• Climbing
  • Things You Should Know Before Buying Climbing Shoes

Things You Should Know Before Buying Climbing Shoes

By Matt GerholdLast update: 2023-12-10

Investing in a suitable pair of climbing shoes, they will increase your ability to improvise and make your trip enjoyable. However, there are still some of you still wondering and do not know how to choose the appropriate way.

Before choosing shoes, be sure of your foot measurements, if you are new to mountain climbing we recommend that you wear neutral shoes, and then aggressive, moderate. While there is a lot of detailed information available on the brand's sales pages and the internet today, real buyers need a thorough buying guide to help choose the first pair. To answer this question, let us find out.

1. Types of climbing shoes

1.1 Neutral climbing shoes

Things You Should Know Before Buying Climbing Shoes

The first shoe we'd like to recommend to you is neutral-colored mountain climbing shoes. Overall, they are very comfortable and fit to carry around all day, especially suitable for those who have experience climbing. On the other hand, they allow you to lay your toes flat in the shoe. In addition, they are also suitable for those who are just starting out.

For these types of shoes, they are very comfortable for all-day use, medium to hard soles with thick rubber soles, and limit pain in your feet. But they also have some caveats, as thicker and stiffer soles make them feel less sensitive; compared to the thinner sole on sturdy and moderate shoes, it does not use well on difficult roads with overhangs.

1.2 Aggressive climbing shoes

Things You Should Know Before Buying Climbing Shoes

In terms of design these shoes have recessed toes and exert a lot of tension in the heel to bring your foot in firm position. Most shoes with such a strong design have an asymmetrical shape and curl toward the big toe, focusing mainly on the toe positions. Because the shape fits and has a downward direction, it is very suitable for climbing sports or using at the gym. Mainly used by professionals and people with high qualifications in the field of mountaineering.

Besides, the rubber layer of this type is usually very thin and sticky, creating a lot of sensitivity for the toes. Although the tips of the toes are falling, but somewhere else, the technical ability on certain routes will be much easier.

Talking about the appearance of aggressive climbing shoes, the ability to know climbing techniques is better than moderate climbing shoes, mainly climbing, climbing in the gym and when climbing rock. Plus, the slimmer and more sticky rubber gives better sensitivity on the toe to hold the toe. On the other hand, they are not good at smearing or trapping the foot in cracks due to the shape of the toe being concave. Usually this type is less durable because of the thin rubber layer.

1.3 Moderate climbing shoes

Things You Should Know Before Buying Climbing Shoes

Moderate shoes with a more recessed toe design than an intermediate shoe as the intermediate shoe is very flat and intended for use by beginners. On the other hand, due to the concave shape of the shoe, also known as the camber, moderate shoes have much better climbing technique than neutral shoes.

At this point they are able to overcome overhangs and be active all day by climbers and provide comfort to make the trip even more challenging. Moreover, they can handle ramps, cracked slides, long multi-pitch climbs, and slightly overpowered sport tracks.

The good point of this type from the downward shape puts the foot in a firmer, stronger position than the neutral shoe, making it easier to climb on tougher routes. Plus, they're made with sticky rubber and thinner soles than neutral shoes for better feel and grip. However, they are less suitable for overly high and rocky roads.

2. Footwear closure of climbing shoes

2.1 Lace up of climbing shoes

If it comes to lace up climbing shoes this is considered the most flexible type. During the hiking process, the bang feet appear warm or swollen sensations, at which point you can try to loosen the lanyard. But when you're on steep slopes, bend over toes and instep to increase performance.

2.2 Strap of climbing shoes

These types of closures are commonly referred to as hook-and-loop because they are convenient to quickly turn on and off. Best of all, they are ideal for mountain climbing and exercise.

2.3 Slip on of climbing shoes

They have a different name from sandals because it has an elastic lacing system and offers the most effective and lowest sensitivity of any type of shoe. Their use because it lacks a traditional hard base and midsole, which enhances training. Because they have straps or lanyards, and a low profile it is great for slitting into very thin cracks.

3. Materials of climbing shoes

If you rely on the types of shoes to choose from, you probably are not ready for climbing, to choose good climbing shoes you need to pay attention to the materials that make them. Usually you will find some leather or synthetic shoelaces available. For leather shoes with lining and no lining, it helps to deodorize well, while synthetic shoes offer high performance. But below, we will analyze clearly about each material.

3.1 Leather shoes

3.1.1 Unlined leather climbing shoes

Things You Should Know Before Buying Climbing Shoes

Borderless leather shoes can be as long as they can be. Measure so that your toes just touch the end of the shoe. Note that a pair of leather shoes can completely melt the color of the shoe down the foot.

3.1.2 Lined leather climbing shoes

Things You Should Know Before Buying Climbing Shoes

Regarding the upper leather lining, the elongation will be reduced a bit less. Manufacturers only insulate the toes to reduce costs and reduce some elongation if the site tends to flow the most.

3.2 Synthetic climbing shoes

Things You Should Know Before Buying Climbing Shoes

Synthetic shoes will not stretch much and soften a bit when used, but they are less bulky, so when choosing this one should take a close look at the foot size and shoes for easy portability. In addition, perforated composites have many benefits over solid fabrics. Besides, there are some materials that support the foot to breathe and absorb sweat.

4. Climbing shoe last

This is the last of the foot models on which around the shoe is built. It provides the wearer with relative height and instep volume, heel and toe size and width. The rock climbing shoes are on the market with skates, only a few have pull soles.

Slip lasted of climbing shoes

Climbing shoes with skates tend to be more sensitive and less stiff. Usually they use inline skates and have a solid separation from the middle and are located just above the outsole.

Board lasted of climbing shoes

Board lasted shoes are usually stiffer. It is a little bit sensitive but comfortable and easy for mountain climbers to be active all day. The shoes come in three main final shapes:

  • Straight: Shoes are designed around the straight end, also known as a neutral shoe, for a comfortable fit and to operate. Ideal for long day trekking and trekking.
  • Asymmetric: On this part is placed the richest point on the big toe to increase the force on the edges and there is a touch point on the rock. Most of this characteristic is for shoes that are moderate or strong, depending on the degree of deterioration.
  • Downturned:
Things You Should Know Before Buying Climbing Shoes

This shape you can visualize the part that bends down towards the toes. Commonly found in strong, moderate-strength shoes designed so that the toe and heel cling to the protruding rock. Such shoe types have an asymmetrical shape. Great for tough roads when you need maximum performance and control.

5. Climbing shoe outsole

In addition to the high back soles, the shoe easily touches the rock and has good friction. In conclusion, its thickness and the type of rubber affect climbing performance.

5.1 Outsole rubber

There are different types of rubbers used on the outsole of stone shoes. Almost all climbing shoes provide good grip, while some are in the softer and more sticky form of rubber. In short, a stiffer foam provides good contouring and good footing. In addition, the grip on the slab is more stable. However, the sticky rubber parts will be less durable because they cannot withstand abrasion.

5.2 Thickness of outsole

The outsole thickness also affects the performance and sensitivity of the shoe. Where if the sole is about 4-5. 5mm thick, it provides good support for the outlines and is durable. Contrary to the thickness of the sole, you will have no sensitivity and feel to external objects. For those who start climbing, it is recommended to wear shoes with thick sole to protect the feet. When you become a professional, use technique to avoid fatigue in your legs.

In contrast, the thinner sole is about 3-4mm thick. Very good for staining on slab routes. When you're technically good, a shoe with a thin sole is the way to go.

6. Size of climbing shoes

6.1 Women’s climbing shoes

Things You Should Know Before Buying Climbing Shoes

Many people mistakenly think that mountain glue shoes are only for men, but it's really fair now that there are many diverse models not only for men but also for women. Women's shoes are usually cut lower around the ankle and have a smaller heel. Besides that, it could also have slightly longer toes and lower forefoot volume compared to men's shoes.

6.2 Kids climbing shoes

Things You Should Know Before Buying Climbing Shoes

At the mountain climbing stations, stone shoes for kids are still rented out at the climbing gym, but they will not be suitable for different sizes. If you can choose for yourself a couple to be able to climb outdoors. Best of all, children grow fast, so shoes must be strong enough to be worn as they grow. On the other hand, children love to wear clothes that fit well. Over time, children's foot sizes increase over time, so tie them up until they can tie them on their own.


A full-featured mountain climbing shoe is always carefully chosen by everyone as they can affect your climbing a lot. Based on the information we share, you will gain more knowledge about carefully reviewing the detailed sections on shoes.

"I'm Matt, love travelling, sports especially climbing. The more I climb, the more resilient I am, that's not only apply for my hobbies but also true for everything in my life. I'd love to be here, a part of Gearinstant to share my experience, guides, tips and especially any gears that work for you."

Related Articles