Sport climbing is one of the most exhilarating and challenging forms of rock climbing.

It requires a mastery of physical and mental strength, technique, and accuracy.

To ensure the best possible experience, choosing the right sport climbing shoes for your individual needs is essential.

The right pair of shoes can give you the edge you need to reach the top of any climb, no matter the difficulty.

This blog post will discuss the key features to consider when choosing a pair of sport climbing shoes.

We will explore the materials, sole designs, and closures available on the market to arm you with the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision.

Additionally, we will discuss which type of shoe is best suited for the various types of terrain you may encounter.

Lastly, we will review the importance of proper fit and break-in period for any pair of sport climbing shoes to ensure your comfort and safety.

With all this information at hand, you will be ready to choose the best sport climbing shoes.

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

List of the 10 Best Sport Climbing Shoes

1. La Sportiva KATAKI Climbing Shoe

The La Sportiva Kataki is the best sport climbing shoe for intermediate sport climbers looking for a versatile shoe. It will perform well on a range of terrain thanks to its rich features.

The toe box, for example, is narrow, allowing you to handle small holds with precision.

It has a special lacing system with front and rear laces that ensure a secure fit. If you are tackling steep climbs, the stiff and sticky rubber works with an aggressive downturn to provide all the power you will need.

Since it comes with a leather upper, it will stretch comfortably, so be sure to have a very snug fit straight from the box. 

La Sportiva KATAKI Specs: 

  • Uses lace-up closure
  • The upper section is made of suede leather and microfiber
  • It has an aggressive downturn

La Sportiva KATAKI Features:

  • It uses stiff rubber for support and durability
  • It has tight heel cups for extra power in heel hooks
  • A specialized lacing system ensures a precise fit

2. La Sportiva Solution Climbing Shoe

The La Sportiva Solution is the shoe for anyone looking for power blended with precision. It is an excellent choice for projects that call for powering through overhands and maintaining a safe standing on small holds. 

It is not the most comfortable shoe on this list, but its stiff toe rubber and soft midsole offer extra control during climbs.

Further, it comes with a design to match your feet as much as possible.

La Sportiva Solution Specs: 

  • It uses Velcro straps for closure
  • The upper section is made of synthetic leather
  • It has an aggressive downturn

La Sportiva Solution Features: 

  • It has a special closure system that enables better foot adjustment
  • It has an asymmetrical downturn that provides power and precision
  • It has 3D-molded heel cups to prevent the heels from slips

3. Scarpa Vapor V Climbing Shoe

The Scarpa Vapor V is the choice for anyone who is looking for sport climbing shoes that one can spend n the whole day without discomfort.

The moderate downturn is significantly responsible for that, and then there is the mesh tongue that is padded. 

It keeps your feet cool and dry by allowing them to breathe. The microsuede upper section is also soft, further adding to the comfort.

The Vapor V also delivers performance-wise with its powerful toe hooking and precision from the specialized rand and the Vibram XS Ege rubber. 

Scarpa Vapor V Specs:

  • It uses Velcro straps for its closure
  • The upper section is made of microsuede
  • It has a moderate downturn

Scarpa Vapor V Features: 

  • The microsuede upper section is soft and stretches easily
  • The rubber toe patch enhances your toe hooking
  • It comes with a padded mesh tongue

4. La Sportiva Unisex Genius Climbing Shoe

If you are out for a sport climbing shoe that is all about performance for a taste of what awaits at the advanced level, this is it. The La Sportiva Genius comes with the proprietary No-Edge rubber design, which improves your footwork even with poor technique.

It can mold to terrains and let you gain secure holds that are almost non-existent. The highly sticky rubber adds to this with the top-smearing capability.

The shoes require a little break-in period and should fit you well straight from the box.

La Sportiva Unisex Genius Specs:

  • It uses laces for closure
  • It has a suede upper section
  • It features an aggressive downturn

La Sportiva Unisex Genius Features: 

  • It uses trademarked No Edge tech for more stability
  • Highly sticky rubber provides excellent smearing ability
  • The midsole maintains the aggressive downturn for the shoe’s lifespan

5. Evolv Shaman Climbing Shoe

The Evolv Shaman stays true to its inspiration by being the best sport climbing shoe for intermediate climbers on steep climbs.

Its aggressive downturn design takes you through the overhangs, and you do not lack power, thanks to the love bump design that eliminates dead space.

The shoes balance durability and sensitivity by having more rubber on high wear spots while using thin rubber in the soles.

Evolv Shaman Specs:

  • It uses Velcro straps for closure
  • The upper section is made of synthetic suede
  • It has an aggressive downturn

Evolv Shaman Features:

  • The spacious toe box provides comfort to your toes
  • Ingenious location for the toe straps for better toe hooking
  • It is highly durable thanks to the extra rubber

6. La Sportiva Miura VS Climbing Shoe

If your climbing activity involves fining and securing small holds, you may enjoy what the La Sportiva Miura offers. The Vibram XS Edge rubber is extra stiff and, along with the aggressive downturn, ensures the shoe performs in this regard. 

The midsole is also flexible, which enhances the shoe’s smearing ability on the slab. The shoe should fit on the first wear, and the fast-lacing system is an excellent addition.

La Sportiva Miura VS Specs: 

  • Uses laces for closure
  • The upper section is made from leather
  • It has an aggressive downturn

La Sportiva Miura VS Features: 

  • It has a fast-lacing system
  • The rubber on the toe is extra stiff for durability and better grip
  • The synthetic lining limits the stretching allowance

7. Five Ten Hiangle Climbing Shoes

The Five Ten Hiangle provides the necessary aggression for a sport climber without being intimidating. The rubber is sticky enough to help you get traction on those holds, while the stiff midsole offers the necessary support when dealing with overhands.

The biggest selling point, though, is the shoe’s durability, thanks to the extra thick C4 rubber.

Five Ten Hiangle Specs: 

  • It uses elastic and Velcro straps for closure
  • The upper section is made of leather
  • It has an aggressive downturn

Five Ten Hiangle Features: 

  • The upper section enables stretching, which molds the shoe to your foot shape
  • The closure design makes it easy to wear and remove the shoes
  • The thick rubber adds durability

8. So iLL the Street Climbing Shoe

The SO ILL STREET climbing shoe looks to be more style than performance with its standout bi-color rubber.

Yet, the look can be deceiving. It uses Dark Matter rubber which was originally for Navy SEALs, and thus it has excellent sticking properties.

The moderate downturn and the flexible midsole further add to the performance nous of the shoe, bringing sensitivity and precision.

For comfort, you get a padded tongue and a soft upper section. The shoe does not stretch much, so ensure you get the right fit at the first wear.

So iLL the Street Specs: 

  • It uses Velcro straps for closure
  • The upper section is made of synthetic leather
  • It has a moderate downturn

So iLL the Street Features: 

  • Its midsoles are flexible, enhancing sensitivity
  • It has a unique bi-color rubber
  • They come with a padded tongue for comfort

9. Tenaya Mundaka Rock Climbing Shoes

For intermediate sports climbing shoes, the Tenaya Mundaka achieves the rare feat of matching performance and comfort. The Vibram rubber the brand uses is sticky enough to provide sufficient control and also add to the shoe’s durability. 

The split-sole construction gives you all the foot flexibility you need. It also aids your precision. For comfort and convenience, you get their Draxor closure mechanism, a patented system that makes it easier to wear and remove the shoe.

The shoe is quite big by climbing shoe standards, especially the heel cup, so consult size charts. Where possible, try it out in the gym first before purchasing.

Tenaya Mundaka Specs:

  • It uses Velcro straps for closure
  • The upper section is made from leather microfiber
  • It has an aggressive downturn

Tenaya Mundaka Features: 

  • It offers foot flexibility through split-sole construction
  • They have a rigid toe box that offers support
  • Uses precision laces

10. Five Ten Anasazi Pro Sport Climbing Shoe

If you are looking for the best sport climbing shoes for your gym climbing, then you have to consider the Five Ten Anasazi Pro. Despite its moderate downturn, it is still an aggressive shoe, thanks to the extra tension from the heel. 

The brand uses Stealth C4 rubber to create a rigid sole that enhances your toe hooking in small holds.

On the toe, patches use molded and highly sticky Stealth Mi6 rubber, which increases friction from any angle and adds power to your toe hooking. All these aspects make the shoe excellent for lead climbing on plastic or for competitions.

Five Ten Anasazi Pro Specs: 

  • It uses Velcro straps for closure
  • The upper section is synthetic
  • It has a moderate downturn

Five Ten Anasazi Pro Features: 

  • It has a rigid sole that offers precision
  • It comes with a mesh tongue to keep your feet cool
  • It has molded rubber patches on the toe to enhance friction

What Do You Need to Consider Before Buying Sport Climbing Shoes?

Finding the best sport climbing shoes requires you to consider a couple of essential aspects, which are; fit, comfort, and durability.

The right fit is the most important aspect when choosing sport climbing shoes.

Also, learning what is sport climbing is another important aspect when choosing sport climbing shoes.

You also want to be comfortable, especially for the long climbs, and you obviously do not want to be spending on shoes every season.

Here is what to consider under each aspect.

Consider the type of climbing you are doing

When purchasing the best sport climbing shoes, you must consider the type of climbing you are doing. Different types of climbing require different types of shoes.

For instance, bouldering requires more flexible and comfortable shoes, while sport climbing requires stiffer and more supportive shoes. Knowing the type of climbing you plan to do is the first step in choosing the right shoes.

Look for shoes with good toe protection

When it comes to climbing, having the best sport climbing shoes is essential. The right shoes can make or break your climb.

When looking for the best sport climbing shoes, it’s essential to pay attention to toe protection. The toes of your shoes should be beefed up for toe hooking and scumming.

Look for shoes with rubber toes or reinforced toe boxes for extra protection. This will help protect your toes from the sharp edges of rocks and make climbing more enjoyable.

Ensure the shoe fits your foot snugly

The third factor to consider when choosing the best sport climbing shoes is to ensure the shoe fits your foot snugly.

A snug fit is essential for optimal security, comfort, and performance. The heel should be snug and tucked away, and the toes should not be able to move around inside the shoe.

To ensure the best fit, try on the shoe with climbing socks, which will provide additional padding. Additionally, it’s helpful to check your fit with a climbing guide.

Choose the right sole for the rock type

Once you’ve identified the type of sport climbing you’re doing, the next step is to choose the right sole for the rock type. Soft, medium and hard rubber are the three most common sole types for sport climbing shoes.

Soft rubber is designed for smoother surfaces and offers more grip and sensitivity. Medium rubber is designed for multi-purpose use on both smooth and rough surfaces.

Hard rubber is the most durable and offers maximum friction on rough surfaces. Choosing the right sole type for the rock type you’re climbing on will maximize your climbing safety and performance.

Look for shoes with good heel and ankle support

When it comes to choosing the best sport climbing shoes, one of the most important factors to consider is heel and ankle support.

If your shoes do not offer proper support, you will be at risk of rolling an ankle or developing foot fatigue. Look for shoes that provide adequate cushioning and arch support.

Additionally, they should offer a snug fit around your heel and ankle so they don’t slide around when you’re climbing.

A good pair of shoes will keep your feet secure and stable, helping you stay safe and maximize your performance.

Consider the shape of the shoe

When it comes to the best sport climbing shoes, you should consider the shoe’s shape. Generally, rock climbing shoes should have an asymmetrical shape, with the toe being slightly more pointed than the heel.

This allows the climber to fit their foot into more precise footholds, gaining more purchase and allowing them to move up the wall more easily.

Additionally, the shoe’s shape should also provide the climber with a comfortable fit, as the last thing you want when attempting a challenging route is uncomfortable shoes.

Look for shoes with good breathability

When looking for the best sport climbing shoes, remember to look for shoes with good breathability.

Breathable shoes can help keep your feet cool and dry during a strenuous climb, and ventilation holes are often included in the design of climbing shoes for this purpose.

Additionally, look for shoes with moisture-wicking fabrics, which can draw sweat away from the feet and help to keep your feet dry and comfortable throughout your climb.

Always try the shoes on before purchasing

When it comes to choosing the best sport climbing shoes, it is essential to always try them on before purchasing. Doing so will help you determine the correct fit and ensure you are comfortable wearing them.

A great fit will also help you perform better since you can rely on the shoes to provide the necessary stability and balance. Furthermore, the fit and feel of the shoes can vary from brand to brand.

Therefore, it is recommended that you try on multiple pairs from different brands and select the one that you are most comfortable with.

Consider the durability of the sport climbing shoes

When it comes to sports climbing shoes, durability is often balanced against sensitivity. The best sports climbing shoes should provide significant levels of sensitivity.

However, this is not always possible where thick soles, which are more durable, are present. Thinner and soft rubber, on the other hand, wear out quickly despite the incredible sensitivity levels.

You have to find a shoe that manages to balance both these factors. Some shoe models, for example, limit the use of thicker rubber on the high-wear areas alone to achieve both sensitivity and durability. 

Another aspect of durability is the design of the downturn in aggressive shoes.

It should not degrade before the shoe’s life; otherwise, the whole shoe would then be unusable even with the other parts in good condition. 

Sport Climbing Shoe’s Features Explained

Having an idea of what features to look for when evaluating a climbing shoe goes a long way in ensuring you pick the best sport climbing shoes. Here are the key features you should know about. 

What is the climbing shoe’s closure?

This feature refers to the mechanism of getting the shoe on and off your foot and how you secure it for the right fit. The main options are Velcro straps or lace-up, and slip-on rock climbing shoes.

What is the climbing shoe’s upper?

This feature refers to the construction of the upper part of the shoe. Common materials are natural leather and synthetic material. You could also have padded, lined, and unlined designs. 

What is the climbing shoe’s outsole?

This is the bottom section of the shoe. It is made of rubber though the kind of rubber used varies by brand, with each type having unique properties. 

What is the climbing shoe’s last?

This feature refers to the model around which a shoe was formed. There are two types of lasts; slip-lasted and broad-lasted. Broad-lasted climbing shoes offer more comfort, while slip-lasted shoes have more sensitivity. 

What is the climbing shoe’s downturn?

This feature describes how a shoe curves downwards at the toe. The more the curve, the more aggressive a shoe gets.

Highly aggressive shoes provide more technical ability and power. Less aggressive shoes may lack these aspects, but they are more comfortable.

In conclusion, when shopping for a pair of sport climbing shoes, there are many factors to consider.

Comfort, fit, and performance are all important, but the most important factor is how the shoe fits your foot.

You should always try before you buy and make sure to get the right size, as well as the right shape and stiffness.

With the right pair of shoes, you’ll be ready to take your climbing to the next level.

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