climbing shoes

Climbing Shoes: Pick The Best One For You

climbing shoes

Climber’s feet must be protected from Climbing holds which might injure Climber’s foot. Climbers must use comfortable Climbing shoes to climb for hours without having Climbing feet pain. And Climbing shoe soles must be sticky enough to stick on Climbing holds.

In Climbing gyms, Climbers usually use rented shoes, so Climbing gym companies have to offer Climbers comfortable climbing shoes which fit a wide range of foot sizes. There is a wide range of climbing shoes on the market.

These are designed for different purposes and they all have different uses. Climbers must choose a pair which fits best their climbing needs. But also they need to consider some other factors such as comfort, durability, ease of use, and many others.

What should you know about climbing shoes

Climbing has grown popular across the world, but with popularity comes advances in climbing technology. They are one of the largest advances in this growing sport. 

These are specially designed to help climbers climb more difficult routes. This means more cash for manufacturers alongside the chance of more exposure for employees. It has gone through some large changes since the sport has grown.

They used to be bulky and stiff, but now they are made with more elastic materials that give the climber an advantage in climbing. They have taken on entire new designs in order to gain a specific advantage for certain types of climbing.

It usually comes in two forms, either Velcro or lace-up. These are designed to grip the wall and stick through the use of very sticky rubber. The sizing system for shoes can be confusing for beginners trying to decide what size shoe to purchase.

What are the types of climbing shoes according to their characteristics

Climbing shoes are protective footwear used for different kinds of climbing. Climbers wear these shoes to give them traction throughout the climb, especially on rocks.

Before climbing, climbers need to have the right gear, including good-quality shoes. Since climbing is an outdoor activity that requires different types of equipment. Climbers should also consider their types of climbing which will determine the type of Climbing Shoe.

Climbers choose them according to the type of climb they are going to do. They have different characteristics, features, and purposes depending on what kind you use them for.

To know more about shoes please read below as we discuss the different types of shoes according to their characteristics.

  • These are available in different types depending on the use and climbers often choose. Based on what they usually do or what kind of climb they will be using for. 
  • Climbers also consider factors like the type of climbing that the Climbers will be doing. Whether Shoes are comfortable for Climbers to use. Climbers need climbing shoes that can support their feet through the climb and protect climbers’ flesh from getting scraped or wounded.

Below are several types according to Climbers’ activities.

Climbing Shoes for Crack Climbing

Climbers use them to protect their feet, especially toes when they enter cracks. The rubber rands on these shoes are often thick, serving as a shield for Climbers’ toes as they climb. 

Rock Climbing Shoes

Rock climbing activities involve the use of climbing shoes. Climbers choose this Climbing shoe according to Climbers’ preference and Climbers’ level of climb. 

They should fit Climbers’ feel right and should be comfortable enough to maximize the Climbers’ climbing skills. Climbing shoes should have a good rubber that sticks on rocks and can provide sufficient grip. 

Approach Shoes

Climbers use these for climbing activities that require them to hike or walk. Approach Shoes are usually lightweight which is perfect for Climbers who want a more mobile shoe.

Bouldering Shoe

Climbers who wish to climb walls and do other activities without touching the ground should use these shoes.

Bouldering shoes are a good candidate for Climber shoes. Climbers can easily place their feet in and lace-up according to their preferences.

Climbing Shoe for Ice Climbing

These are larger than Climbing Shoes for Climbing. They have more supportive midsoles and they have similar flexibility.

Long climbs exceeding 160 feet usually require these. Climbing shoes for Ice Climbing have thicker soles to provide maximum grip. While making an ascend on rocks or walls in order to prevent the climber’s foot from slipping because of a flat sole.

Climbing Shoes for Multi-Pitch Climbing

They have more supportive midsoles and they have similar flexibility. Over 150-foot climbs require climbing shoes for multi-pitch climbing.

Multi-pitch have thicker soles to provide the climber with maximum grip on rocks or walls so that the climber’s foot doesn’t slip. In multi-pitch climbing, are mainly for routes that have positive, non-protruding holds.

Material used for shoes

They are essential to climbing because they give us an edge over the rock and let us climb some rather awkward foot placements. With climbing becoming more popular every day, there are now more people than ever looking for climbing shoes.

If you’re one of these new climbers who’s just bought their first climbing shoe then you might be a bit confused about these. In this article, I hope to give you some advice on climbing shoes and materials. 

Materials used in climbing shoes

They vary in price depending on the materials used, tend to have a lot of different materials. The most common material is leather due to its strength and durability. And made out of synthetic materials like synthetic leather are good for climbing cracks. 

Leather climbing shoes – are good for climbing pretty much all types of climbing because they last longer than any other climbing shoe material. Climbing shoes made for crack climbing can last ages but they do stretch. So you might have to buy a smaller size than your street shoes.

Synthetic climbing shoe material – Nowadays, these are usually made of climbing shoe rubber or climbing shoe fabric, which is synthetic materials. These climbing shoe materials are usually sewn together and glued to the climbing shoe. So they don’t come apart and last a pretty long time

Climbing shoe rubber – This material is very sticky and can last ages but costs more than any other climbing shoe material to buy. It’s good for climbing shoe holds with a lot of friction.

Climbing shoe fabric – Fabric is important for good climbing on steep walls or climbing up slabby walls as they tend to be cheap. They won’t last as long as climbing shoes made from climbing shoe rubber. Beginners tend to wear these types of shoes.

Wood climbing shoes: These became popular in the 1970s and early 1980s. However, climbing walls have mostly disappeared since climbers find wooden climbing shoes too heavy for climbing gym routes.

The most important application of climbing shoes

Of course, climbing shoes are one of the most important applications for punters. Climbers need to get the best shoes that suit their feet and also their activities. When choosing any shoes, climbers should be aware of several things which determine whether they will work or not. 

What type of shoes you should wear really depends on what sort of activities you want to use for. Whether indoor, outdoor, bouldering or climbing. Always try on the shoes before you purchase them and see how they feel.

When choosing the best shoes, there are several factors you should take into account, and the most important ones are:

Best Climbing Shoes for Bouldering

When you want to buy a shoe for your bouldering activities, it is important to consider certain things. And also important to consider how long your sessions will be and how long you will be wearing them.

First, it is important to consider the terrain you are planning on climbing.

Second, the rubber type and most importantly the fit of the shoes all play an integral role in your decision-making process.

Third, Additionally, you should choose a shoe that is suitable for the type of bouldering you intend to do.

Best Climbing Shoes for Outdoor

For general outdoor climbing, the shoe should be comfortable but it also needs to be durable. If you prefer to climb outdoors, there are certain factors you should consider.

First and foremost, your shoe needs to have a stiff sole and it has to be durable and solid.

Second, a factor that climbers need to consider when buying outdoor is whether they are lightweight or not.

Third, Fit is also essential to consider when choosing outdoor shoes, so you need to make sure that your shoes fit perfectly. No matter what type of climbing shoe you choose, comfort is extremely important.

The agony of choosing the shoe size

There is a lack of development in the climbing shoe industry. They have become more of a fashion item than a climbing tool in the climbing shoe market. They have been getting smaller every year.

The sizing is a dilemma that haunts millions of climbers worldwide. The sizes are usually not the same as regular shoes. 

There are several ways to measure climbing shoes: 

The most common are climbing shoe length for climbing shoe size and climbing shoe size for climbing shoe fit. While climbing shoes’ usual size is easier to understand compared to climbing shoe length. Climbing shoe size is not directly proportional to climbing shoe length.

  • The shoe’s last length is the length of climbing shoes last multiplied by pi:  3.14 (π).
  • The sizes built on usually scale which varies from maker to maker.
  • When it comes down to sizing there are two ways a climbing shoe company can fit their climbing shoes, either half sizes or full sizes. 
  • Half size climbing shoes only go up to size 11 shoes. And then they start shoe size 12. 
  • When you get bigger than shoe size 10 it is better to buy full size instead of half sizes. So your toes aren’t squashed, shoe sizing climbing.

Some agony of choosing shoe size

When fit too small

  • It is difficult or impossible to put on/ take off.
  • They doesn’t perform well due to lack of performance. materials such as rubber, leather, and stitching.
  • They feel uncomfortable and painful.
  • It is unnecessarily heavy.

When fit too big:

  • Slides off your foot on overhanging climbs or toe hooks. 
  • They are floppy, doesn’t have good torsion or arch support
  • Bunches up in your climbing shoe which can be uncomfortable and lead to blisters
  • Turns into a sandal the second you get it wet (because it fits too big)

Climbing shoe sizing is really simple when you know how, but if you don’t know the process of climbing shoe sizing. It can be very confusing for any climbing shoe climber.

Climbing shoe sizing with climbing shoe rubber or climbing shoe fabric. If you buy a climbing shoe that fits comfortably off the shelf, it’s usually not the correct size for your feet.

If you find yourself struggling to find that fit just right, don’t worry. There are climbing shoe sizing charts out there that can help you find the climbing shoe size that will fit your feet perfectly.

Purchase criteria for climbing shoes

“Climbing shoes” is a term that covers the variety of footwear worn by climbers and other boulderers. They work like gloves, they fit tightly on your feet and improve friction with small points on the sole. They come in several shapes and typically have additional rubber rands on parts of the upper.

When buying a new pair of shoes you should take into consideration three important criteria: 

  • Fit 
  • Size
  • Shape.

When deciding which brand to buy, keep in mind that they are like gloves. They fit tightly on your feet and will be uncomfortable the first few days. Also need breaking into and you’ll soon notice that they’ll become more comfortable every time you wear them.

1. What’s your poison?

There are many different types of closures for climbing shoes, depending on what kind of climbing you’re doing. They’ll determine how much support your foot has. They are like little works of art, they’re all slightly different in their own ways.

2. Climbing Shoe sizing is complicated

Climbing shoe sizes run differently than most regular street shoe sizes. Also, fit differently than street shoes because they need to contour to your foot and be comfortable at the same time. 

The purchase criteria for a climbing shoe

Must fit well

If you have “broken-in” climbing shoes, they should still be fairly stiff to support your foot. And ankle when you stand on small holds or bump around in cracks. And if the shoes are too tight, your foot swells and they become even more uncomfortable.

In contrast, a very stiff shoe may not be comfortable to wear for extended periods. But it will keep you from flattening your feet when you stand on tiny holds. If a shoe is too soft, the rubber won’t protect your foot from being pinched.

Must right size

To determine whether a shoe is the right size, try them on and stand up! Your toes should just touch the front of the shoe without any pressure. If your toes are cramped or curled, you need a larger pair.  Here is a guide for determining if climbing shoes fit. 

If you buy a shoe that is too small, the material at the front of the shoe will crease and create “dead space,”. This means your foot will not be supported when standing on holds. This increases your risk of injury while climbing.

Must follow the shape

Every shoe has a different shape. Most are asymmetrical, with the big toe being more curved than the second and third toes. Due to this shape, it is necessary for climbers to adjust their foot position in relation to the rock depending on how they are climbing.  

All of these factors are important to consider when purchasing new climbing shoes. You should try them on at the end of the day when your feet are most swollen. Also, make sure they look right for your particular style of climbing.

The best climbing shoes on the market

Climbing shoes come in different styles and shapes, but they all have a few things in common. Shoes should be comfortable for your feet to kneel into without hurting from rocks or twigs that you might step on with barefoot.

They are not only used for bouldering or outdoor climbing, they are also great indoors. Where you can climb at a gymnasium if you don’t have access to the outdoors. Also, prevent you from slipping while climbing up rocks.

Here are some best climbing shoes on the market which we mention

La Sportiva Zenit

The shoe is an extremely versatile shoe based on the ever-popular La Sportiva Mythos, but with added performance. It is made up of a single piece of leather that wraps around the foot for support while still conforming to its shape.

The Zenit Climbing Shoe uses La Sportiva’s P3 Platform which is extremely sensitive. As a result, your shoes will be much more sensitive to rock textures, making it easier to feel where your foot is and what surface you need to grip.

It also has an asymmetric profile, as you can see in the picture below comparing it to the La Sportiva Solution Climbing Shoe.

La Sportiva Tarantula

These shoes have been designed for Climbers who are looking to save money. And at the same time, do not want to sacrifice their Climbing experience.

Eco-Ortholite insoles have been added to the Tarantulas to prolong their comfort over time while also helping climbers’ feet to breathe. 

Evolv Defy Velcro

It is a great shoe for beginners or experienced climbers. It has all the flexibility that you look for in an everyday climbing shoe but also has some durability. 

The Defy Climber sports a microfiber upper with traditional lacing over the top of every edge and cracks while climbing. But after a while of breaking them in Climbing shoes become more comfortable than sneakers.

Scarpa Drago

It’s a comfortable and affordable climbing shoe. This shoe provides maximum traction on rocks and other surfaces and is highly sensitive for climbers.

Climbers also like that the Climbing Shoe has a very flexible sole, giving them comfort and an increased range of motion. The Climbing Shoe is too soft in certain areas, which makes it uncomfortable for extended periods of time. Climbers with the climbing shoe provide better protection in cracks in rocks.

La Sportiva Solution Comp

La Sportiva has quietly released an updated version of their much-loved Climbing shoe. The new version is called the La Sportiva Climbing Solution Shoes.

Scarpa Boostic

This is a high-performance shoe with the comfort of an approach shoe. The multi-polyurethane midsole provides plenty of support for medium-sized wide cracks. While still being comfortable enough to wear on long hikes.

Scarpa’s Bostic Climbing shoe has a Vibram XS Edge rubber sole with millions of tiny edges around the front third of the sole. This gives you great edging power for technical face climbing, without sacrificing smearing abilities on slabs.

La Sportiva TC Pro

Climbers looking for information on the latest climbing shoe trends such as an aggressive downturn (like that found in the Solution or Katana). Or an ultra-soft shoe (no, not like the Mythos) may want to look elsewhere.

The Acopa Aztec Climbing Shoe

The innovative “hand-made” Acopa Aztec Climbing Shoe is produced in Italy. Stiffness and comfort are the keywords for this Climbing Shoe. The heel has a metal insert to ensure maximum hold on rocks or other rough surfaces. 

The rubber outsole gives a greater grip on crags. Climbers of all levels will be satisfied with this new Climbing Shoe! The shoes were comfortable enough to wear for a full day at work without so much as a hotspot or pinching feeling.

Top 7 Products of climbing shoes

1. La Sportiva

2.  Adidas

3. Five Ten

4. Mad Rock Drifter Climbing Shoe

5. Evolv Defy Climbing Shoe

6. Black Diamond Equipment

7. Climb X Rave


Climbing shoes should not be the first climbing equipment you should buy, but they are an important piece of your climbing puzzle. If you spend a lot of time climbing, climbing shoes might be something you should invest in right away.

Unfortunately, the shoes aren’t cheap. So you would do well to come up with a budget first before heading out to buy climbing shoes. If climbing isn’t your profession, then there is no need to spend more than 100 dollars on climbing shoes.