Best Climbing Shoes

Climbing shoes are used in various types of climbing, a footwear that has come to provide one more element to facilitate the ascent of climbers. These are shoes that are tight to the foot, like a second skin, something that allows greater sensitivity, as well as that the small projections of the rocks can be noticed.

In addition, the climbing shoes have an adherent rubber material on the soles, the front and the sides, which was introduced in the early eighties by the Boreal firm. This improvement provided a greater grip and that the climb could be carried out with much more precision and less risk.

The most important

  • Climbing shoes allow us to have a greater sensitivity in contact with rocks or walls.
  • The morphology of our feet should be the main reference to choose the model of climbing shoes that best suits us.
  • As we will see in the purchase criteria, it is essential to be correct in the size of the climbing shoes, because a loose shoe, or too tight, would reduce its benefits or even cause us pain.

The best climbing shoes on the market: our recommendations

We are going to know several models of climbing shoes that can adapt to your needs. These are articles that have the guarantee offered by internationally renowned firms in the manufacture of climbing footwear, the most demanded by buyers or those that obtain the most favorable reviews from users.

  • The best climbing shoes for beginners
  • The most comfortable climbing shoes
  • The most versatile climbing shoes
  • Climbing shoes with greater sensitivity
  • Climbing shoes with greater precision

The best climbing shoes for beginners

These climbing shoes are recommended for climbers facing the initiation period or who still have little experience in this sport. They have a good quality and a lower price than other models with similar characteristics that can offer very similar benefits.

These shoes from the Spanish brand Boreal are ideal for low-difficulty climbing, for example in bouldering (rock blocks) or on small walls, although they can be used in other styles. It is a robust and comfortable model. The closure system is double velcro, very simple and quick to handle.

The most comfortable climbing shoes

They are easy to adjust and quite comfortable, even if they are used for a long time. The shape of the toe is round, an amplitude that the climber’s feet appreciate. The upper part of these shoes is made of synthetic leather, but it does not have a lining, which favors breathability.

These climbing shoes are often used in climbing walls or to carry out training sessions. The easily adjustable double velcro closure system adapts to different types and shapes of feet. They have the endorsement of an internationally recognized brand and whose quality is indisputable.

The most versatile climbing shoes

It is a model of climbing shoes suitable for beginners, but also attracts more experienced and level climbers. The sole has a medium thickness that prevents you from feeling too much pain, but it has quite a sensitivity in contact with the rocks. The technologically advanced cut promotes stability and support for the foot.

Rubber is reinforced on the heel and toes, which substantially improves the grip of the shoe. The leather cover provides great comfort, even at the risk of stretching over time. It has a practical lace closure that can be loosened for greater comfort.

Climbing shoes with greater sensitivity

This model of climbing shoes is structured in the cut of a single piece of leather. It is characterized by its extreme sensitivity in the appendix to contact with rocks. It has a great fit and fits perfectly on the instep. Its level of rigidity is excellent. It stands out for its adherence, precision in cracks and comfort.

The new sole is very resistant to wear and tear, something that also guarantees excellent grip. The anticipated lacing favors the toe grip. It has double tensioned bands that guarantee maximum foot support. Extreme precision in small supports and at the heel. The closure system is laces.

Climbing shoes with greater precision

This model of climbing shoes is of enormous quality and versatility, hence it is a very attractive product and well valued by users, despite the fact that the color pink is not to the taste of all those interested. These sneakers are rounded in shape and the toes fit naturally on the toe.

The sole is very thin, just 2 millimeters (mm) thick, which facilitates technical and precision climbing, but can be annoying and even painful for the climber. The lace closure helps the shoe to adapt to the shape of the foot. There are previous versions with velcro closure.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Climbing Shoes

The variety of climbing shoes is wide. There are differences depending on the gender, the style you practice, the morphology of the foot, the type of sole, the materials or the place where you develop the activity. Let’s answer a series of questions to better understand this special footwear for climbers.

What are climbing shoes?

Climbing shoes are the footwear used by climbers to obtain greater adherence and precision thanks to soles with a special adherent rubber located on the front and on the side bands. Other of its main characteristics are lightness and flexibility. They are shoes that must fit well to gain sensitivity.

Climbing shoes for indoor or outdoor climbing

Generally we can find many more offers of climbing shoes for outdoor activities than for indoor activities. This does not force us to buy outdoor footwear if we are going to work in the climbing wall of a gym, since the wear is greater and in the end our pocket will suffer. Indoors, more mileage is usually done.Some cheap and comfortable climbing shoes, designed for indoors, are the best option, unless you do the most difficult routes, for which an aggressive and specific footwear for practicing bouldering is better . Look for higher quality when climbing outdoors, where sensitivity and technique take priority.

What are the types of climbing shoes according to their characteristics?

There are different types of climbing shoes depending on the various characteristics of the elements that compose them. This does not make some models better over others, but simply makes them more suitable performance shoes for a particular climbing style. Or for a specific foot. We see it in the following table:
Material Shoe shape Sole shape Rubber type Locking system
Natural skin Symmetrical Flat Hard Laces
Synthetic Asymmetric Curve Soft Velcro
Adherent Dancers
Less adherent

How does the last of climbing shoes affect?

To get maximum performance and comfort, the shape of the climbing shoes must match that of your feet. Remember that you want the shoes to be like a second skin, very well adjusted, but without causing excessive discomfort or pain that is maintained for a long time. These are the lasts and their characteristics:

  • Symmetrical last: It is recommended for climbers who are new to this sport, for those who do long hours on routes of several lengths or for veterans who intend to do long sessions in the climbing wall. Comfort takes precedence over sensitivity and fit.
  • Asymmetric last: It is a more technical footwear. Its main characteristic is the modification of the transverse axis of the foot, which forces the force of the foot to be transferred onto the big toe, something that provides more precision.

How does your level of climbing influence?

If you are starting in the world of climbing, the best thing is that you look for comfortable and versatile climbing shoes, with a flat, rigid sole and a good thickness. It is about strengthening the fingers and ankles. In addition, the normal thing is that you wear the shoes a lot and the harder they are, they will resist a little longer.When you acquire better technique, you can opt for other more specific shoes. These usually have an asymmetrical last that moves the body inwards. But do not rush, because you can suffer injuries or malformations. The symmetrical last is best for initial periods.

Are climbing shoes for women and children different?

Climbing shoes manufacturers offer different models for women and children than for men. But in reality it is due more to a reason of size or design. Logically, the size of the last is usually significantly different, but you do not always have to look for an exclusive model for women or children.The main and most important thing is to follow the same indications as for men. That is, opt for comfortable footwear that fits us well and offers durability. In case of being beginners, very likely in children, we have to avoid technical and highly sensitive shoes.

What are the most recognized brands of climbing shoes?

The most recognized brands of climbing shoes manufacturers stand out for their efforts in innovation, which improves the performance of the footwear to practice climbing and allows those who develop this modality to meet greater challenges. There is a wide range of models, in general, with a high level of quality.

  • La Sportiva:  Italian firm that manufactures items for climbing and is a benchmark for the quality of its climbing shoes, endowed with great sensitivity.
  • Boreal:  The Spanish brand is a benchmark in technological innovation. In the early 1980s they developed a special rubber sole that was an unprecedented advance.
  • Scarpa:  It is an Italian brand that began its journey in 1938 and which, despite its growth and expansion throughout the world, is still considered a family business.
  • Five Ten:  It is an American manufacturer of sports shoes for outdoor activities. In recent times it has become one of the largest sellers of climbing shoes. In November 2011, Adidas bought the company for $ 25 million.

Purchase criteria

Although there are several characteristics that we can analyze before choosing the most suitable climbing shoes, we must mainly stay with two aspects that are non-negotiable: size and morphology of the foot. And it is that it depends on both that the footwear fits us perfectly, a crucial condition to facilitate climbing.

  • Size
  • Morphology
  • Sole
  • Material
  • Closing


Climbing shoes have to be very tight, we would almost say tight to a prudent limit. Therefore, choosing the correct size is essential for their performance to be adequate, also trying not to cause us excessive discomfort. In any case, we must avoid that they are too big, since sensitivity and precision are lost.

The brands that manufacture climbing shoes do not always coincide in their size, so in some firms the ideal size may be the same as that of your street shoes, while in others it is necessary that you obtain a smaller number. The key is that they are not baggy, even slightly annoying at first, but without causing pain.


The shape of the foot is what should guide us when deciding the footwear that we are going to acquire. Otherwise, we will force our feet with a model that may be of a high quality, but that does not adapt to our morphology. The feet should not slip inside the shoes, nor should they be loose. There are three types, depending on the shape:

  • Egyptian foot: The big toe is the longest and the size of the rest is in decreasing order.
  • Greek foot: The second toe is the longest, the fat and the third are the same, while the rest are smaller.
  • Polynesian foot: The toes are practically identical in size. It is also known as a square foot.


In the soles of climbing shoes we find four types according to the hardness provided by the rubber: hard, soft, more adherent and less adherent. For those who want to start climbing, hard rubber shoes are recommended, among other things because they favor the strengthening of muscles.

Regarding the shape of the soles of the climbing shoes, we can acquire them flat or curved. Most of the models are flat, but there are some with the toes curved downwards. This facilitates some movements of the athlete. These types of soles are generally used by highly experienced climbers.


Climbing shoes are made of natural or synthetic leather. The former adapt better to the foot and should be bought tighter, because as they are used they acquire the appropriate shape and become a second skin. They also facilitate perspiration. It is in the price where synthetic materials have an advantage, being a little cheaper.


The types of closure are not relevant when choosing climbing shoes. That does not prevent us from trying to choose the formula that best suits our sports practices. The climbing distance is one of the aspects that we must assess to choose the closure, which can be of three types:

  • Laces: They fit better and are softer. Recommended for climbing long routes.
  • Velcro: They are more comfortable. They take off and put on quickly. Ideal for bouldering, which consists of climbing blocks of rock or small walls.
  • Ballerinas: They adapt perfectly to the foot, are comfortable and offer a magnificent performance.


The acquisition of climbing shoes must be governed by the shape of the climber’s feet, since each person has them different and this type of footwear is essential that it is very tight. It is not easy to buy this item online, although following certain criteria such as those we have discussed, we can make the acquisition without so much risk.

It should be noted that the selling brands are usually totally trusted. The corresponding changes can be made in case we do not find the exact size or have some other type of problem. Then, with use, we will discover which models perform better according to our characteristics or sports practices.