Beginner Climbing Shoes


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Buyer's Guide: Beginner Climbing Shoes

Beginner Climbing Shoe Guide: How To Buy The Best Climbing Shoes For Your Feet

Climbing is a great low-impact workout that requires a lot of coordination and strength. Climbing shoes can help you with both of these, allowing you to better grip the rock and provide your feet with a bit more protection.

As an experienced climber, one might think that it would be easy for me to buy a pair of climbing shoes. But I’ve found that there are so many different types of climbing shoes from so many different brands. So I spent some time reviewing the best beginner climbing shoe guides out there and compiled the most important information below. Check out this article for tips on buying new climbing shoes!

What are Climbing Shoes

Climbing shoes are specialized shoes that are designed to help you grip and climb surfaces better than if you were wearing regular shoes and socks. The sole and heel of the climbing shoe will usually contain rubber or synthetic material, which help prevent slippage when you climb.

Basically, the sole of the shoe has a lot more grip than a regular shoe does. This is because you need something with a lot of traction when practicing climbing. Some climbing shoes even have a toe which can be used to hook onto the rock.

If you’re looking for a new pair of climbing shoes, make sure to consider these things:

Make sure that the shoe is the correct size for your feet and that you’re wearing appropriate socks (thick or thin) and that they’re tight enough to make sure they don’t slip off during your climb.

Consider what type of surface you’ll be climbing. Some shoes are better for beginners who are just starting out, while others are better for experienced climbers.

Consider what type of climbing style you use. If you like to grip with your toes, then look for shoes with a rubber toe-box.

Who Needs Climbing Shoes?

You might think that you don’t need climbing shoes for general rock climbing, but they’re actually required. When you’re rock climbing, your shoe acts as your sole point of contact with the rock. It’s important that you have the right grip and the best foot protection as you climb.

Climbing shoes can help you with both of those things! The grip on the soles of good climbing shoes will allow you to better grip the rock and not slide off. The shoes also provide your feet with a bit more protection than regular sneakers, which is important when you start climbing steeper and rougher terrain.

Beginners should invest in a pair of climbing shoes to make it easier for them to grip the rock and protect their feet as they climb.

The Importance of Purchasing a Quality Pair of Climbing Shoes

Climbing shoes should be comfortable and last a long time. But not all climbing shoes are created equal.

Some climbing shoes will wear down quicker than others, and some will even wear down unevenly. Others may feel like they don’t fit right and cause problems.

The quality of your climbing shoes is important for a couple of reasons: It will help you stay safe and comfortable as you climb. You also want to invest in a quality shoe that will last you a couple of years.

The best way to find the perfect pair of climbing shoes for your feet is to go to a specialty climbing store and try on different pairs of shoes. This will give you a chance to see which ones fit the best and which ones feel the best.

Types of climbing shoes

There are many different types of climbing shoes, but they all serve the same purpose: to protect your feet and provide a grip on the rock.

The most common type of climbing shoe is the slipper. Slippers are the most basic type of climbing shoe, providing good grip and some foot protection. They are typically inexpensive and great for beginners.

The second type of climbing shoe is called a lace-up. Lace-ups provide the same foot protection as slippers, but they allow for more flexibility and better heel support. They are often more expensive than slippers, but they are better for experienced climbers.

The last type of climbing shoe is called a lace-up half-crimp. These shoes are typically used by boulderers, and they allow more flexibility and better heel support than other types of climbing shoes. They usually come with three velcro straps on the top of the shoe, making them easier to put on and take off.

Trad and Crack Climbing Shoes

The first thing you need to think about is what kind of climbing you want to do. There are two categories: trad and crack climbing.

Traditional climbing shoes are designed for standing on small footholds and smearing your shoe on the rock. Crack climbing shoes feature a leather outer and a rubber sole and are designed to help you find and grip cracks in the rock.

If you’re not sure what kind of climbing you want to do, try both and see which type you like the most. You can always buy another pair later if you decide that your current pair isn’t working for what you want to do.

If you’re looking for a general climbing shoe, look for a shoe that has a stiffer sole and mesh uppers. This will help you climb better and grip the rock better. If you want a trad climbing shoe, look for a shoe with a rubber/synthetic sole and a leather upper. For crack climbing shoes, look for a shoe with a synthetic upper and a sticky rubber sole.

Bouldering and Sport Climbing Shoes

One of the most important things to consider when buying climbing shoes is the type of climbing you’ll be doing.

Bouldering and sport climbing shoes are some of the most popular styles, and they both offer advantages for different types of climbers.

Bouldering shoes are the type of climbing shoes you see most often. They’re smaller and less specialized than sport climbing shoes, meaning they’re more versatile and can be used for a wider range of rock types. They’re also favored by climbers who focus on more difficult climbs.

On the other hand, sport climbing shoes are used to make long climbs up "overhangs," or vertical routes, and these shoes provide an extra friction point for your toe and enough rubber on the sole to grip the rock surface. They also come with a steeper heel to help you get up steep sections of rock more easily.

No matter what type of climbing you’re doing, there is a shoe that will better suit your needs.

Beginner Rock Climbing Shoes

Rock climbing shoes are designed to provide your feet with the best grip. As such, most climbing shoes are made with a sticky rubber sole that enhances your feet’s ability to stick to the wall.

Most climbing shoes come with a stiffer midsole and a softer outer sole. This makes them suitable for edging and smearing and allows you to feel the rock more easily.

Climbing shoes also generally come with a bit of friction rubber on the toe. This is designed to protect your toes from injury.

However, as a beginner, you might not want to spend too much on your first pair of climbing shoes. A beginner shoe is usually less expensive and is designed to be less technical than an advanced shoe.

For this reason, most beginner shoes are made with a softer outer layer and a softer sole. That said, some beginners might find that they don’t have enough grip with this type of shoe. If this is the case, I would recommend investing in an advanced shoe.

Features to Consider Before Buying Climbing Shoes

What features should I consider before buying a pair of climbing shoes?

The one thing that’s worth noting is that climbing shoes are all made differently. Some are designed to be more aggressive, and others are designed to be more comfortable. So it’s important for you to know what type of climbing you’re going to be doing and what type of shoe you want before you buy a pair.

But in general, there are a few features you should look for in a pair of climbing shoes:


Climbing is hard on the feet, so the more comfortable the shoe, the better. A shoe’s midsole will determine how comfortable it is. Some will have a softer midsole while others will have a firmer one. Different people have different preferences for which shoes they prefer, but it’s important to find a shoe that meets your comfort level.


In order to get up the wall, you need your feet to grip the rock. You can get this by having sticky rubber on your shoes or by having shoes with a high arch.

Footwear closure

The closure of the shoe is one of the most important features to consider when looking for climbing shoes. The closure will affect the amount of support the shoe provides for your foot, and it will also affect how tight your shoe is on your foot.

The different types of closures are laces, velcro, and buckles. Lace shoes are the most popular type among climbers because they offer the best support and can be tightened to provide a custom fit. Velcro shoes are the least expensive type of closure, and they are easy to put on. Buckles are becoming less common because they can be difficult to tighten.

There are also different types of laces. Traditional laces are thin and made from cotton or nylon. These break easily if you lace them too tight or put too much pressure on them. Flat laces are made from polyester or nylon, and they are lighter weight than traditional laces. They also don’t have any give in them, so they offer better support.

When it comes to buying new climbing shoes, make sure you take into account the type of closure you want, as well as the type of laces you want your shoe to have.


Climbing shoes come in a variety of materials and brands, and each pair is unique. Leather, suede, and fabric are the most common materials that climbing shoes are made from.

Leather is more durable and provides a better grip on the rock, which is why it is more popular for advanced climbers. However, suede and fabric are better for beginners because the material provides a better form and grip.

A beginner can find a shoe that will last them for years without having to worry about the shoe wearing out too quickly. As a beginner, you might not need to invest in a leather pair of climbing shoes just yet. Get a suede or fabric pair that will last you a few years.

Climbing shoes last

Climbing shoes break down over time, and it’s important to know how long your shoes will last.

The lifespan of a climbing shoe is dependent on the type of climbing and the brand of shoe. If you’re climbing indoors, your shoes will last longer. These shoes are designed to withstand the friction from indoor walls, which is much less than outdoor climbing. Some brands even specialize in indoor climbing shoes.

Indoor climbing shoes, on the other hand, may not be as efficient as outdoor climbing shoes for indoor climbing. Outdoor climbing shoes will be designed for friction from outdoor rock, which is much more intense than indoor rock. This may cause your outdoor climbing shoes to wear out faster.

However, most outdoor climbing shoes will last about a year with consistent use. The difference in lifespan may come down to a difference in design and material.

So what do you do if your shoe breaks down? You can buy a new pair of climbing shoes! If your shoe is still in good shape, you could also have it re-soled or repaired. Resoling or repairing a shoe will prolong its lifespan as long as it doesn’t have any rips or tears in the fabric.

Slip Lasts

The "slip last" is a type of shoe last that can help you get a good grip on the rock. These shoes have a rough surface on the sole, which helps the climber grip the rock better.

In general, these shoes are designed with a thicker sole, which gives them more stability. This is especially important for beginners learning to climb, as they need a bit more support.

Slip lasts are typically found in more advanced shoes. You’re more likely to find them in shoes that also have a downturned toe, which allows climbers to get a better grip on the rock while keeping their foot in a more natural position.

The downturned toe is really helpful for beginners because it allows them to get a better grip on the rock while keeping their foot in a more natural position.

Lasts a lifetime

The last board is your shoe’s arch support. It is the stiffer part of the shoe that spans the length of the sole, running from foot to heel. The board itself is typically made out of plastic, but can also be made out of leather.

The general rule of thumb with climbing shoes is to purchase shoes with a stiffer board last on areas of your feet that are flat or pronate excessively. By pronating, I am referring to the foot rolling inward naturally. This is common in people who have flat feet.

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when purchasing climbing shoes. A climbing shoe that fits well on one person may not fit well on another. A shoe that has too much support for you could cause pain in your feet and vice versa.

To help you purchase the best beginner climbing shoe, take a look at this list of common features and how they might affect your climbing experience.

Heel Height: This is the length from the back of your heel to the front of your toes. Climbing shoes typically have a higher heel height for better support and stability.

Climbing shoes come in two different lacing styles: slipper and lace-up.

Climbing Shoe Outsole

The outsole is the bottom of the shoe where you will make contact with the rock. Climbing shoes are usually made of some type of rubber, whether it’s synthetic, synthetic-blend, or leather. The outsole is designed to grip the rock to help you climb the surface with more stability.

Other factors that go into choosing the right outsole include the type of climbing you’ll be doing and the surface you’re climbing on. If you’re climbing on a smooth surface, then a softer outsole will work best. You might need a more aggressive outsole for climbing on rough surfaces.

There are also extra features that some climbing shoes offer. For example, some shoes have an extra layer of rubber on the toe area to provide more protection. If this is something you are looking for in your shoe, be sure to check out the features of any shoe before purchase.

Tips for Choosing the Best Climbing Shoes

What Type of Climbing Do You Do?

Climbing shoes are similar to running shoes in the sense that you need to know what type of climbing you’ll do in order to get the best pair of shoes for your needs.

If you are an indoor climber, then you likely want a shoe that is stiffer and has a bit more edging power. If you are an outdoor climber, then you likely want a shoe that is softer and has more rubber on the bottom to help with traction on all types of terrain.

What Is Your Foot Type?

Different brands have different shapes in their shoes, so it’s important to know what shape your foot is before making a purchase.

Are you an experienced climber?

If this is your first pair of climbing shoes, then you might want to consider getting a beginner climbing shoe. This will give you the opportunity to see what size shoe you wear before spending money on something that might not fit your foot.

Do You Need To Worry About The Size Of Your Feet?

No matter what type of climbing shoe you choose, it is important to know your foot size before purchasing. This will help you get the most accurate shoe size.

Popular Climbing Shoes Brands

When buying climbing shoes, the most important thing to consider is the fit. Different brands may offer different sizing, so it’s important to know the right size for you.

There are also different types of climbing shoes depending on the type of climbing you do. Some shoes are designed for bouldering (low-level climbing), some are designed specifically for ropes, and some are designed for all types of climbing.

I’ve broken down some popular climbing shoe brands below, with their pros and cons:

La Sportiva

  • Pros: comfortable, long-lastingThere is a wide range of shoes to choose from.
  • Cons: more expensive than other brands


  • Pros: Durable, Great for beginners, Cheap for the most part
  • Cons: You might need to size up.


  • Pros: A wide range of shoes to choose from; the majority of models are comfortable.
  • Shoes may require more care.

Five to Ten:

  • Pros: Long-lasting, great for beginners, and reasonably priced.
  • Cons: You might need to size up.


How often should I buy a new pair of climbing shoes?

If you’re a beginner climber, you can probably get away with a pair of shoes for a year or two. But as you get better and the holds become more difficult, you’ll have to invest in a new pair.

What is the difference between slippers and lace-ups?

Slippers have no laces and they have a more flexible feel. Velcro climbing shoes are a less expensive option with a similar feel. Lace-up climbing shoes are the most expensive option with a tight fit that is going to protect your feet more.

Should I buy a pair of beginner shoes or an intermediate shoe?

This will depend on your experience level as well as what type of climbing you do. Most beginners will want to start with an intermediate shoe because it will be easier to find a tighter fit. You can always purchase beginner shoes if you find that they work for you.

Why are climbing shoes important?

Climbing shoes are essential to climbing. These specialized shoes are designed to help climbers grip the rock better, as well as protect the feet from being injured. As an experienced climber, I can’t tell you how many times my feet have been blistered, bruised, or cut after a climb.

Climbing shoes will help you take your climbing game to the next level. Finding the right pair of climbing shoes for your feet will help you improve your technique and become a better climber. This is because they provide you with the best grip and the best protection for your feet.

So, how to find the best climbing shoes for you? Well, I'd like to start by assessing my foot type. I also like to make sure the shoe will be comfortable for me; this means having enough space in the shoe, as well as making sure it has a good heel design to keep my foot in place.

I like to buy climbing shoes that are for my specific type of foot (e.g. flat, high arch, etc.) and that are comfortable for me. I also like to make sure that it fits my budget, too.

Do you wear socks with rock climbing shoes?

Rock climbing shoes are designed to help you grip small, uneven surfaces. If you’re not wearing socks, the shoes will become saturated with sweat and loose their ability to grip as well as they should. This will make it difficult for you to climb, as the shoes will no longer be able to provide any traction.

Typically, rock climbers wear socks with their climbing shoes. This is because the socks help wick away sweat and keep your feet dry. If you don’t wear socks and your feet get soaked with sweat, the climbing shoes won’t be able to do their job.

Climbing shoes have a lot of features that make them quite different from your everyday sneakers. However, they’re not meant to be worn without socks! So the next time you go rock climbing, don’t forget your socks!

Are rock climbing shoes necessary?

The first question you may ask is whether rock climbing shoes are necessary. When you climb, you need to have a good grip and protection for your feet. Rock climbing shoes provide both of these needs for climbers.

But are they necessary? That’s up to you. If you are just starting out, then rock climbing shoes are a good idea. They will provide your feet with the support they need and help you with grip. If you are more experienced, then you may want to skip the rock climbing shoes.

No matter what, make sure that the rock climbing boots you buy fit your feet correctly. And remember, if you are shopping around, make sure that the rock climbing shoes are comfortable for you! You shouldn’t be in pain after your first climb with your new shoes.

How are rock climbing shoes supposed to fit?

It’s important to note that the size of climbing shoes is measured in U.S. men’s sizes. The fit of your shoes will depend on the size of your foot, which you can measure by wrapping a piece of string or a thin strip of paper around your foot and marking where it intersects with itself.

The string should be tight enough that the paper is taught and you can see your arch, but loose enough that you can slip a finger or two under it. You can then measure the circumference of your foot and compare it to the shoe size chart to find your perfect fit.

You want to make sure that your climbing shoe is tight on your foot and does not move around on your foot. This will ensure that you have the best grip on the rock and that your foot is protected from any sharp rocks or pebbles that might poke through your shoe.

Pay attention to the shape of the shoe as well. When you put it on, it should feel like a second skin. It should not be loose on any part of your foot, and you should barely notice it on your foot. If it feels too tight, try a size up or try a different type of shoe.

Can you use running shoes for rock climbing?

If you are just starting out with rock climbing, you have probably spent some time wondering, "Can I wear running shoes for rock climbing?"

The answer is no. Rock shoes are designed specifically for rock climbing and have a few key differences from running shoes. Running shoes are designed for running, first and foremost—they have thick soles for cushioning, ample padding for impact absorption, and are usually thick in the heel region.

Rock climbing shoes are usually very tight around the foot, with very little padding. They are designed to provide the climber with an excellent grip on the rock face. The primary benefit of rock climbing shoes is that they are very sticky on the soles, which helps the climber to grip the rock surface.

While there are some similarities between running shoes and rock climbing shoes, there are also some significant differences. For example, rock climbing shoes are designed to be tight around the foot to prevent any slipping off of the shoe. They also have a more pronounced heel to help with edging and balance on the rock surface.

If you’re just starting out with climbing, it’s best to buy a pair of rock climbing shoes rather than running shoes.

Are rock climbing shoes supposed to hurt?

Climbing shoes are designed to fit your feet snugly and provide you with a better grip on the rock. However, many people find that their first pair of climbing shoes can be uncomfortable to wear.

This is because the material on the inside of the shoe is often made of a very rough material that can cause blisters or abrasions if it’s not broken in properly. Climbing shoes should fit your feet snugly but not constrictively. The best way to break in a new pair of climbing shoes is to wear them around the house for a few hours before climbing with them. This will help your feet get used to the feeling.

If your climbing shoes are still uncomfortable, you may want to try a different style or brand. If you’re still not comfortable after trying different types of climbing shoes, it may be time to invest in custom ones. These are made by hand and tailored to your specific needs. They can cost more than $200, but they’ll be worth the investment if you’re serious about your climbing skills.

Can you stretch rock climbing shoes?

If you have bought a pair of rock climbing shoes that are too tight, there are a few options you can try.

The first is to stretch the shoes with a shoe stretcher. But make sure you get the right size, or it won’t work. You can find rock climbing shoe stretchers on Amazon for around $30.

You can also try putting the shoes on while they are wet. This will not only stretch them, but also mold them to your feet.

Another option is using a hairdryer to dry them. This will make the leather stretch and mold to your foot. Just be sure not to use the hot setting, or else you might end up burning your feet.

Lastly, if none of these options work, you can take the shoes back to the store where you bought them and exchange them for a different size!


So what’s the best climbing shoe for you? That depends entirely on your needs.

If you’ve never climbed before, make sure to take a few intro lessons before buying your first pair of climbing shoes. You’ll learn about the different types of climbing shoes and what’s best for your feet.

If you’ve climbed before, you might want to consider buying a pair of shoes that are more specific to your needs.

If you’re just starting out, you might want to start with a low-cut version. It will offer more flexibility and better foot control for beginners.

If you’re looking for a stronger shoe, consider buying an aggressive-cut shoe. For experienced climbers, it will offer more protection and better foot control.

The type of climbing you’re doing will also dictate the type of shoe you need to buy. If you’re rock climbing, it’s best to wear a shoe with a stiffer sole that will help with gripping the rock. If you’re bouldering, it’s best to wear a shoe that provides better protection from the rough terrain.

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