People who are in love with all types of outdoor activities are willing to do anything in order to make their activity more enjoyable. These activities are often adrenalin-filled and they often involve a certain amount of danger. Nowadays, everything is done in order to prevent accidents from happening but some things are not in our power to control and we have to make ourselves safe in any way possible. The first thing you will need to prepare yourself for is the amount of skill you have. You will need to train before you undertake any activity which is too challenging. Second of all, you will need to invest in proper equipment which will keep you safe. This equipment does not come cheap but it’s a must if you want it to save your life at some point.
Best Rock Climbing Shoes for Men
|La Sportiva Tarantulace||$$|
|La Sportiva TC Pro||$$$|
|Mad Rock Flash 2.0||$$|
|La Sportiva Genius||$$$|
|Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym||$$$|
|Scarpa Vapor V||$$$|
Best Rock Climbing Shoes for Women
|La Sportiva TarantuLace||$$|
|La Sportiva Oxygym||$$|
Rock climbing is definitely one of the most dangerous and exciting activities for people around the world and it requires the activist to invest in the best gear possible. The number one priority for anyone interested in rock climbing should be their rock climbing shoes. They should be high-quality and they should adapt to your area and activity in order to make you safe. That is why we have decided to come up with a buying guide and a list of top products to make any future rock climber’s choice easier and better.
In order to choose the best type of rock climbing shoes, you firstly need to decide what type of climbing are you interested in the most. Shoe manufacturers often decide to model their shoes based on one of these types so don’t get confused and order the wrong type.
Some shoes are manufactured in order to serve people on flat terrains and for people who are mostly going to participate in sports and competitive activities which don’t actually include mountaineering and nature rock climbing. These shoes usually feature a flat sole which sort of gets adapted to the flat surface. The sole is usually thick and you should focus on getting the shoe to feel as snug as possible since any movement in the shoe will decrease your performance.
The second type of climbing is the one that includes steep and rocky terrains which are usually hard on the foot and can cause pain if one chooses the wrong type of rock climbing shoes. If you are certain that you are going to spend a lot of time on these areas, consider buying a rock climbing shoes which curves downward in the area between the heel and the toe. With this shape, they are able to mold to the terrain and still provide comfort but this comes with a price which is somewhat higher than the other type. However, it’s important to buy your rock climbing shoes according to your needs. Buying the wrong type won’t feel like much of a difference if you are a casual rock climber but it will make a difference if you become very passionate.
As is the case with most types of shoes, getting the perfect fit is very vital. However, since we are talking about shoes manufactured for people taking part in one of the most dangerous outdoor activities, it’s vital that your shoe fits you perfectly or you might run into trouble.
When it comes to length, the perfect fit should not feel too tight as these types of activities will really go rough on your feet and it may cause blisters to form. On the other hand, a perfect fit should not feel loose at all because it may turn out to be more dangerous than a tight fit. When your foot is able to move freely on the inside, it may cause excessive movement while trying to make your next move and you might not be able to accurately deduce where to step on because the top of your shoe won’t include the top of your foot. Your foot needs to feel and move together with the shoe at all times.
When it comes to width, most rock climbing shoes feature the standard width but there are exceptions which are manufactured for people with wide feet who struggle with finding a pair of shoes which will feel snug. Your best bet is to read online reviews and see how customers felt about the width.
Choosing the best material for your rock climbing shoes is vital because the material used determines the way it will perform. For example, shoes which feature real leather on the upper part tend to stretch out after a couple of weeks and that change in size is irreversible. This means you will lose the original fit which fitted you nicely and your foot won’t feel locked in one place while you move. However, leather linings are used to prevent this from happening. Synthetic materials are often a better choice because they offer extra durability and they are generally lighter and more breathable than real leather.
When it comes to the rubber sole, rock climbing shoes don’t generally offer the thickness you would expect since they often rely on durability more than on comfort. This is an important fact and the best climbing shoe would be the one which offers the perfect balance between the two.
It may not seem like an important factor, but the closure system plays a vital role in your performance and there is a never-ending battle between different closing systems. However, all of them perform the best in certain aspects and choosing the best one depends on how you feel. Let’s take a look at the two most common types:
Slip-on – Slip-on shoes often feature no closing system at all and they are easily put on and worn. Shoes like this tend to be more casual and recommended for beginners.
Lace-up – This is definitely the most popular closure system since you are in charge of how tight you want your shoes to feel.
This men’s climbing shoe from La Sportiva features a fast lacing system which can help the user put them on in a second and be ready to enjoy his favorite activity. The design of the shoe ensures that the foot feels snug and that your feet don’t move inside the shoe and cause pain. The shoe is breathable and the materials used ensure a great experience. The sole is made out of rubber and the upper part consists of various synthetic materials. The sole is definitely thick enough to make you forget you are walking on sharp and dangerous rocks.
Another entry on our top products list is manufactured by Sportiva and the shoe itself looks quite different than anything you have seen before. The shoe is synthetic and the padding looks thick and strong. To be honest, the entire shoe looks like it could survive a nuclear blast and that is a good thing for rock climbers around the world. This model even won several awards for its innovative technologies and there are only two color schemes to choose from.
This shoe model manufactured by Mad Rock features both leather and synthetic materials in its design. The sole is both leather and rubber whereas the upper part is also leather combined with Synflex, which is a stretchable synthetic material. These shoes utilize Shock Gel to absorb the impact you might feel from a fall, usually in the heel compartment.
La Sportiva was the first company to feature shoes with soles facing down and they have used their extensive knowledge of that technology to come with their Genius shoe. The upper part of the shoe is synthetic and it features a fast lacing system which is hard to untie. The materials used include the sole made out of Vibram XS Grip2 and also a synthetic upper. The shoe is unisex and it features both men and women sizes. The shoe is designed to fit anyone’s foot because the Laspoflex midsole adapts to your foot size.
This product comes straight from The United Stated and it features a lot of different colors and designs. The shoe features pull tabs which are used to put the shoe on and they look and feel like moccasins, as you can see from the name. The upper part is made out of leather, which is a rare sight when it comes to rock climbing shoes. The sole is rubber and it’s thicker than we expected. The heel compartment acts as a slingshot to make you reach greater heights.
This rock climbing shoe manufactured by evolv definitely looks futuristic, to say the least. First of all, the shape looks strange and it’s downturned in order to provide maximum grip and comfort. The most protected area appears to be the one between the toes and the heel as opposed to many other shoe models on the market. They don’t stretch as much since they are made out of synthetic leather. They run small but they are quite friendly for people with wide feet and for people who are looking for a serious pair of rock climbing shoes.
Let’s take a look at another climbing shoe from SCARPA, which is one of the most well-known rock climbing shoe manufacturers in the world. This model looks quite sturdy and strong and it features a rubber sole of medium thickness and a synthetic upper. The midsole uses Vibram XS technology in order to provide maximum grip. The heel is extra protected because of the lower tension on it and the Bi-Tension system offers extra toe protections for extreme conditions. There are no laces and you will use the dual strap closing system which you can use to adjust the fit of the shoe yourself.
Finally, let’s review a women’s product and we decided to choose the absolute favorite among female climbers. TarantuLace offers a fast lacing system which can also be used to adjust the fit and snug yourself. The sticky rubber sole will attach itself to any surface and it will provide great comfort. The asymmetric shape ensures that your toes are maximally protected and we can even say that the design is very eye-catching. The price is quite affordable and you probably won’t be able to get this performance for the same price anywhere else on the market.