So, you’ve taken bouldering and rappelling recently, and you’ve found yourself coming for seconds and thirds.

However, you may be asking yourself if you’ve got the right shoes for the task.

You may be using rock climbing shoes or rental bouldering shoes, and they may be working fine.

However, if you want to master your bouldering and rappelling skills, you’ll need bouldering shoes.

Not only that, you’ll need the best bouldering shoes for beginners.

You’ll need shoes that are uniquely designed to accommodate beginners with undiscovered climbing styles and minimal bouldering and rappelling expertise.

To master your rock climbing and rappelling skills and grow to be an expert in the sport, you’ll need comfortable shoes uniquely designed for rock climbing that you can wear for long periods.

There are several bouldering shoes currently on the market, making it quite hard to know which of these shoes may be good for you.

And even when bouldering it’s best to wear climbing shoes.

There are various bouldering shoe design characteristics that you could use when deciding on the best bouldering shoes for beginners.

You could go for either laced shoes or Velcro, flat or downturned, and either symmetrical or asymmetrical.

In this guide, we’ll assume that you are a beginner with minimum skill.

This implies that you’ve been boulder climbing for fewer than four months and that you’ve been at the gym more than a few times.

Our bouldering shoe selection is meant to provide you with easy-to-use, comfortable, and durable climbing shoes that give the best performance and cost-effectiveness.

We hope that these shoes will boost your skills in the sport and enhance your skills.

Let’s dive right in and have a look at some of the best bouldering shoes for beginners.

What Are the Best Bouldering Shoes for Beginners
What Are the Best Bouldering Shoes for Beginners This Year? | Free to use this image with proper credit

List of the 10 Best Bouldering Shoes for Beginners

Bouldering is a form of rock climbing that takes place on shorter, more difficult routes.

Bouldering shoes are essential for boulderers as they help you climb better and faster.

The best bouldering shoes for beginners will have a flat, low profile with a sticky rubber sole.

They should also be comfortable and durable.

The following list of 10 bouldering shoes will be the perfect choice for anyone who is just starting out in the sport.

  1. Scarpa Arpia
  2. La Sportiva Miura
  3. Scarpa Veloce
  4. La Sportiva Tarantula
  5. Evolv Kira/Kronos
  6. Mad Rock Drifter
  7. Scarpa Force V
  8. Five Ten NIAD VCS
  9. La Sportiva Zenit
  10. Evolv Defy

1. Best Bouldering Shoes for Beginners: Scarpa Arpia

There was an empty gap for beginners wanting to exert themselves but weren’t quite ready for the downturned ultra-aggressive bouldering shoes.

This is where Scarpa Arpia comes in.

The Arpia features a slightly downturned outline with a slightly asymmetrical shape.

The shoe makes you feel more confident when edging on overhung or vertical terrain.

With this shoe, you don’t get to experience the extreme bunching of toes, and the moderate rand that goes behind the heel provides additional backing and adds extra accuracy to the big toe.

The Arpia rock climbing shoes also provides extra balance in the midsole.

Its moderately agile construction adds additional support when standing on edges and is easy enough to smear. 

One doesn’t have to sacrifice comfort when you choose these shoes.

You could downsize them by a half to one whole size and ensure that they fit snuggly since they’ll stretch a little as you use them.


  • Comfortable
  • Additional support
  • Extra balance to the midsole


  • The sole is not soft enough to smear

2. Best Outdoors Bouldering Shoes: La Sportiva Miura

If you’ve graduated to doing your bouldering on the outside, then the La Sportiva Miura could be the best bouldering shoe for you since it has stiffer rubber.

When bouldering on the outside, you’ll encounter smaller and more intricate footholds, and you’ll need a shoe that can handle such tiny points of contact.

The Miura’s aggressive downturn helps you find your feet on boulders, which makes the shoe particularly aggressive on challenging boulders.

The stiff rubber makes you more confident when facing small crystals and flakes on the boulder.

The shoes come in both laced and velcro designs

However, the velcro design is a little more downturned, making it slightly better for bouldering.

These shoes are easy to use, especially in the outdoors, making them some of the best for beginner outdoor bouldering enthusiasts.

Read our entire review about La Sportiva Miura VS climbing shoes.


  • The shoe has a stiffer rubber sole great for outdoor bouldering
  • The shoes are easy to use
  • Great for beginners


  • They are not ideal for climbers with wide feet

3. Best Indoor Bouldering Shoes: Scarpa Veloce

If your bouldering is exclusively limited to the indoors, then you’ll need bouldering shoes with softer rubber soles.

Shoes with softer rubber soles work pretty well in indoor bouldering since the holds are significantly larger and more rounded, and thus your foot has a more extensive surface area to increase their contact.

However, if you are a complete beginner, it would be best that you don’t use these shoes just yet.

You’ll be better off using shoes with soles that are fairly more rigid to help you nurture your footwork and improve your technique.

If you’ve had more gym experience and are looking for something softer, then you could go for the Scarpa Veloce.

The shoe is intended as a bouldering gymnasium workhorse. 

The solid pair of training shoes is excellent for novices and intermediates because of their semi-supportive design, and they can help you advance your abilities.

These climbing shoes are excellent choice for gym bouldering.


  • Great for indoor bouldering
  • Have a semi-supportive design
  • Great for intermediates and experts


  • The soles are too soft for beginners

4. La Sportiva Tarantula

La Sportiva Tarantula bouldering shoes has been tried, tested, and confirmed true beginner’s bouldering shoe.

If you’ve got a budget and are searching for a pair of bouldering shoes that can outlast your footwork, then you should go for the tarantula.

The pair of bouldering shoes are less costly and an excellent pick for shoes with moderate performance.

Even though the shoe is designed for moderate performance, it still delivers good performance for beginners.

The shoe’s design features a flat and a medium-stiff finish that maximizes support on slabby and vertical terrain. 

The shoe’s asymmetrical shape gives it an edge over other beginner shoes.

The only problem with La Sportiva Tarantula bouldering shoes is its reduced sensitivity, a trade-off made for durability.

The tarantula, being fortified with a stiff rubber sole, has a reduced sensitivity making it hard for you to detect the variations between holds and small edges.

The shoe comes in both velcro designs and lace-up.


  • Inexpensive
  • Great for slabby and vertical terrains compared to other beginner bouldering shoes


  • Reduced sensitivity

5. Evolv Kira/Kronos

The Evolv bouldering shoes come with designs for male and female bouldering enthusiasts: the Kronos and Kira.

The shoes feel right at home, with climbers tackling easy to intermediate terrains.

The shoe is marketed for high-end bouldering; however, we feel like it would also work great for beginners.

The Kronos and Kira are flat, mid-stiffed, and asymmetrical, a setup from Evolv Defy.

It feels great and comfortable when smearing on slabby or vertical walls.

They also work well on overhung and contemporary bouldering styles because of their plentiful toe patch and their snug heel.

They are made with Trax SAS rubber that’s 4.2mm thick, which creates a stiffer sole.

The shoes also come with variations of thickness in their rubber sole.

They are designed with thinner latex on the distinctive hot spots and pressure points; the toe has a thicker patch to increase the area’s durability, which is an excellent bonus for climbers who go through their bouldering shoes’ rubber quickly.


  • Great for high-end bouldering
  • Comfortable
  • Have a moderately stiff sole


  • None

6. Mad Rock Drifter Bouldering Shoes

This inexpensive shoe has a basic construction, and if you’re not sure where to begin and aren’t ready to part with $130+ for Italian-made shoes, then the Mad Rock Drifter may be your next best option.

The shoe is slightly asymmetrical, and, for beginners, it won’t feel very distinct from rental shoes.

The shoe has a stiff midsole that’ll offer you the necessary support; however, while it’s slightly sensitive to tinnier edges, it isn’t quite as sensitive as other shoes on this list.

You may wear them out, or you’ll probably be out looking for an upgrade because they aren’t that great, especially after you’ve broken into them.

Mad Rock Drifter bouldering shoes are great for beginners and can support them through the initial part of the learning curve; however, you’re better off switching them up for better bouldering shoes.


  • Inexpensive
  • Great for beginners


  • Slightly less sensitive compared to other beginner shoes

7. Scarpa Force V Bouldering Shoes

The Force V bouldering shoes have been around for some time now and with good reason.

The bouldering shoe is the most preferred rock-climbing shoe by most beginners and intermediates because they are pretty effective in outdoor and indoor climbing expeditions.

They afford you all the support you may need and boost your confidence with their heightened sensitivity.

The Force V shoes have a reasonable downturn with a standard, soft midsole that keeps performing whether you are on perpendicular or hanging terrain.

The Force V bouldering shoes have a Bi-tensioned rand, which wraps behind the heel, ensuring that they retain their shape after several use sessions.

The feature also works to stabilize your heel, keeping the shoes secured to the foot.

If you are considering spending more on your bouldering shoes, then these shoes are worth it.


  • Effective in indoor and outdoor bouldering
  • Provide enough support for your foot and heel
  • Heightened sensitivity


  • None

8. Five Ten NIAD VCS

Most people think that Five Ten were only famous in the past when they were leading the market.

They do not know Five Ten is one of the market leaders for best bouldering shoes for beginners.

Five Ten is an American company that specializes in climbing shoe manufacturing.

People still like the Five Ten shoes because they know the company’s research and development department is ahead of most other companies.

Climbers were concerned about the shoe quality when Adidas bought Five Ten.

All the issues were resolved when the company launched the NIAD range. In this range, they introduced three climbing shoes VCS, Moccasym, and Lace.

Five Ten NIAD VCS is the leading model because it is perfect for beginners.

Climbers at the starting phase of their careers want some comfort while climbing.

Medium-stiff and flat last provide climbers with the comfort they need for bouldering.

9. La Sportiva Zenit

If you are looking for something better than your performance shoes, you can check La Sportiva Zenit.

It is one of the best bouldering shoes for beginners.

La Sportiva made it especially for beginners as they wanted to bridge the gap between climbing and performance shoes.

You will feel the difference after wearing this shoe for the first time because of the signature construction style of La Sportiva.

Most La Sportiva shoes do not have synthetic knit.

They changed their construction material to match the requirements of beginner bouldering athletes.

A synthetic knit in the upper and tongue will ensure you get some breathability.

It helps beginner climbers stay on the bouldering wall longer.

Zenit also has an injection molded heel.

This heel extends to the center of the feet to ensure climbers can stand on shorter boulders.

They also added Vibram XS Grip half sole for better grips.

10. Evolv Defy

Evolv is famous for manufacturing climbing shoes for advanced-level athletes.

Many ask if there are any best bouldering shoes for beginners from the Evolv Sports company.

Evolv Defy will fulfill all your requirements to start bouldering without breaking your bank account.

You will get a comfortable fit in this model due to lined uppers and padded tongue.

Natural shape is also an excellent factor that makes Defy a favorable choice for beginners.

It also has a full-length midsole.

These soles will help beginner climbers stand on small edges of boulders.

Evolv Defy is famous due to its TRAX SAS rubber.

It will help you climb the most difficult bouldering problems with perfection due to the high level of friction.

It is a budget-friendly shoe because it costs less than most other shoes with similar quality and features.

Beginners Bouldering Shoe FAQ

After bouldering was included in the Olympic games; many are trying to start their journey as bouldering athletes.

We have answered some of the most common questions to help you start your bouldering journey easily.

What are beginner bouldering shoes?

Beginner bouldering shoes are different than the ones advanced-level bouldering athletes use.

There is a difference in the shape and rigidity of the climbing shoes.

Beginners want more comfort when bouldering to prevent injury at the start.

A flat-shoe design and high-level rigidity will ensure comfort for beginners.

Advanced-level climbing shoes have a downturned profile that does not provide enough comfort.

What climbing shoes should I get as a beginner?

You can go to different physical stores to check the best-fitting climbing shoes.

You can start by checking Five Ten NIAD VCS, La Sportiva Zenit, and Evolv Defy.

You can find the shoes built on the last matching your feet.

It will allow the shoes to fit naturally on your feet.

There is no need to buy the downturned profile at the beginning because these shoes are not comfortable all day long.

You should only use the downturned profile shoes when you want to compete in a competition.

Flat-profile shoes are more suitable for you.

What kind of shoes do you use for bouldering?

The kind of shoes for bouldering depends on the person wearing them.

Experts do not care about the comfort during bouldering.

They want flexible shoes with a downturned profile.

These are perfect for performance but do not allow beginners to focus on the technique.

Beginner bouldering athlete wants some comfort all day long as they practice climbing techniques.

A stiff sole and flat profile are more suitable for them.

Can climbing shoes be used for bouldering?

You can use climbing shoes for bouldering, but they will hinder your performance on the bouldering wall.

Bouldering shoes have a downturned design and do not provide comfort.

A bouldering athlete has to feel the boulders under his feet.

Climbing shoes do not have these features.

Climbing shoes are for climbing comfort for a long time.

How much do beginner climbing shoes cost?

A beginner should set aside a budget of hundred dollars to buy beginner-friendly climbing shoes.

You can get Evolv Defy for eighty dollars from different online stores.

It is one of the budget-friendly options.

Advanced-level climbing shoes are more expensive than beginner-level climbing shoes.

You have to set aside a budget of three hundred dollars to buy high-quality bouldering shoes.

Buying budget-friendly shoes are more suitable for beginners as they may damage the shoes often with wrong climbing moves.

Are bouldering shoes the same as climbing shoes?

Bouldering shoes are not the same as climbing shoes because they have different functions.

Bouldering shoes are designed to give athletes maximum performance without considering comfort.

Comfort is the essential feature of the climbing shoes as the climber has to wear them for days till they reach the top of the climbing wall.

Are barefoot shoes good for bouldering?

Barefoot shoes are not good for bouldering because you may hurt your feet when sticking the upper part of your feet in the bouldering wall.

Some bouldering athletes tried barefoot shoes for the bouldering.

They said it was fun to try them, but you cannot perform at maximum strength with these shoes.

Are bouldering shoes different from rock climbing shoes?

Bouldering shoes are different from rock climbing shoes.

They are specifically designed to tackle problems related to bouldering.

The shoes are meant to make the experience easier, more fun, and safer.

The shoes are designed to provide you with traction, keep your foot flexible, and make you more comfortable, which will improve your focus.

Not using bouldering shoes could make you strain your feet, lose focus, and probably even hurt yourself.

Where can you purchase bouldering shoes?

You could buy your bouldering shoes in either of these two places: the local outdoor stores or online.

Ideally, one would opt to buy their shoes online. However, this doesn’t always work as planned.

Most often, outdoor stores don’t have a selection such as that offered online, and the shoes are almost always too expensive.

This is why most people prefer to make online purchases.

Once you become a more experienced climber, you may switch to more aggressive bouldering shoes, such as Ocun Ozone, Five Ten Dragon, or Five Ten Team.

Best Bouldering Shoes Verdict

Most people find inexpensive but durable bouldering shoes and hope that they don’t wear them out.

While this truth may hold some water, it is not always the right decision.

Cheaper shoes can be less comfortable, and they may hinder your advancement.

If you are about a month into your climbing career, you’re better off choosing the drifters and tarantulas.

Your feet and wallet will be happy, and you’ll be performing way better than when you’d have used rentals.

However, if you want to spend more and get the best bouldering shoes for beginners, you could go for something with a better balance between comfort and performance.

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