic band or elastic bands that hold the shoe on foot. The dressing and undressing are, therefore, particularly quick. The disadvantage: they can hardly be adapted to the foot. For this reason, the climbers usually choose slightly smaller sizes so that the slipper sits as close to the foot as possible.
The sole of climbing shoes usually has no profile. Only climbing shoes for the climb are an exception. However, they do not belong to any classic category of climbing shoes. Furthermore, climbing shoes have no heel. A classic climbing shoe is soled with robust and mostly abrasion-resistant rubber; in many models, there is an edge rubber. In the case of edge rubber models, the sole is pulled up all around the shoe, and the rubber edge encompasses the shoe above the sole.
The function of the edge rubber is that the shoe does not expand when it is used for a long time. This gives the shoe a better grip with various climbing techniques. The soles also differ in their degree of hardness. For so-called friction climbing, shoes with a soft sole are the better choice, but the effort required for small steps remains much higher here.
For such a climbing you need shoes with a slightly harder sole because this makes it easier for you to stand on small steps, lasts or steps. The choice of the sole is determined by the way you want to climb. If, for example, you like to “hook”, then you are on the safe side with a shoe with rubber. The “friction climber” should choose a soft sole.
What type of climbing should I be doing?
There are different types of climbing. The most popular of them are sports climbing, traditional climbing, and bouldering. There are also some special kinds of climbing you should know of like slab and crack climbing. You can choose to do any of these depending on your stamina. The type of climbing shoes you would need would depend on the kind of climbing you choose.
What foot shape do I need to have to wear the best climbing shoes?
There are some climbing shoe brands that are designed for certain feet shapes. Some brands make shoes for users with wider feet while others focus on narrow feet. A source of reference would be La Sportiva which makes shoes for people with narrow feet. Another example would be Scarpa which designs shoes for people with wider feet. While testing out climbing shoes, your feet should have a perfect balance between being too loose and too tight.
Measure your foot length before putting on climbing footwear. The width dimension of your foot is not so important because while testing out climbing shoes, you are testing for the best fit. A very good fit leaves no empty space and fills the space without being too tight.
For instance, someone with a foot with high volume should be looking for a climbing shoe with a deep heel cup. This helps to prevent pain while walking on the shoes. It’s quite easier for people with large feet to find a fit than those with small feet because most top climbing rock shoes are designed for larger feet.
Climbers with low volume feet should look for climbing shoes with smaller heel cups. Make sure the shoe is not too loose on your foot. If you’re wondering where to look, Evolv Shaman and La Sportiva should have what you want. They make the best low volume climbing shoes, and most of them fall under the best climbing shoes for women.
You don’t have to worry about your foot shape. Most of the best urban climbing shoes are designed for different foot types. Your main aim should be finding the best fit for your climbing or walking. A good fit would give you the best performance compared to a loose or right fit.
While choosing climbing shoes, should I look for comfort or performance?
There’s a misconception that climbing shoes with high performance are uncomfortable. Somehow, people believe that comfortable climbing shoes give a lower performance. This may not be totally wrong in the case of some climbing shoes.
The best climbing shoe brands for high performance tend to be more aggressive. They are designed to turn your toes downwards and it could be uncomfortable while walking but you would get used to it with time. The best climbing shoes for comfort are designed with flat soles, they tend to be less painful while climbing or walking.
Some climbing shoes offer both comfort and high performance. You can also get a product that guarantees both comfort and high performance. Just stick to what you want.
Climbing will be easier and enjoyable with any of these shoes tightly fitted on your legs. The LA Sportiva Miura VS is our top climbing shoe among the products reviewed for its high efficiency and performance. However, all these reviewed products offer you great value for your money. The choice is yours!