Are you on a quest to find the best rock climbing shoes?
Then you’re in the right place. Because I have done the hard work for you and have reviewed dozens of products to bring you the best rock climbing shoes.
In addition, I will introduce the following related topics.
- Product Details (Including advantages and disadvantages)
- Buyer’s Guide
- Various Types of Rock Climbing Shoes to Suit Different Terrains
I will also answer some common questions.
- Do you wear socks with your rock climbing shoes?
- How do you clean climbing shoes?
- Why do some climbing shoes have strange shapes?
- How often should I buy new climbing shoes?
- Which climbing shoes do the professionals wear?
Without further ado, let’s begin!
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Top 3 Picks ( In a Hurry? Here are the winners )
Best Rock Climbing Shoes
When you are scaling mountains of hanging from cliff faces, you need the best rock-climbing shoes, regardless of whether you are an expert or a beginner. This also includes indoor rock climbing.
Making an investment in the Best Rock Climbing Shoes will assist with enhancing your performance which will make your climbing experiences safer and more comfortable. This is the type of footwear designed specifically for rock climbing activities. The design ensures that your feet are able to fit firmly in cracks and on edges.
The best rock climbing footwear should also feature ample support, comfort, breathability, and stiffness, making them feel like they are extensions of each foot.
- FAST LACING SYSTEM - Quick-pull lacing harness allows for precise...
- ALL-AROUND PERFORMANCE - Designed to help intermediate climbers smear,...
- CLIMB IN COMFORT - From the gym to the crags, the classic unlined...
- BUILT TO LAST - This indoor/outdoor climbing shoe is constructed from...
- TIPS FOR BUYING - Rock climbing shoes are designed to fit differently...
These shoes boast a rugged heel made from rubber and 5mm FriXion RS rubber soles, the TarantuLace by La Sportiva is a highly versatile shoe made for various climbing sports. The uppers of this footwear consist of a combination of synthetic fabric and leather that feels soft while adding to the lightweight fit and comfort levels of this footwear.
Regardless of whether you prefer tackling walls at the local gym, or you regularly participate in expert-level pitches when outdoors, these wall-climbing shoes for men will help you to continue progressing further “up the ladder”.
- All around performance
- 2-strap closure
- 3D molded hooking heel
- Tech Flex Upper/Polycarbonate Midsole/Leather Footbed
- Thickness: 1.8 mm midsole/3.8 mm sole /1.8 mm rand
Another pair of excellent climbing footwear which come at an affordable price tag, which still offers users with a fantastic shoe overall.
These shoes are imported using a synthetic-flex which features both a rubber and leather sole. The leather upper combines with Synflex which contributes towards outstanding performance along with providing you with a consistent and comfortable plush fit.
The 3D molded heels on these shoes assist with maximizing friction that you are going to experience, while the shock gel assists with lowering impact forces that your heels are exposed to. The polycarbonate midsole also provides a predictable and consistent flex which results in an outstanding overall performance.
3. Five Ten Men’s Anasazi Moccasym Climbing Shoe
- Triple pull tabs
- Side-exit heel seam
- Slingshot heel
- Stealth C4 rubber 4.2mm
When it comes to convenience and comfort, these slip-on Anasazi Moccasym’s are extremely difficult shoes to beat. This brand of footwear is ideal for people who require all-day comfort or/and prefer slipping their footwear on and off between each climb. These shoes are a real time saver and do away with the hassle of having to redo velcro straps or laces several times over a day.
This shoe is a solid all-rounder, yet are slightly stretchy and soft and for this reason, are lacking when it comes to edge performance associated with harder soled and more aggressive shoes. These shoes are ideal for friction and smearing climbs.
- Highly charged Bi-Tension Active Randing provides maximum toe power
- Vibram XS Edge in forefoot provides incredible grip and durability
- Vibram XS Grip 2 makes heel hooking simple
- Mid length outsole construction
- Floating power strap enhances fit and provides power
A perfectly powerful and asymmetric shoe, the Instinct VS deserves a place on this list and is rated among the best in the category of climbing shoes for men. This gear not only excels when it comes to making sure you get up steeper terrain comfortably and safer, but the tight fit and stiff sole are ideal for toeing over small edges along with gripping well over hard rocks.
The standout feature about this footwear has to do with the secure and snug heel which makes them perfect for aggressive heel-hooking and at the same time endures the more challenging of climbs.
5. SCARPA Men’s Vapor V-M
- The Scarpa Vapor V offers the perfect combination of performance,...
- A performance-driven rock climbing shoe designed for adventures...
- Suede and Lorica microsuede upper creates stretch but retain...
- Designed to stand on very small holds.
- Bi-tension active randing distributes power to the front of the shoe...
This footwear performs very well when it comes to cracks, they are comfortable, and smear very well, while providing ample support when your entire weight is resting on each foot. The Vapor V might be the perfect shoes for your needs if you are willing to look past a few annoying yet small design flaws.
These shoes come with Velcro strap closures with a buckle on either side, which may not appear to be a problem, to begin with, but it will bother you when you wedge one of these inside a crack.
In addition, the overall feel of the shoes is slightly lacking when it comes to sensitivity if you compare them to the other types of high-end performance competitors.
6. Tarantula Climbing Shoe
- Comfortable unlined leather upper provides all day comfort
- Long lasting sticky FriXion rubber sticks to plastic and rock equally...
- Highly adjustable closure system adapts to various foot types
- Asymmetrical shape helps beginning climbers push the grades at a...
- Ideal terrain: All around climbing
These are the ideal shoes for rock climbing for beginners. They are easy to put on and are extremely comfortable. The loop and hook closures allow a more customized fit, regardless of how narrow or wide your feet might be. They are also versatile and ideal for all types of climbs, which means you can grow with your shoes from an indoor wall climb onto more aggressive outdoor climbs. They come in at an affordable price and their durability means they will last for a long time.
The hook-and-loop closure system offers an easier way for a new climber to get their shoes off and on. The Velcro closures are adjustable, but they are not as customizable when compared to the lace-up options. If you get the correct size these shoes provide an excellent fit.
While Tarantula may perform well for just about any type of climbing activity, they really shine when it comes to comfort. The leather upper is unlined and breathable, which helps to keep your feet dry and airy. The FriXion rubber soles provide superior grip, which will help you to feel more confident about taking your next step. The low asymmetry and rounded shape offer ample flexibility and sensitivity that new climbers really need. Overall this footwear is extremely comfortable and the best to get started with your climbing activities.
7. Climb X Rave Strap Climbing Shoe
- Please refer to the Sizing Chart for Recommended Size.
- Padded Collar and Heel for Comfort.
These are great intermediate and beginner shoes and even though they are associated with a more affordable price tag, they are still effective and durable climbing shoes. We suggest that the Climb X Rave is one of the better value-for-money options that includes the important basics and still remains reliable and comfortable at the same time.
With the soft padded heel and collar and double-stitch construction, this a mountain climbing shoe that provides a snug and tight fit, while boasting a footbed made from anti-microbial hemp which assists with lowering foot odors.
8. Five Ten Men’s Anasazi VCS Climbing Shoe
- Cowdura upper
- Dual heel pulls
- C4/OnyXX rand
- Dual hook-and-loop closure
- This climbing shoe from FiveTen offers legendary edging performance...
While these shoes may not be the most attractive looking, they are manufactured in the USA and come with rubber soles to ensure you achieve the best overall experience and grip expected from a rock climbing shoe.
In addition, the synthetic lined Cordura uppers are exceptional because they do not stretch. The double-strand Velcro closure system is also a great feature for climbers that prefer an easier closure system and do not require a customized fit. These shoes also feature an asymmetric toe-box, stealth rubber outsoles, and high-heel tension for the very best results.
9. La Sportiva Miura Climbing Shoe
- Slingshot rand connected to the power hinge under the shoe wraps...
- Speed lacing system for quick lace-ups
- 8 panel directional lining for channeling stretch
- Slip last construction for added sensitivity to help you feel and grip...
- Ideal for overhanging sport routes, bouldering, gym climbing and...
When it comes to the price, these shoes are similar to the prices of other footwear that this brand sells. It features both textile and leather materials, along with a durable synthetic sole which provides the results you are looking for.
The down-turned aggressive toe will ensure that you achieve the results that you need and want from this type of footwear. In addition, these shoes come with a Miura slip-lasted construction and a 1.1mm Laspso Flex midsole along with a 4mm Vibram XSV sole.
When you take all these features into consideration, you will find that these shoes offer you loads of outstanding features and footwear that provides the ultimate sensitivity, comfort, and precision at a fantastic price.
10. Scarpa Boostic Climbing Shoe
- Built for maximum toe power for steep vert or overhangs.
- Floating closure straps accommodate all foot shapes.
- Special soft rubber, high friction toe patch for toe hooking.
- Precise heel fit and sticky rubber for exceptional heel hooking.
- Vibram XS Edge provides incredible grip and durability.
These are women climbing shoes that are designed to provide the ultimate toe power when it comes to overhangs or steep vert which provide safety and comfort at all times.
In addition, this footwear feature floating closure-straps which accommodates every type of foot shape and provides a more customized fit.
The specialized high-friction and soft rubber toe patch assists with toe-hooking and will offer you with exceptional results. In addition to the above-mentioned features, this footwear provides an accurate heel fit along with a sticky rubber which gives you excellent heel hooking and outstanding overall performance. The Vibram XS Edge also offers climbers with durability and outstanding grip.
More Products (Our Rating: 4 Stars)
Various Types of Rock Climbing Shoes to Suit Different Terrains
Aggressive Climbing Shoe Choice
Out of all climbing show types, aggressive climbing shoes have a design which is the most downturned. As well as this, they tend to have increased heel tension so that the wearer has good push ability as well as a strong grip. This climbing shoe type is popular for having an asymmetrical shape which makes the shoe have a curvature towards the big toe, hence there is increased precision placement, even when the hold is very small.
Since the soles on these shoes are usually very thin and sticky, they are not a good choice for multi-pitch routes or for people who tend to go on long climbs. Rather, when used for single pitch sports climbs they really come into their own and provide an excellent choice.
Moderate Climbing Shoe Choice
This shoe type comes between aggressive shoes and neutral shoes in the range. They are not as flat as neutral shoes and the downturn is only slight so that they are a good choice for wearers who are interested in climbing which tends to be more technical. These climbing shoes are designed to work well in crack climbs, slab routes and sports where there is a slight overhang.
The thinner soles that this shoe type provides does give a better grip and increased sensitivity so that you can ‘feel’ the terrain which is under your feet, however, they do tend to wear quicker making them less suitable for long excursions.
Neutral Climbing Shoe Choice
These shoes have been designed with a very clear goal of providing the wearer with all-day comfort. In comparison to the Moderate and Aggressive shoe design, neutral climbing shoes encourage the toe to lie flat in the shoe rather than forcing the toe to a point. This choice is perfect for beginner climbers but is also used by experienced climbers who like to take part in long multi-pitch climbs.
Buying Guide for Rock Climbing Shoes
If you want to have ourself fully kitted out for rick climbing, finding the perfect pair of shoes should be your priority and come right at the top of your shopping list. You will be able to have better performance as you grip and push up the cliff when you are wearing comfortable footwear, it is also this same footwear that will keep you safe as you develop your skills in climbing. Hence we have created a list to help you to find the ideal rock climbing ‘kicks’ that all deliver on these important features; good pricing, quality, brand and reviews.
Quality climbing shoes will keep their durability even when used they are used on a regular basis. As well as this they will feel comfortable to the wearer, provide a secure grip and be made of materials which give good ventilation to the feet – this type of quality shoe will help you to reach your potential.
There are three standard shapes of climbing shoe; aggressive, moderate and flat. Each shape provides unique benefits and you will need to make your choice dependant on the performance that you are looking for in your climbing shoes.
- The Flat Choice: Perfect for beginners, the flat-shapes choice will provide the most comfort to the wearer. Good muscle support is also provided as they tend to have thick rubber soles and a rather stiff feel.
- The Moderate Choice: These shoes work better on more advanced routes since they have rubber soles which are thinner and sticker. The slight downturn means the shoe is a little less comfortable than the flat choice which offers plenty of comfort.
- The Aggressive Choice: These shoes are focused on performance rather than on comfort. The downturn is usually sharp and the shape asymmetrical. This tends to squash the toes together – whilst this puts a strain on the foot it provides a real benefit when it comes to edging.
This is likely the least important factor when choosing climbing shoes. However, if you do want your climbing gear to be lighter overall, you may want to opt for a pair of climbing slippers rather than the chunkier option which has big rubber soles.
As was the case with the shape, the required flexibility will depend on the type of climbing you plan to do. For easier climbs, it is best to have flexible shoes, this is also the case for indoor training. For more challenging obstacles, stiffer shoes perform better as they give better hold for rock faces and crags.
The climbing challenge you are planning to take on will determine how much support you need. Certainly, thinner and stickier rubber soles give a better grip and push, but they may also lead to painful and sensitive feet. Thicker soles with arched support will provide more comfort but may make the navigation of small edges more tricky.
You usually get climbing shoes with Velcro, laced, or slipper-style closing. All of these provide support as they secure the shoe to the feet in a snug way. Velcro or slipper-style closing is quick to take on and off. On the other hand, lace-up shoes give you a more customized fit for each foot which can improve your overall level of performance.
When you are trying to identify the best climbing shoes you need to strike a balance between a comfortable design and a shoe that will provide protection against the external elements while not having a negative effect on the overall performance.
Opting for a comfortable choice will keep your feet in good condition and also improve your performance. Look out for a choice that provides ideal support for the structure and size of your feet. Materials that are soft and provide good ventilation will also tend to keep your feet feeling fresh and dry.
The Surface and Terrain
Some climbing shoes have been designed for general climbing and will do well on most terrains while other shoes have been designed for a specific purpose. For bumpy terrains, thicker soles work better, while flatter surfaces lend better to thin and sticky soles. Before you make a purchase, make sure you know what terrains appeal to you the most and base your decision on this.
There is no doubt that brands hold reputations and often have a direct impact on performance. When looking for the best climbing shoes, choose from brands that have a great reputation for providing their customers with well-designed climbing gear but that also have a good after-sales experience and deliver on their promises.
When we compile our list of the best shoes available we always ensure that we have a second opinion on board, as well as a third and a fourth and so on! What consumers think about the product they are using is truly important and it is this input that allows us to identify the good and separate them from the bad.
When you are a beginner you may be better opting for something less expensive. Hence we always make sure that we include a range of shoes that include choices which are ideal for beginners and that stretches up to options which will prove perfect for advanced wearers, hence the prices vary but the value for money is always of priority.
Leather or Synthetic
The uppers of a shoe are what rest on the top and sides of your feet and they tend to be made out of leather or out of synthetic material. A synthetic upper will keep the original shape even when you have broken in the shoe. Leathers will tend to stretch over the course of time to adapt to your foot shape and hence provide more comfort.
The Fit and the Sizing
Climbing shoes can fit in various ways. When you first try on a shoe you should initially ask how highT a climbing shoe needs to be. The answer is a simple one; they should be a snug fit but not an unbearable fit. Climbers with lots of experience may be more willing to feel uncomfortable in their shoes as it means their performance will be better. However, for beginners, the initial discomfort can end up putting them off the sport of climbing. Remember too that there are shoes that will stretch over time and there are shoes that will not.
Stiff or Soft
Stiffness can play a big role but it also depends on what you prefer as the wearer. Beginners tend to like shoes that are stiffer as they provide increased support to the feet. If you have strong feet though, you may like a softer shoe as it will provide more flexibility.
Men’s or Women’s
Whether the shoe you are considering is classified as men’s or women’s is not that important point. Some women choose men’s climbing shoes and the opposite applies too. Men’s shoes tend to have a wider fit and women’s shoes tend to be more narrow, however, on the market today a lot of shoe choices are unisex. Instead of trying to find the best women’s rock climbing shoes it’s more important to figure out which shoe choice is ideal for you and your feet and not who they are marketed for.
Indoor or Outdoor Climbing
Indoor and outdoor climbing have many differences and where you will climb will determine your shoe choice. Indoor climbers who are beginners or who are training for outdoor climbing should look for a shoe that is comfortable and relatively inexpensive. Outdoor climbers need to find shoes that provide better performance are more durable and will likely have a more expensive price tag.
Do you wear socks with your rock climbing shoes?
This is not recommended to do. It will likely have a negative impact on the overall performance of the shoe and will also risk a slipping sensation within the shoe itself. As well aa this, socks usually add moisture which will mean your feet could feel damp and may start to give off a bad smell.
How do you clean climbing shoes?
You can wipe the insoles and lining using a damp cloth, after this leave the shoe to dry. Small marks usually come off with a little alcohol and water. If you are spot cleaning be sure to use minimal water so that you do not break down the leather. Foot powder can also be used if your shoes are giving off an odor which is unpleasant.
Why do some climbing shoes have strange shapes?
This is because the toe is being pointed in a downward fashion. Granted the wearer may look a little strange but the design is on purpose. This aggressiveness, as such a shape is often referred to as, means the wearer will have a better grip on a rock face and will able to have a more secure climb. You could picture it this way; your normal sneakers are like mittens while climbing shoes are more like driving gloves. Granted, both work well but if you were about to take on a task that required more dexterity, would you not opt for the gloves over the mittens?
How often should I buy new climbing shoes?
A strict rule does not exist for this one but a few guidelines can come in useful in helping you to decide. First, before and after a climb, analyze the wear ad tear of your shoes, look at the sole and lacing to begin with. If you notice some tear, perhaps a loose thread or the likes, you may need to consider a replacement pair in the near future. Second, think about how often you wear the shoes. Usually, quality shoes would provide one month of constant climbing. without stop
Which climbing shoes do the professionals wear?
They wear the choice that is best for them personally. Certainly, the more popular brands are seen a lot, but pros and beginners should always opt for the ideal fit for their feet while also thinking about the terrains and challenges that they will typically face when wearing their shoes. We could say though, that most pros wear aggressive climbing shoes as their climbing challenges are more advanced.
The Bottom Line
If you have been thinking about which pair of climbing shoes you should purchase, there is no better time than the present to make your choice. You now are informed on what you need to look out for. As well as this, you will find some top recommendations which can help you to find the perfect fit for your personal needs.
Best Rock Climbing Shoes ( Top 3 Picks )
Last update on 2019-08-15 / Rating by Author / Affiliate links, Images, Descriptions & Price from Amazon Product Advertising API