How To Find The Best Climbing Shoes Around

How To Find The Best Climbing Shoes Around

Climbing shoes are one of the most essential pieces of gear that you can bring with you on a climbing trip. Without climbing shoes, you won't be able to climb in the first place as you won't be able to get sufficient grip on the wall you are trying to scale. Regular shoes are entirely unsuited for climbing.

If you are trying to avoid any potential slips and falls that can result in injuries, you will want to ensure that you get some of the best climbing shoes around, but how do you know which are best? Over the course of today’s article, we will be covering some of the most useful climbing shoes available.

We will be taking a look at five pairs of the best climbing shoes for beginners and comparing them in our climbing shoes reviews. You may be wondering why we have decided to review so many different pairs of climbing shoes instead of sticking with the best one or two pairs. This decision is to help you find the best shoes for your needs.

Evolv Shaman Climbing Shoe Review

A more extensive selection of shoes reviewed means that it is more likely that our readers will find a shoe that works best for them. Since every climber has different tastes when it comes to the ideal shoe, it can be challenging to select one from a relatively narrow selection. A selection of five shoes gives a good range of choice.

Few purchases can be as crucial as equipment for sports and physical activities like rock climbing. The right climbing gear can help make your hobby so much easier, especially a decent pair of climbing shoes. On the other hand, subpar equipment can make a climb more of a nightmare.

Climbing shoes are designed to differ from regular shoes in a few ways. One of the significant differences lies in the sole of the climbing shoe. A shoe that is intended to be worn by a rock climber will have a bottom that is much more flexible than a standard running shoe, which allows for better grip.

Some climbers will have different preferences when it comes to the flexibility of their soles, while many prefer a softer bottom since it allows the shoe to conform to cracks, others prefer harder soles. Keep in mind that even harder soles on climbing shoes will not compare to the hardness of those in basic running shoes.

There are more differences between climbing shoes and other types of shoes than some may notice at first glance. Just because climbing shoes look relatively standard does not mean that they aren’t designed for a very particular task. Now that we have covered the basics, we can move on to our reviews of the best climbing shoes.

Best Men’s Climbing Shoes

Winner - La Sportiva Men's TarantuLace Performance Rock Climbing Shoe

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    The leather body of these shoes results in light weight and improved durability
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    Features a quick-pull lacing harness that allows for quick, efficient lacing
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    Features rubber soles that are made of friXion RS rubber for added grip
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    The asymmetric toe-box helps you avoid most potential injuries to your toes
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    Features a lined tongue for the absorption of moisture in the shoe
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    The LaspoFlex midsole helps keep the shoe flexible enough for technical climbs
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    The synthetic overlay featured on these shoes helps improve durability

Out of all of the rock climbing shoes that we have reviewed in this guide, we feel like the La Sportiva TarantuLace shoes are the best option for several reasons. Mainly, we have given these shoes the title of winner because they provide the largest number of features for the most reasonable price available.

You can usually buy these shoes for around 80 dollars, which is not that much more expensive than a lot of the other models. You get quite a bit more for your money when you decide to purchase these shoes, however. Most of the features included with these shoes help improve the user experience immensely.

For example, these shoes feature an automatic lacing system (hence the name TarantuLace) that ensures that your laces are tight enough to keep these shoes on over the course of a climb. We feel like the lacing system that is featured on these shoes is a better option than velcro, which can come undone.

There is also an excellent variety of materials that goes into the construction of these shoes. For example, the midsole is constructed of LaspoFlex to maintain an adequate level of flexibility throughout the entire sole. The LaspoFlex is counterbalanced by extra rubber along the other sides of the sole.

La Sportiva Women's TarantuLace Performance Rock Climbing Shoe side view.

source: sportiva.com

The use of FriXion RS rubber in the other parts of this shoe’s sole means that you have sufficient grip to climb the most challenging walls. While this rubber may not work any wonders, we find that it marginally improves the level of grip that you can get out of these climbing shoes when compared to others.

These shoes feature excellent build quality, which means that they are likely to last longer than many other climbing shoe models. If you are looking to get the best possible climbing shoes for the price, you will have difficulty finding any shoes that can compete with the TarantuLaces, especially when it comes to reliability.


Runner Up - evolv Men's Shaman Climbing Shoe

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    Features a synthetic body for reasonable durability and improved price
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    A thicker toe rand helps improve the durability of these climbing shoes
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    Features rubber soles made out of TRAX XT-5 rubber for enhanced grip
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    Features a larger toe box for improved comfort and aggressive grip during a climb
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    Uses hook and loop straps as a closure mechanism
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    Features a synthetic upper for enhanced water resistance as well as durability
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    The midsoles are designed to be relatively stiff for improved edging capabilities
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    The front of the shoe features microfiber lining for enhanced comfort and absorption

The evolv Shaman is a climbing shoe that is designed for users that demand the highest quality possible, even if it comes at a price. This is one of the more expensive pairs of climbing shoes on this list. A pair of evolv Shamans will usually retail for around 160 dollars, which is twice the price of the TarantuLace.

Are these shoes worth the extra money that you will end up spending on them? We believe so. There are few climbing shoes available that blend quality with such an excellent array of features. While there may not be any massive improvements that will be noticeable at first glance, there are so many minor ones.

Evolv has taken every little gripe that most climbers have about their shoes and accounted for it them during the design process for these shoes. For example, the improved shape of the toe box means that these shoes will be much easier to use on technical routes that require aggressive movements.

evolv Men's Shaman Climbing Shoe side view.

source: evolvsports.com

The microfiber lining in the front part of the shoe means that moisture will be wicked away and your toes will remain comfortable, even during a long climb that can start to feel grueling. The use of synthetic suede for the upper of this shoe ensures adequate resistance against water infiltration as well as excellent durability.

While some climbers may not be fans of stiffer midsoles, they are ideal for climbers who need that extra bit of capability when it comes to edging. The hook and loop closure system may not be the most efficient method of keeping your shoes on, but it works better than velcro, for example, which is always liable to come undone.

These shoes provide an excellent mix of comfort and grip. If you are looking for climbing shoes that will work on the most challenging climbs, the Shamans are an excellent option, especially since they won't leave your feet sore afterward. The only problem with these climbing shoes is that you have to be willing to pay for them.


Alternative - Five Ten Men's Anasazi Moccasym Climbing Shoe

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    The use of leather in the body improves flexibility as well as comfort
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    The outsole is made out of Stealth C4, which offers improved grip and durability
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    The upper is unlined for improved stretch when compared to lined climbing shoes
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    Uses an elastic closure system so they can be worn and removed with ease
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    Features a soft sole for enhanced flexibility during your climb
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    These shoes are versatile enough to work in most climbing disciplines without issue
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    The upper conforms to your foot over time for the best possible fit

If you are looking for the best rock climbing shoes for men that feature a unique design, the Anasazi Moccasym from Five Ten is likely the best option. While it may feature a similar price to the TarantuLace, the Moccasym is a little different in a few regards. This is still an excellent shoe, however.

You can usually find these shoes available for 90 dollars, which is a reasonable enough price for climbing shoes of this quality. There are many quality materials used in the construction of these climbing shoes. The Stealth C4 outsole ensures that you will be able to grip ledges with ease without having to sacrifice durability.

Speaking of grip, the softer sole used in these climbing shoes means that your foot will be able to conform to the ledge with greater ease, but it will also provide less overall support. These shoes are ideal for a variety of different climbing styles, but they are not ideal for any single form of rock climbing.

Five Ten Men's Anasazi Moccasym Climbing Shoe.

source: fiveten.com

The use of an unlined upper means that this shoe’s fit will improve over the period of time that you wear it. As you climb in this shoe, the upper will conform to your foot and mold to fit you better. While this means that you will have no lining in the upper part of your shoe, it allows for the best possible fit.

Some people may not be fans of the elastic closure system that is used on these shoes. Depending on the size of your ankle, you may find that the elastic closure system is too tight to be comfortable. You don’t have to worry about these shoes falling off in the middle of a climb, however, since the closure is so tight.

While these climbing shoes may be midrange when compared to some of the other options at your disposal, they are still an excellent choice when it comes to reliability. Five Ten is well known for making quality some of the best beginner climbing shoes, and this model does not disappoint in any way.


Best Women’s Climbing Shoes

Winner - La Sportiva Women's TarantuLace Performance Rock Climbing Shoe

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    Female version of the men’s TarantuLace shoes that we reviewed earlier
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    Features a leather upper which provides a lighter overall build coupled with comfort
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    The fast lacing system allows you to get your shoes laced quickly and also ensures they stay laced
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    FriXion RS rubber soles ensure that you have all the grip that you need
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    Allows you to avoid injuries to your toes thanks to the wider toe-box
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    The lined tongue ensures that you don’t have to deal with sweat build-up inside of your shoes
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    These shoes are adequately flexible thanks to the LaspoFlex midsole
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    These shoes feature a synthetic overlay that helps keep them resilient

Much like the TarantuLaces for men, we believe that these are also the best womens climbing shoes. The La Sportiva TarantuLace just provides so much more for your money than competing climbing shoes. If your budget lies in the area of 80 to 100 dollars, you will find few better options.

While there are pricier choices that will provide better performance, none will give you better value for money the TarantuLace. The use of FriXion RS rubber on the soles allows you to establish grip on the toughest of ledges. These shoes feature a balanced design which makes them ideal for many types of climbing.

The downturn of these shoes may not be as aggressive as on some other models, but it makes up for this with a wider toe-box that ensures that you won’t have to deal with many toe injuries. The use of LaspoFlex in the midsole ensures that these shoes can conform to the wall you are climbing with relative ease.

La Sportiva Men's TarantuLace Performance Rock Climbing Shoe side view.

source: sportiva.com

The TarantuLaces are also very comfortable climbing shoes. You will find few models of climbing shoes that have so much work put into the lining. While many shoes will pinch and irritate certain parts of your feet, you will find that the TarantuLace is the perfect shoe for climbers with more sensitive feet.

You can purchase the TarantuLace climbing shoes in either turquoise or orange, depending on your color preference, and the environment which you are climbing. Some climbers may prefer to purchase a color that will be distinct from their surroundings so that it will be easier to see their feet.

As with most other climbing shoes that can be purchased online, we would recommend paying close attention to the sizing chart when you make your purchase. Keep in mind that climbing shoes should be much tighter than regular running shoes, but this doesn’t mean that they should hurt when you wear them.


Runner Up - Five Ten Women’s Anasazi LV Climbing Shoe

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    The narrow fit of these climbing shoes makes them ideal for edging
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    Features an asymmetric toe shape to help improve edging performance and reduce injury risk
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    The heel cup has been tuned to provide the best performance possible
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    The rubber outsole is made out of Stealth C4 rubber for optimum grip
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    Features an upper that is made out of synthetic and will not stretch
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    Features a dual velcro closure system
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    These shoes are a medium stiffness design
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    Ideal for use during extended climbs thanks to their improved comfort

The next competitor for the title of best climbing shoes for women is the Five Ten Anasazi LV. These shoes are meant to provide optimal support and edging capabilities at a higher price. While these shoes may cost around 160 dollars, they are worth the money if you demand quality in your climbing shoes.

These climbing shoes offer durability and build quality that you won’t even find in models at a similar price point. The use of advanced materials and excellent construction techniques ensures that these shoes will last longer than many products that are marketed with similar advantages.

For example, while the Stealth C4 rubber used for the outsole may provide exceptional grip, it is also much more durable than the rubber used in other climbing shoe models. After we put these shoes through our torture test, we found that the outsole withstood damage better than almost any other pair of women’s climbing shoes.

Five Ten Anasazi climbing shoe.

source: fiveten.com

The tuned heel cup helps provide optimal comfort while you are edging; when coupled with the narrow design of these shoes, you will find that they are ideal for that form of climbing. The asymmetric toe box helps keep your toes from getting sprained or otherwise injured over the course of your climb.

While the choice of a double velcro strap closure may be unappealing to some climbers, the velcro is of sufficient quality not to come off while you are climbing. The velcro and the split tongue design help make it much easier to put this shoe on than many other models of climbing shoes.

If you are willing to pay the price, you will find few models of women’s climbing shoes that can compete with the Anasazi LV. We would recommend these shoes if you demand the highest build quality out of your climbing shoes and if your budget will allow you to purchase them.


Why You Should Choose Your Climbing Shoes Carefully

You may be wondering why it is so vital to ensure that you get the best beginner rock climbing shoes around. There are several reasons why you would want to put so much effort into your next rock climbing shoe purchase. For example, simple comfort is a significant factor in choosing the best shoes.

However, getting the right pair of shoes extends beyond comfort. When you are rock climbing, you will want to be sure that you can trust the shoes that are on your feet, after all, you will be trusting those shoes with your safety, and quite possibly your life. A climber should trust every piece of equipment.

If you have doubts in your equipment, you will have doubts in your capabilities, which means that you will not be climbing at the limits of your abilities. Holding yourself back while rock climbing will inhibit your enjoyment of the activity, but it may even endanger you. Instead of being afraid of your equipment failing, merely invest in the best gear.

On What To Pay Attention When Choosing Your Climbing Shoes

Material

The material used in the construction of your climbing shoes will massively affect their capabilities. For example, leather rock climbing shoes tend to be more flexible than synthetics, but it depends on the exact type of leather. Synthetics will usually provide more durability for a shoe that needs it.

Climbing shoe close up.

Size

The size of your shoes is another critical consideration. You will find it impossible to go climbing in shoes that are either too small or too large for your feet, so you will want to pay close attention to the sizing chart when you are making your purchase.

Durability

You will also want your rock climbing shoes to be durable. If you are going to be climbing indoors most of the time, you will find that durability is a little less crucial, but you may still want to invest in some relatively resilient climbing shoes. If your shoes are not durable, they will not last long.

Conclusion

We hope that we have been able to help you find some of the best beginner rock climbing shoes around. Let us know what you think of our reviews in the comments section down below.

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