According to Statista, there are over 9.89 million rock-climbing enthusiasts in the US. Rock climbing is an exciting and adventurous activity to stay fit and spend time in nature. The right equipment can elevate your performance and provide much-needed support, especially on challenging terrains. When searching for the best rock climbing shoes, consider the type of climber you are, footwear closure, shoe type, and budget.
The article will take you through different features to look for in rock climbing shoes.
Rock Climbing Shoe Types
The two main categories of rock climbing shoes, depending on the level of difficulty and kind of rock, are:
Symmetric shoes are the best for beginner-level climbers. This shoe provides comfort and comparatively less grip over small edges and pockets. You can use symmetric shoes on multi-pitch climbs or lower to intermediate level climbs.
Asymmetric shoes, on the other hand, are perfect for intermediate to expert-level rock climbers. This shoe type has an exaggerated curve, with an offset near the big toe area. Compared to symmetric shoes, asymmetric shoes provide greater control over small edges and pockets. They can be used for medium to high-level grades.
Lace-ups/ Velcro/ Slippers
Lace-ups offer a customized fit to the wearer. Depending on the type of activity and your comfort level, you can loosen or tighten up the laces.
The primary advantage of using a Velcro closure is that you can get in and out of the shoes quickly. It is perfect for climbers who want to get out of their shoes between climbs. They are popular among intermediate to expert-level climbers.
Slippers, similar to velcros, can be put on and removed easily. They have an elastic closure system ideal for training and indoor climbing purposes.
Last of the Climbing Shoes
The last basically defines the shoe shape, volume, and dimensions. It is the mold used by the manufacturer to design the shoe. The two types of last found in rock climbing shoes are:
Slip-lasted shoes are sensitive and less stiff. The stiffness of this shoe type comes from the midsole. As they let you feel the rock under your feet, they are ideal for bouldering and even used for high grades.
Broad-lasted shoes, on the other hand, are much stiffer and also more comfortable. They provide support and are ideal for climbing vertical walls or slabs.
The two main types of materials used in manufacturing the best rock climbing shoes are:
Leather shoes offer comfort. The material adapts to the shape of your foot over time, owing to its stretching factor. When buying synthetic shoes, ensure you pick the right size as they do not stretch like leather.
Fit is the most critical aspect to consider when picking rock climbing shoes. You can select the right pair depending on your preferences enclosure, material, or type. Explore options from different manufacturers, and look for customer reviews before deciding. We hope the features mentioned above help you in the process of finding the best rock climbing shoes.