Whether you do indoor rock climbing as a pastime or like to climb steps and slabs on rocky terrains all over the world, nothing beats a good pair of rock climbing shoes. They not only improve your flexibility and coordination but also ensure better safety. Best rock climbing shoes are quite different from our regular sneakers; your high-end Adidas or Nike shoes are just not enough to keep you going all the way to the top.
There's no denying that climbing is an electrifying sport that puts both your core strength and fitness to test in a daring environment.
So, if you have an indoor rock climbing session with your friends coming up this weekend or a daylong trip at an exciting real-life climbing location, get yourself a nice pair of shoes that are exclusively made for bringing your inner climber to life!
We've listed our top 5 best rock climbing shoes below to give you a headstart
Overview: Best Rock Climbing Shoes
La Sportiva TC Pro
Airmesh and PU foam on the tongue
1.1mm LaspoFlex midsole for the sensitive edging ability
Thin padding on the toes and ankle
La Sportiva Skwama
Patented S-Heel design for better heel hooking
Split sole design prevents edge deformation
The upper is made of suede leather
Climb X Rave
Padded heel and collar for comfort
Suitable for multi-pitch climbers
Velcro closure and flat soles
La Sportiva Tarantulace
Comfortable unlined leather upper
Lacing harness for comfort and a snug fit
La Sportiva Katana Lace
4mm Vibram XS Edge sole
Narrow toe profile
Downturned design for lodging toes in thin cracks
Top 5 Best Rock Climbing Shoes (Reviews)
1. La Sportiva TC Pro – Best Overall
No wonder Alex Honnold, America's greatest rock climber, chose this excellent pair of shoes in his undaunted solo ascents to the biggest and most dangerous cliffs in the world!
While TC Pro doesn't feature an aggressively downturned design at the front like many of the best rock climbing shoes out there, its build is nevertheless perfect for lodging your foot comfortably in risky footholds.
TC Pro has all the potential to change your idea that climbing shoes aren't easy on the feet; in fact, this awesome pair is excellent for crack and trad climbing. If foot cramping is one of the things that held you back from joining your friends in the wilderness, we suggest that you go for TC pro and have a taste of an outstanding climbing experience!
2. La Sportiva Skwama – Runner Up
This one-of-a-kind pair is for the audacious climbers ready to make their way to the very top! Their steep downturned design comes in handy, especially when your climbing route involves a great deal of heel hooking.
Its sticky rubber patches for the toes make sure that you're protected against abrasions. The Vibram sole and suede leather upper come together to present you with superior balance and flexibility. This pair ensures great precision and edging on all surfaces.
That said, you don't have to switch to a more sophisticated pair of shoes when it comes to rigorous climbing because this is as advanced as the best rock climbing shoes can get.
3. Climb X Rave
If you're a beginner, start your climbing journey with X Rave! Their subtle downturned profile may not be the best feature to have for trouncing challenging cliffs, but you can always improve yourself as a climber by practicing on boulders with these shoes on!
This is a great all-rounder that comes at half the price compared to many of the best rock climbing shoes in the market. Go a size up if you prefer comfort over performance and go a size down for edging like a pro!
4. La Sportiva Tarantulace
From the crags to the gym, its classic leather upper is unlined for bringing you the best comfort. You won't be cramping your feet as you climb up cliffs because the stiff yet comfy 1.8mm LaspoFlex midsole provides unmatched support.
Its 5mm FriXion RS sole provides greater durability than you'd naturally expect for the price. The sticky rubber soles do a decent job of keeping your toes securely lodged in narrow pockets and edges. And the low asymmetry build allows good sensitivity.
In short, this is a good pair that you can take just about anywhere, be it cracks, multi-pitch routes, or boulders.
5. La Sportiva Katana Lace
This popular shoe sports a superior edging power, precision, and flexibility in a downturned style. Whether you go for narrow crack climbing or precipitous pocket pulling, Katana will help you ace it.
The fact that Adam Ondra chose this pair for his ascent of the dangerous Down Wall should clear your doubts about just how well these shoes tackle any rock climbing challenges you throw at them.
However, it's narrow foot profile might not be suitable for climbers with wider feet. Katana works exceptionally well for intermediate bouldering, though.
A sensitive feel is made possible with its top-notch Vibram XS Edge sole, which, instead of putting your comfort in jeopardy, makes sure that your feet stay snugly put inside the shoes all day long without cramping.
While all of the 5 best rock climbing shoes we reviewed today are excellent choices to take your climbing up a notch, La Sportiva TC Pro toppled the rest in terms of sensitivity, comfort, edging, and overall footwork!
Its stiff midsole provides outstanding support for making the most out of tiny edges. Foot cramping is out of the question, and the lacing harness is just perfect for keeping your feet snug in a daylong adventure up the mountains. So, buy one today! Happy climbing!