Best Rock Climbing Shoes To Look For In 2018

Did you know climbing has its ups and downs as enamoring as the sweetest yet through-provoking events in our real life? Climbing with a pair of the best rock climbing shoes is, on most occasions, as exhilarating as the way you can ease your daily workout schedules with high-quality equipment, a pair of shoes, and a timer.

Climbing to our inner psyche, we have discovered that exploring mountains has its parallels with our practical life. Climb a rocky mountain or a giant waterfall that bring you a mix of every possible feeling of adventure. But, things may go reverse if the perfect climbing shoes are not there to entertain your feet.

What do you love when it comes to climbing? Alpine or traditional climbing? Bouldering or sports climbing? A pair of climbing shoes with features to ensure comfort, proper fit, and security can facilitate any of these climbing types.

Apparently, what you are going to ask is how to choose the right pair of climbing shoes. Well, we are going straight to some tried and tested choices for your convenience.

Best Rock Climbing Shoes To Buy In 2018

While making this list of rock climbing shoes, we have considered several factors like the type, features, comfort, and durability. For certain reasons, we gave the prices some serious thoughts. So, here we start with our selections.

Best Rock Climbing Shoes - Reviews

La Sportiva Katana Lace Climbing Shoe

If you want to cut the technical crap and get straight to the utility of La Sportiva Katana Lace Climbing Shoes, you may take these as your ready climbing shoes for outdoor. These are among the most affordable shoes too.

Wherever you take the shoes, you will not experience little discrepancy. Nothing can spoil your fun, from granite cracks and welded tuff pockets to limestone edges. A flat position inspires great comfort on cracks. In our La Sportiva Katana Lace Climbing Shoes review, we have talked more about the usefulness of the flat position. Now, you have learned why we love this shoe and call it an all-around shoe.

The P3 rand being combined with the heel yields a snug fit making you feel like having your bodyweight focused very appropriately through your toe. If you want us to talk about the rubber, we believe Vibram's XS Edge soles make the shoe a workhorse.

Important Highlights

  • PD 55 Last
  • Asymmetry Tech Fit Medium wide
  • Slip Lasted Tube Construction
  • Leather / Lorica Upper
  • Pacific Lining for back and forefoot
  • 1 mm full-length midsole
  • 4 mm Vibram XS Edge sole

Price: $$$
Editor Rating:
  • Star 4.7 out of 5 star
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La Sportiva Mythos Climbing Shoe

First of all, we need to assure you that we love leather due to its many conveniences but not for a particular bias. The unlined leather that made La Sportiva Mythos Climbing Shoe gives you a cozy feel throughout the day. The shoe will grow as the day advances, and your feet swell. The lacing system, not very common in many shoes, helps you have a snug fit.

You do not want to forget that this shoe has its downsides which do not allow it to become a heavy-duty pair for a long time. Mythos shoes are a great addition to your rock climbing arsenals if you can sacrifice the thrill of overcoming micro edges in the hope of getting climbing comfort throughout the day.

People with feet injuries like bone spurs are not going to be out of luck anytime soon. The flat foot with the narrow toe may help you deal with the cracks smartly. For smearing, the shape of the shoe is just fine. However, we expected the rubber to be a little subtler.

Important Highlights

  • Leather made neutral climbing shoe with asymmetry design
  • Ideal for crack climbing, wall climbing, and face climbing
  • Suede leather upper with unlined tongue
  • 4mm Vibram® XS Edge sole with 1.1mm LaspoFlex midsole
  • RN 25 Last with medium wide fit

Price: $$$
Editor Rating:
  • Star 4.6 out of 5 star
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Scarpa Men's Instinct Climbing Shoe

The down-turned design of the Scarpa Men's Instinct Climbing Shoes might seem that it is an aggressive type, but in practice, this shoe is somehow a little different than others in this category. With adequate rigidity and down-turn aspect, it yields excellent adaptability on steep surfaces. When you try climbing on edges, it does not give in.

For those looking for indoor rock climbing shoes, these Instinct shoes may feel stiffer than what is optimal. Even though some climbers would like the shoes, we cannot call it the best bouldering shoes. To be the best bouldering shoes for beginners, these shoes should have been less stiff.

Oh, one more thing! If you consider this shoe in terms of traction, be happy to know that 3mm Vibram XS Edge is behind the engineering. There is more to the heel cup that offers full coverage preventing the likelihood of heel slip.

Important Highlights

  • Synthetic sole and mid-length outsole
  • Vibram XS Grip with Vibram XS Edge for forefoot
  • Highly charged bi-tension rand
  • Floating power strap
  • Full coverage heel cup

Price: $$$
Editor Rating:
  • Star 4.5 out of 5 star
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La Sportiva Men's Climbing Shoe

To be honest, we have several aspects of these climbing shoes to talk about, and we love to. A combination of pure and synthetic leather takes care of the fact that climbers get perfect fit and maximum security. Added to this is the lined tongue that handles the moisture issues pretty nicely.

These La Sportiva Men's Climbing Shoes feature outsoles made of 5mm FriXion RS rubber. The only goal should be to provide as much grip and friction as an extreme climber would need. Our tests say that the manufacturer has put great efforts into this, and they managed it well.

There is little to be wary of the dangers that different surfaces with micro edges have to offer if you know about the heels that demonstrate a certain level of aggressiveness for hardcore climbers.

Important Highlights

  • Quick-pull lacing system
  • Asymmetric RN45 build
  • Sticky FriXion RS rubber soles
  • Aggressive rubber heel rand
  • Synthetic leather overlay with classic unlined leather upper
  • Lined tongue
  • Eligible for resoling

Price: $$
Editor Rating:
  • Star 4.3 out of 5 star
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Evolv Defy Climbing Shoe

No climbers want to lose flexibility while making their journeys. Everyone who climbs has to keep the sensitivity involved each technical move. Adding to these concerns, the fear of smearing is existent. Thanks to the brilliant midsoles of Evolv Defy Climbing Shoes! You need not forget about flexibility or worry about the technical moves.

The toe rand comes in varying thicknesses. It means you can leave the concerns about hitting high-wear parts of your feet right now. Oh, it is the front of your toe. It will not make you feel cumbersome. The soles are made of 4.2mm TRAX high-friction rubber which helps you cling to even edgy rocks in a consistent manner.

While we cannot guarantee a life-long relief from toe mashing, the few weeks of tests that we took with this shoe helped us get the feel like wearing bedroom slippers. So, you can expect real comfort and not worry about having your toes mashed.

Important Highlights

  • 4.2mm TRAX high-friction rubber soles
  • Hook-and-loop straps
  • Variable thickness toe rand
  • Synthetic suede uppers
  • Teardrop MX-P 1mm half-length midsoles
  • Asymmetric toe profile

Price: $$
Editor Rating:
  • Star 4.2 out of 5 star
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La Sportiva Solution Climbing Shoe

We have seen only a few shoes like La Sportiva Solution Climbing Shoe. It might be stiff, to some extent, but it edges almost perfectly while staying sensitive. We passed long surfaces with tiny limestone spikes and granite crystals. Thanks to the stiffness! Our fatigued toes and calves received some relief.

When we finished our test of the Solution, we formed the opinion that the difficulty to design a stiff shoe that edges properly but remains sensitive has been addressed with a fantastic choice. This shoe can also handle the steepest boulders.

The toe box comes in a low volume and pointy shape so that the shoe can easily match its position into thin cracks. The wider fit brings the required comfort on a long-tiring climbing journey.

Important Highlights

  • Synthetic build
  • Patented P3 rand
  • Down-turn shape
  • Fast lacing system
  • Patented lock harness
  • Molded 3D heel cup

Price: $$$
Editor Rating:
  • Star 4.1 out of 5 star
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Evolv Shaman Climbing Shoe

Do you have a tough route in mind? Just because you are reading about these Shaman shoes, we assume you might be a lover of an aggressive design. It is time to forget about spending hundreds of bucks on a pair of shoes because the Evolv Shaman Climbing Shoe is not of a demanding type, but you need not leave the idea of climbing rough routes.

The love bumps and midsoles will make you forget about the days when your forefathers used to climb edgy rocks with tight shoes but at the expense of physical comfort. No foot binding torture can harshen your memory of rock climbing. Thanks to these two features! You will have a snug fit, and the bone-crushing feeling will be gone.

While we recommend you not to try the vertical terrain which rock climbers often call the most hostile of areas, these shoes will allow you to climb over steep angles with comfort and ultimate security. We can call it the right shoes for wide feet. Be sure to maintain the shoes as they might force you to stop breathing if not cared for so long.

Important Highlights

  • Synthetic build with rubber sole
  • Downturned asymmetric design
  • Love bumps with medium wide fit
  • Knuckle box with two-piece TRAX High Friction Rubber
  • VTR3D toe rand and high friction toe patch

Price: $$
Editor Rating:
  • Star 4.0 out of 5 star
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Mad Rock Flash Climbing Shoe

In our opinion, the thin rubber is sensitive enough. The softness of the rubber makes Mad Rock Flash climbing shoe a great fit when you put them into small spaces. The flat-footed shoe serves climbers well as they try on slabs. For smearing applications, the shoe yields great performance. Although we expected a little more of the arch support, it held up well under the weights of some of our climbers.

The performance of the shoe on thin edges was satisfactory though some of us felt like having slips on small stuff. However, we wanted a pair of shoes from Mad Rock that could handle the edging well. If you want to enjoy comfort while trying on cracks, this shoe is not going to disappoint you. The flat toe allows you to stay in a natural position.

While on jams, this shoe will give you great stability and flexibility. With all these conveniences in mind, we have listed these shoes as the best climbing shoes for beginners and professionals alike.

Important Highlights

  • Leather and synthetic build with Syn-Flex
  • Rubber and leather sole
  • Typical leather upper with synthetic stretch material
  • 3D molded heel
  • Shock Gel utilized
  • Poly-carbonate midsole

Price: $$
Editor Rating:
  • Star 4.0 out of 5 star
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Mad Rock Men's Drifter Climbing Shoe

Sometimes, we are asked one very common question, “Which shoes are the most affordable climbing shoes?” On most occasions, we did not contemplate over the answer much but uttered one name quite spontaneously, Mad Rock Men's Drifter Climbing Shoe. Do not get us wrong. Other shoes might cost you less, but we love these because of the transition between the features and price.

The flat-soled shoes feature a couple of Velcro closures that will snug up your mid-foot area, and the lined toe-box will not let the shoe stretch at the toes, no matter if you have large toes. Although our companions took the shoe to be moderately stiff, they confirmed that the polyester insole compensated for that stiffness by softening up fast.

Another thing that adds to the shoe’s ability to give you a snug fit is the unlined leather upper that quickly molds to your foot, large or small right after you wear the pair.

Important Highlights

  • Leather made upper
  • Science Friction 3.0 Rand rubber
  • Hook-and-loop closure
  • Moderate asymmetrical curvature
  • Flat profile with Velcro Straps

Price: $$
Editor Rating:
  • Star 3.8 out of 5 star
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Climb X Rave Climbing Shoe

Comfortable and ready to serve, Climb X Rave Climbing Shoes have become our top answer when anyone tells that he/she is a beginner and asks us how to choose the best rock climbing shoes.

The double stitch construction indicates that users do not have to start worrying about a new pair of shoes in a few months after buying this one. The padded collar and heel gave great comfort to some of our buddies who were on their first rock climbing adventure with us. Our new buddies appreciated the fact that the shoes helped them balance on edges, which was a great achievement for starters.

The polypropylene midsole is another good thing to mention, which takes care of your comfort while climbing the extremes. These shoes are meant to offer adequate foot support to the experienced climbers.

Important Highlights

  • High-quality center cut leather with rubber sole
  • Organic Hemp footbeds
  • Double stitch construction
  • Padded ankle cuff
  • Padded collar and heel
  • Breathable mesh tongue
  • Polypropylene midsole

Price: $$
Editor Rating:
  • Star 3.0 out of 5 star
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As you are at this stage of the article, we think you really want to know how to buy climbing shoes instead of just looking at some prechosen pairs and making a choice based on some short descriptions.

Things to consider

There are different types of climbing shoes, such as neutral, moderate and aggressive. Among these shoes, you have options to choose either cheap rock climbing shoes or more expensive pairs that offer the fancy bells and whistles. Again, there are women’s rock climbing shoes and mens rock climbing shoes.

Let’s get to the considerable factors right away

Types of climbing shoes in detail

Neutral

If comfort is the first and only thing you want throughout the day of climbing, these shoes are just great by allowing your toes to stay flat inside them. For both beginners and proficient climbers whose pursuit is to take multi-pitch climbs, these shoes are good.

The midsoles of these shoes are often medium-to-stiff but less sensitive. The soles are often constructed with thick rubber. The flat design of them allows for slotting into different cracks. Some highly seasoned climbers do not recommend that these shoes be used for overhanging routes.

Moderate

These shoes come in a camber or downturned shape that makes them a primary choice for a technical climber. Some models are ideal for a variety of climbing purposes, from crack climbs and slab routes to multi-pitch climbs and overhanging sprout routes.

For those suffering from a lack of confidence in climbing challenging routes, downturned shoes yield a stronger and more stable position than the neutral counterparts. The thinner and stickier rubber soles offer better feel and grip than the neutral ones. These shoes are more comfortable and stable even than aggressive shoes.

Now, let’s be ready to accept the downsides of moderate climbing shoes that are not very good at delivering when your climbing preferences include tricky boulder issues and overhung routes. When it comes to comfort, you would want neutral pairs. Also, the soles of moderate shoes being extremely thin and sticky wear a way faster than those of neutral shoes.

Aggressive

These shoes are your pick when performance is the pivotal point of your rock climbing endeavor. With plenty of heel tension and downturned toes, these shoes will put in the strongest position while climbing overhanging routes. Having an asymmetric shape, the shoes have curves toward their big toes as they focus power over the toes to ensure that your feet have a precise placement while on small holds.

Some dauntless climbers prefer aggressive models to any other design as the downturned shape, and snug fit allows them to single-pitch sport at the gym instead of multi-pitch climbs throughout the day.

With these shoes, you might sacrifice the feeling of comfort and the convenience of dealing with cracks. However, some aggressive models are immensely popular.

You might be thinking we have not discussed what men and women should think about while choosing the suitable climbing shoes for narrow feet or wider ones. You might ask if there is any difference between the rock climbing shoes women and men.

Some of you even want to know if there is anything different in between the rock climbing shoes for beginners and advanced climbers. Well, we will break these factors down into small details in another article.

Final Verdict

Several components of a climbing shoe affect its performance. Those parts include the straps, laces, rubber, and linings. The aggressive models are often admired for their strength to deliver. For comfort, neutrals shoes are a no-brainer. Tricky climbing is never enjoyable if you do not have the right pair of moderate shoes.

Apart from considering the types of rock climbing shoes and all features, you have to think about the fit of your pair. Make sure you get a snug fit, but it must not cause you pain.

So, what is the trick here? Following the climbing shoes size chart may ease the difficulty. Thus, you can finally believe that you are the proud owner of the best rock climbing shoes.