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Best Rock Climbing Shoes in 2017 – Selected By Expert Advice

When it comes to rock climbing, one of the most important things to keep in mind is a good pair of shoes. For both comfort and safety, you want to make sure that you are getting the best pair of rock climbing shoes but most people don’t know how to do so. By following the information provided below, you’ll find some good product recommendations as well as other things that you should look for to make sure you get a great pair of shoes to meet your needs.

Best Rock Climbing Shoes

Things To Consider - Best Rock Climbing Shoes

Style

There are a ton of different styles of climbing shoes that you can purchase and the answer to which one you should buy is going to depend on what type of climining you are going to do. If you are climbing indoors at all time, then you can buy a pair of gym climbing shoes.

However, if you are planning on outdoor climbing, then you’ll need to identify which type of rocks you plan on climbing and buy the appropriate shoe. When you buy a shoe, make sure it is best for what you want to climb.

Fit

Similar to the style of the shoe that was mentioned above, the fit is going to be another important consideration that varies based on the type of climbing you are going to do and how you like your shoes to fit. Additionally, you’re going to find that the fit of your shoes is going to depend on

Sizing

One of the most important things you can do is try on the shoes as much as possible. Depending on the brand you are going to buy, it’s possible that one brand will fit differently than another one. Once you get familiar with some of the brands, you’ll find that it is easier for you to buy the right size. If the shoe doesn’t fit correctly, it will lead to a lot of discomfort and can greatly decrease the pleasure of your climb.

Tightening System

When it comes to how you can tighten your shoes and what kind of closure system you are going to have, you want to make sure that you pick one that is going to be the most comfortable option for you. If you like something that is quick and easy to handle, then velcro is your best bet but if you want a better fit to wear for a longer period of time, the laces could be better.

Stickiness

The stickiness when it comes to rock climbing shoes is dependent on the rubber sole that you will find on the bottom. As a general rule of thumb, the sticker the rubber is, the softer and less durable than other type of rubber. The less sticky the rubber is, the harder and more durable the sole will be. Soft, very sticky rubber will wear out really quickly and won’t last long.

Durability

When it comes to most climbers anymore, you’ll find that they do a lot more indoor climbing than they do outside climbing. When you go to buy a pair of shoes, make sure you keep that in mind because you want to make sure that you find a pair of shoes that will protect against the wear and tear that happens with your shoes every time you wear them to go climbing.

Comfort

As with anything you are planning on using heavily, it is so important that you find a pair of shoes that is comfortable. You could find a pair of shoes that has all of these things listed above and it is the perfect pair, but if it doesn’t fit you comfortably, you are not going to want to wear them and buy them.

Unfortunately one of the only ways to really know how comfortable the shoe is going to be would be to try it on and walk around the house with it before you take it outside. This is going to help ensure that you get a great fit at all times and you find a pair of shoes that will be comfortable and won’t hold you back in any way.

Price

Of course, the last thing that you need to keep in mind when it comes to buying almost anything you want to buy, you need to consider the price of the product. Obviously you can spend a ton of money buying a pair of shoes or you can spend very little money to get a pair of shoes.

Personally, I would recommend trying to find a pair of shoes that is in the mid-range of that budget. You don’t need to spend a ton of money to get a great pair of shoes but it’s not wise to spend next to nothing as well. Set a budget for yourself that you feel comfortable spending and I’m sure you will have no problem finding a solid pair of shoes somewhere in that price point.

10 Best Rock Climbing Shoes - Reviews for 2017

1. La Sportiva Genius Men's Lace-up Rock Climbing Shoe

La Sportiva Genius Men's Lace-up Rock Climbing Shoe

This is going to be a great choice when it comes to rock climbing shoes and is one of the better brands that you are going to find on the list.

As you will see, this particular brand pops up several times on this list so you know that it is strong and durable. These are made from a synthetic material and the no-edge technology works to deliver you some of the best performance on the rocks. 

Additionally, the P3 patented technology helps to give you the downturned shape to deliver you mind bending power at all times. Furthermore, the lace-up feature on the shoe is great because it makes it easy for the shoe to fit the type of foot you have to make sure that you get a safe and secure fit at all times.

The Vibram Xs Grip2 solid is going to be the hardest and stickiest rubber that you will find and it helps to give you great edging ability and smearing. Lastly, the construction helps to give you excellent sensitivity on all edges.

Pros:

  • No-edge technology for great performance
  • P3 patented technology for the downturn of the shoe
  • Lace-up comfort for custom fit
  • Vibram Xs Grip2 sole

Cons:

  • Very small
  • Could be more durable

2. La Sportiva Katana Lace - Men's

La Sportiva Katana Lace - Men's

This is yet another type of climbing shoe that is made from the same company and it is going to be another great shoe for just about anybody that is looking.

It comes with a fast-lacing system that allows for quick and precise slipping on of the shoes that allow for greater regulation of the volume and support the foot in the best way possible.

The lining in these shoes is between the leather uppers and the rubber rand and it leads to a great structure that maintains the comfort of the shoe at all times.The P3 technology helps to give the structural integrity of the shoe with a downturned shape on the shoe that helps to give a high edge of performance at all times.

This is a shoe that also works for whatever you want so whether it is sport routes, bouldering, gym climbing or any other rocks that you might need to face. Lastly, the vibram sole and adjustable inner volumes give you great sensitivity and allow you to feel the rocks underneath you.

Pros:

  • Fast lacing system
  • Tubular construction
  • Unparalleled edging
  • Multifunctional climbing shoe
  • Comfortable design

Cons:

  • They do run a little small

3. La Sportiva Men's Futura Climbing Shoes

La Sportiva Men's Futura Climbing Shoes

Out of the four shoes we have talked about so far, this is going to be the third one that is made by this particular brand and it’s safe to say that all of these shoes are excellent choices when it comes to buying shoes.

Like the other ones mentioned, you’re going to find that this has new “no edges” technology that helps to give you maximum edging advantage right out of the box.

Additionally, the P3 technology helps to maintain the downturned shape on the shoe so that you can crank on the overhangs and climb as efficient as you could imagine. Continuing on the trend of features, you’re going to enjoy a fast lacing system that helps to give you one of the best fits out of all the shoes you are going to find. The excellent sensitivity helps to give you extremely technical grips at all times. Last but not least, the Vibram XS Grip2 sole is one of the hardest and stickiest soles that you are going to find.

Pros:

  • New “no edges” technology
  • P3 technology
  • Fast lacing system
  • Excellent sensitivity
  • Vibram XS Grip2 sole

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Could be more durable

4. La Sportiva Miura Lace Climbing Shoe - Men's

La Sportiva Miura Lace Climbing Shoe - Men's

Yet again, this is another shoe on the list that is manufactured and produced by La Sportiva and it is a great shoe at the same time.

Price wise, it is probably going to be the same price as some of the other shoes that you have seen from this brand. It is made from both a leather and textile and has a synthetic sole to give you the results you want as well. 

The aggressive down-turned toe will also help to ensure that you get all of the results you want and need from this shoe. Furthermore, you’re going to find that this pair of climbing shoes is also going to has Miura slip lasted construction along with a 1,1mm Laspo Flex midsole and a 4mm Vibram XSV sole.

When you look at all of these things and combine them together, you’re going to find that you’ll get a ton of great features and a shoe that offers great precision, comfort and sensitivity at all times at a great price.

Pros:

  • Synthetic sole
  • Aggressive down-turned toe
  • Miura slip lasted construction
  • Vibram XSV sole

Cons:

  • Long break in period
  • Not great when it comes to the edge

5. Five Ten Men's Arrowhead Climbing Shoe

Five Ten Men's Arrowhead Climbing Shoe

The next two shoes that you are going to see on this list are made by the same company and this is a company that provides themselves on making really exceptional climbing shoes for anybody that might need them.

These products are made in the USA and imported and they have a synthetic material that they use. The rubber sole on the climbing shoe is great because it can give you the best grip that you need when it comes to climbing shoes. 

In terms of the outer sole, you’ll find that you’ll get a stealth onyxx rubber outsole along with a medium stiffness midsole. Furthermore, you’ll find there are plenty of other things to like about the shoe including the synthetic upper and the velcro closure.

When it comes to the closure, it is going to be one of the easiest ways to get your shoes fastened onto you. However, it might not provide as custom of a fit for you when it comes to finding the best shoe to fit your feet. This is going to be a pair of shoes that is best for steep climbs, boulders or edging, so keep this pair of shoes in mind if those are the things you want to do.

Pros:

  • Made in the USA
  • Rubber sole
  • Stealth onyxx rubber outsole
  • Velcro closure

Cons:

  • Lack of rubber on the toe
  • Really difficult to break in

6. Scarpa Boostic Climbing Shoe

Scarpa Boostic Climbing Shoe

This is another great option that you can use to buy a great pair of climbing shoes at just about anytime you see fit. This shoe is built to give you maximum toe power for steep vert or overhangs to give you the best results possible.

Additionally, the floating closure straps help to accommodate all of the different foot shapes and allows for customization for anyone.

The special soft rubber and high friction toe patch also helps with toe hooking and will give you great results. In addition to everything else that we have talked about so far, you’re going to find that this climbing shoe also offers you a precise heel fit and sticky rubber to give you great overall performance and exceptional heel hooking at all times. Last but not least, the Vibram XS Edge helps to provide incredibly grip and durability at all times.

Pros:

  • Built for maximum toe power
  • Floating closure straps
  • Special soft rubber with high friction toe patch
  • Vibram XS Edge for great grip

Cons:

  • Tough to fit those with wide feet
  • Tough to break in

7. Five Ten Men's Anasazi VCS Climbing Shoe

Five Ten Men's Anasazi VCS Climbing Shoe

This is another shoe by the same brand that was discussed above, but it does offer some different features so that you can get a slightly different shoe than the other one.

While this might not be one of the best looking shoes, you’re going to find that it is made in the USA and comes with a rubber sole to help make sure that you get the best grip and overall experience that you can find. 

Additionally, the lined synthetic Cowdura upper is excellent because it doesn’t have any stretch to it. The double strand velcro closure system is a nice feature for anybody that wants to make sure they have an easy closure system and don’t necessarily need the best fit when it comes to the shoe. This pair also has an asymmetric toe box, high heel tension and has a stealth rubber outsole for the best results.

Pros:

  • Rubber sole
  • Made in the USA
  • Double-strand Velcro closure system
  • Stealth rubber outsole

Cons:

  • The run very small
  • Don’t look great on your feet

8. Evolv Shaman Climbing Shoe

Evolv Shaman Climbing Shoe

This is another pair of shoes that is going to be one of the better options because it allows for you to get a truly great fit when it comes to shoes without having to pay as much as you would with some of the other ones on this list.

The material of this shoe includes microfiber and when compared to some of the previous models that have been put out by this company so you know that the improvements made are going to be for the benefit of the user.

In addition to those benefits that were mentioned above, you’re going to enjoy the added toe rubber that allows for you to use it for toe hooking and the inset front strap is much better for medial side toe scumming. The look of these shoes isn’t going to be one of the best looking on the market but the blue and orange color can stand out enough to give you a great looking shoe that will have most people talking.

Pros:

  • Microfiber
  • Improved fit
  • Added toe rubber for toe hooking
  • Inset front strap

Cons:

  • Very, very small
  • Could be better looking
  • Long time to break in

9. Scarpa Men's Force X Climbing Shoe

Scarpa Men's Force X Climbing Shoe

If you want to have the freedom to choose between several different colors so that you can get the best looking shoe to fit your needs, then this is going to be one of the best options that you can go with.

You’ll have the option of choosing between three different colors and all of them are going to come with a ton of great features. These shoes are both synthetic and imported and come with a Vibram XS Edge sole.

In addition to everything that was talked about above, you’re going to find that this is one of the better options for you if you want to find a compact climbing shoe. This also comes with V-tension active randing system, padded mesh tongue and a partial lining with a suede footbed. Combining these features with the price of the product and the option to choose between a couple different colors, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better option than what you see here.

Pros:

  • Synthetic
  • Imported
  • Vibram XS Edge sole
  • Compact climbing shoe
  • V-Tension active randing
  • Padded mesh tongue
  • Suede footbed

Cons:

  • Not great for professionals
  • Could be easier to break in

10. Mad Rock Men's Flash 2.0 Climbing Shoe

Mad Rock Men's Flash 2.0 Climbing Shoe

This is another great climbing shoe and it is equally great because it is one of the more reasonably priced options on this list and it still provides you with a great shoe overall.

This shoe is imported with a synthetic flex and has both a leather and rubber sole. The traditional leather upper is combined with Synflex and it helps to offer exceptional performance while also giving you a great and consistent plush fit.

The 3D molded heel on this shoe helps to maximize the friction that you will experience and the shock gel is used helps to reduce the impact force that you are going to feel on your heel. Last but not least, the polycarbonate midsole helps to give you a consistent and predictable flex to give you the best overall performance.

Pros:

  • Traditional leather upper combined with Synflex
  • Polycarbonate midsole
  • Synthetic flex
  • 3D molded heel

Cons:

  • Sizing does not translate very well

Final Verdict

If you have been considering purchasing a pair of best rock climbing shoes, there is no better time to make your purchase than now. You know exactly what you need to look for when you go to buy a pair. In addition, you’ll find some of top product recommendations so that you’ll have no problem finding the perfect pair of shoes to fit your needs.

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About the Author Kevin Fox

A passionate blogger! Editor at Chooserly, and a regular author at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Forbes!

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