There are lots of rock climbing shoes available in the market.
But, you are not going to buy them all. Right?
Whether you’re beginner or enthusiast climber it’s essential to get the right climbing shoes for the traction and stability. A good pair of climbing shoes promise you comfortable climbs despite the difficult climbs.
However, these days choosing the best climbing shoes from a huge variety is one of the most challenging tasks even for experienced climbers.
So, when you’re buying climbing shoes you need to have a clear idea about what sort of climbing you’re likely to do.
To help you choose the best rock climbing shoes I’ve reviewed “Best Rock Climbing Shoes for Men 2019”. After reading this article you will get enough information on which one suits you and what to look for while buying the rock climbing shoe.
If you’re new to rock climbing, then La Sportiva Tarantula can be your thing. It is dual purpose climbing shoes which is suitable for both outdoor and indoor climbing.
As an added bonus, he Tarantula features an unlined leather upper which is breathable and keep your feet dry all day. This climbing shoe is highly-adjustable with the velcro closure system. The fast lacing design makes it easy to take on and off. It also wraps snugly around the different shape of the foot to give the ideal fit for support and comfort.
Further, this shoe has sticky FriXion rubber soles with an aggressive type of heel rand. This design allows the edge sensing without cramping or discomfort. As for durability and comfort, this shoe features an unlined leather upper.
At last, Tarantula has Laspo Flex midsole which is super-lightweight, super-thin synthetic fiber laminate for stiffness and edge hold.
Notable Features of La Sportiva Men’s Tarantula Rock Climbing Shoes
- Fast lacing design
- Durable leather materials
- FriXion rubber sole for impressive friction
- Unlined upper will stretch up to a half size
- Laspo Flex midsole
You need to research properly before buying a perfect shoe for your feet. If you have wide feet, then Butora Acro Wide Fit Climbing Shoes is for you.
With an attractive and sleek design, this shoe has a thin profile which makes you feel great and comfortable at the same time. The leather upper and soft synthetic lining enhances comfort and performance. It has a large and sticky rubber toe patch that helps with secure toe hooking even in difficult situations.
This wide fit climbing shoe has a hook and loop strap which provide extra security and custom fit of a lace-up shoe. A high tensioned heel offers superior front toe power and great edging and helps you to climb properly.
Best of all, with all these great features this shoes comes with a very affordable price.
Notable Features of Butora Acro Wide Fit Climbing Shoe
- Aggressively down-cambered
- Synthetic and leather upper
- Fork hook and loop strap
- High tensioned heel
- Large sticky rubber toe
- Sturdy and durable
If you’re looking for all-day comfortable shoe on the multi-pitch routes, then this is an excellent option. For those looking for a multi-pitch crack climbing, the La Sportiva Men’s TC Pro could be the shoe for you.
It is specially designed for the veteran climber for crack climbing and high-end trad routes.You can find no best alternative to this in terms of the edging performance and comfort.
The La Sportiva TC Pro features with padded foam which protects your feet even when jammed deep into cracks. So, without any doubt, this shoe comes handy on longer routes. Besides, the TC Pro has extra stiffness for the highest level of foot support.
The upper part of this climbing shoe is normally made of natural leather and soft synthetic. Aside from this, the shoes feature the XS Edge rubber and P3 rand system for the best edging performance. All these features make this shoe top contender for the ultimate trad, crack, big wall, and face climbing.
Notable Features of La Sportiva Men’s TC Pro Climbing Shoe
- Vibram XS Edge rubber sole for friction on the thinnest footholds
- Patent P3 Permanent Power Platform for precise edging
- Leather uppers stretchable and snug fit according to your foot shape
- Stiff midsole reduce foot fatigue on long climbs
A highly comfortable beginner climbing shoe, the Black Diamond Momentum is well-designed with unique Knit technology and innovative Neo Friction rubber. The Momentum is the perfect entry-level climbing shoe for all-day comfort at the gym and crag.
This climbing shoe has a unique kit of upper which enhances breathability without interfering overall durability. However, as this shoe isn’t a leather or synthetic leather, it doesn’t stretch as much as other climbing shoes. So, if it is your first climbing shoes then you might need the same size as your street shoe size.
This entry level climbing shoe features the innovative Neo Friction molded rubber sole which offers a long-lasting traction. Further, the soft flex midsole adds sensitivity and comfort. This shoe is adjustable with two Velcro straps. And best of all, it comes with a low price tag!
Notable Features of Black Diamond Momentum Climbing Shoes
- Unique knit upper enhance breathability
- Neo Friction rubber molded onto upper for long-lasting traction
- Flat last and low asymmetry- all-day comfort
- Two Velcro straps for a customized fit
- Soft flex midsole for extra sensitivity and comfort
Constructed for overhung bouldering, Vapor V is for climbing routes that demand precision. The split sole constructions make this climbing shoe more flexible with great control and sensitivity.
In addition, Vibram XS edge is incredibly durable where the sticky shoe surfaces offer excellent grip on all surfaces. The bi-tension randing system provides the ultimate in toe power. This climbing shoe has dual power closure strap for customized fit.
This shoe features microsuede toe box making it comfortable enough to wear all day. Thus, it is perfect for the bouldering gym where exact footwork is necessary. Since the Vapor’s upper stretches to the exact shape of the foot and the rand holds consistent tension you can wear them on a long outdoor climb as well. Just in case, you have your pairs a bit tight, see how guide to stretch your climbing shoes does its magic.
Notable Features of Scarpa Vapor V Climbing Shoes
- Split sole construction
- Dual power strap closure
- Vibram XS Edge
- Microsuede toe box
- Bi-tension randing system
- Flexan midsole
Five Ten Men’s Quantum climbing shoes is an all-around designed for a diverse range of climbs. It is a perfect sports climbing shoe for people with wide feet. It is also ideal for aggressive and long overhanging routes.
It features versatile stealth C4 rubber which offers the best adaptability on all types of climbing. A moderate downturn shape with a slightly wider asymmetric last allows your foot to sit in natural positions. It thus, enhances your climbing performance.
With stiff midsole, this climbing shoe is quite supportive and prevents calf pump on longer climbs as well. And, the tongue is a perforated ariaprene which molds to the foot and enhances breathability.
The upper of Quantum climbing shoe is typically lined with a synthetic which will not stretch and requires no breaking in.
Notable Features of Five Ten Men’s Quantum Climbing Shoe
- Rubber Sole
- Lined, synthetic clarino upper-no stretch
- Speed lace closure system
- Wider last
The Evolv Men’s Sharman Climbing Shoe is well-known for its asymmetrical shape. It also provides a great source of edging over your toes. If you’re seeking a high-performance and comfortable climbing shoe then this inexpensive shoe is a great choice.
Further, it features a TRAX high friction rubber sole which provides great grip while edging your way uphill. Another noteworthy feature of this climbing shoe is love bump midsole which provides more comfort in downturned positions. There is a big toe “knuckle box” which give the big toe room to rest.
In addition, this climbing shoe has three strap closure that offers you tight fit by removing all dead space.
Overall, the Evolv Men’s Climbing Shoe offers a great level of comfort and security for first-time climbers. It is most useful when you need to be precise with your foot especially in overhanging terrain.
Notable Features of Evolv Men’s Shaman Climbing Shoe
- Unlined leather
- Half-length love bump midsole
- TRAX high friction rubber sole
- Variable Thickness Rand
- Synthratex VX upper
With La Sportiva Mythos all-around eco-climbing shoe, you don’t have to turn to any other footwear for your climbing endeavors.
The unlined leather upper adapts to your foot’s shape and stretches well if your feet tend to swell. The lacing closure system allows you to adjust the shoe snugly around all parts of your feet and make perfect options for crack climbing.
In addition, the Mythos has a neutral shape, without aggressive upwards and downward tilt. This will keep your toes flat and reduce your foot strain over the long haul. Thus, on the rock, the Mythos proves to be a versatile performer.
Moreover, La Sportiva Mythos climbing shoes combines eco-friendly materials to minimize environmental impact. The soles, laces, ribbons, tongue padding, and rubber are all recycled. So, this climbing shoe is also perfect for the eco-conscious climber too.
Notable Features of La Sportiva Mythos Eco Climbing Shoes
- Biodegradable leather
- Eco-rubber outsoles
- Lacing system
- LaSpoFlex midsole
The Evolv Addict is a great relaxing climbing shoe for beginners for the gym or cracks climbing who crave comfort throughout the routes.
This shoe comes with a flat profile and symmetric shape which lets beginners feel easy and comfortable in a learning process. Also, this feature allows advanced climbers jam their feet in cracks for a less painful experience.
In addition, the upper material is unlined leather which will help to adapt to the shape of your foot. The VTR (variable thickness rand) rand delivers both protection and flexibility in all the right areas.
Likewise, the climbing shoes feature the Trax rubber sole which is sticky for optimum friction on different types of surface. Also, this climbing shoes comes with full-length MX-P midsole which is rigid enough to provide excellent edging. However, it is also flexible enough for maximum performance on friction slabs.
Notable Features of Evolv Addict Climbing Shoe
- Asymmetrical toe profile
- Elastic band for a secure fit
- Trax high friction rubber sole
- Full-length MX-P midsole
- Four-piece rand
Whether you’re climbing inside at gym or outside environment, Evolv Men’s Nighthawk all-around climbing shoe can be the ideal choice. It comes in all shape that fits beginners and advanced climbers. The upper of the climbing shoe is unlined leather which offers maximum comfort and breathability.
Further, the lace closure system ensures custom-like fit and outstanding performance in the gym and on the rock. Aside from this, the Trax SAS outsole offers great friction and durability which enhances your climbing performance.
The best part is Nighthawk from the Evolve series is it is one of the cheapest models to date. This pair of climbing shoes prove that good quality doesn’t always have to be expensive.
Notable Features of Evolv Nighthawk Climbing Shoes
- Unlined leather
- Asymmetric toe box
- A lace-up foot closure system
- Lined with anti-microbial mesh
- Trax SAS rubber outsole
10 Best Rock Climbing Shoes for Men in 2019 – Comparison Table
|La Sportiva Men's Tarantula Rock Climbing Shoes||Flat||Leather||Frixion RS|
|Butora Acro Wide Fit Climbing Shoes||Aggressive||Leather||Butyl Butora F5|
|La Sportiva Men's TC Pro Climbing Shoe||Flat||Leather||Vibram XS Edge|
|Black Diamond Momentum Climbing Shoes||Flat||Synthetic||Neo Fuse|
|Scarpa Vapor V Climbing Shoes||Flat||Engineered Kit Technology||NeoFriction|
|Five Ten Men's Quantum Climbing Shoe||Aggressive||Synthetic||Stealth C4|
|Evolv Men's Shaman Climbing Shoe||Aggressive||Leather||TRAX- high friction|
|La Sportiva Mythos Eco Climbing Shoes||Flat||Leather||Vibram XS Edge|
|Evolv Men's Defy Climbing Shoe||Flat||Synthetic||TRAX- high friction|
|Evolv Nighthawk Climbing Shoes||Flat||Leather||Trax SAS|
The Best Rock Climbing Shoes for Men Buying Advice
A climbing shoe is one of the important pieces of climbing gear. Whether you’re doing a rock climbing for the first time or you’ve been climbing with rented shoes, it’s time for an upgrade. Whatever the reason, finding right pair of climbing shoes is very important.
However, there are more than 30 styles of rock climbing shoes to choose from which can be quite tricky. While choosing the best rock climbing shoes, there are three major things you need to consider. The first thing you need to address is the type of climbing you intend to do. Are you going to spend a majority of time at the gym or are you going for big wall climbing or bouldering or sport or trad climbing?
After deciding the type of climb you’re heading to, you should look at the different materials, stiffness, and shape of climbing shoes all of which influences in the performance of shoes.
Types of Climbing Shoes
These type of shoes offer whole day comfort and relaxing fit. Normally, in these shoes, your toes lie flat inside. If you’re a beginner, then you should get them. Even if you’re an experienced climber, you can use them as it will enhance your multi-pitch climbs.
These shoes come with stiff or medium midsoles and dense rubber soles as well. It enhances support throughout the climb. These shoes have a relatively flat profile which makes them good for slotting into cracks.
Besides, these shoes have a thicker and stiffer sole so that they’re less sensitive as compared to thinner soles on aggressive and moderate shoes. Likewise, these shoes are not usually designed for difficult and overhanging rock formation routes.
La Sportiva Tarantula and Black Diamond Momentum Climbing Shoes are great options for beginners.
These shoes are the best for technical climbing. These shoes feature remarkable down-turn shape which put your feet into a strong and more powerful position than neutral shoes. So, these shoes are suitable for all type of climbing including slab climbing, crack climbing, multi-pitch routes, and some sport climbing routes.
Moreover, these shoes have stickier rubber and thinner soles than neutral shoes which offer you a better grip and feel. Also, these shoes are more comfortable than aggressive shoes. However, they are not advisable for difficult boulders routes.
Likewise, if you’re going for crack climbing, then you need a shoe that allows the toes to lay slightly flatter to fit into the crack. You should opt for Five Ten Quantum or Five Ten Moccasym or Scarpa Vapor V climbing shoes. For multi-pitch route, you need a flatter and looser fitting shoes like the La Sportiva TC Pro.
These shoes have a sharp downturn. They usually have an asymmetrical shape which pushes more force into the big toe for really small footholds. These shoes focus on more performance rather than comfort. Typically they’ve thinner soles than neutral shoes and stickier rubber for better grip.
Most often these shoes have a downturned shape and snug fit. So, these shoes are perfect for single pitch sport climbs. If you’re going for challenging overhanging climbs, aggressive shoes like La Sportiva Genius should be your choice.
Features of Climbing Shoes
Climbing Shoe Material
Shoes upper are either leather or synthetic. Leather (lined or unlined) shoes are easy to maintain. Many synthetic shoes guarantee high performance and comfortability at the same time. Let us look at different types of materials:
The shoes with unlined leather will stretch even more than a full size. Also, leather breathes better than synthetic.
Lined leather combines two material i.e., leather and synthetic. Adding a synthetic liner to leather climbing shoes will reduce the stretch which is normally expected from unlined leather. Also, adding synthetic liner will reduce toe sensitivity as there is more material between your foot and the rock. However, adding the synthetic liner compromises the odor dissipating properties of an all leather shoe.
Climbing shoes with synthetic materials soften over time but they don’t stretch. A synthetic upper will keep the original fit of the shoe. You’ll have snug fit throughout the life of the shoe.
Climbing Shoes Closure System
This style offers a great customization with many points for adjustment. After long days walk, if your feet start to swell a bit, you’ll get an option to loosen the lace according to your foot size.
Further, on more technical climbing, if you need snug fit then you’ll have the options to tighten them up to enhance performance. The only downside of the lace-up climbing shoes is it asks for a time to sit and tie them. A great example of cambered-last lace-up shoes would be the Scarpa Vapor Lace.
This style offers the ease of the slipping them on and strapping them up. The shoe with this style is very simple to put on and take off. Strap climbing shoes also allow you to adjust the fit as much as the lace-up system. These type of shoes are perfect for gym climbing or bouldering where you may take your shoes on or off constantly. The best example of Strap climbing shoes would be aggressive La Sportiva Solution.
As the name implies these shoes are often called slippers, slip them on or off. The shoes with slip-on have elastic closure system and offer the great sensitivity and lowest profile of any shoe. These slippers are great for training as they don’t have stiff sole and midsole. This makes your feet stronger and faster. Since they don’t have straps and laces, they’re also good for slotting into thin cracks as well. The Five Ten Moccaysm is a great climbing shoe with flat lasted slip-on closure system for all-day comfort
Climbing Shoes Last
A last is a foot-shaped model on whose basis a shoe is usually built and it helps determine the shoe shape. Most of the climbing shoes are slip lasted. These type of climbing shoes are sensitive and less stiff than board-lasted shoes. Normally, the slip-lasted shoes don’t have an insole. They usually get their stiffness from the midsole, which is just located above the outsole.
Likewise, the board-lasted shoes tend to be stiffer. Whereas these shoes sacrifice a bit of sensitivity and more comfortable making them great for all-day wear.
Moreover, there are three different types of last which determine the shape of the shoes.
Shoes with straight last offer a relaxed fit for great comfort. These are ideal for long days of climbing and crack climbing. The shoe built on a straight last is usually considered as neutral shoes.
Shoes with asymmetric last bend the foot into a banana shape which makes your forefoot pointed slightly inward. This last is normally used in shoes designed for precise and powerful footwork, where the big toe is the only point of contact with the rock.
Downturned are most often called as cambered this last shape bends downward toward the toes. This type of last is often found in moderate and aggressive shoes designed for toe and heel hooking on overhanging rock. Downturned shoes have an asymmetric shape. They are most appropriate for the challenging routes where you need maximum performance with more grip and feel.
Climbing Shoes Outsole
The outsole often called as the sole is the rubber part of the shoe that touches the rock. The type of rubber and its thickness also determines performances of your climbing shoes. Different types of rubbers are simply used to make the soles of the climbing shoes. Some climbing shoes uses soft and sticky rubber for a good grip. Firmer rubbers also offer better edging and support for your feet.
There are climbing shoes whose thickness of sole ranges from 4-6mm. This makes them durable and great for edging. However, the thicker sole doesn’t guarantee that sensitivity as offered by the thinner soles. If you’re beginners then go for the climbing shoes with a thick sole. It will last longer and also improve your footwork technique.
Likewise, the climbing shoes with thinner sole have a 3-4 mm thickness. You can use these shoes for climbing on slab routes. If you want to get a better feel of the rock then opt for a shoe with the thinner sole.
Climbing Shoes Fit and Sizing
The fit is another very important aspects you need to consider before buying a good pair of climbing shoes. Your climbing shoes should fit you snugly but not painfully. If your climbing shoe is tight it causes pain in your foot and problems like blisters and bunions.
Make sure your climbing shoes fit snugly with your toes flat and slightly bent at the knuckles in order to achieve a higher level of performance. The heel pocket also should fit snugly and the rand that wraps around the heel will push your toes forward into the toe box for the extra control.
Well, fitting shoes are normally tight because your feet are not used to wearing these kinds of snug fitting shoes. So. little discomfort is normal, but if the shoe is causing any kind of pain then you need to try other different sizes.
Tips For Getting a Proper Fit
- Always shop at the end of the day. As your foot will swell throughout the day and will be the same as the size during the climb.
- You need to avoid shoes that have an extra space in front of your toes. As it’ll reduce the rigidity of the toe box and hinder your ability to stay on footholds.
- Remember the unlined leather will stretch up to full size, lined leather will stretch ⅓ to ½ size and synthetic won’t stretch at all.
Rock climbing is a challenging activity and it’s all about footwork. So it is important for you to choose the best type of climbing shoes according to the type of rock climbing that you intend to do.
I would like to suggest, if you’re beginners or climbing walls in a gym then, for less aggressive and more comfortable shoes like Black Diamond Momentum Climbing Shoes.
Likewise, if you’re sports climber consider shoes with a velcro or strap closure instead of laces. The climbing shoe with velcro closure fits snugly and also the shoes can be easily and quickly adjust.
Remember, the right climbing shoe on your foot will really make difference between a good day and bad day of climbing. So, it’s good to have the right gear on your feet before you head to your favorite climbing spot.
Rock climbers are adventurous people. The right pair of climbing shoes will boost your confidence to another level. So, don’t make any mistake regarding this.
Table of Content
- 1. La Sportiva Men’s Tarantula Rock Climbing Shoes (Best for Beginners and tight budget)
- 2. Butora Acro Wide Fit Climbing Shoes
- 3. La Sportiva Men’s TC Pro Climbing Shoe: Best for Multi-Pitch, Crack, and Face Climbing
- 4. Black Diamond Momentum Climbing Shoes
- 5. Scarpa Vapor V Climbing Shoes: Best for Overhung Bouldering
- 6. Five Ten Men’s Quantum Climbing Shoe
- 7. Evolv Men’s Shaman Climbing Shoe
- 8. La Sportiva Mythos Eco Climbing Shoes: Best for all-day comfort
- 9. Evolv Addict Climbing Shoe
- 10. Evolv Nighthawk Climbing Shoes
- 10 Best Rock Climbing Shoes for Men in 2019 – Comparison Table
- The Best Rock Climbing Shoes for Men Buying Advice
- Final Words