How to Choose Climbing Shoes?

Buying a pair of rock climbing shoes might be exciting .but it could be daunting as well if you are not the expert one. Besides, searching on the internet could be devastating and overwhelming at the same time. And don’t forget the advice of the experienced one.

After dealing with these hurdles, if it turns out with zero, that sorrow is unbearable. Thus, a thorough buying guide may help you to know how to choose climbing shoes at a glance.

As a newcomer, I suffered every bit of it as you do now. Trust me. Everyone does. Don’t be a spoilsport. Use your energy for your climbing lesson. Let us do the rest for a perfect pair of climbing shoes of yours.

The Ultimate Flambeau for Your Climbing Shoe:

how to choose climbing shoes

Whether on the rock outside or in the gym, your climbing shoe surface is the only barrier between the terrain and the foot. A wrong choice may hold you back and could be frustrating.

So, first, you have to know based on what you should buy a climbing shoe. There are thousands of features you may cross over. But to me it’s the basic three things as always:

Now you find out the outline, let’s get into the description.

Shoe Type:

Climbing is not only going up. It needs technique and skill as well. Moreover, it’s not a thing you can adapt instantly. It has stages. And based on that, shoe structures are also variant. For beginners like ours, the shoe is different. The same goes for advanced climbers.

These three types will help you to understand the pertinent, whereas your options become more precise.


For all-day comfort, the neutral fit is the best I must say. Since it offers a flat sole, it’s a relaxed one undoubtedly. From beginner to experienced, it could be all climber’s favorite.

But on what point it becomes that much adoptable? The answer is very alluring. You can find all those features which lack in moderate or aggressive pairs.


As it sounds, medium-type climbing shoes are a neutralizer for those who are not fond of a beginner or advanced type. That’s why it’s often known as camber. Instead of the cozy flat fit of a neutral or drastic downturn of advance, the medium makes itself a hybrid with a slight twist.


Instead of being modest and comfortable, Aggressive shoes offers you an extensive downturn. It pulls your toe down and places tension on the heel.

Climbing Shoe Features:

how to choose climbing shoes

Now you know the types of climbing shoes, it’s time to know about the features. I have shortlisted some distinct spikes out of hundreds that might delight you.


When you are talking about climber footwear, closure is the one thing you can’t ignore. Usually, lace-up and straps are the best options for climbing shoe closure. But they are also divergent in pros and cons.


Lace-ups gives you that orthodox feeling of safety for ages. For a climbing shoe, no exception as well. It might be the most versatile closure also.

However, feeling the heat in the feet hanging on a bolder or wall, a quick loosen up helps to have air instantly. Yet an in-step bump up may also take place to hinder the performance.


This hook and loop are personally my favorite. As it offers the superior on/off comfort. For any kind of climbing or route, straps are the best to slip over when needed.

If you are not comfortable with this closure, you can have a slip-on type also. But I prefer this style only for training. For real-life experience, slip-ons are not up to the mark.


If you are to know how to choose climbing shoes, then materials also matter. And plays a vital role as features.

Leather or synthetic:

Leather shoes could be lined or unlined. Unlined leather eventually stretched while wearing. You can buy an exact fit that touches the edge of the front. You will feel that knuckle pushing your toe against the cover.

On the other hand, lined shoes reduce to half size or less.

In all cases, leather shoes are really tight when you buy them. Though I felt the pain of first wearing in the field. But once it breaks-in, a molded pair is on the way.


Synthetic materials are not meant to be stretched. They barely did. But they give you the freedom to wick away sweats and let the feet breathe.

Shoe last:

“Last” is the base your shoe build upon. It gives the height, volume, toe and heel dimensions. Most of the climbing shoes have slip last, whereas a handful of them featured board-lasted.


Slip-lasted doesn’t have an insole. They are sensitive and tend to be less stiff. On an exciting note, they acquire the power from the midsole.


Usually, board-lasted are comfortable than the above one. This type last is kind of all-day wear. Less stiff than the Slip-last tough.


Another bound to be a feature for a climbing shoe. Types of outsole material and thickness have an ample effect on your performance.

Keeping that in mind, all climbing footwear provides you a better grip and support on edge. Generally, 4 to 5.5 mm solid outsoles come into the category of thicker sole. That gives you durability and comfort in a pristine combination.

Whereas 3 to 4 m.m comes for thin sole in contrast.

Whatever be the thickness is, all they provide is a safe hold to the surface with high power.

Some General Tips for the Better Fit:

How to Choose Climbing Shoes


Find your que sera fit that melts the brewing performance. Climb your dream trails with your sole pair. Just keep in mind the above information while buying them. And you are all set to conquer those rough and tough routes—Todo lo Mejor.