Climbing shoes: which one is right for you ?

By Mathieu Elie, December 13, 2018

For a long time now, we’ve been offering a climbing shoes section that is very diverse; there is something for everyone. We are constantly reviewing our fleet of shoes (and their price) to ensure that it follows the vagaries of the market and the demands of consumers. We want to present our choices for the different models that are available at the Shop. To make your task easier and to better orient you in your research, we here is a short presentation of what we have:

 small price

You are not ready to shell out big money for climbing shoes yet? No problem! We carry a variety of shoes that will suit your needs. Keep in mind, small price does not necessarily mean beginner’s shoe!

If you are new to climbing and ready to take the leap, here are some models that might be of interest to you. The first is the Black Diamond Momentum. Even if it was designed with comfort in mind, its performance is not to be neglected. It offers impeccable breathability and support where it counts. It will adapt to the shape of your foot easily and allow you long sessions without pain. The model for women will offer you the same benefits adapted to the female foot.

Another interesting model is the Five Ten Wallmaster. What the Wallmaster offers you is its ability to slowly lead you to the discovery and improvement of your footwork. Its rigidity will allow you to progressively develop your foot muscles. For those who are well aware that they are at the beginning of their learning curve, the Wallmaster is a perfect shoe!

In the same vein, the Scarpa Origin is also an interesting option. It is a little more dynamic, but just as durable. So, if you want to add a powerful touch to your climb, the Origin is the ideal shoe.

For a slightly more ‘sporty’ shoe that will not force you to break the bank, there are a few options: La Sportiva Tarantula, Tenaya Tanta, and La Sportiva Finale. The Tanta and Tarantula are quite similar. Both models will adapt well to your foot and will offer you an aggressiveness allowing better performances on small footholds as well as on steep walls. All this with a support and versatility well suited to different climbing styles. As for the Finale, while it offers increased comfort, it also has additional precision.

In the end, all these models will give you the chance to buy climbing shoes well suited to your needs and guide you through your learning process. Learning in climbing is a constant process, so these shoes are not just for beginners!

 Performance, but not too expensive?

If you want to buy climbing shoes that are a bit more performant, this category will probably interest you. Overall, this shoe selection is more efficient and, above all, more specialized. Moreover, it is not because they are not the most expensive that they are not an interesting option. Many professional climbers use these products, such as Oasi, Shaman or Skwama.

If you want a versatile shoe, the Vapor V and Inti are excellent choices. For more performance, without too much much discomfort, the Vapor V is very good! Same thing for the Inti, which excels on the vertical walls and small footholds. If you like the Inti, but want a little more performance, the Tarifa would be an excellent choice.

Subsequently, we enter a category of more aggressive climbing shoes. These shoes are very precise, but they are usually hard to wear for long periods of time. If you’re looking for the cheapest option int his subcategory, the Mad Rock Shark is your best bet. Otherwise, whether it’s the Shaman (or the Low Volume version, the Shakra), the Skwama, or the Oasi, these are all great shoes that will help you push your limits and get the most out of your footwork.

Finally, the La Sportiva Maverink has the no-edge technology like the Futura (see below), but is available at a lower cost. Very comfortable, it’s an ideal slipper for long indoor bouldering sessions. This is also a shoe that is well suited to growing feet.

High performance, at any cost!

In this category, you will get the cream of the crop. Those are the best thing in the field of climbing shoes and each model is very specialized. These shoes are no less versatile, but they excel in the task for which they were designed.

In this category, La Sportiva offers three models. The first, the Futura, was designed for extremely technical climbing requiring increased sensitivity. The no-edge technology keeps your foot close to the wall to ensure precise movements on tiny footholds. Then, there is the Solution, which is usually used for bouldering on very steep walls. Its curved design and ultra-sturdy heel give you unparalleled support while maintaining the precision you need for high performance bouldering. Same story with the Miura VS, which will allow you good foot placements on small footholds and narrow pockets. It is also known for its comfort, which is not always the case for high performance shoes.

Then, Scarpa also offers shoes capable of great things! The Drago and Furia are widely used in the competition scene. Their aggressiveness and sensitivity offer a unique and highly specialized climbing experience. You must remain careful: this level of sensitivity is not for everyone! It takes a well trained foot accustomed to the rigors of bouldering. As for the new Mago, their uniqueness stands out. They are very rigid on the tip, but rather malleable at the back. This allows for an impressive precision and surprising agility. Also, the Booster S combines all elements of good performance shoe into an ultra versatile version!

In the end, it is important to emphasize that all feet are different. These tips will guide your choice, but we advise you to try several models before choosing a particular shoe!