With a plethora of climbing shoes available in today’s market, it is essential for a customer to take utmost care before purchasing one for himself. Every climber wants to have a shoe with the perfect combination of size, comfort, and durability. However, not many shoes can match up with these requirements. As a result, chances are there that one might end up making a costly mistake.
Unlike street shoes, one cannot choose a climbing shoe based on approximate sizing. Since this is the key connection between the climber and the rock, such type of shoes requires extreme precision. Users shouldn’t feel restless in them but they should also be devoid of any kind of slackness.
So if you want to save yourself from any such scenario, you’ve just come to the right place. The abovementioned guide will look at some of the best climbing shoes in the modern era, thus making their purchase a cinch even for the first-timers.
- 1 Top 5 Best Climbing Shoes
- 2 Best Rock Climbing Shoes
- 3 Best Beginner Climbing Shoes
- 4 Best Aggressive Climbing Shoe
- 5 Best Trad Climbing Shoes
- 6 Best Women’s Climbing Shoes
- 7 Best Climbing Shoes for Wide Feet
- 8 Best Cheap Climbing Shoes
Top 5 Best Climbing Shoes
1. Evolv Men’s Defy
Made for experienced and amateur climbers alike, the Evolv Men’s Defy consists of a handful of features which customers want from their climbing shoes. Having a perforated upper made of synthetic material, this shoe keeps your feet dry by wicking away the unwanted moisture. So when the air maintains a regular contact with your feet, it will help you to manage a rather solid grip while climbing.
Featuring a couple of Velcro Straps, this shoe is devoid of any kind of laces. Such a construction eventually facilitates the owner of this footwear in two ways. Firstly, it allows him to tighten up this shoe as per his own convenience. And secondly, he can put on/take off these shoes in a matter of few seconds.
The Asymmetrical shape of the Evolv Defy makes it a kind of moderate shoe as much emphasis has been placed on enhancing the single point of contact with the rock. For users wanting to have a decent placement on the small holds, they should have a look at this shoe.
Lastly, the manufacturer has made use of Trax rubber – a famous material for the climbing shoes – in terms of crafting the outsole of Defy. Such a material of construction creates the necessary fraction when it comes to producing a solid grip on an uneven surface.
2. La Sportiva Men’s Tarantulace Performance Rock Climbing Shoe
The Men’s Tarantulace Performance Rock Climbing Shoe is a treat for all such customers looking for leather as the premium Material of construction in their ideal climbing footwear. La Sportiva has made these shoes with an unlined synthetic leather which means that it can stretch up to a good size with regular use.
Featuring an Asymmetrical Profile, this is an aggressive shoe suiting the amateur to medium level climbers. Such a construction puts the user of this shoe in a stronger position for a variety of climbs as he can achieve a rather solid foundation even during a tricky climb.
Even after wearing this shoe for a good amount of time, this shoe won’t hurt thanks to its superior construction. So for users who often complain about the lack of comfort ability in other, aggressive shoes, no such problem exists with the Tarantulace.
The Tarantulace incorporates a fast lacing system which can be adjusted with a single pull. Unlike traditional laces, it allows much more support to its valuable owner by producing a snug fit around his feet. This shoe can be tightened to a precise level, one thing which every climber wishes for in his idyllic footwear.
That said, the FriXion rs Rubber sole helps this shoe to stick well and that too for an extended duration of time. One can wear it for tree climbing, gym climbing, and other such related activities. So as long as you’re wearing these shoes, there is no danger of slippage at just the wrong moment.
3. Mad Rock Men’s Drifter Climbing Shoe
The Men’s Drifter Climbing Shoes from Mad Rock are super comfortable which makes climbing really easy especially for the beginners.
Have a soft upper made of high-quality leather, this shoe is a far cry from the other, high-end aggressive shoes in today’s market. The profile of this shoe is relatively flat, which makes it easier for a newbie to enjoy this versatile footwear. Talking about the design, users can purchase it in three different colors, all of whom are absolutely beautiful to soothe their fashion needs.
Featuring two Velcro straps, it is really easy to put on or take off these shoes for its valuable owner. This shoe provides a snug fit as once you wear it, your toe will be hitting the edge of these shoes which is rather a common feature in other such climbing shoes. So users can slip their toes into the little notches in the rock in order to enjoy a sturdy foundation during climbing.
The sole of these shoes is made of Science Friction Rubber, which, as evident from its name, provides a decent friction on a consistent basis. Another thing which users should keep in mind while purchasing these boots is that that they run a full size small. Unlike other leather made shoes, they won’t stretch even with regular use. So if your regular size is 9 ½, consider ordering 10 ½ with this particular buy.
So if you’re a beginner who is in search a new climbing shoe, the Men’s Drift is definitely a safe bet by all means.
4. La Sportiva Oxygym Climbing Shoe
Featuring a bright color scheme, the Oxygym Climbing Shoes from La Sportiva are extremely famous if you want to make a fashion statement without compromising on the quality of your climb. Even if it’s a men shoe, that hasn’t stopped La Sportiva to come up with some of the brightest designs which one could see in today’s market. So if you’re fed up of those dull shoes and wanting to have some sort of compliments from your colleagues, go for the Oxygym.
Coming towards its specifics, this shoe incorporates an AirTex Silver lining in order to tackle the unwanted odor. They are also 100% washable so even if they get dirty, just throw them into the washing machine and BINGO. You’ll have fresh shoes for the next day.
The hook and loop Velcro closure is another standout feature in the Oxygym. Unlike traditional laces, it won’t add much of a bulk to the overall weight of these shoes as a user won’t even feel them while climbing.
Talking about their soft, breathable upper, this is what makes this product a darling for indoor use. Users should wear these shoes to perform indoor activities at the start and once they get used to them, only then it is recommended to wear them on the real rock.
Moreover, if you’re considering making this purchase for your next climb, order a half size larger than your normal length.
5. Mad Rock Agama Climbing Shoe
A company founded in 2002, Mad Rock is famous for its innovative yet affordable line of climbing footwear. Ever since its inception, the manufacturer has come up with some of the best products for the fans of climbing and the Agama Climbing is no different to it.
The Agama climbing shoe is made of premium leather so this shoe will stretch a bit with regular use. As per the lacing mechanism, Mad Rock has made use of 2 durable straps. Users can tighten or loosen these straps to multiple levels in order to reduce the pressure point and attain a premium control over their feet movement.
Another thing which catches the attention is the design of the toe box. It is almost symmetrical which enhances the comfort ability of this footwear by multiple times. Such a construction will also prevent the owner of this shoe from developing unwanted blisters or even crooked toes while climbing.
The sticky outsole helps you to enjoy a solid grip while climbing as this shoe is devoid of any sort of slippage. With a stiffness level 3, this product is good enough for an amateur to mid-level climbers.
Furthermore, a couple of hooks are placed just above the heel region which makes it easy to wear these shoes without any reluctance.
Best Rock Climbing Shoes
1. Evolv Axiom Climbing Shoe with FREE Climbing DVD
If you’re looking for a product that provides a perfect combination of comfort and performance, the Evolv Men Axiom is tailor made for you. Comfortable in the sense that users can wear these shoes for 9 hours long and still won’t feel any kind of foot pain. And as per their performance, you can certainly edge like a veteran on a variety of vertical surfaces. So as far as the climbing shoes are concerned, the Axion is certainly one of the best in this regard.
The Axion features a rather flat profile with much emphasis on the forefront and the toe region to produce precise moves on the vertical surfaces. This construction is extremely important for a climber who has to use these two regions for more often than not when it comes to both indoor as well as outdoor climbing.
With the hi-f-Tongue-Lock System, the tongue will stay at its place even during uneven landings and abrupt turns. Inside these shoes, there is a full length midsole which comes handy when a user is looking to wear this footwear for a long time.
Moving towards the outsole, it features a 4.2mm thick TRAX rubber for increased performance in terms of durability and traction. This sole is relatively stiff, so you cannot wear these shoes for everyday activities but when it comes to climbing, there aren’t much better products than this one from any developer.
After all these features, Evolv is offering a Climbing DVD for absolutely no price with this purchase. So if you’re a fan of 2 in 1 offers, this right here deserves your attention.
2. Scarpa Men’s Force X Climbing Shoe
The Scarpa Men’s Force X is extremely comfortable, yet equally efficient climbing shoe for amateur to mid-level climbers. Built for an all-around use, the upper of this shoe is made of suede leather. This material of construction stretches a bit with time as the user’s feet gets accumulated with sweat. However, the degree of expansion is limited to a certain extent so don’t expect this shoe to stretch a size larger than its original length.
The major difference between the Force X and other such climbing shoes in today’s market has got to be the presence of padding lined heel cup. Basically, this padding wraps around the back of your feet just like a glove thus saving it from aching even after regular use.
If you’re thinking that a climbing shoe which is this comfortable cannot be worn on vertical surfaces, think again. Because as a result of this heel padding, you’ll attain a precise feet between the ankle and the heel region of this shoe which makes it easier to perform on cracks, slabs and any other upright terrains.
As per the toe box, it is quite narrow in size which might be a problem for users with wider feet. But that’s exactly how a climbing shoe should be as it has to grip firmly with the help of a single point. Then comes the double Velcro straps, one of whom attaches from left to right and vice versa. The basic advantage of Velcro – just like any other shoe having such a lacing mechanism – is that they assist a user who is looking to wear or take off these shoes without wasting much time.
So if you’re a fan of climbing but doesn’t to sacrifice your comfort level, go for this footwear.
Best Beginner Climbing Shoes
1. Red Chili Denim Climbing Shoe
The Red Chili Denim is a dream come true for all such beginners who are looking for a fusion of style and performance in their ideal climbing shoe. This shoe is designed for newbies whose feet got burned by wearing their previous, tight-ish climbing shoes and now they are looking for something more comfortable to wear for a good few hours every day.
As obvious from the name, the upper of this shoe is just like a Denim as it has exactly the same color of those, famous jeans. This upper is then lined with cotton for basically two reasons. Firstly, the copper lining boosts the endurance of this shoe. Even after rough usage, such a lining allows the shoe to retain its shape. And secondly, cotton is a breathable material in itself. So as long as you’re wearing these shoes, it will keep on wicking away the unwelcomed moisture.
Inside the Red Chili Denim is a firm midsole which comes handy when a user is looking to protect himself from recurrent foot pain. The outsole is made of a 4.5mm rubber. Even if this shoe lacks in sensitivity, but such a thicker outsole eventually provides a solid traction during long climbs. The rubber is also used on the side of these shoes in case a climber wants to jam his feet in the cracks.
So as long as you’re a beginner who just want to do the basics right, this product is definitely worth a shot.
2. CLIMB X Redpoint Climbing Shoe
For a beginner who want his shoe neither too tight nor too loose, here is the deal. Go for the Climb X Redpoint and you’ll have one of the best fit climbing shoes which one could purchase from today’s market.
The manufacturer of this shoe has carefully crafted it, providing just the right amount of tightness which customers want from their climbing footwear. This shoe also features dual Velcro straps in order to provide a flawless fit as per everyone’s personal feet size.
The upper of this shoe is made of premium leather so this shoe stretches a bit with frequent practice. It means that if your regular size is 8, a 9 will be more than good enough to enjoy a snug fit. However, if you’re an amateur who still aren’t accustomed to wearing tight shoes, your ideal purchase should be 1 ½ to 2 size larger.
The XF Rubber outsole has all the attributes to improve your footwork on the upright terrains. It holds well for a user’s liking and varying from indoor to outdoor climbing, this shoe latches nicely onto the underneath surface. The rand is quite sticky as well so one can use it for poking his shoes through cracks and other open surfaces. The padded ankle cuff comes handy at the time of landing and it also makes the turns a bit easy for the first timers.
One thing which I personally found quite extraordinary in the Redpoint is its ability to deal with the stench. Having an organic Hemp Foot bed, it somehow manages to keep itself fresh and devoid of any kind of odor.
Best Aggressive Climbing Shoe
Five Ten Men’s Dragon Climbing Shoe
For the fans of Aggressive Climbing, Bouldering Legends Fred Nicole and Dave Graham have come up with the re-make of the original Dragon in the form of Five Ten Men’s Dragon Climbing Shoe. Designed for all types of climbing competitions, this particular shoe is extremely different from its original version.
When the previous dragon was pretty heavier in weight, this one weighs as low as just 5.6oz. Even though it won’t make a big difference for the mid-level climbers, but ask any professional and they’ll tell you advantageous it is to have a lightweight climbing shoe for professional competitions.
The front portion of this shoe is covered with a large proportion of rubber. Now combine it with the aggressive toe shape and climbers will get to poke in their feet even through the tiniest footholds. The sticky rubber outsole grips well on the vertical surfaces and same is the case on a large, steep rock. It is a tried and tested option as far as climbing shoes are concerned.
In place of the Velcro Straps, the Dragon has made use of lace-up mechanism when it comes to provide a snug feet around the feet of users. For the fans of Velcro – who’re accustomed of wearing, un-wearing their shoes every now and then – this mechanism can be a minor drawback.
This shoe also feature dual heel pulls so that the climber doesn’t have to spend much time while wearing these shoes. So if you are an aggressive climber, who isn’t afraid of a tight toe box, the Dragon is just perfect for you.
Best Trad Climbing Shoes
Mad Rock Flash 2.0
A popular choice for all such customers who want to use this product as an all-day shoe, the Mad Rock Flash 2.0 is an upgrade to its original version. When the previous version was available in orange and black color, this one can be purchased in a much stylish, yellow and black.
Coming towards its specifications, this shoe is as comfortable as the manufacturer claims it to be. Featuring a flat-footed design, its upper is made of high quality leather with the synflex. So when the former material is famous for its durability, the latter comes handy when it comes to increase the stretch ability of this shoe.
On the heel, the Flash 2.0 have made use of the Shock Gel in order to save its owner if he comes off the rock in an unwanted manner. Basically, it provides protection at the moment of impact which saves your feet from getting hurt. There aren’t many other shoes which have this feature in their armory so that makes this shoe a quite special product in the climbing market.
Keeping Mad Rock’s tradition alive of providing a comfortable yet affordable footwear, this shoe is much more than a beginner’s climbing shoe. The fit is very snug as users can wear it for edging, crack climbing, on slab climbs and other such activities.
Lastly, the rubber outsole is quite sensitive which a good thing is when you’re making a vertical climb. There are dual Velcro Straps for easy adjustment and apart from men, even women can wear these shoes without any hesitation.
Best Women’s Climbing Shoes
SCARPA Women’s Force X WMN Climbing Shoe
When it comes to woman climbers, there aren’t much better climbing shoes than the Scrapa Force X WMN Climbing Shoe.
Stylish in design, this shoe incorporates a deadly combination of style and comfort. There is nice padding on tongue and the back region and there is absolutely no problem with the heel cutting into your Achilles tendon. As a result, women can enjoy a strong foundation while standing on their toes or even during the process of heel hooking.
The upper is made of Leather which, just like other climbing shoes, will stretch a bit with frequent use. So even if the Force X feels a bit tight at the start, there is no need to worry as it will expand with the passage of time.
In the Scrapa Force X, there are two Velcro straps which provides a precise fit for a women’s feet. This sort of mechanism also assists a woman climber who is looking to get out or get in these shoes through her gym climbing. So when they fit so nicely, there shouldn’t be any second thought in whether or not a person can wear it for day long climbing.
The rubber sole performs fairly well in colder as well as hotter outdoors. But if you want to enjoy the maximum friction, this shoe works great in especially the warmer climate. So the greater your feet gets accumulated with sweat, the better this shoe performs with the rising temperature.
Coming towards the suitable conditions on which this shoe can be worn, well, users can wear them for smearing, slabs and even vertical routes. So if you’re an amateur woman climber who is ready to take a next step in her climbing career, the Force X can be your ideal companion.
Best Climbing Shoes for Wide Feet
Butora Acro Wide Fit Climbing Shoe – Men’s
It doesn’t matter what kind of shoes your favorite athlete wears for his climbing activities as long it doesn’t fit your feet size. It might be a good idea to go for the performance shoes but as long as it isn’t comfortable, it isn’t worth it. Because at the end of the day, nobody wants to suffer from foot pain after a day-long climbing.
For users who want a comfortable yet high performing climbing shoe, the Butora Acro Wide Fit Climbing shoe does just that in a very imperious manner. From a Korean based company which introduced their first product in the States back in 2015, Butora have already come a long way forward when it comes to make their own fan base.
Talking about the Butora Acro, this shoe features an aggressive design which is tailor made for steep climbing as well as bouldering. Thanks to its pointed toe, one can use it for smearing or even placing his feet through the smallest footholds. The heel is pretty tight fitting so this shoe is pretty snug fit on an overall basis.
Featuring an aggressive design, the upper combines the services of synthetic as well as natural leather. Apart from the toe box, this shoe has made use of unlined leather almost everywhere in its construction. So one can expect it to stretch after a few weeks of purchase.
One thing which is quite unique in the Acro is the way in which the rubber is attached to it via heat molding instead of glue. So this outsole won’t wear down with regular wearing as this product is extremely durable.
In addition to that, this shoe has featured rubber to such a greater extent that its edging and smearing capabilities are impeccable. So if your toes got crunched by your previous footwear, it’s time to get Butora Acro a chance.
Best Cheap Climbing Shoes
CLIMB X Technician Lace Climbing Shoe
For the budget oriented customers, who doesn’t want to break the bank in their pursuit of a climbing shoe, the Climb X Technician Climbing Shoes are available on a very affordable price. These have all the features which a climber could expect from his footwear as they fit pretty tightly and features a grippy sole. All these features make them a pretty viable contender to be used on vertical surfaces.
Featuring a lace-up version, customers can also go for the Velcro with the very same shoe. There are a couple of pull tabs which helps the owner of this boot when it comes to wear this shoe. The upper is made of synthetic material which is of good quality as far as shoes in this price are concerned.
The Anti-microbial hemp, which is a special kind of fiber to inhibit the growth of bacteria, is especially utilized in the form of inner lining in this shoe. The footbed incorporating such a feature eventually saves the Climb X from becoming a victim of undesirable odor with regular use.
These shoes have utilized a special kind of rubber – known as the Sticky X Factor – to enhance their traction. The fitting is as tight as it has to be in a climbing shoe and as a result, one cannot wear this shoe consistently after a few hours of climbing. Same is the case with everyday activities as this shoe is exclusively designed to be worn on upright terrains.