Rock climbing shoes are the source of grip and protection of your feet from the rocks and rough steep. As this sport fills the wanderer's heart with adventurous contentment, it also bears the risks of its own.
Therefore, choose the best gear with maximum grip to ensure a flawless performance while maintaining comfort and safety in mind. In this article, we have given the insight to help you choose the best rock climbing shoes out there considering the construction, closure, and performance in mind.
Rock Climbing Shoes Buying Guide
The athletic specialization and hurdles of rock climbing make it different from other sports and so is its footwear. Therefore, for choosing the best rock climbing shoes you need to keep few things in mind including the fit, comfort, construction for grip, closure, and of course the toe shape.
Fit is a crucial aspect of choosing the right rock climbing shoes as they vary from person to person. Some athletes prefer their shoes with maximum tightness, conformed to their feet. In terms of fit, tightness is a necessary aspect but comfort lies with this preference.
So if you are planning to wear the shoes for long hours of practice, wear the one that ensures comfort along with the preferred tightness. Fit without a dead spot for foot bending on steeps and pockets is uncomfortable as it pressurizes the foot. It is always wise to try the shoes before buying them.
When you edge your foot on steeps and cracks, your shoes need to have a stickiness to hang yourself on a position on the rock. The sticky nature of your shoe rubber allows it to grip the location. There are different types of material available on the sole materials. RS edge, XS –Vibram, and ABD edges are some of the good materials for ensuring durable built and firm grips on steeps.
Lace-up shoes are usually preferable to people for their narrow foot-grip as they greatly conform to your feet. Then comes the traditional Velcro strap closure. They provide a versatile fit and easy on and off from your feet proving a spacious opening to your feet. People with large to small, all kinds feet size can easily slip into them. The Velcro straps provide a tight wrap on your feet. Therefore, it does not come out easily.
The last and comfortable closure is the slip-on system, it comes with a tight and stiff elastic that allows you to open the shoes easily and straps are added to give the highest wrap to prevent the slip away. Choose the one that suits your climbing style, nevertheless, we suggest the Velcro ones for their comfortable grip.
Toe shapes decide the grip on the feet that assists you throughout the journey while rock climbing. If you are looking for the best rock climbing shoes, make sure to look into your toe shapes needed for your climbing type. There are two types of shapes- downturn and flatter shoes. The downturn shoes are great for hooking your foot on steeps and edges.
The aggressive bend on them increases the grip. However, the moderate ones with stiff rubber are fine for all kinds of rock climbing. The flatter shoe shapes are usually a good option for beginners. However, they are good for novice or advance all kinds of athletes, especially for smearing, longer routes, and long hours of comfort climbing.
Best Rock Climbing Shoes in 2021
There plenty of rock climbing shoes available in the market, in this article, we have assembled the list of best rock-climbing shoes in 2021 available in the market.
La Sportiva Miura VS
Quick-pull lace wrap
XS Edge rubber sole consistency
Dentex lining air-circulation
La Sportiva Solution Comp
Maximum rubber coverage on the toe area
Faster lace-wrapping system
Soft midsole for broad patch
Carpa Instinct VS
Durable Vibram XS Edge forefoot
Heel hooking made of Vibram grip
La Sportiva Katana Lace
Pointed Vibram XS Edge
Asymmetrical toe box comfort
Laspo flex midsole with P3 technology
La Sportiva Men’s TC Pro
Sole made of premium Vibram
Leather built with upper
Lace system closure fit
Stretch sustaining hemp lining
A comfortable footbed and sticky sole construction
Triple fork webbing fit
Five Ten Anasazi Lace
Genuine synthetic built
Traditional lace-up closure
C4 rubber outsole stealth grip
Black Diamond Shadow
Rubber built for maximum steep
Downturned Velcro strap tightness
La Sportiva Tarantulace
Combination of unlined leather upper and lined overlay for breathability
Faster lace-up and snug fit
Durably built with Laspo-Flex midsole and FriXion RS sole
Scarpa Maestro Mid Eco
Sleek shoe design
Eco-leather upper construction
Midsole made of comfortable Talyn
Asymmetric toe-box and optimum shape ensures excellent foot control
Full lace closure fit allows superior grip performance
Microfiber upper and TXT treated cotton lining comfort
Increased balance with collateral Velcro closure
Love bump half-length midsole
Rubber Trax structure friction
Outsole made of NEO Fuse sticky rubber
Toe hooking with great patch sensitivity
Extended heel rand for power density
Scarpa Furia Air
Very lightweight and foot-sensitive built
MLT tension system with highly elastic toe and foot grip
Bi-component microfiber perforation for ventilation
1. La Sportiva Miura VS – Best Overall
If you are thinking of a versatile and high-performance climbing shoe with aggressive downturn and comfort. With edging support on the rocks for sport climbing and boulders, Sportiva Miura would be an ideal choice for you. They come in a unisex design with excellent rubber construction and durable built.
The upper of the shoe is made of leather that ensures flexible foot bend during rock climbing. The pull-it lace and Velcro strap helps you to slip on the feet easily into the shoe with a firm fit. The overall built quality and durable material of the shoe would make this, one of the best rock-climbing shoes for your next adventure.
2. La Sportiva Solution Comp– Best For Sport Climbing
The Solution Comp is a versatile shoe for sport-style rock climbing, which makes your performance agile with its magnificent built. From edging to pocket pulling, and ensuring smearing, heel-hooking, and toe grip in the steeps it comes in a complete package to serve.
Their sensitive and powerful construction is comfortable enough to wear for a daylong climbing. This shoe offers extended rubber toe patching for toe hooking and gives you a soft midsole for comfort. In addition, its Vibram XS Grip2 outsole gives it an increased sensitivity and smoothens the grip on the go.
3. Carpa Instinct VS - Best For Power Sensitivity
Scarpa Instinct VS has a great preference for bouldering and is considered one of the best rock climbing shoes you can buy for sensitivity. They offer Lorica synthetic upper leather that prevents over-stretch and gives maximum hooking while hooking onto cracks. It assists on steeps for pitching on rocks with the aggressive downturn shape it provides.
This shoe also provides a customizable tight fit to perform better on stubborn routes. Their lightweight built and attractive design makes them unique. Therefore, you can bang the bucks for purchasing these rock climbing shoes considering their power-sensitive quality and amazing look.
4. La Sportiva Katana Lace – Best For Comfort
Rock climbing being one hard of a sporting choice requires a lot of comfort and solid-built shoes, La Sportiva’s Katana Lace is one of the best rock climbing shoes for those qualities. The great design and construction of this shoe make this an ideal choice for crack climbing, slab climbing, and traditional climbing.
One of the advantageous sides of this shoe is they are comfortable for daylong climbing activities, edging precision, and tight wrap around your fit. Apart from the stretching, their fit and comfort quality is another level. If you are recently into rock climbing and trying to start to find a comfortable shoe, Katana would be one of the best rock climbing shoes for you.
5. La Sportiva Men’s TC Pro – Best Value
La Sportiva TC Pro is a great rock-climbing shoe for its edging prowess and rock climbing experience. While hustling with the hooking and trying for progress, there might be times when your feet can stick in a crack. The extended foam padding of the shoe will protect your feet and ankles against such hurdles.
The ventilated tongues and toe shape allows your shoe to maintain air circulation and flat-rest your feet. Thus, the Sportiva TC Pro would be a great choice of climbing footwear for ensuring performance and safety in such a great price range.
6. Butora Men’s Endeavour – Best For Edge Support
Butora Men's Endeavour allows all ranges of climbing options for beginner to moderate climbers. Its foot grip and power control ensure great edging support for you while climbing. This provides a natural fit with its triple fork webbing closure with a strap over your foot. For comfort, Butora Endeavour provides a split leather footbed with increased performance and flexibility.
The organic hemp lining on the outer area of the shoe prevents it from stretch and controls the odor. For your climbing companion and long hours of practice, this shoe will be one of the best rock climbing shoes within an affordable range and edging support.
7. Five Ten Anasazi Lace– Best For Consistency
Five Ten Anasazi Lace shoes are pro-level rock climbing footwear for consistent power performance. They are built to provide great edging support and a reliable crack climbing experience.
Their innovative design and stealth rubber sole provide an unbeatable grip for rock climbing. The stiff and supportive sole makes your climb comfortable in rough terrains. The Velcro closure straps allow precise fit and assist in pressure distribution. Indeed, you can purchase the Five ten Anasazi considering the features of its top-notch built and pro-active design.
8. Black Diamond Shadow – Best For Fit
If are looking for a pair of rock climbing shoes for agile performance on steep, overhanging walls the Black Diamond Shadow will be an ideal choice for you to pick. It provides a versatile fit with its toe-hooking Velcro strap.
The tongue slip-on system makes the removal of the shoes easy and overcomes the suction at the heel. The rubber built and toe cup design allows it to toe down on small footholds, pockets, and smear at local limestone sport crag with great grip.
The coverage of rubber built and the low-profile heel makes the toe and heel hooking efficient and precision accuracy. The ideal fit and lightweight nature of the shoe make it an ideal choice for rough climbing.
9. La Sportiva Tarantulace – Best For Stability
La Sportiva Tarantulace is known widely for stability and moderate route expertise for rock climbing shoes. The midsole of the shoes provides the necessary stiffness and flexibility. Which also assists in advanced rock climbing with its engineered knit technology. Its asymmetric design and flat sole allow long training and practice at terrains.
Crack hooking with this shoe is easier with its aggressive downturned shape that works fine on steeps and bouldering. The NeoFriction Fuse rubber makes the grip more efficient and optimum for your climbing. In addition, its FriXion RS rubber increases its durability and provides a value-for-money deal for you, making it one of the best rock climbing shoes out there.
10. Scarpa Maestro Mid Eco – Best For Trad Climbing
Traditional climbing is the true essence of rock climbing at the same time requires many footwork and safety measures. The Maestro Mid is designed to make the rough patches of rock climbing easier and grips more efficient for you.
The versatile combination of its incredible Eco-leather patterning and active rand gives your feet protection and enables you to attempt a range of classic climbs. Its Tayln midsole give great edging and sensitivity while climbing fearlessly on rocks. The overall build and design of this shoe make it the best pick for your next athletic adventure.
11. Tenaya Masai – Best For Grip Precision
The Tenaya Masai is designed to ensure your climbing adventure an all-rounder trip. The way it assists you in multi-pitch traditional routes, secures you in terrains, and works as the best companion it is a go-to pair to binge on. Its narrow and symmetrical designed shoes increase the efficiency of your edging power.
The soft midsole allows you the highest comfort and provides a snug fit with its low-volume heel. Its unisex design, edge control, and technical features like microfiber and txt lining make it an ideal rock climbing gear. Therefore, if you are searching for a midrange shoe with such comfort and performance precision Tenaya Masai is one of the best rock climbing shoes available in the market.
12. Evolv Shaman – Best For Toe Protection
When you are up for a great climbing experience it is always a high score to pitch but securing your feet and yourself requires appropriate footwear. The Evolv Men's Shaman Climbing Shoe is one of the best choices for rock climbing shoes if you prefer preciseness and toe protection. Its aggressive sport climbing built makes it ideal with its toe rubber and strap for toe hooking and coverage.
This also comes with a knuckle-secured toe-box and the Love Bump midsole for comfort in a downturned position. Its rubber construction allows it to perform in long hours of pitching and ensures durability. The synthetic mesh upper ensures its breathability for wicking away the moisture from the shoes.
13. Butora Acro – Best For Wide Feet
Butora Acro is a great pair of rock climbing shoes if you are looking for shoes with power control accuracy and comfortable features. This shoe comes with sticky rubber for ensuring the highest grip on places for bouldering. Its superior construction allows it to be an advanced climbing shoe with ABS injected midsoles to help maintain flexibility.
The rubber toe patching is a great addition on it to maximize your power sensitivity and toe-hooking. The high-tension heel and adjustable fork closure give you an enhanced fit and easy slip into the shoe. Therefore, you can buy the Butora Acro climbing shoe for its great features and built.
14. Scarpa Furia Air – Best Lightweight Pair
The Furia Air is the most lightweight pair on this list and one of the best rock climbing shoes available in the market. This shoe provides great foot sensitivity over the rough surface or steeps of rocks. This allows the highest foot engagement while climbing for its incredibly low weight.
The perforated upper with microfiber panels provide your feet a snug fit. The rand design and aggressive downturn with flexible midsole ensure great toe and hill support on your fit while climbing.
The comfortable and precise wrap around your feet with adjustable closure and ABS midsole durability boosts your confidence during the trip. Therefore, Furia Air and its lightweight built for high performance and confident grip will make a suitable pair for your next rock-climbing shoe.
Picking the ideal shoes for rock climbing is a little cumbersome, as you need to consider many things from continuously advancing features and your budget. In this article, we have added a list of the best rock climbing shoes available in the market to guide you with your preference. Choose the one that best suits your taste and type. However, our best pick is La Sportiva Miura VS considering its superior construction, fit and sleek look!
You can also read about how to clean rock climbing shoes.