Best Climbing Shoe Reviews 2023

Rock climbing is an adventure that’s not only physically demanding but also mentally challenging. Whether you’re a beginner climber or a veteran, having the right shoe is a necessity for a smooth ascent as well as descent. Thankfully, we’ve searched far and wide to bring you some of the best climbing shoes brands out there with the hope that one of their products will be a perfect fit for your feet. Indulge!
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Our Top Choice
La Sportiva Tarantula Climbing Shoes
La Sportiva offers an excellent range of footwear, clothes and accessories for all outdoor activities. The Tarantula Climbing shoes are cozy, durable and tough.
Value for money. Extremely comfortable. Durable.
Ideal for beginners only.
All around performer
Suede leather – slip lasted
FriXion RS – 4mm
Rubber heel-stand in micro-edges
Men’s sizes – 33 to 48
Best Value
Evolv Elektra Women’s Climbing Shoes
Evolv offers performance climbing footwear with varieties in standard and customized shoes. The Elektra Women’s Climbing Shoes offer comfort and style with resilience.
Comfortable. Stylish. Affordable. Adjustable rand thickness.
Low and flat fit around the heel area.
Beginner climbers or boulderers
Perforated Synthetic upper
TRAX high friction fibre 4.2mm
Well placed VTR rand
Women’s sizes – 4 to 11
Scarpa Instinct VS Climbing Shoes
SCARPA is known for high-performance footwear for outdoor adventure pursuits. The Instinct VS Climbing Shoes are made to resist deformity when worn on harsh surfaces.
High tension vacuum fit. Protective toe pocket. Pull tab tongue for maximum comfort.
Neoprene lining and bi-tension are frail at heels. Fitting might get uncomfortable for longer pitches.
All around performer
3mm Vibram XS edge
Bi-tension for connected heel-toe
Men’s sizes–36 to 45 (half sizes)
Five Ten Anasazi Women’s Climbing Shoes
Five Ten is known for its aggressive outdoor footgear. The Anasazi LV Women’s Climbing Shoes have a solid grip, are ultra comfortable and deliver high performance.
Solid grip. Sticky rubber. Sensitive. Precise. Comfortable.
Ideal for narrow feet only.
All around performer
Synthetic cowdura upper
Rubber sole
High arched low heel
Women’s sizes – 4 to 11
Mad Rock Mad Monkey Climbing Shoe for Kids
Mad Rock designs shoes that are innovative and technically precise, yet affordable. The Mad Rock Mad Monkey Climbing Shoes offer a flexible fit for the growing feet of children.
2 rear closure straps. Comfortable. Available in different colors.
Ideal for beginners only.
Beginners and rock climbing
Synflex synthetic suede
Friction rubber sole
Velcro rubber heel
Kid’s sizes -11 to 13, 1-5 Whole

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What is the Best Climbing Shoe?

The type of climbing you intend to do dictates the type of shoe to buy. From the fit of the climbing shoes to the material used to make the shoe, there’s a lot to consider before you settle for a particular product. Now that you’re familiar with what to look for to find the right climbing shoe, here’s our review of the five best out there.
Our Top Choice
The La Sportiva Tarantula Men’s Climbing Shoes are affordable, durable and extremely comfortable for all outdoor activities. Looking for women’s climbing shoes? The La Sportiva Tarantula Climbing Shoes for women are highly recommended!

La Sportiva Men's Tarantula Climbing Shoes – Leather, Quick Pull Lace Harness with Lined Tongue, All Around Performer

La Sportiva is known for its excellent range of technical footwear, clothes, gear and accessories for hiking, climbing, trail running, mountaineering and skiing. All its products are engineered with high precision to hold out on the toughest of terrain. The Tarantula Climbing Shoes by La Sportiva have a quick pull lace harness which provides a precise, snug fit to your feet.

The shoes are sturdy and fairly durable. Aptly named after the highly adaptive arachnid, the shoes are super comfortable for just about any sort of climbing under the sun! They have unlined leather with asymmetric shape to give optimum performance, comfort and softness. The RN45 shape of the shoes is great for high-end performance without causing the toes any discomfort. The lacing harness is made from synthetic leather and supports extensive treading. The rubber heel is aggressive with stand-in micro edges and toughened FriXion RS rubber that has a high longevity.

Some of the other notable features include:
  • Flat profile
  • Quick lacing velcro
  • Anti-perspirant padded tongue
Thinking about going extreme? Get these shoes and cross that long-awaited trek off your bucket list once and for all!
Best Value
Make an impact with Evolv Elektra Women’s Climbing Shoes! They're perfect for those looking to invest in affordable climbing shoes for the first time! Want to own men’s climbing shoes from Evolv? Go for the Evolv Men’s Shaman Climbing Shoes!

Evolv Women's Elektra Lace Climbing Shoes – Synthetic with Rubber Sole and Leather Footbed

Evolv’s high-performance footgear is preferred by both beginners and professionals alike. The Elektra Climbing Shoes for Women by Evolv are comfortably stylish and quite affordable. The shoes have a flat shape and are the perfect choice for first-timers who are looking to invest in climbing shoes.

The shoes have a synthetic upper exterior which is easy to size and is comfortable and soft. These have a VTR, or a variable thickness rand. This means that there is extra thick rubber at places where there are chances of maximum wear and tear. The shoes have a low symmetry so that the feet are flat. This flat nature helps one's feet get placed firmly into cracks. Since there is no downturn, the shoes will not sink into pockets. The loop closure, Velcro hooks and split tongue make it easy to accommodate various foot sizes.

Here are some more features of Elekra:
  • Comfort and adjustability with lace closure
  • Bedroom slipper fit and comfort
  • Value for money
The Elektra Evolv Climbing Shoes, with their style, class and resilience, will make all your climbing trips truly filled with adventure!
For a hyper-precise, form-fit and powerful pair of shoes for high-end bouldering and steep climbing, the Men's Instinct VS Climbing Shoes are the best there are in the Instinct family. If you want climbing shoes for women by SCARPA, then the Helix Climbing Shoes for Women are your best options!

Scarpa Men's Instinct VS Climbing Shoe – Textile Shoes with Synthetic Sole and High Charge Bi-Tension Active Randing

SCARPA (Societa Calzaturiera Asolana Riunita Pedemontana Anonima, or Associated Shoe Manufacturing Company of the Asolo Mountain Area) is a multi-generation, family-owned outdoor footwear company founded in 1938. The footwear manufactured are high-ended for hiking, climbing, skiing, trail running, mountaineering and other active outdoor activities. The Men's Instinct VS Climbing Shoes, the newest shoes in SCARPA’s Instinct family, are by far, the most aggressive and least stretch fit.

The shoes have a superb and hyper-precise form fit for all high-end outdoor pursuits, including steep climbing and bouldering. The Instinct VS has the best hooking heel and toe-scum patch. The elastic tongue has a pull tab that allows your feet to go deep into the toe pocket. This eliminates the dead space. The single, broad Velcro closure is effective and comfortable.

Some of the noteworthy features of the shoes include:
  • Forefoot with Vibram XS edge which provides incredible durability and grip
  • Mid-length outsole
  • Floating powerstrap
  • Made from 100% Lorica
The Instinct VS, just like its predecessors, has a fine blend of comfort, performance, and stiffness!
The Five Ten Anasazi Women’s Climbing Shoes, with their extremely sensitive layout, excel at edging and smearing on micro-surfaces. They're great for long, difficult and technical climbs. If you want to try out the men’s climbing shoes by Five Ten, may we suggest the Five Ten Men's Anasazi Moccasym Climbing Shoe?

Five Ten Women's Anasazi LV Climbing Shoe – Made in USA and Imported, Synthetic with Rubber Sole and Velcro Strap Closure

Five Ten, fondly referred to as the Brand of the Brave, is known for its high-end, high-friction footwear. Five Ten is the formidable brand for the world’s most dangerous sports, including bike racing, wing suit flying, rock climbing and kayaking. The footwear made by Five Ten have cutting-edge designs with proprietary rubber soles.

The Anasazi Women’s Climbing Shoes are a Low Volume, or LV, version with a higher arch and lower instep designed with the intention of fitting the female feet better. Sensitivity is the key consideration of the shoes. They stick to any surface, and you can experience the micro-surfaces through the toe. The shoes are comfortable when pressed hard on edges and stick to them. The Velcro slipper with padded split tongue makes them all the more high-performance.

Take a look at some of the additional features in the shoes:
  • Upper material made of cowdura
  • Flat shape helps them sink into tiny cracks as well
  • Moderately aggressive
  • These premium climbing shoes are perfect for all weather, all surface conditions and all terrains!
    Introduce your child to the exciting sport of rock climbing with the Mad Rock Mad Monkey 2.0 Climbing Shoes. If you are looking for adult sizes from Mad Rock, the Men’s Drifter Climbing Shoes are the best option to select.

    Mad Rock Kids' Mad Monkey Climbing Shoe – Leather with Rubber Sole, Suitable for Sports, Bouldering and Gym

    Mad Rock manufactures climbing shoes that are attractive and precise on the technical front. The Mad Rock Mad Monkey 2.0 Climbing Shoe for kids has been upgraded from its predecessor. The shoes offer flexible fits for growing children and are excellent to introduce them to rock climbing.

    The shoes have two closure straps in the rear to adjust size when required. The dual closure ensures that the ankles are protected from scratching when the surface needs more pressure. The shoes are made with SynFlex and R2 rand system for superior comfort.

    Here are some more features of the shoes:
    • Stretchable rubber
    • Upper exterior made with synthetic suede
    • Sticky rubber soles
    These shoes are flexible and versatile. Make climbing fun for your child with the Mad Monkey 2.0.

    How Do I Choose the Best Climbing Shoe?

    On a beautiful summer afternoon, you and a bunch of your fellow adrenaline junkies decide to go rock climbing. On arrival, you gear up for the climb and change into some old sneakers that you pulled from your shoe rack that morning. Unfortunately, when you’re halfway up the rock, you slip, and find yourself dangling on your climbing harness .Your life is at the mercy of a climbing rope just because you wore the wrong kind of shoes!

    Climbing shoes provide that vital connection between your feet and the rock. When choosing the best climbing shoes, have in mind the type of climbing you intend to do as well as the fit of the shoe. A shoe that’s not comfortable will make your climbing experience a nightmare.

    There are three types of climbing shoes: neutral, moderate and aggressive climbing shoes. For a beginner, neutral climbing shoes are a good choice because they’re not only comfortable but have a nice fit. For the moderate climbing shoes, they’re slightly downturned at the front to allow for more technical climbing. Such shoes can help you maneuver through slab routes as well as crack climbs.

    For experienced climbers tackling intense climbs, a good choice would be aggressive shoes whose asymmetrical shape is curved towards your big toe to give you a powerful edge when climbing. Their soles are thinner and sticker than the rest to provide you with a better grip.

    With this in mind and much more information contained in our review, nothing will hold you back next time you go rock climbing. Remember to wear your climbing helmet before your ascent – safety always comes first!
    Climbing shoes are fairly priced considering the complexity of their design as well as the amount of work involved to make each pair. The price of a pair ranges between $60 and $180 depending on the type of climbing that the shoe is designed to handle. Another thing that affects the price is the material used to make the shoe; leather climbing shoes, for example, are typically more expensive than shoes made of other materials.

    Beginners in climbing are tempted to go for a cheap climbing shoe, but an experienced climber will tell you that investing a little extra for features that enhance grip and stability will be worth it.
    Here are some features to look out for when buying climbing shoes:
    • Type – Is it a neutral, moderate or aggressive shoe? Neutral – Are flat and comfortable. Moderate – Are slightly downturned at the tip. Aggressive – Are completely downturned with a lot of heel tension. What matters is the type of climbing that you intend to do.
    • Upper Part – Does the shoe leave dead space on the upper part? Such dead space won’t only be uncomfortable, but can easily lead to foot cramping. Is the shoe closure a lace-on, strap or slip-on? The most convenient is the lace-on closure.
    • Sole – How thick and sticky is the outer sole? Stickier soles provide a better grip. A thick sole lasts longer and provides better support when edging. Is the upper part made of leather or synthetic material?
    • Ankle – How low is the cut around the ankle? Does the heel fit? Women’s shoes come with a lower cut around the ankle and a smaller heel cup. A baggy heel will make your heels slide as you climb and blisters may form.
    • Size – Is the size of the shoe U.S, U.K or European? Does that particular size fit? Always remember that one size with a particular brand may not be the exact same size with another.
    Construction and Design
    Climbing shoes come in different designs depending on the type of climbing they’re made for. For beginners, the shoes have a straight shape which is flat and more comfortable. Shoes designed for moderate or aggressive climbing have an asymmetrical shape where the longest point is at the big toe, allowing you a centralized point of contact with the rock as well as increased power inside the shoe.

    The upper part of climbing shoes is made of either leather or synthetic material. As much as leather is the easiest to clean and stretch better, they tend to bleed colors on your feet. Synthetic shoes don’t stretch as much so they should fit comfortably from the start. The synthetic material also allows the feet to breathe and wick away sweat.

    The outer sole is made of rubber whose thickness and stickiness varies. The thickness of the rubber ranges between 4 to 5.5 mm; the thicker the outer sole the better the grip. A thinner sole (which ranges between 3 to 4 mm) is more sensitive and allows you to feel the rock as you climb. A stickier sole is ideal for smearing on slabs but doesn’t last for long.

    Since all feet are different, climbing shoes are made either for a high volume foot or low volume foot. If your feet are high volume and you wear a low volume shoe, you’ll find that the shoe is uncomfortable and foot cramping may occur. In terms of the width of the shoe, many people get this right. A show that’s too narrow pushes your toes up, which leads to poor positioning, while a shoe that’s too wide may make your feet roll when climbing.
    Performance and Ease of Use
    A climber’s performance largely depends on whether the shoe fits or not. A perfect fit not only allows your feet to be comfortable as you climb but also enables you to easily edge the rocks. Better performance occurs when the knuckles are bent. For this reason, climbing shoes meant for aggressive climbing are totally downturned at the edge giving you more positioning power.

    Climbing shoes require no assembly since all you have to do is put them on and start your ascent. Shoes made of leather are easier to clean and deodorize compared to their synthetic counterparts.

    Get the Best Climbing Shoe of 2023!

    Did you find what you were looking for? Hopefully, this review of the best climbing shoes has enlightened you on the various options out there and better still you’ve identified what to buy. If not, the great brands featured here in have more climbing shoes for you to choose from.

    Our Top Choice
    La Sportiva Tarantula Climbing Shoes
    Best Value
    Evolv Elektra Women’s Climbing Shoes
    Scarpa Instinct VS Climbing Shoes
    Five Ten Anasazi Women’s Climbing Shoes
    Mad Rock Mad Monkey Climbing Shoe for Kids