Best Rock Climbing Shoes 2017 (REVIEW GUIDE)

Climbing shoes are an essential part of your climbing gear. They provide you better grip than normal shoes, which will tremendously help you in your climbing adventures. 

If you are new to climbing, it can be tough to find the best climbing shoes, especially if you don’t know what to look for. In this review, you will learn what things you should look for in a beginner climbing shoe, and which of the options on the market in 2017 are suitable for you.





Best Rock Climbing Shoes of 2017 Reviews

La Sportiva Katana Lace Unisex Review


If you're looking for the right shoe for your next climbing adventure, this is the one you need. The La Sportiva Katana Lace Unisex Rock Climbing Shoe is a heavy-duty model that is best suitable for rock or mountain climbing. It will give you well-grounded support on all kinds of rugged surfaces.

With its lace-up system, these shoes fit the feet snugly, taking the shape of your foot. The snug fit gives an ultra-light feel and a versatile grip for movement.

Its asymmetrical shape makes it a performance shoe. The soles are made of Vibram XS Edge, whose stickiness holds the feet in place and provides balance and comfort.

The randing system is constructed of P3 (Permanent Power Platform) that warrants shape longevity.

With a small toe-box, you can use the shoe to hook and twist your grip in narrow pockets.

Pros:

  • The asymmetrical and slightly down-turned shape of Katana Lace gives the optimum level of comfort in a climbing shoe with extensive versatility for grip and torque while climbing.
  • It's lightweight and durable, built with high-quality materials.
  • It offers a fast lacing system providing a precise fit.
  • Tailored to meet all climbing conditions you might encounter.
  • The P3 heel box with a small toe box is ideal for climbing overhanging boulders and mountain routes.

Cons:

  • It's not an entry level shoe, but the price is totally worth it.

Summary:

  • It's durable and comfortable.
  • High-performance shoe.
  • It's a great choice for both beginners and more experienced climbers.



La Sportiva Men’s Tarantulace Performance Review


Some people like to spend a lot of their time outdoors instead of inside of the home. In some cases, the activities that they participate in may lead to all kinds of adventures including climbing mountainous areas that have a lot of beautiful scenery.

Whatever the case, each individual will need to be equipped with the best gear possible including a good pair of climbing shoes. So, for those of you who may be interested in a good pair of climbing shoes, check out the La Sportiva Men’s Tarantulace Performance Rock Climbing Shoe.

Pros:

  • The shoe is unlined to make sure they are breathable so that you can refrain from having smelly climbing shoes. The lined tongue also helps remove moisture from the foot to prevent it from becoming smelly.
  • The asymmetrical shape helps it do well while edging, and the shape doesn’t hurt the toes
  • The shoe has a neutral shape, which is great for beginners and more experienced climbers who are looking for more comfortable shoes.
  • The 5mm FriXion rubber sole is thick and it provides a grippy heel and moderately sticky sole for all-round climbing. The thick sole also makes this a durable climbing shoe.
  • It has a lace-up closure with a unique lacing pattern so that you can quickly pull them snug.
  • The pull tabs at the back are very useful in getting the feet inside the shoe snugly. It also doubles as a convenient way to carry the shoes by simply attaching a carabiner in the hoops then to your bag.

Cons:

  • Not ideal for toe hooking and heel hooking.

Summary:

  • This is an all-round shoe that can be worn by beginners and more advanced climbers alike.
  • Due to its neutral shape, it is very comfortable to wear, and you can even wear it as you hike through the site of your climb.
  • It is a great shoe for beginners who don’t go for a very aggressive climb, or are starting to climb at the gym.
  • It is an unlined climbing shoe, which is very breathable to ensure that your feet don’t get overly sweaty and end up being stinky.

Scarpa Men's Vapor V Review


Another shoe made for climbers and mountain lovers, the Scarpa Men's Vapor V Climbing Shoe will guarantee you a high-performance climb with great precision, versatility, and comfort. The shoe has an asymmetric shape with a downturned fit that provides greater fit and grip.

The shoe has a unique split sole on offer. The outer sole is made of sticky Vibram XS Edge which comfortably holds the feet. The middle sole is made of Flexan, and not Boosticsm, which guarantees a soft and all-day comfortable wear.

The Vapor V’s heel is constructed with Bi-Tension randing. The Bi-Tension randing does not push the feet forward, but holds the heel in place, giving a better grip on cracks and in narrow pockets.

The shoe has dual power strap closure for an adjustable fit. The Flexan midsole offers a high amount of sensitivity.

The rubber strap lasts long, while the color ensures that you don't have to worry about it fading away soon.

Pros:

  • Offers maximum heel and toe power due to upper microsuede construction and Bi-Tension randing.
  • The shoes have a high sensitivity that helps the climber feel every edge and crack with great clarity.
  • Great combination of power and precision and it offers assured high performance.

Cons:

  • Better size adjustability could be offered with a third strap.

Summary:

  • It offers power, a versatile performance, precision and comfort.
  • The shoe is sturdy and unique with its microsuede toebox and Bi-Tension heel box.
  • It's suitable for both indoor and outdoor climbing.



Mad Rock Kids Mad Monkey Review


Do you want your kids to be more physically active? All they might need is the right shoe to start climbing!

Mad Rock Kids Mad Monkey climbing shoes are specially made for kids with growing feet who like bouldering and mountain climbing. It has symmetrical bands and adjustable Velcro straps that snugly fit the feet of a growing child.

The rear Velcro straps are adjustable and can be regulated and cinched for a tighter fit. Size adjustability of this model makes it the perfect climbing shoe for the changing size and shape of the feet of a growing kid.

The shoe comes with a R2 randing system for the heel box which makes it extremely comfortable by reducing the pressure on the heel without hindering grip and force required for movement.

The shoe is constructed with stretchable SynFlex that, again, warrants a snug fit for good grip.

Pros:

  • Rear and front closure Velcro straps gives greater size adjustability.
  • The dual closure system ensures that the ankles remain scratch-free when the straps are cinched tight.
  • The SynFlex material used to construct the shoe gives a snug fit for varying feet shapes of growing kids.
  • It is wear resistant and highly comfortable with good grip and support.

Cons:

  • Nothing negative to be recorded.

Summary:

  • Value-packed option for kids with growing feet who are enthusiastic about climbing.
  • Size adjustability and catering to different shapes of feet in a single footwear makes the shoe an attractive and cost-effective buy.


La Sportiva Women’s TarantuLace Performance Review


The La Sportiva Women’s TarantuLace Performance Rock Climbing Shoe is an all-round shoe designed for women, but men who have narrower feet can also wear them for a snugger fit.

Pros:

  • The fast lacing system provides a way to have a more customized fit as compared to climbing shoes with a Velcro closure.
  • It is made with a FriXion rubber sole and it comes in an asymmetric shape, which helps with various more advanced movements like smearing, hooking and edging.
  • The leather upper is unlined but it is still soft and comfortable against the skin. It has a lined tongue for moisture control, breathability and support.
  • The asymmetrical shape is not too aggressive for beginners and it is still very comfortable. This shape adds to the capabilities of the climbing shoe for better performance on more challenging climbs.
  • The LaspoFlex technology at the midsole is thin and lightweight, but is still rigid enough for a better climbing performance.
  • They may be designed and made for women, but they come in great colors that can also be worn by men.

Cons:

  • They are not true to size, and run rather large for their sizes. Best to go one size lower than your actual size.

Summary:

  • Fast lacing system as a closure.
  • It is slightly asymmetrical in shape, which is still comfortable, even for beginners.
  • The sticky sole and the shape also help it to perform better when more advance climbing techniques are used.



How to Choose The Perfect Fit Climbing Shoes

There are many climbing shoes available on the market today, and although you may want to become an expert climber someday, wearing expert level climbing shoes straight away is not a wise decision.

Expert-level climbing shoes are very aggressive in their shape and they are uncomfortable to wear; this can prematurely discourage you from discovering and enjoying the climbing sport. It's best to find climbing shoes that are more suitable for your level of expertise.

If you are new to the sport, here are some things you should consider:

Shape

As a beginner, you need a pair of comfortable climbing shoes. Most beginner shoes are flat; although some may have some downturn, they are not so aggressive that they become uncomfortable for inexperienced climbers to wear.

As you learn to climb and improve your skills, you will understand why expert climbing shoes have an aggressive downward turn. Your feet will get used to this weird shape, but for now, beginners are better off with flatter climbing shoes.

Price

If you're just starting out, you don't need to go for the most advanced shoes right away, as you're still getting to know the sport.

Many beginners don’t continue with the sport for different reasons; this is why you shouldn’t immediately splurge on expensive shoes when you still are not sure whether you’ll get serious about this sport. Most beginner shoes will also need an upgrade because you are learning in them, and they can quickly wear in the process. You will also realize what kind of more aggressive shoe you need to help you improve your skills and technique.

Materials

The uppers of climbing shoes can be made of leather or synthetic material. Climbing shoes that have leather uppers are likely to stretch with use, while synthetic ones won’t. Selecting whether to go for a leather or a synthetic upper is a personal choice. Many climbers love leather because it stretches to conform to their feet, but they can feel tighter when they are brand new. Others love the synthetic models because they feel snug when you first buy them, and even after you have used them.

Different brands also make use of different kinds of rubber for the soles of their climbing shoes. This is the part that comes in contact with the rocks or the surface of the wall; that is why it receives much of the wear and tear. Rubber soles that are thicker are great for beginners because they can last longer. Thicker ones are also more common for flat climbing shoes.

Type of closure

The type of closure a climbing shoe has can either be made of laces or of Velcro straps. Laces are great because you can really customize the tightness of the fit. The only downside to laces is that it can take time to tighten or loosen them to achieve the perfect fit. On the other hand, Velcro straps are also chosen for fast and easy adjustments. However, durability is a problem that you will see with Velcro straps because it tends to lose its grip over time.

Men and women shoes

Both men and women love the sport of climbing, and so brands release shoes that are made for men and women. Those that are made for women tend to be narrower, and those made for men are wider. It just follows the natural width of the feet.

In climbing, it doesn’t matter what shoes you wear. What matters most is that your feet fit snugly in them. If you are a man with narrow feet, you may find that climbing shoes for women are a better fit. This is also true for women who have wider feet. It is perfectly fine to wear shoes not meant for your gender.

Climbing shoes sizes

Most people will say that climbing shoes should feel very tight for them to be considered the right size for your feet. Some beginners find this discouraging, and when they are too uncomfortable with the shoes, they don’t want to climb anymore.

It is best to find more comfortable shoes than overly tight ones. While tight shoes do help with your climb, you have to give yourself a break because you are just a beginner. The more appropriate shoes to buy are snug ones. They may feel a little tight but they are not unbearable.


Our Choice For The Best Rock Climbing Shoe

In this article we reviewed a wide range of option to fit every need: from men to women and kids, from beginners to move advanced climbers.

Our chosen products don’t have an aggressive shape that can be uncomfortable, especially for beginners who aren’t used to them.

Overall, our pick for the best climbing shoe in 2017 is the La Sportiva Katana Lace Unisex Rock Climbing Shoe. We feel that it's the best bet for those who are seriously into climbing. These can help you grow from a beginner to a more advanced climber, making you improve your skills and develop various climbing techniques.

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