12 Best Rock Climbing Shoes (Review) in 2022

Brad Robinson
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Mountaineering is serious business. If you go climbing you want to be prepared, and that means a good pair of climbing shoes. A good pair of shoes can mean the difference between a successful climb and one that results in an unexpected and risky evacuation.

What’s so important about good climbing shoes in the first place?

Good shoes protect you from the sharp, pointy rocks you might encounter along the way. Imagine climbing up a vertical wall and doing so with your bare, unprotected feet. See the problem? A good pair of shoes prevents this from happening.

And some climbing shoes also protect you from injury if you should fall during your climb. If you’re climbing up a vertical rock face, you build up a lot of speed. Imagine having a rope tied to your waist and falling from the top, but instead of stopping, you also fall a few feet forward because your shoes haven’t worn out. This is a very dangerous situation. A good pair of climbing shoes will keep you safe, and prevent you from falling forward from dangerous heights.

NameCategoryProduct
La Sportiva Men's Miura Climbing ShoeBest OverallLa Sportiva Men's Miura Climbing Shoe
La Sportiva Men's TarantuLace Performance Rock Climbing ShoeBudget PickLa Sportiva Men's TarantuLace Performance Rock Climbing Shoe
Scarpa Men's Instinct VS Climbing ShoeUpgrade PickScarpa Men's Instinct VS Climbing Shoe

1. La Sportiva Men's Miura Climbing Shoe

Our rating: 9 / 10

La Sportiva Men's Miura Climbing Shoe

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Pros:

  • Soft and flexible
  • Great shoe for the price
  • Very comfortable
  • Nice wide toe box
  • Bring good rubber for smearing
  • Durable
  • Nice for overhanging or splitters
  • Flexes really well
  • Great for a variety of climbs
  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • Sole is not as sticky as you may want/need it to be
  • Does not have a lot of durability

The La Sportiva Miura is a leather climbing shoe that has been one of the most popular and best-selling shoes among rock climbers because of its great fit and comfort.

It has been called one of the most versatile shoes out there and by many climbers, it is regarded as the best starter shoe out there. The Miura comes with a 5.10 and Vibram?s XS Edge rubber on the sole.

These shoes are very comfortable. They are so flexible. This flexibility has been praised by users, but it may be too flexible for those who want a more sensitive feeling.

2. Scarpa Men's Instinct VS Climbing Shoe

Our rating: 9 / 10

Scarpa Men's Instinct VS Climbing Shoe

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The leather upper is very robust and can be easily tightened via Velcro closure. This helps in improving the tightness for a grip that will not let you down to the very last footholds.

The instep has a Velcro strap that can be loosened for an easy wearing and fitting.

Stitched rubber, for flexibility, is also a feature present.

3. La Sportiva Men's TarantuLace Performance Rock Climbing Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10

La Sportiva Men's TarantuLace Performance Rock Climbing Shoe

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La Sportiva is a Bologna-based Italian company that makes outdoor gear and climbing shoes for men and women. The Tarantulace is a brand new climbing shoe for the company.

Other climbing shoes heavy and let your feet get tired, but the Tarantulace feels kind of like a running shoe.

The climbing shoe claims to be one of the lightest climbing shoes available. It is only 280 grams, which is even lighter than some running shoes. The shoe weighs less than a can of Coca-Cola.

4. La Sportiva Men's Skwama Rock Climbing Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10

La Sportiva Men's Skwama Rock Climbing Shoe

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Pros:

  • Great ankle support for movement on rock
  • Better flexibility than the Miura

The La Sportiva Skwamas are a new climbing shoe that you might be happy to try for your next wall adventure. This charming shoe is designed for performance and comfort. It is equally good for indoor and outdoor climbing, and it excels for endurance and daily climbing.

The Skwama’s high performance lasts for a long time. It has a stiff midsole made from an unbreakable resin material. Meanwhile, its Dual-Density FriXion X3 rubber sole offers unlimited durability.

Weighing 380 grams, Skwama is lightweight. It isn’t as light as the La Sportiva Miura, but it’s close. This also means that you might not have any trouble with its weight even when you go on a long climbing trip.

5. Climb X Rave Strap Climbing Shoe 2019

Our rating: 8 / 10

Climb X Rave Strap Climbing Shoe 2019

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Pros:

  • Steel with traditional Asym fit
  • Canvas construction
  • Non-slip rand
  • Lace-up
  • Rubber toe
  • Blocking rubber heel
  • 4mm thick sole

The Performance Rock Climbing Shoe has a canvas construction with a synthetic upper. It has a 4mm sticky sole and a lace-up construction. It has a rubber toe and a rubber heel.

It has good support and can be used for basic crack climbs.

One great thing is that it has a deep toe shelf for fingertips as well as an aggressive edge for crack climbing. Another great thing about it is that it comes in a wide size.

6. BUTORA Unisex Acro Rock/Indoor Climbing Shoes

Our rating: 8 / 10

BUTORA Unisex Acro Rock/Indoor Climbing Shoes

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Pros:

  • Unique lacing system
  • Very durable

Do you want climbing shoes that allow you to easily climb smooth vertical walls as well as have big toe mobility, a comfortable fit, and stylish look? Look no further than the Acro Rock by Butora.

The Acro Rock has a classic synthetic leather upper that keeps your foot snug, thanks to the breathable climapa lining on the inside. The inside of the shoe is also padded for a comfortable fit, and the heel is padded for extra comfort.

The toe box is made out of resin with proprietary rubber that is both sticky and durable. This toe box design is great for climbing slabs.

7. Black Diamond Momentum Climbing Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10

Black Diamond Momentum Climbing Shoe

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Pros:

  • Good looking for everyday use
  • Great climbing shoe for beginners
  • Very comfortable for rough surfaces

Cons:

  • Narrow
  • Needs to be broken in

The climbing shoes from Black Diamond come with a variety of features that make them great for climbers of all levels. These include a canvas uppers, leather ankle collars, synthetic construction, and a 3-D molded rubber-coated RPU midsole.

The performance of these shoes is also excellent regardless of the climbing difficulty. The sole has a thin profile and they are durable. The flat shape is great for people who don't like their shoes to cantilever or kick away. They will be great climbing shoes for beginners.

One of the key features of these shoes is the rubber platform that is flexible but also has excellent rubber for an adhesion. Even though they are flexible, they won't flop. The shoes are also breathable due to the canvas uppers.

8. Evolv Nighthawk Climbing Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10

Evolv Nighthawk Climbing Shoe

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Pros:

  • Very breathable due to vent holes
  • Climbing-oriented with rubber and a 3-D mesh upper
  • Works well on artificial surfaces
  • Includes dynamic randing

Cons:

  • Lacks comfort
  • Runs small

Evolv makes climbing shoes that are the real deal. They are designed with input from the highest of experts rock climbing routes.

They offer a full-on rock climbing feel (perhaps more so than any of the other climbing shoe models out there), with a decent amount of comfort underneath.

These are designed for wide feet, particularly those with a wide heel.

9. Climb X Gear Red Point Climbing Shoe 2019

Our rating: 7 / 10

Climb X Gear Red Point Climbing Shoe 2019

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Pros:

  • Excellent comfort: the fully lined leather upper and padded tongue provide excellent comfort and the midsole is shock-absorbing. The lacing system allows a precise fit and makes the shoe a little more durable.
  • Great grip: the one-piece outsole has fantastic grip both on the rock and on the wooden holds. It’s also made from a very durable leather material.
  • The lacing system helps keep it in shape and your foot in place during your climb

The Climbs X Red Point shoe is an excellent climbing shoe made for those looking for something that is durable, comfortable and high quality. It’s made from high-quality leather and has a mesh lining for extra comfort.

The shoe is designed with Vibram XS Grip2 rubber for excellent traction on all types of terrain and it helps provide a secure fit around your foot. The laces on the shoe also help to keep your foot in place when climbing and improve its stability.

The outsole is also made of high-quality leather that is both durable and comfortable. The climbing shoe features a synthetic leather upper, which is both durable and lightweight. The lacing system is also padded which means it is quite comfortable to wear.

10. Five Ten Men's Team VXi Climbing Shoe

Our rating: 7 / 10

Five Ten Men's Team VXi Climbing Shoe

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The Five Ten Team VXi Climbing Shoe is made by the renowned manufacturer of climbing shoes. Their reputation as the top rock climbing shoes manufacturer is clearly due to the quality of their customer service, the quality of their materials, the quality of the stitching and assembly, and the quality of the actual product.

Any rock climber who needs a standard climbing shoe will benefit from this purchase. Even if you’re a beginner, you can use this shoe for most or all of your climbs.

First of all, we would like to point out how comfortable this shoe is. In fact, it’s one of the most comfortable climbing shoes we’ve ever worn. The rubber sole is soft and conforms to the shape of your foot. The insole is padded for extra comfort and has an arch notch. The tongue is also padded for comfort and wicks away moisture. The shoe is designed to have lots of ventilation for your toes, which makes it a great choice for hot summer days.

11. Evolv Shaman Climbing Shoe

Our rating: 6 / 10

Evolv Shaman Climbing Shoe

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Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Secure lacing system
  • Excellent price to quality ratio

The Evolv Shaman climbing shoe is a quality choice that is great for beginners and those who don’t like to spend a lot of money. Its double velcro closure allows for fast lacing. Its elastic lacing makes sure you don’t have to tie any knots.

The synthetic leather holds up well and the microfibre material used in its construction dries fast. The EVA midsole makes it soft and flexible.

Its outsole is made from sticky rubber that is ready for just about any surface.

12. La Sportiva Unisex Genius Climbing Shoe

Our rating: 2 / 10

La Sportiva Unisex Genius Climbing Shoe

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Pros:

  • Durable
  • Great for all-day climbing
  • Super comfortable

The Unisex version of the La Sportiva Genius climbing shoe scores the top spot in our climbing shoe reviews. The shoe is designed with a wider toe box, which is more comfortable and makes it easier to clip into both sport climbing and trad climbing routes.

This climbing shoe is super comfortable thanks to its seamless upper, which can also wick away sweat and moisture.

Conclusion

We are aiming to provide a great review for beginner climbers to narrow their choices for their first rock climbing shoes to wear to the gym or on a rock-climbing wall. We are understanding that your budget might be a little tight for that fancy pair of rock climbing shoes that your buddy always wears.

Alternatively, you might just be confused about the differences between types of rock climbing shoes.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
La Sportiva Men's Miura Climbing ShoeBest OverallLa Sportiva Men's Miura Climbing Shoe
La Sportiva Men's TarantuLace Performance Rock Climbing ShoeBudget PickLa Sportiva Men's TarantuLace Performance Rock Climbing Shoe
Scarpa Men's Instinct VS Climbing ShoeUpgrade PickScarpa Men's Instinct VS Climbing Shoe