The scariest part about climbing is the fear of falling. I have had my fair share of slips that have left shaking in my climbing shoes. The most comforting way to lessen your fears is to get a good pair of best rock climbing shoes that will give you comfort, stability, and grip.
Certain features may work for some, while others may require something else. Below I have created a list that shows you some of the best shoes that are out there currently. Each climber has a different preference, and I have tried to include the most variety in this collection of shoes.
La Sportiva Tarantulace Climbing Shoes
Great Sensitivity To Feel The Rock Below Your Feet For Superior Adaptability
La Sportiva Tarantulace Shoe - Women's
FriXion Rubber Sole, Synthetic Leather Upper, And Adjustable Inner Volumes Will Provide The Perfect Balance To Comfort And High Performance.
La Sportiva Tarantula Shoe - Velcro Straps
For Beginning Climbers, The La Sportiva Tarantula Will Help Your Feet Grip Holds Without Being Too Aggressively Tight Or Technical.
Evolv Men's Royale Climbing Shoe
2.5mm Full Length Midsole
Double Layer Of Rubber At Toe For Increased Durability
Scarpa Men's Instinct VS Climbing Shoe
Imported Synthetic Sole, Highly Charged Bi-Tension Active Randing Provides Maximum Toe Power
1. La Sportiva Tarantulace Climbing Shoes
This shoe by La Sportiva is great if you love a snug fit and easy laces. It is made out of leather that is unlined so it remains soft and comfortable.
I think one of the greatest things about this shoe is that it is comfortable enough to wear all day. It is not too stiff and remains flexible.
This is a great beginner shoe and for those with narrow feet, even better. In my experience, I have used these shoes all day long, and they have excellent moisture management. I like a tighter fit, and these are extremely adjustable. They fit like a glove!
2. La Sportiva Tarantulace Shoe - Women's
This shoe is very similar to the same model in men's by La Sportive. It is made of unlined leather and has a snug fit. The laces make them adjustable to most type of feet. These shoes are great for the beginner or intermediate climbers and can be a great starter shoe.
The women's version La Sportive. however, does not have as much of a "glove-like" fit. The laces do not go all the way to the toe, and for women, they often have narrower feet towards the end. Having them be able to tighten closer to the toe would be ideal.
3. La Sportiva Tarantula Shoe - Velcro Straps
This is another shoe made with unlined leather. However, the biggest difference is the velcro straps.
My favorite part about this Tarantula shoe is that it can be used outdoors on real rocks and can also be utilized in gym settings, where plastic rocks are most common.
The rubber sticks equally as well in both instances. The only downfall to this shoe is that the sizes are a little off than most other climbing brands. Overall, it is a high quality and long lasting shoe.
They are great shoes for beginners and really help with building foot strength due to the stiffness offered.
4. Evolv Men's Royale Climbing Shoe
Evolv Royale Climbing shoe is fantastic for new climbers who recently found a passion. They have all the qualities that a good climbing shoe should have.
There is a double layer of rubber in the toe of the shoe which makes them last much longer. You can get a lot of use out of this pair. The best aspect of this shoe compared to others are the laces.
Laces, in general, allow for a more customizable fit. However, the laces in this shoe reach all the way to the toe.
For people with narrower feet, this helps in creating tension at the end of your foot which is necessary for climbing.
This makes the shoe one of my favorites and I cannot stress enough how important this lace aspect is for me when purchasing climbing shoes.
5. Scarpa Men's Instinct VS Climbing Shoe
Scarpa Instinct Climbing shoe, in particular, is like a hybrid of a velcro strap and a slip-on. This combination provides maximum comfort while making it extremely adjustable as well.
These shoes also look great and are extremely durable. I would purchase these again if they changed the soles from the current synthetic material.
This makes the shoe last slightly less long than shoes made from leather or other stronger materials. However, it is a great shoe for an even better price. I also really trust this brand.
They have created a great deal of climbing gear throughout the years and have proved to be extremely trustworthy and consistent.
What to Look for Choosing the Best Rock Climbing Shoes
1. Type of the Shoe
When looking for a climbing shoe that fits your style, there are usually options ranging from neutral, moderate, and aggressive.
Neutral shoes tend to have thicker soles and you might want to choose this option if you are a beginner climber or simply want comfort all day in your shoes. Moderate has a bit of a stiffer feel and a downward curve to the shoe.
This is good for an experienced climber who still appreciates some comfort. The aggressive type of climbing shoe offers the most power and performance for difficult routes. These shoes, however, are not meant to be worn all day due to their extremely down-turned toe.
The way the shoe closes is simply important based on personal preference. The most common options are laces, velcro straps, or slip-ons.
Lace-ups tend to be more versatile while slip-ons are thinner and more flexible. Velcro straps are great for children who have yet to learn to tie their shoes. Make sure you consider what fits your climbing style the best.
Climbing shoes are made of many different materials and have several ways that they come into production. The types of leather they are made with affect the stiffness and flexibility of each shoe.
You also want to check if the shoe is slip-lasted, meaning they get the stiffness from the middle of the shoe and tend to be more sensitive. Board-lasted shoes are stiffer than slip-lasted but are often more comfortable.
Overall, my favorite shoe would have to be the Evolve Men's Royale Climbing Shoe. As a new climber, I have been through only a couple of shoes and these seem to last the longest. They maintain their stiffness without giving in to daily wear and tear. They have helped to really increase my foot strength. This is because of the thicker soles.
While they may not be as sensitive to the rock underneath your foot, building technique is the most important part of learning to climb. The double layer of rubber in the toe really helped me have extra power in my footing and did not wear down as quickly.
The major, and most important, aspect of buying these shoes would have to be the laces. They are labeled as men's shoes. However, women could really benefit from wearing these. The laces reach the toe which is fantastic for me because I do have narrow feet.
I can tighten the shoes closer to the toe and have full support throughout my foot. The laces reaching the toe combined with the double layer of rubber in the same area have made me feel like I have the most support possible. The power and technique in my footing have really improved and this shoe began this process.
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