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How To Pick Climbing Shoes for Rock Climbing

how to pick climbing shoes
Written by John Russel
Last Update: August 23, 2021

Beginner or expert, you want to select the best climbing shoe for your climbing objectives. After all, success in climbing depends, to a large extent, on rock climbing shoes. These rock climbing shoes come in various types, brands, sizes, materials, and other criteria. You might get confused as you start looking for the most appropriate climbing shoes. We have come with effective suggestions to help you select the best climbing shoe for you.

The following factors should be considered when it comes to the selection of the best climbing shoes.

How To Pick Climbing Shoes For Your Foot


There are three types of rock climbing shoes.


People pick this type for its all-day comfort specialty. Beginners can certainly choose this as they seek for comfort first but it may not be suitable for overhanging routes.


Moderate shoes are appropriate for technical climbing as they have a downturned shape. These are good for slab routes, crack climbs; long multi-pitch climbs and also for overhung routes. But, it may not be so comfortable as the neutral shoe.


Aggressive shoes are often preferred by experts as they challenge overhanging climbs. The downturned toes enable you to hold your feet firmly. It has an asymmetric shape for precise placement of your big toe. The shoe is suitable for single-pitch sports climbs, gym, etc. But, you may face a problem with its uncomfortable fit and thin sole.

best climbing shoe - Aggressive


Materials are one of the most crucial factors. Rock climbing shoes are made of two essential materials:


Leather shoes are good for feet that sweat a lot. It has a breathable quality and keeps your feet dry for better performance. These shoes are stretchable so make sure to get it in the most appropriate size. Leather rock climbing shoes can be maintained simply as well.


Synthetic shoes provide you a good fit and do not stretch like leather ones. But, it is not breathable that results in sweaty, hot and stinky feet. It is hard to maintain these shoes also.


Lined shoes are quite breathable but not like the leather shoes. It will provide you an even fit and do not stretch compared to leather rock climbing shoes.

best climbing shoe - Lined


Fit shoes contribute to an easy and satisfactory rock climbing. You should select the best climbing shoe considering the fit. Try to shop directly from the stores than online to get the proper fit. Shoes that are extremely tight can cause blisters and calluses, while loose shoe would not give you adequate grip. So, you should choose the shoe that fits well. Make sure that toes are either flat or comfortably curved; toe knuckles are secured, heels have snug fit and shoe bends rightly. Do not hesitate to try a lot of shoes.

climbing shoe - Lined

Closure type

The closure system of the shoe matters. These shoes have either lace up or Velcro closure type. While the lace ups are most comfortable and provide a good fit, Velcro closures are soft, provides you ease and stretches out quickly. Velcro closures are a slipper-style shoe and not used for aggressive climbing.

 Closure type

As we have mentioned different factors that you can consider to select the best climbing shoe, we hope now you would not have any issue in choosing the right one for you. So, what are you waiting for? Pick the best shoe and enjoy your climbing!

About the author

John Russel

A Climbing Specialist

Rock climbing is as thrilling as it gets as you climb high up the sky-high mountains. The story behind my becoming a climbing expert is simple yet full of romantic events and glorious achievements. I’ve undergone climbing adventures at least four times a year over the course of past two decades. Apart from the magnificence and perils of climbing, I took another job as part of my adventurous spirits. I keep notes of my feelings that change once a while. Whatever you read in my posts is based on my true climbing events. I hope you would enjoy!

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