Best Rock Climbing Shoes: A Handy Guide to Buying the Right Rock Climbing Footwear

Best Rock Climbing Shoes
Bradley Page
Written by Bradley Page

Anyone who’s interested on participating in any outdoor adventure needs to have the best shoes to use. If you expect to climb rocks or mountains, there are specific shoes that you will be needing in order to make the activity simpler, safer and best of all comfortable. You will have to deal with the terrain, and there are no shortcuts – which is why having the best rock climbing shoes is a must.

Make the most out of your rock climbing experience by acquiring a pair of shoes that’s specifically designed for rock climbing activities. They will enhance your workouts and make your hiking more enjoyable.

They have diverse features that make them more preferable than traditional footwear. These types of shoes include features like a tight grip, flexible shapes, impressive comfort and light weight.

Cypher rock climbing shoes

These shoes are available at affordable prices and are made to make your hike a great success by offering a solution to rugged land terrains.

What are Rock climbing shoes?

As the name implies, rock climbing shoes are basically those types of shoes designed for rock climbing. Ideal rock climbing shoes are made with distinct smoothness, padding and close fits. They complete a full outdoor gear and are specifically made for rock climbers.

Mostly, they have a downturn shape to sustain the movement in an overhanging terrain, while providing strong body support. Most rock climbing shoes are not appropriate for walking so they are usually worn at the base of the climb.

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Rock Climbing Shoes

What should you do to ensure that you land the right rock climbing shoes? You might exactly not know what to consider to get the best shoes, this is the solution for you. Don’t be frustrated by landing the ineffective gear.

Anasazi rock climbing shoes

Any type of rock climbing shoe can be perfect or vice versa, and it all depends on circumstances at hand. Below are some of the top factors to check when buying the best pair of rock climbing shoes.


There is a big difference between shoes made of hard and soft rubber, and the type of rock climbing determines which type of shoe will work best. If you are familiar with the terrain, that is an added advantage.

Soft shoes are usually more sensitive and if you have a precise foot, this is a fine option. However, they have one limitation. Soft shoes do not give the necessary strong support and tend to be painful when jamming or edging on rocks.

Soft rock climbing shoes

On the other hand, a stiffer climbing shoe is perfect for providing a strong support. They are more durable due to the inclusion of thicker rubber linings.


Your rock climbing performance can depend on the shape of the shoe. They are either hooked, cambered or flat and each design is perfect for a specific terrain. Hooked toe shoes are ideal for climbing overhanging terrains or vertical face. The hook design enables you to pull on steep footholds while producing more power from your feet.

Flat-lasted shoes are ideal for low-angle cracks and slabs. Although they do not fit perfectly, they are the most comfortable rock climbing shoes. If you are a newbie in rock climbing, don’t go for the professional’s gear.

Rock climbing shoes

This is the most recommended equipment for beginners. Camber-designed shoes are fairly strong. They give a worthy rock-climbing experience, and they give you a more power from slight grips.

Closure System

Do you need a slip-on or a lace-up shoe? Slip-on tend to have flat-lasted designs, and all you need is to slip it on. Although it might be not easily adjustable, it can be a highly comfortable shoe. Lace-ups are the best for long day workouts. They are easily adjustable and gives you a chance to release any pressure while making your activities enjoyable.

Shoe Fit

If you want a perfect rock climbing shoe, it should provide a great fit and flexible enough to give your feet the necessary relaxation. Try it on and check if it’s a good fit in order to give you a greatclimbing performance, control, and extra power.


Not all rock climbing shoes are created equal, so it’s important that you choose properly – especially when they can be quite expensive. When buying a pair of rock climbing shoes, check for something that your budget can allow you.

Woman rock climbing

There are many pairs out there that can accommodate a number of budget ranges. Stay focused on your budget, and know that there are many options available.

By taking into consideration these factors, you should be able to shop for a pair of rock climbing shoes that’s right for you.

The Best Rock Climbing Shoes for You

Are you still not decided what type of shoe to purchase for your rock climbing activities? Below is a comprehensive guide consisting of the best rock climbing footwear to choose from. These pairs are highly recommended, as they have good features to improve your hiking and climbing experience:

La Sportiva Genius Men’s Rock Climbing Shoe

Weight: 7.76 ounces/220 gramsLa Sportiva Genius Climbing Shoe

Dimensions: Size 32-45, with half sizes

Features: Lace-up comfort, P3 panted technology, synthetic material, non-edge unparalleled technology, and Grip2 Sole.

Best use:  Stiff rock climbing, crack climbing.

This is a highly recommended shoe that will give you a maximum rock climbing utility. It is incorporated with different technologies and features to make it a perfect outdoor gear. Made with a hooked downturn toe design, it is good enough to use on steep rock terrains.

The P3 midsole technology is ideal in providing you with a tight grip and maintenance of a downturned shape. Imagine of a shoe that will fit any foot type! You will have a definitely unresponsive experience, and your hike won’t be a boring thing again. Have a shoe with a high-quality grip rubber sole that gives an edging ability and maximum performance.

With a shoe of such sensitivity, it is easier for you to make feet adjustment. La Sportiva Genius Men’s Rock Climbing Shoe is comfortable enough to give you the necessary comfort required, and it is no doubt a top outdoor gear. If you have ever thought of crack climbing, you have just landed the best equipment as it as the necessary rigidity.

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Five Ten Men’s Anasazi Climbing Shoe

Weight: 8.5 OzFive Ten Men's Anasazi Climbing Shoe

Dimensions: Size 38-46

Features: High heel tension, stiff, C4 rubber outsole, lined upper synthetic, asymmetrical toe box and Vegan Technology

Best use: Cruising technical terrains and microscopic nubbins

Five Ten Men’s Anasazi Climbing Shoe is one of the most comfortable shoes available. It has become more popular in the past 10 years and many hikers prefer it for rock climbing. It boasts a very high sticking power, and you will enjoy its precise, strong support. It is designated to enhance an all-day hiking adventure.

Are you planning to have an extended outdoor adventure where you want to climb rocks? Do you want a shoe that will enhance an all-day workout without pressure? This is the ideal shoe for you, as it maintains high precision.

With a stealth C4 rubber and an improved fit, this is a highly anticipated shoe that many people term as a perfect solution to their climbs. It is made up of a high-quality synthetic material to facilitate durability. You don’t need to spend money time and again looking for what will suit you for hiking.

However, this shoe does not have an aggressive casing and hence not perfect for overhung workouts or edging.

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La Sportiva TC Pro Climbing Shoe

Weight: 8.71 Oz/247 gramsLa Sportiva TC Pro Shoe

Dimensions: Sizes 33-46 (with half sizes)

Features: P3 midsole technology, mid-height covers, designed for powerful edging, and inner padding.

Best use: Crack climbing, long trad routes, and steep wall climbing

Take your rock climbing to another level with the La Sportiva TC Pro. It is a favorite rock climbing shoe to enhance your climbs. It’s time to unlock and stretch your climbing limitations, and this might be what you have been missing to achieve your goals.

This shoe has a high performance, yet ultra-stiff durabulity. It is built in a more technical way to maintain high precision while jamming, band smearing and vertical edging. It works out well on a vertical terrain with little to no chance of slipping.

It is stiff compared to other designs and with its high precision, it gives off a rather unique feel. You will not experience unnecessary fatigue or discomfort as it is made in a way to give you maximum comfort needed to climb rocks and it is the perfect gear to carry on top of mountains. Don’t worry about toe protection! With the thin padding above the toes and in the ankles, it ensures that you are highly protected at any time.

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La Sportiva Miura Lace Climbing Shoe

Weight: 8.43 OzLa Sportiva Miura Lace Climbing Shoe

Dimensions: Size 38-46

Features: Cushioning, closed toe, leather material, high traction and grip

Best use: Edge climbing, mountain climbing, and crack climbing

The La Sportiva Miura is top rock climbing shoe that has been technically designing to offer you maximum support. It has been used over the last 10 years, with quality features such as tight grip, speed lacing system and a directional lining. The lacing system maintains a tight grip on unfriendly terrains. While climbing rocks with this shoe, you will certainly feel that great freedom.

The shoes upper is made of leather with a mix-up of Dentex Lining. This is ideal for maintaining a good stretch, thus allowing your foot to gain comfort.

An itching toe is a gone case; the shoe has a high asymmetry and a downturned toe, making sure that the shoe stays in its place. The XS rubber technology ensures that the shoe stays well attached to edges with no chance of slipping.

The La Sportiva Miura is recommended due to its quick break-in period which is usually long for other pairs. This makes the shoe feel more stiff. It is easily adjustable depending on the weather and it is an outright option for any ideal rock climber.

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Five Ten Women’s Anasazi LV Climbing Shoe

Weight: 6.4 OzFive Ten Women's Anasazi

Dimensions: Size 33-44

Features: C4 rubber sole, Velcro lacing technology, synthetic material, asymmetrical toe box, and medium stiffness

Best use: Rough unfamiliar terrains and detailed rock climbing.

Women who are into rock climbing will have a lot to like with the Five Ten Anasazi. Many of its features are designed to bring the best rock climbing experience for women. Yes, it is more awesome than you think. It is a moderately good profile footwear and with its affordable price, what more can you ask for?

Are you an indoor or outdoor climber? It is designed to suit both purposes and weighs moderately such that any woman will like how precise it is. It is made with a stealth rubber sole that gives the climber an excellent edging and high friction.

This shoe is made with a high-quality synthetic material and has Velcro straps to ensure that it is easily adjustable. It will last longer than other models in the market, and it’s unique on its own. The performance of the shoe is downright solid, and its low volume technology will ensure that the shoe will provide the maximum satisfaction possible.

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La Sportiva Tarantulace Women’s Shoe

Weight: 7.8 OzLa Sportiva Women’s TarantuLace

Dimensions: 6 x 8 x 15 inches

Features: Thick rubber sole, durable leather material, and tight grip

Best use: Rugged rock terrains and steep walls

This is a top beginner climbing shoe made by the brand called La Sportiva Tarantulace. Considering the nature of women, it is designed in such a way to offer more comfort and stability while you are climbing. It is perfect for climbs and if you don’t go above V2, this is a nice option for you. This shoe has a thick sole of about 5.5 mm; ideal for maintaining the shoe stiffness.

To ensure maximum durability, this shoe is made up with a FriXion rubber. It is long-lasting and touch which makes it undoubtedly one of the ideal shoes for rock climbing. It is more versatile and is a perfect pair for those are still starting out with climbing. If you are in the market for a beginner rock climbing footwear, you just can’t go wrong with this one.

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Evolv Women’s Shaman LV Climbing Shoe

Weight: 8 Ozevolv Women's Shaman LV Climbing Shoe

Dimensions: Size 36-45

Features: Upper Synthetic material, flat shoe profile, Velcro-lacing style, high friction rubber sole and microfiber lining.

Best use: Slab walking, high walls, and mountain climbing.

It is a generally a great shoe which features a tight grip to hold you even on the steepest rocks. They offer you a great comfortable feeling, and you know what? It is worth its price. Many customers recommend Evolv Women’s Shaman LV Climbing Shoe due to its high precision and lower volume. It provides a nice, great fit and it will maintain every step you make while climbing on the rocks.

Women with a big-toe knuckle will be glad that this shoe provides a spacious knuckle box. To ensure the very best in terms of comfort, this pair features a microfiber lining. The rubber sole ensures that your feet will be able to grip those rocks with ease. It’s a great solid pick for even the most jaded lady climber.

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Scarpa Women’s Techno X Climbing Shoe

Weight: 8 OzScarpa Women's Techno X Climbing Shoe

Dimensions: Size 34-48

Features: Flex 1.4 midsole, heel construction, comfort fit heel, and upper suede material.

Best use: Slab climbing and deep rock climbing

If you’re in the market for all day long comfort and precision for traditional and multi-pitch routes, then you should consider the Techno X Rock rock climbing shoe from Scarpa. This pair have the necessary features to providelong-lasting comfort of a set lasted boot with moderate heel tension.

The addition of Bi-Tension Working lets this pair act in such a way as a turbo when it’s needed and softly rumble into the background for the smooth and luxurious climb when it is not.

The asymmetric lacing provides the shoe with an ability to adapt more in terms of comfort in every terrain and ensures fit for a multitude of foot shapes. The shape is superb in breaks and wallets which ultimately contributes to comfort, friction, and protection. Solid with Vibram XS edge rubber, this shoe definitely represents a fresh generation of balance between comfort and precision.

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To sum it all up…

The above guidelines is an outline of what you should consider when buying a good pair of rock climbing shoes. If you have been experiencing difficulties with other shoe models, it is time to get yourself the best gear that actually fits your needs. We recommend the above shoes for all types of rock climbers as they encompass the best features possible. For the best fit, it is always best to consider fitting the pair in person.

So have tried rock climbing before? If so, what’s your favorite model or brand of footwear that you would recommend? We would love to hear your opinions and experiences in the comment section.

Bradley Page
Bradley Page

With several decades of experience as a backpacker and outdoor adventurer, Bradley is an open encyclopedia when it comes to gear, clothes, and other items that matter on the trail. He tested hundreds of shoes, pants, jackets, and backpacks in his long career and is always up to date with the new appearances in the niche. His experience makes him one of the authority figures in backpacking and he can help anyone to get prepared for a great adventure!

  • Andrea Farrar

    I like how the Scarpa Techno X Climbing Shoe feels when it’s on my feet. I climb for a few hours at a time and these shoes have proven themselves to be just perfect for that. Definitely recommend them!

  • Bradley Page

    Have you been climbing long, Andrea? These shoes are great for deep rock and slab climbing, providing the user with unparalleled comfort. Thanks for sharing your recommendation with us and don’t hesitate to give your reviews again.

  • Lucy Marbury

    I bought the La Sportiva Miura Lace Climbing Shoe just as summer got started for my boyfriend and it’s turned out to be a pretty good gift! He uses them primarily for bouldering and has said the grip they have on them is really good!

  • Bradley Page

    How long has he been climbing, Lucy? Do you go with him? You’ll be surprised how it can be so exhilarating! Do try it out by going in an indoor wall climbing gym.
    There are also excellent climbing shoes for women that you try on.