If the answer is anything above zero, then kudos to you...
You've climbed more rocks than most other people ever will. Because most will remain stuck at zero for an entire lifetime.
Once you've gotten into the groove of scaling rocks, then there's no going back anymore, is there?
Whether you're a newbie about to scale his first gym wall, or a veteran who's crossed 90% of rocks off his bucket list and you just wore out your existing pair... you're going to need the best pair of rock climbing shoes you can get!
For all you rock loving adventurers out there, I have come up with a list of the best 20 climbing shoes for beginners and experts alike.
So without further ado, let's dive right in!
Best 20 Men's Rock Climbing Shoes - Reviews
1. La Sportiva Men’s TarantuLace Rock Climbing Shoe
- Quick pull lacing harness that delivers a snug...
One look at this shoe and the first thing to come to mind is “where’s the mountain”! The TarantuLace is an excellent rock climbing shoe built for the adventurous and aggressive climber in you clawing to get out. It’s a real indoor/outdoor marvel built with the professionals in mind yet even beginners can take advantage of the many design features. It’s made with a rubber heel and sole, utilizing sticky FriXion RS technology as well as an asymmetric shape with micro edges. So what’s all that mean in layman’s terms? Simple. It says that it fits like a glove and that when you reach for the footing on the hills, crags, or even an indoor climbing apparatus, you’re going to be able to control your feet without fear or worry or slippage.
It comes with a fantastic fast lacy system harness. The TarantuLace design is ideal for a comfortable and supportive fit made only with the most high-quality materials available. It’s made with a synthetic leather overlay, and the tongue of the shoe is made to control moisture and is quite breathable. Just like with hiking shoes or boots, you should choose a size and fit that is tight, but not to point where you feel pain.
2. Mad Rock Men’s Drifter Climbing Shoe
This innovative and affordable climbing shoe is built and designed for indoor (or gym) climbing enthusiasts as well as trad (traditional) climbing adventurers. It’s made out of leather and a rubber material that Mad Rock is known for, a genius material they call Science Friction 3.0 and Science Friction R2. So what’s that mean for you? Just know this, it’s sticky. The kind of sticky that’s not too stick, just right for trad or gym climbing. It has a flat profile and weighs 7.9 ounces. It has a hook-and-loop lacing system which is perfect. Mad Rock is also known for its innovations (like Science Friction) but what they really do well is they don’t overdo it with too many features as to make the shoe useless.
It’s a simple, yet well-built and sturdy climbing shoe that will give you the fit and feel you need when you’re climbing around on your favorite surfaces. And since they don’t overplay the features, this makes the Mad Rock Drifter Climbing shoe one of the most affordable on the market, coming in at half what the average competitor’s shoe costs. It’s an excellent climbing shoe for the beginner, intermediate or professional climber, whether you climb indoors or outdoors.
3. Five Ten Men's Wallmaster Climbing Shoe
- Stealth C4 rubber outsole (4.2mm)
- Unlined leather upper ? Up to a full-size stretch
- Extra thick toe rand
- Stiffness ? Stiff
- Double-strand Velcro closure system
The Five Ten Wallmaster is a great pair of climbing shoes for intermediates, beginners as well as climbers who frequently tackle long, multi-pitches. It features a stiff and robust midsole, which offers outstanding foot support while providing great edging performance. The upper is comfortable and flexible, thus allowing you to climb boulders, rocks, cliffs or plastic, without any difficulties or restrictions.
These rock climbing shoes for beginners are equipped with a stealth, C4 rubber outsole, which supplies superior grip and traction. Therefore, you can climb with confidence, without worrying about slipping and sliding, especially when you are tackling technical or tricky climbs. Also, the rubber outsole protects your feet against sharp rocks and objects, while enhancing the longevity of these shoes.
Slipping them on and off is easy, thanks to the two Velcro straps. One of the Velcro straps runs across the forefoot area, while the other one runs across the instep. With the two straps, you can adjust the different areas of the shoe, depending on your preferred fit. When it comes to climbing shoes, you will need one that keeps your feet comfortable, without sacrificing performance. And that pair of shoes is none other than the Five Ten Wallmaster. These climbing shoes for plantar fasciitis, bunions, and bad knees, come with an unlined leather upper, which ensures you have adequate comfort without losing your grip on any surface.
4. evolv Men’s Shaman Climbing Shoe
The Shaman is a real marvel as a climbing shoe. One look and the heart starts pumping. It has the look of an ideal climbing shoe and the innovative technology to match it. It has a high friction toe patch and was developed by climbing expert Chris Sharma, particularly with hardcore sport climbers who like to tackle steep terrain bouldering. It has a rubber sole and synthetic body. The rubber is 4.2 mm TRAX high friction rubber, a two-piece knuckle box system designed for ideal feel, control, and support. The design also allows for amazing edging as the asymmetrical shape provides the ultimate contour your feet desire for this type of rugged climbing.
Keep in mind; the Shaman was created with serious, experienced climbers in mind, not that beginners can’t put them to good use. The forefoot is leather and the heel made of cotton for superior comfort. Because of the design in the edging, it allows the big toe more control and support, allow for the type of grabbing and feel which provides strength to extend through the arch and heel, providing the experts the power and precision they need for making the kind of climbs on surfaces that keep the heart pumping.
5. Mad Rock Men’s Flash 0 Climbing Shoe
You’re going to notice a trend here as Mad Rock shoes are well represented. And for a good reason. The Mad Rock Men’s Flash 2.0 Climbing Shoe is another example of advanced and fantastic innovation yet done to make a simplistic yet effective climbing shoe without breaking the bank. Made from synthetic and leather materials, this climbing shoe is all you’d expect from Mad Rock. It allows for a tight yet comfortable fit, yet still providing the feel you need for any type of climbing surface you decide to tackle. Whether it’s trad (traditional) climbing outdoors on hills or mountains, or indoor climbing apparatuses, this shoe will allow you to get around with the confidence to master any surface.
It has a 3D molded heel designed with the type of “sticky” rubber you need for excellent control. The Flash 2.0 also utilizes a Shock Gel for impact control, particularly in the heel area. They even put to use Synflex technology, a synthetic material to allow it stretchability not seen in other similar climbing shoes. Another innovation is the midsole, which is made with a polycarbonate material for consistent and dependable flexibility. The Flash 2.0 truly fits your foot like a glove.
6. La Sportiva Unisex Tarantula Beginner Rock Climbing Shoe
Ready to break into rock climbing? La Sportiva has the shoe for you. The Unisex Tarantula Beginner Rock Climbing Shoe is the perfect shoe for men or women who are ready to scale the heights, whether you want to hike your favorite hill or crag, or that hip new indoor rock climbing wall everyone’s raving about. It’s affordable yet has the design features for comfort, and versatility beginners need when just starting out. It has Sticky FriXion soles for expert grip on either rock or plastic (indoor rock walls). Its hook-and-loop fastening system is designed for ease of putting on and taking off.
La Sportiva believes that this idea of making a shoe easy to get into and out of is ideal because they want you to spend more time climbing than putting on gear. They’ve developed the shoe with a breathable upper made of leather and will keep you dry through the day’s climbing. Needs some cool sounding specifications? How’s the 1.8 mm LaspoFlex feature in the midsole and the 5 mm FriXion RS in the sole? What’s that mean? It means the Tarantula is stable and durable and when you’re climbing, you won’t need to worry about the shoe stopping you.
7. Evolv Men’s Defy
The Evolv Men’s Defy is a classic design that’s seen significant upgrades. And not just the look, but the feel and additional features have made it a must-have for adventurous climbers. New is the mesh material which has been completely revamped. It’s got a new anti-microbial mesh material to fend off bacteria as well as odor. This unique mesh material also benefits the fit as well as it has been markedly improved thanks to a high-quality upper material made with Synthratek VX. It allows for a more snug and tight fit to support greater control.
The asymmetrical profile keeps the classic look the Defy is known for, particularly the rand area (toe). The rand is made with VTR material, which means the front toe area is thick, for added comfort and stability when on those challenging rock formations or trick indoor climbing gyms. The midsole area is another revamped area as it sports a 1 mm MX-P sensitive half-length. And the sole is made of high friction rubber, a stalwart advancement Evolv is known for, a 4.2 mm TRAX rubber material. The nylon lining completes the Evolv Men’s Defy shoe, as it is made to be plush and comfortable.
8. Five Ten Men’s Anasazi Moccasym Climbing Shoe
- Triple pull tabs
- Side-exit heel seam
- Slingshot heel
- Stealth C4 rubber 4.2mm
When you’re climbing, you need to feel. Your fingers and hands are equally as important as your toes and feet. So when choosing a climbing shoe, you want not just to protect your feet, but also wear a shoe that can accentuate your feet perfectly for the task at hand (or foot). That’s where a shoe like the Five Ten Men’s Anasazi Moccasym Climbing Shoe can be like a pair of gloves for your feet. This shoe fits like a glove. It is made of soft, supple, yet sturdy leather, a rubber sole with the perfect amount of “stickiness.” The rubber is 4.2 mm of Stealth C4 rubber.
It also has a feature with three pull tabs, which allow you to slip into the shoe and use these tabs to adjust the shoe to fit as snug as it should be. A side exit seam at the heel is another wonderful feature. The shoe is made for comfort, performance, and high-friction. Which is perfect for whatever climbing surface you may need the shoe for. So if you’re climbing the rocks or crags of the great outdoors or the artificial variety at those tricky yet challenging indoor cousins, the Anasazi Moccasym literally has you covered.
9. Black Diamond Men's Momentum Lace Climbing Shoes
- Neutral, flat last for vertical climbing and...
- Engineered Knit Technology upper provides...
- 4.3mm rubber is built for durability and molded...
- Soft flex midsole for added sensitivity and...
- Lace entry for fit adjustability
If you are looking for a pair of comfortable, durable and top of the line climbing shoes for the gym, then the Black Diamond Momentum is a solid choice. These entry-level climbing shoes feature a flexible, flat last, combined with a cushioned upper, to provide comfort, support, and breathability. You can use these shoes for top roping on a crag, climbing at the gym or multi-pitch routes. It’s not advisable to use these shoes repetitive crack climbing or steep terrain.
As noted above, the Momentum features a flat last and an asymmetrically designed toe box. Its midsole is moderately flexible. Therefore, it tends to lean more towards comfort, as opposed to performance. Thanks to its flat last, your foot will assume a natural position. On the other hand, the flexible midsole enhances mobility, whether you are ascending or descending.
It comes with 4.3 mm of NeoFuse rubber, which is renowned for its superior grip and durability. This rubber extends slightly around the forefoot and rearfoot sections, for added traction, protection and durability. They are also furnished with a microfiber lining at the front part of the shoe, where the toe meets the rubber rand. The microfiber lining minimizes instances of friction while enhancing comfort. Breathability remains one of the biggest strengths of these climbing shoes for beginners.
10. Five Ten Men's Verdon Vcs Climbing Shoe
- Stealth C4 rubber outsole (4.2mm)
- Lined leather upper ‐ Up to a half-size stretch
- Dual-strand Velcro closure system
- Asymmetric toe box
- Molded thermoplastic midsole with EVA fill
Built for comfort and performance, the Five Ten Men's Verdon Climbing shoe offers superior edging, without out of the box comfort in mind. It's a shoe developed by a brand with experience in the outdoor industry since 1985. Yes, you can expect all those years of hard work and research, to be evident in the design of this shoe.
Furthermore, the shoe comes with a moulded thermoplastic midsole, which is complemented by the unique moulded piece of EVA fills. The EVA fills exist in the dead space of the natural curves, which provide support to the foot structure. Yes, the makers of this shoe have considered all these factors and more.
Furthermore, the double-strand Velcro closure ensures the shoe provides the perfect fit, making the shoe ideal for high-performance situations. You will also appreciate the perforated tongue and leather upper lined, for unmatched comfort.
Made using 100% leather, this shoe is not only comfortable but also provides exceptional longevity benefits. It even comes with a Stealth C4 rubber outsole (4.2mm), which offers optimal traction, and ease of maneuverability. Like all good rock-climbing shoes, this unit comes with an asymmetric toe box design, that can accommodate users with large feet conveniently.
The inclusion of a lined leather upper material means you have a shoe with a stretchable and high-performance material. Plus, the shoe adapts to the structure of your feet over time for optimal comfort.
11. Evolv Men’s Royale Climbing Shoe
- 2.5mm full length midsole
- Double layer of rubber at toe for increased...
- Structural webbing on leather upper maintains fit
- Metal eyelets for easy lacing
- Symmetrical toebox for all day comfort
Rock climbing (the real or artificial variety) can be an exciting and challenging sport. Especially for a beginner. Looking out at that awesome (yet daunting) rock, crag, or rock wall can take your breath away with anticipation and wonder. And that’s the essence of why we participate in these types of activities, the feeling of it. So you don’t want your equipment to take away from that, so for a beginner, the Evolv Men’s Royale is a perfect choice. It’s affordable yet explicitly built with the entry-level climber in mind. Evolv wants you to slip on the Royale and leave your equipment worries at the base of whatever type of summit you’ll be facing.
Made out of leather and a double layer of high-performance rubber at the toe, it has basic lacing for comfort and fit. Its durability allows for you to break them in and keep them as long as possible. The leather upper part of the shoe is a structural webbing designed to not only fit comfortably but maintain that fit. All day comfort is assured as the toe box is symmetrically designed. The Royale’s design is basic, yet the advanced features will allow you to focus on the thrill of the climb.
12. La Sportiva Solution Climbing Shoe – Men’s
This high performance and durable climbing shoe was designed and built with the serious rock climber in mind. It has all the advanced and patented features you’ve come to expect from any climbing shoe set forth by La Sportiva. The Solution is just as its name implies; it’s built for power and comfort. It has a P3 permanent power platform, which gives it its distinctive “downturn” look. This patented feature is not just for show, as the ability to retain this shape keeps the shoe functioning for as long as you own it, which not a lot of shoes can accurately claim.
It also has a fast-lacing feature, and the rand (or toe area) has a marbled P3 feature and even offers unique marbling for each pair (so no pair is alike), and this feature applies to name, as this is the “solution” to many climbers’ bouldering issues. Its heel has a 3D cup, for molded hooking. Another patented feature is a harness system that locks, which assures security when heel hooking. The Solution can be used by any level of climbing experience, but it is ideal for those who know what they’re doing. It has the look and feel of the perfect climbing shoe.
13. Scarpa Men’s Vapor V Climbing Shoe
- Upper Material: suede, microsuede
- Closure: hook-and-loop
- Midsole: Flexan
- Rubber: Vibram XS Edge (4mm)
- Profile: slight downturn
The Scarpa Vapor V is built and designed for all-day comfort, durability, and flexibility, with a nod to superior toe control and power and Achilles support. And for rock climbers with an achy Achilles, this is a feature of vital importance. It’s made of synthetic materials and Vibram XS rubber edges to provide unmatched durability and fantastic grip. It has a split sole allowing for maximum flexibility. The Vapor V has a lacing system for great adjustability with the dual power strap closure system. The designers created the perfect tension in the lower part of the shoe to provide the Achilles tendon area with the comfort and support you need.
The rand (toebox) area has an active bi-tension system to give you the maximum toe power you’d expect from a Scarpa climbing shoe. The upper area is made with a 1.8 mm microsuede/suede combination while the midsole is made with Flexan 1.0. The Vapor V is ideal for serious mountaineering enthusiasts as well as those just starting out. Scarpa is an Italian company with roots in northern Italy, where the hills and mountains are well-known to professional rock climbing enthusiasts, so rest assured the innovation used to make the Vapor V is well founded.
14. Black Diamond Men's Momentum Climber
- Neutral, flat last for vertical climbing or...
- Engineered Knit Technology upper provides...
- 4.3mm rubber is built for durability and molded...
- Soft flex midsole for added sensitivity and...
- Two Velcro straps for fit adjustability
Made to provide optimal comfort all-day rock climbing or even gym sessions, the Black Diamond Men's Momentum Climber is also an excellent recommendation for your needs. The shoe comes with all the unique features you need to become a good rock climber.
For instance, it features a two-strap hook and loop design, that ensures the shoe offers the perfect fit. More so, the flat last design makes this shoe a professional but straightforward shoe that excels in performance. It also has an upper fabric, which features Engineered Knit Technology. It's a unique design that provides optimal stretch benefits where you need it. More so, you will also enjoy added support where it matters, and all-round breathability benefits – especially when climbing out in the blazing sun.
There is nothing better than a shoe with benevolent features to make it comfortable for users. Thus, this is why this shoe features a microfiber liner to the front of the shoe, which helps reduce stretch and optimize comfort. It's a material produced using special lab techniques. Also, the durable rubber construction is unique and is enforced by the carabiners.
The makers of this shoe have also done well to ensure its available in finishes such as slate, curry and more. To make things better, the shoe features a soft flex midsole, for optimal sensitivity. This way, your feet never get tired or blisters – even in the most demanding of climbing situations.
15. La Sportiva Men’s Katana Lace Climbing Shoe
Another excellent shoe in the “rare” category as the La Sportiva Men’s Katana Lace focuses its attention on edging. While serious climbers tend to specialize in equipment, this shoe is actually quite perfect for climbers of any skill level. The Katana Lace is basically a lace-up version of the widely popular Katana. The upper portion of the shoe is made with Lorica and suede leather with Pacific front and rear lining. The real standout feature of the Katana Lace is the sole. Made with Vibram XS Edge rubber, the 4 mm edging is simply fantastic for the type of grip you dream about when out on the rock surface of your choice and wishing for better grip.
The P3 Power Platform is the results of La Sportiva’s designers “dreaming” up the perfect edging shoe. It promises to maintain its downturn shape (important for durability and shoe longevity). It also has a tubular construction for comfort. But the edging technology is why you’re purchasing this shoe, and the Vibram XS Edge is a compound that allows for power and grip that will not fail you, regardless of the terrain you have chosen to tackle. It’s ideal for gym climbing, bouldering, or any kind of sport or technical climbing. Enjoy.
16. La Sportiva Men’s Mythos Climbing Shoe
The La Sportiva Mythos Climbing Shoe is the perfect mix of style, comfort, and fit. The designers at Italian-based climbing shoe company La Sportiva paid particular attention to one area many climbers have issues with: the toes. The technology behind the Mythos design focuses on the toebox area, as the fit keeps the toe area flat, to keep you as cramp-free as possible. But it doesn’t take away from the gripping ability so crucial to the toebox. That’s because of the 4 mm Vibram XS rubber used on the toebox, sole, and heel. This allows for maximum stickiness to handle the cracks and crevices you’re bound to be facing in the mountains, hills, crags or rock walls at your favorite gym.
The top part of the body of the shoe is made of sturdy yet supple unlined leather, and the midsole consists of 1.1 mm full-length synthetic LaspoFlex material for added fit, comfort, stability, and excellent edging power. The classic lace system gives you all the adjustability you need. The Mythos fits your foot like a glove and is built for comfort immediately upon purchase and to maintain the fit and comfort as long as you own them. And remember when selecting the size, go for a tight fit, tight, but no pain.
17. Scarpa Men’s Helix Climbing Shoe
- Asymmetric lacing
- Easy-on heel pull
- Flat last
- Thin, Flexan midsole
- TAC 100 outsole
Scarpa’s Men’s Helix Climbing Shoe is an 8-ounce marvel of shoe technology. An affordable price tag only brings attention to just how big a bargain this shoe is for rock climbers of any skill level. The company’s website utilizes the word “svelte” several times, and while undoubtedly appropriate, let’s just say what they’re trying to say is that it is certainly stylish with a gorgeous suede material, but the leather material wasn’t used merely to make the shoe look fantastic. Instead, the suede is exceptionally durable yet supple so as not to be unyielding.
And in a climbing shoe, flexibility while maintaining strength is imperative in a climbing shoe to be depended upon while manipulating unforgiving and challenging terrain. Asymmetrical lacing makes it possible for as comfortable a fit as needed but Scarpa takes that a step further by designing an easy-on heel pull system. The thin midsole is made with a Flexan material, the outsole of TAC 100. The rubber material used is the right combination for flexibility and stickiness so you can get a toehold in any surface you’ll face, whether it is outdoors on your favorite mountain, hill, or crag or your favorite rock wall at the gym.
18. Climb X Men's Crush Lace 2019 Bouldering Shoe
- Please Refer to Sizing Chart for Recommended Size
- X-Factor Sticky Rubber Sole; Padded Ankle Cuff
- Rubber Wrapped Sticky Heel
- Breathable Mesh Padded Tongue
Rock climbing has never been this easy. Why? Well, the Climb X men's crush lace shoe, provides a more custom and high-performance fit. The shoe offers all these unit benefits, while also accommodating a large variety of foot shapes and sizes. When going for activities such a rock climbing, owning the correct attire such as the Climb X shoes has its benefits. You stay safe, and you also enjoy optimal performance.
These shoes will not only improve your ability to climb different areas, but they are also highly comfortable. That's right! Comfort is among some of the key features to consider in high end climbing shoes. Thus, these shoes come with a pillow-like padded ankle cuff, to make comfortable regardless of the way you use it. Using this shoe is not associated with no odor, even when used for several hours. Furthermore, breathable mesh padded tongue and sandwiched foam lining take your comfort to the next level.
On the outer sections of the shoe, you will also appreciate the contoured quick straps, with a tight rubber grip. This way, the shoes offer the perfect fit, ideal for slippery rocks, or places without optimal traction. The shoe has a rubber wrapped stick heel, with an exclusive X factor rubber. Such a unique material offers various benefits, including improved traction and comfort on rocky terrains.
19. La Sportiva Men’s Nago Climbing Shoe
The La Sportiva Nago is an edgy climbing shoe designed to deliver maximum comfort and performance ability yet at an affordable price. It’s made from leather and synthetic leather. The arch area is made out of lined synthetic leather for ideal comfort, fit and moisture control. The upper area is made of leather is perforated to allow adequate ventilation. The exciting part of the Nago is the rubber outer sole and toebox. Made with their innovative rubber material Vibram XS Edge, the outsole of the Nago is 5 mm and has the type of stickiness you’ll be thankful for when out on your chosen rock climbing surface.
And speaking of which, the La Sportiva Nago is exemplary for moderate overhanging sports routes, any indoor rock walls or gym climbing, crack climbing, or face climbing. The Vibram XS Edge rubber material has been thoroughly tested to make sure you have the control and feel you desire on the surface of your choice. As for the fit, make sure to know your ideal size as rock climbing shoes need to be tight, but not too close. Ideally, your toe will touch the shoe front with a slight curl, but not to the point of feeling pain.
20. La Sportiva Men’s Miura Lace Climbing Shoe
- Lining: Dentex
- Closure: laces
- Last: slip
- Upper Material: leather
- Asymmetrical Curvature: high
La Sportiva’s last entrance on this list is for expert rock climbers (though beginners love them too) who tend towards aggressive when on the climb. The Miura Lace is made of leather and textile materials, a synthetic sole, built for long-lasting durability and comfort. It has an aggressive down-turned toe and slip-lasted construction. The synthetic sole is made from a 4 mm Vibram XSV rubber material with the perfect amount of stickiness. The midsole is made of 1.1 mm Laspoflex. Now, seriously, what do those last couple of sentences mean? Simply put, it’s all stuff that makes for precision edging, maximum foot sensitivity to go with incredible comfort.
The fit is exceptional; it has tremendous edging power. The ideal surfaces for this shoe are any type of multi-pitch surface; it’s excellent for smearing (where you place your sole directly to the rock surface). Those who enjoy bouldering (tackling very large boulders) rave about the Miura Lace. When choosing the appropriate size, keep in mind to know your exact size because you want a fit that is tight. The toe should touch the front with a slight curl. But always make sure the tight fit is also comfortable, with no pain.
Best 22 Women's Rock Climbing Shoes - Reviews
1. La Sportiva Women’s TarantuLace Performance Rock Climbing Shoe
We start the women’s list off with La Sportiva’s TarantuLace Performance Rock Climbing Shoe. It’s an ideal shoe for either indoors or outdoors climbing. The durability is impressive with high-quality materials such as the midsole’s 1.8 mm LaspoFlex and the 5 mm FriXion RS sole. The perfect stickiness of these materials allows for stability you need when facing whatever climbing surface you choose to attack. The lacing system is innovated with a quick-pull harness enabling for precision when it comes to the fit, support, comfort, and snugness. Designed by La Sportiva’s experts for any type of surface from hills, mountains, crags, boulders or any kind of artificial surfaces at gym rock walls.
What makes it so is the advanced edging which is ideal for any skill level, but mainly for those intermediate climbers who love to edge, hook, and smear with the best. The heel rand is made with FriXion RS rubber. The RN45 build is asymmetrical which allows for climbers to approach and manipulate even the trickiest of micro edges. This allows for tremendous sensitivity while keeping you from cramping and pain. The lining all around the shoe supports great comfort, and the tongue is lined to control moisture and breathability.
2. La Sportiva Women’s Oxygym Shoe
While no shoe company is perfect, don’t blame La Sportiva for not trying. The Italian-based company has worked to think of everything when designing their climbing shoes, as evidenced by the Oxygym Women’s Shoe. It’s a beautiful shoe, built and designed for indoors or outdoors climbing adventurers but what makes this shoe so unique is the synthetic materials used, especially the outer fabric. It has a three-layer WashTex fabric designed to make the shoe as hygienic and clean as possible. The fabric on the inside is made to be as breathable as the fabric can be, allowing for excellent moisture wicking.
It’s also an incredibly comfortable shoe, designed with a hook and loop closure system which has been patented. This system is designed for any foot type and shape allowing for a personalized fit to mimic a glove on your foot. It’s built for durability and extended use for any kind of surface from mountain to indoor rock wall gyms. Did we mention it’s completely washable? Well, it is. When it comes to sizing always remember you want a tight fit, toe touching front, with a slight curl. While the fit should be as snug as possible, don’t let the fit cause pain.
3. Evolv Elektra Women’s Climbing Shoe (2014)
Two things stand out when checking out the Evolv Elektra Climbing Shoe: first, it’s the top selling women’s climbing shoe in the United States (when last checked in 2014); and second, Evolv is a company which strives to be as environmentally conscious as possible. The rubber they use for the Elektra is called eco-TRAX, a high friction rubber made with recycled content. OK, that’s all fine and good, but how does it perform? Well, see the first point. But yes, the Elektra is a fantastic climbing shoe for beginners or professionals. The design and technology allow for a perfect balance of performance, comfort, and value.
The front toe area (rand) is made with VTR, which is a thick, durable material because of the high wear zone. The inner materials are made with synthetic materials so plush some have said the Elektra has a “bedroom slipper” feel when it comes to how comfortable it is. But don’t let that fool you. It’s sole is made with 4.2 mm eco-TRAX high friction rubber which is the best-performing rubber available. So your balance and edging power will allow you to manipulate expertly any indoor or outdoor surface you desire. The closure system is hook and loop, popular with beginners or advanced climbers.
4. La Sportiva Women’s Mythos Climbing Shoe
- Traditional leather upper
- Classic slip-lasted construction on a RN25 women's...
- Unlined design with breathable Dri-Lex tongue
- Reliable patented lacing system
The designers at La Sportiva perfect their craft in the hills and mountains of northern Italy, the home base of the climbing shoe icons. The Women’s Mythos shoe is a testament to this as the designers created a shoe perfect for the types of climbing to be found in this part of Italy. And in the U.S., the country is peppered with these kinds of hills, mountains, and crags, where face climbing and crack climbing is popular. And the Mythos, while an excellent all-surface shoe, is particularly adept for those who like to face climb (think irregular features like finger pockets and edges) and crack climb (OK, yes, cracks, but balancing is the real challenge).
So a shoe designed with a neutral, round shape is ideal as is the leather and synthetic materials. Especially the Vibram rubber used through the entire sole surface (from toebox to heel). The stickiness is perfect for the control and balance need for face and crack climbing. The lacing system is patented because of the unique locked down fit it provides. The upper is unlined so as to allow for a snug fit for any foot type and shape. And remember tight fit, but not too close. Slight toe curl, no pain.
5. La Sportiva Women's Miura Climbing Shoe
- Slingshot rand connected to the powerhinge under...
- Speed lacing system for quick lace-ups
- 8-panel directional lining for channeling stretch
- Ideal terrain: Overhanging sport routes,...
The LaMuiva Women's Climbing shoe provides award-winning comfort and breathability, to make it perfect for the toughest climbs. The shoe comes with a unique upper construction, which means the shoe can stretch easily. More so, they also provide optimal breathability, meaning that you can go hard without worrying about excessive sweating. You will be pleased with the unique design of the shoes, which makes them perfect for tackling hard rocks or unusual plastic platforms. Remember to evaluate the vamp area of climbing shoes before buying. Thus, this is why LaMuiva Women's shoe has a unique rubber construction for optimal friction. While these climbing shoes are only available in one finish, they are durable and styling as well.
You will stand out from the rest when you have these pairs of climbing shoes in the next session. Grip is a crucial factor to consider when investing in these types of shoes. Thus, you can expect these shoes to provide excellent traction, even when tackling slippery terrains. Also, the medium flex midsole provides the sensitivity and balance you need to tackle climbing tasks. The midsole on a climbing shoe is essential because it plays a role in your ability to reach around obstacles during climbs. The lacing system on these climbing shoes is also unique, unlike the Velcro straps which won't provide a snug fit.
6. La Sportiva Women's Kataki Climber
You can Make rock climbing much more fun than it has ever been. How can you do this? Well, we highly recommend the La Sportive Women's Climber, which has all the unique design components for rock climbing. The shoe is not only comfortable but also perfect for people with large feet. The shoe has a host of unique features, to make you a better rock climber, and also make things safe.
When you want to buy rock climbing shoes, remember to check for innovative features, which you will on the La Sportive Shoes. For instance, it features an innovative S-Heel construction system, which stops heel deformation even in high torsion settings. Furthermore, the shoe has a 'differentiated lacing system', in the front and rear sections to make it highly convenient. This way, the shoe provides the perfect fit to your feet – making it ideal for climbing different types of rocks.
You will also find this shoe easy to maintain, especially when components such as the sole are damage. Why? Well, this shoe has a ¾ sole, to make the resoling process convenient. Made using suede leather and microfiber, this shoe is both comfortable as well as durable. It is a flexible and high-performance shoe – perfect for rock climbing enthusiasts. It even has a unique S-Heel construction, for technical help work, and precise performance on different types of terrain.
7. Scarpa Women’s Reflex Climbing Shoe
- Claimed Weight: (size 38) [each] 7.6 oz
- Last: FF
- Material: [upper] suede, [midsole] polypropylene
- Recommended Use: gym climbing, cragging
- Lacing: dual power straps
Scarpa is another Italian company which is steeped in tradition in a region world renown for excellent climbing areas. The Women’s Reflex is a suede wonder shoe which offers superior foot protection along with classic performance features. The idea behind the innovations with the Reflex is to allow for impressive edging ability yet to fit like a glove for the sensitivity required for surfaces as challenging as steeps. It’s a shoe with anatomical convenience with necessary yet straightforward features such as its dual power straps. It’s made with a sticky rubber that is designed to be passive yet provide you with the confidence for any challenge you may take on.
It’s a real indoor/outdoor rock climbing shoe. So whether you are drawn to the mountains, hills, crags, or boulders or the growing popularity of the indoor rock wall gyms and recreation centers, the Reflex can accommodate you no matter where or what type of surface that thrills you. The fit is snug, as any rock climbing shoe should be. Always remember to know your exact size and follow the rule that a tight fit is necessary. The toe should touch the front with a slight curl, but not to the point that you feel any pain.
8. Scarpa Women’s Force X WMN Climbing Shoe
- V-tension active randing system focuses energy for...
- Proven fit of the performance-oriented ff last
- Dual power strap closure
- Luxurious padded mesh tongue
- Partial lining with suede footbed offers...
Scarpa’s Women’s Force X WMN Climbing Shoe is made with synthetic materials and a rubber sole. While that may sound basic, let’s dig a little deeper. The rubber sole is actually a Vibram XS Edge rubber material which provides the type of excellent stickiness for robust durability and grip which allows for an edging advantage for any surface whether you’re into indoors or outdoors climbing adventures or you’re a beginner or seasoned veteran. The randing system (toe area) is made with V-tension technology which allows you to focus the energy created on your feet for maximum stabilized power.
It has a dual power strap closure system and a luxurious mesh tongue padding for added comfort and breathability. The partial footbed lining is made of suede leather for a comfortable and precise fit. Experts designed the shoe with generations of experience in the northern Italian hills and mountains. Scarpa actually means “shoe” in Italian, so trust in the brand. When it comes to the fit, a tight fit is mandatory, but keep in mind that the toe should touch the front with a slight curl. But while the fit should be snug, it should not be painful in any way.
9. Five Ten Women’s Anasazi LV Climbing Shoe
One thing you can rest assured you are getting when you purchase this rock climbing shoe, the research and development are apparent when wearing this shoe. The company employees the world’s best athletes when it comes to R&D, and their materials testing (particularly rubber) is exemplary. The Anasazi LV is ultra lightweight (6.7 ounces) as the upper part of the shoe is made with Cowdura, a durable, sturdy and supple synthetic suede material. The rubber sole doesn’t come with a fancy name, but years have gone into the research of their rubber material.
The rubber is made for high-friction climbing with the stickiness you need for any type of indoor (gym or recreation center rock walls) or outdoor (any hill, mountain, rock, crag or boulder) surface. The Anasazi LV utilizes a Velcro band strap for its closure system, and it has two pull loops to make sure you get the snug fit you need for the confidence in knowing your shoe will do as it’s commanded without fail. A word about the fit, it should fit snug as a great glove does your hand. It should feel tight, with toe touching the front with a slight curl, but you should never feel any pain.
10. Five Ten Women’s Rogue VCS Climbing Shoe
- These shoes fit small. Please size up accordingly.
This fabulous women’s rock climbing shoe is ideal for any indoor or outdoor climbing surface, though aficionados who know such things say the slip-lasted sole is flexible and sturdy enough for those that enjoy the adventures of bouldering and sport climbing (slip-last is less rigid). The upper portion of the shoe is made from premium split-grain leather designed to conform to your foot immediately and even better as time goes on. The closure system is a Velcro strap made to for exact fitting and elasticity. It also has a two strap hook-and-loop system to help your foot fit the shoe snugly.
The 3.5 mm rubber used on the sole is made from a premium Stealth C4 compound that is ultra-sticky to allow for an extraordinary grip and astounding edging necessary for any mountain, rock, boulder, crag, sport climb, or indoor rock wall at your favorite gym or recreation center. The technology the went into the design of the rubber was tried and tested in a premier research and development facility with the assistance of the world’s best international outdoors sports enthusiasts. Know your size, the fit should be tight, with a slight toe curl, but no pain.
11. Evolv Nikita Women’s Climbing Shoe
- Unlined US quality leather
- Full lacing with speed eyelets
- Full-length, arch supported 3-d midsole
- New cushy and airy tongue
An affordable and performance-minded entrant to this list is the Evolv Nikita Climbing Shoe. It’s made with high-quality, premium unlined U.S. leather. The closure system is old school; a full-lacing system made easier with eyelets primarily built for speed and easy lacing. It has an arch support; a full-length 3D midsole made of polyethylene which provides incredible support and allows you to resole, depending on how much you use the shoe. The tongue is a surprising feature as it is comfortable, cushy and completely breathable. The value is apparent as the pricetag suggests especially considering the look, feel and durability of the shoe.
The Nikita is an all-around versatile rock climbing tour-de-force. If indoor climbing is your forte, you can rest assured knowing the shoe will do as you command on any of the challenging plastic rock walls you decide to try out. And of course, if you are more of a trad (traditional) climbing enthusiast, the shoe will perform for you whether you climb mountains, huge boulders, sport routes, rocks, crags, or any type of challenge. The fit is essential, as with any climbing shoe, so make sure you have a tight fit, toe touching front, with a slight curl, and don’t feel any pain.
12. La Sportiva Women’s Finale Climbing Shoe
Comfort, power, and stability on any climbing surface are the highlights of the La Sportiva Finale Climbing Shoe for women. We’ll start at the top as the upper portion of the shoe is made with a high-quality unlined sturdy yet supple leather to support the soft, comfortable fit. A traditional full-length lacing system allows the wearer to adjust the closure for the most snug fit. The real strength of the Finale is in the outsole. This is where La Sportiva’s innovations take over as the 5 mm Vibram XS Edge is a rubber compound specially designed for rock climbing.
So whether you’re climbing outdoors on mountains, hills, boulders or crags or indoors at your favorite gym or recreation center rock climbing wall, the sticky rubber sole provides a durable grip to give you the control you need for any purchase your feet look to make. The heel is tensioned and has Powerhinge technology which offers remarkable high-end edging. The shoe is designed for the back half to stretch only when you put weight on it, which leaves your toes superior control on the surface of the rock. For experts that put their rock climbing shoes through a lot of wear and tear, the Finale can be resoled.
13. La Sportiva Women’s Solution Athletic Sneaker Climbing Shoe
One look at the La Sportiva Solution Athletic Sneaker Climbing Shoe for women and you’ll think to yourself “THIS is what a rock climbing shoe should look like.” And the feel won’t disappoint either. Besides the gorgeous look of the shoe, it is jammed packed with features which will make beginners will feel proud to wear and even experienced rock climbers anxious to put them on and start climbing. The downturned shape so desired amongst rock climbers is represented with the Solution, and the designers even went so far as to get a patent for their PS permanent power platform so the shape will never change.
Another patent on the Solution is the support system generated by a lock-harness system with wraps around the foot to provide the most secure fit, particularly while heel hooking. Another unique feature is the marbled PS rands. The marbling feature of the rubber assures that no two pairs are alike. The Vibram XS Grip2 sole is another marvel as the creators claim it is the stickiest and hardest rubber for climbing shoes available on the market. And with La Sportiva’s sterling reputation, who’s going to doubt them? Finally, the lacing system is “fast-lacing” which sincerely allows for the closest, personalized fit.
14. Scarpa Women’s Vapor V Climbing Shoe
- New split sole allows for more flexibility
- Lower tension on the achilles offers all-day...
- Bi-Tension active randing system provides maximum...
- Dual powerstrap closure allows adjustable fit
- Vibram XS edge provides incredible grip and...
Scarpa’s Vapor V climbing shoe for women is another all-around entrant to this list. For all the advanced features that went into the construction of the Vapor V, it’s surprisingly affordable. One of Scarpa’s innovations is to create a split-sole feature which takes an already pliable shoe and makes it for flexible. Also, realizing a lot of climbers have Achilles tendon issues, they built in lower tension to add support to the often achy area. To provide as much toe power as possible, they also created an active bi-tension randing system. For the closure feature, Scarpa created a double powerstrap for maximum fit adjustability.
For the sole, the Vapor V takes advantage of a couple of Scarpa’s more ingenious ideas. For the gripping ability, they incorporated Vibram XS Edge rubber compound for the durable sticky grip you need for any indoors or outdoors surface. The toebox is made with a microsuede material which allows for long-term durability, comfort, and fit. And speaking of fit, the northern Italy-based company recommends a tight fit, but not too close. The general rule of thumb (or toe?) is for the toe to touch the front of the shoe, with a slight curl. But not to the point of feeling pain.
15. La Sportiva Men’s and Women’s Unisex Skwama Lace Up Rock Climbing Shoe
- P3 technology coupled with the new innovative sole...
- S-heel construction for the best fit and powerful...
- Sticky rubber toe patch for toe hooks and scums
- A combination of a precision slipper with a secure...
The rare shoe on the list that is for either men or women. The La Sportiva Unisex Skwama Lace-Up Rock Climbing Shoe is also a shoe that while beginners will enjoy, is made primarily with those expert climbers comfortable on elite routes and other challenging situations like bouldering. It’s designed and built to fit snugly, be as flexible as you need it to be and provide a sensitive feel for the toughest of rock climbing surfaces and challenges. This shoe is screaming for you to put it to the test. It has an advanced ultra-sticky and protective rubber Vibram compound which supports the toe patches.
The surface of the shoe is so grippy; it’s great against toe hooks, scumming, and abrasion. The edging system is a P3 patent system with a split-sole, and the patented S-Heel technology allows for heel hooking maneuverability. The heel cup fit is ideal which will enable you to tackle sheer rock faces, overhangs, slabs or any type of artificial rock wall. The idea behind the innovations was to allow you to use the sole to distribute more ideal when weight is applied which strengthens your holds and reduces edge deformation. Make sure to get a tight enough fit, but not too close.
16. SCARPA Women’s Origin Wmn Climbing Shoe
- Passive randing offers classic performance
- SCARPA's proprietary Vision rubber
- Flat lasted construction delivers all-day comfort...
- Dual strap closure allows for maximum...
- Women's specific last
The Scarpa Women’s Origin WMN Climbing Shoe has a classic look and feel and the performance you come to expect from a company as renowned in the rock climbing universe as Scarpa. It’s a shoe that uses a type of rubber compound they call proprietary Vision. It’s a first-generation rubber compound known for its resiliency and the perfect amount of stickiness. It’s ideal for new and experienced climbers. Scarpa is well known for its tradition and innovation. Which is apparent with the Origin’s upper part, made with a high-quality supple and lush leather.
What this creates is something you don’t see very often in a climbing shoe, and that is padded luxury, which they built in to encourage new climbers to invest in a shoe to start them climbing with the appropriate shoe. It has a flat-lasted construction built to deliver performance and all-day comfort. The closure system is dual strap hook-and-loop for a snug fit and maximum adjustability, and its passive randing makes for superior reliability and performance. The last is specific to women. When it comes to the fit, always go for a tight fight with a slight toe curl. The toe should always touch the front, but not to the point of feeling pain.
17. Climb X Rave Rental Indoor Climbing Shoe
- Please refer to the Sizing Chart for Recommended...
- Padded Collar and Heel for Comfort
- Visit https://climbx;us/ for More Details
The Climb X Rave Rental is an all-around pair of rock climbing shoes, specifically designed for indoor sessions. Featuring an all-leather upper, these rock climbing shoes for the gym will protect your feet, while giving you the flexibility you need to scale those walls. They are equipped with a padded collar and tongue, which provide additional comfort for your feet. Furthermore, its double-stitching construction ensures durability. Adjusting these shoes is easy, thanks to the two Velcro straps. If you are an active climber, you will love how these shoes perform. They offer great value for your money.
These rock climbing shoes for beginners come with two pull-on tabs at the rear, which make it easy to slip them on and off. At the same time, the anti-microbial hemp footbed reduces unpleasant odors. They fit great and you will not experience irritation, blisters, or hotspots. You can loosen them for a comfort fit or tighten them for an aggressive performance fit. The sizing numbers are clearly visible, which means that you can purchase them as rental shoes for your gym. If you are looking for a pair of rock climbing shoes that can comfortably withstand years of abuse, then you should check out these shoes.
18. Black Diamond Focus Climbing Shoe - Women's
- DETAILS: 200 Meter Water Resistant, Super...
- GREAT LOOK: Men, women, young, old, teens or...
- GREAT FIT: Comfort is so important, and the key...
- GREAT QUALITY: This timeless quality item comes in...
- G-Shock is, designed to resist mechanical shock...
The Black Diamond Focus is a high-performance pair of rock climbing shoes, designed to provide a superior level of protection and support for all your cliff-scaling or rock-climbing adventures. Whether you are a professional or amateur rock climber, these shoes will take your performance a notch higher, as you move upwards and onwards. As much as it’s primarily designed as an edging shoe, it delivers an all-round performance, making it suitable for sport climbers, boulderers as well as sport climbers.
These women’s climbing shoes are equipped with 4.3 mm of Neo-fuse rubber, sitting between your foot and the cliff or rock that you are scaling. Apart from reducing the sensitivity, the thick rubber outsole also enhances the durability of these shoes, thus allowing you to tackle many rocks before the shoes require a resole. You will also notice that these rock climbing shoes for bunions have been moderately down-turned, making them perfect for technical climbing.
If you are looking for climbing shoes for narrow feet, then the Black Diamond Focus should be an obvious choice. Their last has been specifically optimized for women’s feet. They also come with lateral and medial stabilizers, which increase precision and stability. These rock climbing shoes come with a knit upper, which is highly durable and breathable. Inside, they are furnished with a hemp lining, which reduces unpleasant foot odors, especially after extensive use.
19. Five Ten Women’s Blackwing Climbing Shoe
- Padded tongue has a super-soft, fleecy microfiber...
- Dual adjustable Velcro closure
- Gently downturned outsole
The Five Ten Women’s Blackwing Climbing Shoe is designed for high-friction rock climbing and high performance. It has a slightly downturned outsole meant to keep that shape for the length of time you own the shoe. It’s made of high-quality synthetic materials and high-grade rubber compound. The closure system is a Velcro dual adjustable system for excellent comfort and fit. The tongue is padded for an incredibly soft fit and feel and a lining made of a fleecy microfiber created to help wick away sweat and prevent the shoe from developing hot spots. The research and development facility at Five Ten’s Redlands, California’s home base is world-class, especially its rubber-testing facility.
The Blackwing utilizes this facility’s best work as it has the Stealth rubber compound sole which incorporates durability and the type of stickiness you’ve come to expect from a Five Ten rock climbing shoe. Five Ten’s shoes are made with the athletes of some of the exciting and dangerous sports in mind, like rock climbing kayaking and wingsuit flying. When it comes to choosing the correct size, remember rock climbing shoes should have a tight fit with a slight toe curl. But the shoe should never be so close as to cause pain.
20. Evolv Kira Climbing Shoe - Women's
- DETAILS: 200 Meter Water Resistant, Super...
- GREAT LOOK: Men, women, young, old, teens or...
- GREAT FIT: Comfort is so important, and the key...
- GREAT QUALITY: This timeless quality item comes in...
- G-Shock is, designed to resist mechanical shock...
The Evolv Kira is a solid, comfortable, and durable all-round pair of climbing shoes for women, which performs exceptionally well across different settings. Whether you are scaling boulders or climbing on plastic in the gym, these shoes will never let you down. They will take you wherever you want to go while making sure your feet have adequate support and protection. It’s important to note that these shoes are not designed for delicate, overhung and steep balancy climbing. Therefore, they might not excel in such areas. However, they will perform well on most rocks.
These climbing shoes for flat feet are great for long moderate climbs and beginners. Also, they are highly recommended in situations where comfort is a priority. The last is slightly downturned and asymmetrical. Also, they feature an ergonomically designed fit, which ensures that your feet remain comfortable throughout your climbing sessions, without sacrificing performance. The upper is made of synthetic materials, which takes a shorter period to break in, compared to those made of leather. As much as these shoes might not be as breathable as those made of mesh, the synthetic material used is highly effective when it comes to moisture wicking. It will wick away sweat and moisture, thus keeping your feet comfortable for long climbs.
The Evolv Kira are easy to use. You just slid in your foot, and then adjust the Velcro straps according to your preferred fit. Also, the straps have numerous adjustment points. The tongue has adequate padding, which gives you added comfort, to tackle demanding climbs. The Kira is a highly functional and technical shoe, which will perform well smears, edges and holds. They are a great pair of shoes for beginners, focusing on comfort, performance, and stability.
21. Five Ten Women's Rogue VCS Climbing Shoe
- IMPORTANT: FIT IS SMALL - Size up accordingly
The Five Ten Rogue VCS is one of the most comfortable rock climbing shoes that you can purchase today. It’s versatile, comfortable and aggressive. Whether you are heading outdoors for rock climbing sessions or you are at the gym, these versatile shoes will be adequate for all your rock climbing sessions. They are supremely comfortable and breathable. Also, if you are looking for a transition rock climbing pair of shoes that will take your performance to the next level, then the Five Ten Rogue VCS is perfect.
These rock climbing shoes for beginners are extremely soft. Therefore, they will help you to gain toe strength while learning how to place your feet during climbing sessions. They are also great rock climbing shoes for the gym, due to their shape and fit. You can use them for different activities such as bouldering and sports climbing, among others. They can handle basic edging comfortably while preparing your feet for aggressive climbing sessions. Also, their low-profile, pointed toe combined with the soft fit will make you feel secure, especially when you encounter tiny pockets.
The Five Ten Rogue VCS comes with all the comfort you would need, whether you are scaling walls or rocks. These rock climbing shoes for women come with a supportive midsole, which provides increased sensitivity and feeling while maintaining a narrow fit. Their rugged rubber outsoles are ideal at sticking and smearing to slim edges. On the other hand, the Velcro closure provides adjustability, as well as taking them on and off easily. If you are looking for a pair of shoes that provide maximum comfort and support when you are climbing, then you can never go wrong with the Five Ten Rogue VCS. They offer professional quality, support, protection, and superior performance.
22. Scarpa Women’s Helix WMN Climbing Shoe
- Classic For A Reason | With more than a few awards...
- Women’s Last | These climbing shoes feature a...
- Vibram XS Edge Rubber | Offering superb support,...
- Symmetrical Profile | Designed to match the...
- Passive Rand | Prioritizing comfort over power,...
The Scarpa Women’s Helix WMN Climbing Shoe is an affordable and all-around classic climbing shoe which has a sterling reputation for quality and performance. It exhibits classic passive randing with flat-lasted manufacturing that will deliver exceptional performance and all-day comfort. It remains on the most popular rock climbing shoes because of the designers of the shoe hasn’t tried to reinvent the wheel. Instead, they have tweaked it over the years, a little here, a little there, but leaving the features that have made it so famous mostly intact. The amazing feel, grip, and durability are because of the rubber compound used.
The Vibram XS Edge rubber material allows for ultra-sticky grip and excellent edging. All-day wear is supported with toe-to-toe lacing system and the light heel cup cushioning. It has a flat profile with a symmetrical footprint, which are original design features left intact. The high-quality padded tongue adds to the comfort. So with classic styling and technology and added advanced features the latest incarnation of the Helix keeps it a must have rock climbing shoe. When it comes to the fit always make sure it is tight with a slight toe curl, but don’t accept a shoe where the fit is painful in any way.
What Kinds Of Climbing Can You Do With Rock Climbing Shoes?
Traditionally rock climbing shoes should fit like a glove fits your hand.
You want it tight, but not too close. Precision is important. But can any shoe allow you to climb a mountain, a hill, a crag, a boulder (yes, folks climb huge boulders), or how about those popular indoor rock climbing walls that litter gyms and recreation centers throughout the country?
Truthfully? Sure, any athletic shoe could be worn to climb.
More truth? If you want to accomplish your goal of climbing a rock wall or a hill, crag or mountain successfully, then no, you need a specialized shoe designed for the various surfaces you're sure to find climbing indoors or outdoors.
First, let's take a look at the types of rock climbing folks are getting in to nowadays.
Believe it or not rock climbing walls found at gyms, recreation centers or even specific places that operate only climbing walls, have become prevalent and can be found pretty much anywhere.
These climbing walls are constructed plastic walls with intense challenges of walls with grips for your hands and feet. Of course, you're likely to find folks straight off the street in gym shoes at these places as well as experienced climbers up for a challenge when they can't make it to their favorite outdoors climbing areas.
These places have thick multiplex boards, sometimes several, of varying degrees of difficulty. Some are geared towards kids and some for professional rock climbers. Some areas even have belay ropes and setups where you can practice more advanced climbing techniques such as bouldering and lead climbing.
Outdoors surfaces are still the most popular, so let's start with trad climbing (or traditional climbing). Trad climbing can be done individually, but many folks like to climb in groups where each passage is taken one at a time, with climbers and gear removed once the passage is cleared. Trad climbing is typically done without the use of anchors.
The most adventurous and oldest type of rock climbing is mountaineering (or alpine climbing). It's also the most dangerous and can be done in all kinds of terrain in all kinds of elements (snow, ice, rock, etc.). Experience is mandatory for safe passage and hazards include lightning, rockfalls, avalanches, etc. Extreme situations can be encountered, so survival skills and proper safety, medical and cooking equipment is essential.
Sport climbing involves climbing a rock with permanent anchors and the focus of the climber is the athleticism (think gymnastics ability) where strength, endurance, and skill is essential. The sense of adventure is apparently there, but an emphasis is put more on safety and free climbing ability.
Then there is top-roping or top-rope climbing. This is a form of a designed climb where a rope is used for safety, and the line can run from the belayer at the beginning of the route run through an anchor system through one or several carabiners then back down to the rock climber. This style is similar to what goes on at more intense indoor rock climbing walls. This type of climbing is an excellent way for a beginner to become introduced to the extreme sport.
Bouldering is an exciting and popular form of rock climbing in a large boulder is used for what is short climbs. A bouldering mat (or crash pad) is utilized to try and limit any injuries from a fall. The popularity of bouldering is evident because, besides large natural boulders that are used, there are also gyms and recreation centers throughout the country who have artificial boulders for rock climbers to try their skill.
A form of free climbing called free solo climbing is another popular rock climbing adventure where no harnesses, ropes or protective gear is used as the rock climber will ascend using only their climbing ability, physical strength and of course guts (or psychological strength) to keep from, gulp, falling to their death. This extreme sport is not the same as free climbing. In all seriousness, this is not a rock climbing choice a majority of experienced rock climbers choose to make because the danger of falling is real and just not worth the risk. Still, there is a segment of the rock climbing community who partake in this highly dangerous activity.
What To Look For When Buying Rock Climbing Shoes?
Now that you know a thing or two about the types of rock climbing extreme sports enthusiasts partake in let's take a look at the rock climbing shoe, the importance of the shoe in rock climbing, sizing, and the different types available.
Once you've decided on the type of surface you want to try, you need to know about the equipment required. For this article, we're focusing on the rock climbing shoe.
And that’s where an expert rock climbing shoe like those on our Top 20 Men’s and Women’s Rock Climbing Shoe list come into play. Rock climbing is a dangerous sport (as you can tell) with more than a bit of danger to it.
And even seasoned professionals with the best equipment (and shoes) available can fail to manipulate their chosen surface. But the idea of this piece is to enlighten and (hopefully) inform you as to the importance of the adequately fitted rock climbing shoe for your adventure into rock climbing.
There are specific shoes for each type of rock climbing, but any of the shoes on this list should suffice no matter the surface. Still, it’s best to find the rock climbing shoe that fits you just right, because comfort is exceedingly necessary for the success of this sport.
Because as important as your hands are to finding the right grip for your next obstacle of your climb, your feet are equally important because to see the proper purchase on the rock you're climbing, you need to “feel” with your feet. And the more sensitivity allowed through your shoe, the more information your feet can send to your brain so your decision making can kick in to manipulate the next challenge or obstacle.
The general rule of thumb (or foot!) is to have a very snug fit. You want a tight fit, with the big toe tip touching the front of the shoe. From there, you also want the toes to have a slight curl. But not to the point of feeling pain.
Some rock climbing shoes are sized like street shoes, so your street shoe size will suffice. But like street shoes, this rule doesn't always apply. Most climbing shoes are designed and built to stretch (almost a full size) once broken in, so you may need to order a shoe that is a half size to two sizes larger than the regular shoes you wear.
If ordering online, allow for some trial and error, so you may need to return (or you have the means, order a couple of different sizes and return the ones that don't fit). Of course, you could always go to a physical store and try on the brand and size you want, then go home and order the ones that fit right.
Of course, once you get the hang of ordering rock climbing shoes, and you're a seasoned climber, ordering will become easier.
As you can tell by this list of the top 20 men's and women's rock climbing shoes, there is no lack of variety and styles.
Three things to keep in mind when deciding upon a rock climbing shoe: fit, features, and type.
The climbing shoe fit is to make sure you are getting the top performance from your choice of shoe as the shoe should fit snugly without pain and allow you for more time on the rock surface of your choice.
Types Of Rock Climbing Shoes
The climbing shoe type is a choice between neutral, moderate or aggressive styles. Think of it as beginner (neutral), moderate (moderate) and expert (aggressive).
The neutral type tends to gear towards all-around and all-day comfort and a relaxed fit. Of course, this kind is ideal for beginners because the design and layout of the shoe allow for your toes to be flat within the shoes, whereas more advanced climbers acquire shoes that require the toes to curl slightly.
There's also a difference in stiffness in the neutral shoe type as they tend to run from medium-to-stiff midsoles as the rubber soles are made of thicker rubber for support, necessary for beginners. They also have a flatter profile, much like a regular athletic shoe, but it allows for easier crack slotting.
The moderate rock climbing shoe type has a slightly downturned shape and is ideal for rock climbers who like more technical challenges. It's a perfect all-purpose climbing shoe excellent for slight overhang sport routes, slab routes, longer multi-pitch climbing challenges and crack climbs. The moderate type tends to be the more comfortable of all the types because of stickier, thinner soles, allowing for more flexibility and better feel and grip. A more powerful shoe than the neutral type.
The aggressive shoe type has a more severe downturn with tons of heel tension which gives you the most strength and power for positioning which is optimal for overhanging climbs. The asymmetrical shape gives you more power at the big toe area which is ideal for precision holds and placements. This is a perfect shoe for gym routes, and single-pitch sport climbs, not so much for all-day climbs on the multi-pitches. The stickier rubber and thinner soles provide better feel and grip, but there is some sacrifice when it comes to comfort as to compared to moderate and neutral types.
Other Facets Of Climbing Shoes
And of course, the features of the climbing shoe can vary widely as more and more shoe companies (some that make only rock climbing shoes) are using advanced technologies to create some impressive choices. So look for features like lacing, linings, straps, and rubber choice.
Lacing is essential, especially when it comes to securing a comfortable and snug fit.
Straps are closure systems know as hook-and-loop. Nothing beats the quickness when it comes to getting in and out of the shoe. Velcro is used as is one to three strategically placed straps to help you get the most comfortable fit.
Slip-ons are called slippers, and the closure system is simply a tighter elastic material that closes off when you slide into the shoe. It allows for a lower profile and greater sensitivity and mainly used as a training shoe, though it is good for thin cracks and slotting.
The lace-up is versatile as you can make more accurate adjustments for when your feet swell due to use or heat. It also allows for more precise adjustments for certain types of climbing.
The upper portion of the shoe can be either leather or synthetic materials.
Lined leather you don't have as much stretch, which can give you a more accurate feel, while unlined leather can stretch as much as a full size which can help when it comes to getting the perfect fit.
Synthetic materials may not stretch as much and can slightly soften as time goes on so the fit you have will be much the same the day you purchase the shoe as the day you're done with them. A significant benefit of synthetic materials is breathability and wicking sweat away from your foot.
When you read about a shoe's "last" think of it as the shape when it comes to the heel and toe dimensions, instep height, volume, and width. Broad-lasted is stiffer, slip-lasted less rigid and allows for better sensitivity. Straight has more comfort, and relaxed fit, downturned is for more advanced climbers and more difficult routes, and asymmetrically allows for greater power and control on a single point of rock contact.
Finally, the sole is the rubber part, where traction comes into play. The outsole rubber can come with softer rubber and stickier options, depending on the types of surfaces you want to manipulate. Firm rubber gives you more support for better edging; sticky rubber is better for smearing and the best gripping. Also, remember the stickier rubber is less durable. Too much thickness can also affect foot sensitivity. Thin soles (3-4 mm) are made for more slab routes and smearing. Thick soles (4-5.5 mm) give you more support and last longer as they are more durable. Think also thicker rubber is suitable for beginners, thinner for advanced climbers.