Crack climbing is an exhilarating and challenging discipline requiring unique skills and gear.

In particular, finding the right pair of crack climbing shoes can make all the difference in your performance and safety while tackling vertical fissures and crevices.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced climber, selecting the best crack climbing shoes can be a daunting task, given the vast array of options on the market.

Therefore, we have compiled a comprehensive list of the best crack climbing shoes to help you make an informed decision.

This blog post will highlight the best crack climbing shoes based on their comfort, durability, fit, and grip.

Our team of expert climbers and reviewers has tested and evaluated several models and brands to provide you with accurate and honest reviews.

We will also delve into the features and benefits of each shoe, along with the pros and cons, to help you determine which suits your needs and preferences.

What Are the Best Crack Climbing Shoes This Year
What Are the Best Crack Climbing Shoes This Year

List of the 10 Best Crack Climbing Shoes

1. Black Diamond Aspect

Out of the numerous pairs of climbing shoes that we tested, the Black Diamond Aspect was the best crack climbing shoe overall.

It has a rigid and flat sole which offers the ideal platform for maneuvering small edges while offering enough support for constant foot jams.

On the other hand, the Aspect has a low-top construction which is not common in trad climbing shoes. For this reason, this footwear will not protect your ankles from off-width cracks.

However, there is a high possibility of not having Achilles pain when multi-pitch climbing. With all these handy features combined with an affordable price, we found the Aspect to be of ultimate great value. 

What we liked about Black Diamond Aspect:

  • Ideal for edging
  • Affordable
  • Superb for crack climbing

What we didn’t like about Black Diamond Aspect:

  • Breaking in can be a little bit painful

2. La Sportiva TC Pro

This is a climbing shoe designed for multiple purposes, such as crack and wall climbing. La Sportiva TC Pro has a neutral profile and is well-known for its unique edging ability.

They usually come with a high top added to shield the ankle of the climber when jamming through wider cracks.

Besides, the laces allow for optimum adjustability. They are specifically designed to face all kinds of surfaces, including small footholds, cracks, and slabs.

For this reason, they are reliable all-around shoes. As a result, they have an excellent reputation and are loved by most climbers.

What we liked about La Sportiva TC Pro:

  • Ideal for crack climbing
  • Great all-around shoe
  • High-top shields the ankles

What we didn’t like about La Sportiva TC Pro:

  • A bit expensive, but worth it

3. Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym

Five ten has a reputation for producing high-quality products such as shoes and tacky, versatile, and soft C4 rubber. Designed with a flat last and spacious toe box, the Moccasym is an excellent crack climbing shoe. 

This shoe’s construction makes it ideal for moderate face climbing as well. Besides, it is perfect for climbers with wide feet. If you find some of the shoes in this review to be a bit uncomfortable, you can try these out. 

They feature a huge rand covering the toes and the front part of the foot and ample padding for maximum comfort.

These climbing shoes usually stretch minimally, but for the best fit, you might want to choose one that’s a bit beneath your average shoe size.

What we liked about Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym:

  • Easy to wear and take off
  • Narrow profile
  • Comfy

What we didn’t like about Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym:

  • Does not excel at edging

4. La Sportiva Mythos

The Mythos is among the best La Sportiva crack climbing shoes. This is a narrow, classic climbing shoe that features laces as closures, which gives the climber plenty of adjustability options over a slipper-style climbing shoe.

The uppers are made of leather with a smooth interior lining for maximum comfort. These climbing shoes are designed to compete with the Five Ten Moccasym.

Overall the Mythos is an attractive and impressively capable crack climbing shoe. These are available in men’s and women’s models. Also, this footwear is eco-friendly and well-constructed footwear. 

What we liked about La Sportiva Mythos:

  • Comfy
  • Ideal for crack climbing
  • Laces allow for adjustability

What we didn’t like about La Sportiva Mythos:

  • Not ideal for edging

5. Five Ten Anasazi Lace

The shape and construction of the 5.10 Anasazi lace are ideal for most climbing styles.

The lacing system features a bit of rigidity and adjustability. In addition, the heel is better than the previous version, which was a much-needed upgrade. 

The heel cup has a better fit, which makes it ideal for heel hooking. The uppers are lined using synthetic Cowdura, which allows for minimal stretch and prevents overstretching.

However, the pink color might not be the go-to color for some men, which could be a shortcoming. 

What we liked about Five Ten Anasazi Lace:

  • Excels at edging
  • Comfortable
  • Good at smearing

What we didn’t like about Five Ten Anasazi Lace:

  • It takes a long to wear and take off

6. SCARPA Maestro Mid Climbing Shoes

Scarpa Maestro Mid is a highly supportive climbing shoe built to meet all the needs of trad and crack climbers.

Besides, it is comfortable enough for all-day use. It is somewhat similar to the La Sportiva TC Pro, but a few construction and performance differences tell them apart.

We put this climbing shoe by Scarpa to the test and found it to be highly comfortable. Also, its edging and crack climbing abilities were impressive. However, the precision on minor features was not as good.

What we liked about SCARPA Maestro Mid:

  • Supportive enough for crack climbing and edging
  • It does not need breaking in
  • Comes in men’s and women’s versions, giving you various options in terms of fit

What we didn’t like about SCARPA Maestro Mid:

  • Unimpressive precision on small edges

7. La Sportiva KATAKI

These climbing shoes are an upgrade to the high-performance La Sportiva Katana climbing shoes. It has a similar speed lacing mechanism and comfort as the Katana. Besides, it offers a glove-like fit and the same S-heel as the La Sportiva Skwama. 

On the other hand, it is somewhat narrow and more symmetrical compared to the Katana, making it the perfect option for climbers with narrow feet.

Our testers were fascinated by the crack climbing and edging abilities this shoe has to offer, but it was not as comfy for multi-pitch climbing.

Therefore, this shoe is ideal for crack climbing and single-pitch climbing, where performance is a priority. 

What we liked about La Sportiva KATAKI:

  • Comfy for crack climbing
  • The low-volume build is ideal for narrow cracks
  • Excels at edging

What we didn’t like about La Sportiva KATAKI:

  • Uncomfortable heel cup

8. Evolv Rave

Evolv Rave is among Evolv’s best shoes for crack climbing, with the best one being the Evolv Moccasym.

They have incorporated a few different features that have led to a climbing shoe with a low-volume build and narrow profile. What’s more, our testers loved how comfortable they are.

If you love the Moccasyms and you can’t quite get the right fit, you can try out Evolv Rave.

They offer almost the same performance as the Moccasyms. Overall, this is a reliable, performance, and comfortable crack climbing shoe.

What we liked about Evolv Rave:

  • Ideal for crack climbing
  • Narrow fit
  • Comfortable

What we didn’t like about Evolv Rave:

  • Not reliable for edging

9. Evolv The General

Evolv the General climbing shoe was launched in 2017. It is specifically designed to be a crack climbing shoe that’s also comfortable enough for all-day trad climbing. It’s as well perfect for long multi-pitch adventures and granite walls. 

This climbing shoe is designed in the same way as the Butora Alturas and TC Pros, considering it can climb big granite walls as impressively as it can crack climb.

Unlike most of its competition, the General is relatively downturned for better edging and is marketed to have close to no break-in time. 

Also, it is the ideal crack climbing shoe if you’re on a budget, and it has a wide build, making it ideal for climbers with wider feet.

The thick Trax XE rubber compound makes it highly durable, ensuring it lasts you a long time. 

What we liked about Evolv The General:

  • Impressively padded
  • The thick 4.2mm rubber guarantees durability
  • Ideal for climbers with wider feet

What we didn’t like about Evolv The General:

  • Burly toe box

10. La Sportiva Katana Lace

This is a climbing shoe that most climbers love, and with good reason. It is designed to be an all-around climbing shoe excelling at all rock climbing fields.

When we first saw it, the Katana lace did not look like a reliable shoe for crack climbing, but after testing it, we realized it works pretty well in all sizes of cracks. 

If you do not wish to give up toeing and edging ability for comfort during crack climbing or don’t want to buy numerous shoes for different purposes, the La Sportiva Katana Lace is the way to go.

While it might not perform as well as crack climbing-specific footwear, it will serve you for a long, and it is a fine shoe that will offer you decent performance. 

What we liked about La Sportiva Katana Lace:

  • Snug fit
  • All-around climbing shoe
  • Excels at edging and toeing

What we didn’t like about La Sportiva Katana Lace:

  • It takes time to wear and take off

What to Consider When Purchasing Crack Climbing Shoes ?

Now that you have read about the best crack climbing shoes, it’s time we delve into the buying guide.

Like most products in the market, buying climbing shoes might be challenging, considering the number of intimidating products being manufactured every day.

Nevertheless, we have gathered a few variables to consider before making a purchase. 

1. Crack Climbing Shoes Versatility 

The most significant consideration when buying a crack climbing shoe is versatility.

Do you want a crack climbing-specific shoe or an all-around climbing shoe?

Crack climbing dedicated shoes are typically not ideal for overhang boulders or sport climbing. 

Though all-around climbing shoes might not have some particular features required for crack climbing, they do have a few handy features, like high-top ankle shielding and padded toes.

Furthermore, slip-on or lace-up climbing shoes are usually better than those with Velcro straps at jamming into thin cracks and not getting damaged.

Essentially, your crack climbing footwear should have a loose fit and not a snug one like rock climbing shoes. 

2. Crack Climbing Shoes Fit 

A decent fit is ideal for all styles of climbing.

Even though you might not want crack climbing shoes to be extremely fit, you will also not want them to be too buggy, so it is critical that your shoe fits you well.

Typically, these shoes should have a bit more space in the toe box, considering they are less aggressive and more symmetrical. 

If you go for a crack climbing shoe that features a high-top for ankle protection, make sure that it is comfy, especially around the ankle, since if it digs in, it will hurt you. 

Usually, crack climbing is uncomfortable; therefore, it would be best to choose a comfy shoe to reduce the discomfort of jamming your feet in thin cracks.

In addition, some footwear features additional padding to shield your toes which is handy in increasing comfort as you do what you love. 

If you frequently go for crack climbing, you are as well doing multi-pitch climbing, so you also need shoes that are comfortable enough for all-day use.

Search for breathable shoes since they will keep your feet dry.

Moreover, look for climbing shoes that can stretch in case your feet swell. 

3. Crack Climbing Shoes Durability 

As with all shoes, you need one that will last a long time.

When it comes to crack climbing shoes, you need them to have the ability to endure abuse because continuously jamming your shoes inside cracks will undoubtedly damage them.

Therefore, climbing shoes with rubber all over will be handy.

Also, lace-up shoes typically handle crack climbing better than shoes with Velcro straps, which can be damaged effortlessly and cannot be swapped like laces. 

What Are the Top Crack Climbing Shoes Features to Look For?

1. What is Closure?

The closure is the means through which you take the shoes on or off and how to adjust them accordingly. The major types of closing mechanisms are slipper-style, laces, and Velcro straps. 

2. What is Upper?

Climbing shoes are typically constructed from leather and synthetic materials, and this fabric is the part known as the upper. It is usually padded, lined, or unlined.

3. What is Outsole?

This is the bottom portion of the shoe, which is usually made of rubber. The kind of rubber utilized depends on the brand and purpose of the shoe. 

4. What is Last?

A climbing shoe is constructed on a model referred to as a last. Board-lasted climbing shoes are rigid and more comfortable and supportive, while their slip-lasted counterparts are more sensitive because they are softer. 

5. What is Downturn? 

The downturn is usually how much the climbing shoe curves down around the toes. This normally ranges from aggressive to neutral.

Climbing shoes with a reduced downturn are comfier, though a higher downturn translates to better performance, precisely on vertical terrain.

Normally, crack climbers go for a neutral downturn which allows them to fit in the cracks effortlessly. 

Best Crack Climbing Shoes FAQ

We will answer the most frequently asked questions on the internet about the best crack climbing shoes.

What are some of the key features to look for in the best crack climbing shoes?

Some key features to look for in the best crack climbing shoes include a snug and precise fit, a durable and sticky rubber sole, a low profile design that allows for good toe and foot placement, and a flexible midsole that allows for good sensitivity and feel of the rock surface.

Additionally, shoes with a padded tongue and ankle cuff can provide added comfort and support during long climbs.

How do crack climbing shoes differ from other types of climbing shoes?

Crack climbing shoes differ from other types of climbing shoes in that they have a specific design that allows for better performance and protection in crack climbing.

They typically have a thinner sole with a stiffer midsole to provide better support on thin cracks and a tighter fit to prevent foot movement inside the crack.

They also have a rubber patch on the toe to protect against abrasion and provide a better grip.

Additionally, crack climbing shoes often have a lower profile to allow for better foot placement in tight spaces.

How important is a snug fit when it comes to crack climbing shoes?

A snug fit is extremely important when it comes to crack climbing shoes.

In crack climbing, the shoes need to be tight enough to prevent any slipping or sliding while still allowing the foot to flex and grip the rock.

A loose fit can lead to discomfort, blisters, and reduced performance, making it difficult to climb efficiently and safely.

Therefore, a snug fit ensures better control and increased sensitivity, which is crucial for crack climbing.

Are there any particular materials or designs that are especially well-suited to crack climbing?

Yes, there are some materials and designs that are especially well-suited to crack climbing.

Climbing shoes with a stiffer sole and a narrower profile are better for crack climbing because they provide more support and allow for better foot jamming.

Gloves with thick padding or tape can also protect the hands from abrasions while crack climbing.

Additionally, gear such as camming devices and nuts are essential for protecting cracks and are designed to fit into narrow or irregularly-shaped cracks.

Are there any specific techniques or strategies for using crack climbing shoes effectively, and how can beginners learn to use them properly?

Yes, there are specific techniques and strategies for using crack climbing shoes effectively.

Crack climbing shoes are designed to provide maximum sensitivity and grip on narrow cracks, and they require a different approach than regular climbing shoes.

Some tips for using crack climbing shoes effectively include:

  1. Proper sizing: Crack climbing shoes should fit snugly but not be too tight, as this can cause discomfort and foot cramping.
  2. Foot placement: Place your feet in the crack and use your toes to grip the edges of the crack. This will help you maintain balance and control while climbing.
  3. Hand jamming: Use your hands to jam into the crack and provide additional support and stability. This will allow you to use your feet more effectively.
  4. Use the right shoe for the job: Regarding crack climbing, different types of cracks require different types of shoes. A shoe with a narrow profile and a more pointed toe can be beneficial for thin cracks. This type of shoe allows the climber to get a better grip on the crack and provides a more precise foothold. Thin cracks also require a shoe with a stiffer sole that can withstand the pressure and support the climber’s foot.

To Summarize: Best Crack Climbing Shoes

To sum up, crack climbing requires a particular type of shoe that provides the necessary support, durability, and precision to handle the unique demands of this climbing style.

The shoes we’ve reviewed in this post are all excellent options, each with strengths and weaknesses.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, finding the right pair of crack climbing shoes can enhance your performance and make your climbing experience more enjoyable.

We hope this guide has helped you select the best crack climbing shoes that suit your needs and preferences.

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