Climbing is always an awesome adventure to venture in especially if you love outdoor activities. The adventure won’t be exciting if you don’t have the right attire and courage to face those huge boulders and climbs. As much as you are a beginner, it is always good to have your own. In fact, the idea of renting shoes should not even cross your mind.
QUICK ANSWER – The Best Beginner Climbing Shoes
How do you shop for the best beginner climbing shoes? To be honest with you, shopping is not as easy as you might think. You have to know the features and attributes to look for in a shoe before spending your money on it. There are a lot in the market, but not all are ideal for you. Some are reserved for intermediates while others are designed to be used by experts.
Anyway, there is nothing to worry about because I am here to help you make a wise buying decision. This write up will contain all the information you need to know about beginner climbing shoes. Besides, I’ll review some of the best shoes that are ideal for newbies. Hopefully, each one of you will find a good pair of shoe to improve your climbing and bouldering skills.
|Climb X Rave||Velcro Straps||Synthetic||Neutral||$|
|La Sportiva Men’s TarantuLace||Lace-up||Leather/Synthetic Leather||Neutral||$|
|Scarpa Origin||Velcro Straps||Suede Leather||Neutral||$$|
|Scarpa Helix||Lace-up||Suede Leather||Neutral||$$|
|Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym||Slip-on||Split-grain Leather||Moderate||$$$|
Reviews Of The Best Climbing Shoes For Beginners
Picking your first pair can be a daunting task especially because of the numerous brands available. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that because I have picked and tested. This section contains detailed reviews of the ideal for newbies. It’s my hope that these reviews will help you make an informed decision when shopping for your first pair of shoes.
The Climb X Rave rock climing shoes are the current best beginner for the money. This model happens to be one of the latest releases in the market, and it has been receiving a lot of positive reviews. The good thing about this pair is that it has been specifically designed for beginners. What’s more? It is an all-round shoe that can be used for all kinds of climbing. Without wasting much time, let’s get to the nitty-gritty details of this remarkable pair.
One of the attributes that stands out about the Climb X Rave is its comfort levels. You will automatically like these the moment you put them on. If you look at the shoe closely, you’ll notice that they have a flat profile. This means that you won’t struggle when standing on small edges. Besides, it comes with a relatively rigid sole which helps strengthen your feet muscles and ligaments.
Personally, I love this pair because it takes the shape of your feet regardless of the size. This can be attributed to the fact that it is made from leather.
Other than the few comfort features, I have mentioned, these have a padded collar and heel. These features ensure your feet will remain comfortable at all times. Moreover, the footbed is designed with an organic hemp lining that prevents your feet from smelling.
It Is Durable
The Climb X Rave is an awesome pair of climbing shoes that has been designed to last for years. Its leather material allows climbers to use these for as long as they can. What’s better? These feature an X factor rubber which doesn’t wear out quickly. Although the sole is durable, I didn’t like its sensitivity at all. All in all, sensitivity should not be an issue if you are a beginner.
As I mentioned earlier, most are not performance oriented. The Climb X Rave rubber provides a good grip when climbing but of course you can’t compare it to advanced shoe models. All in all, you can use this shoe for almost all kinds of climbing, but it is best suited for gym climbing.
2. La Sportiva Men’s TarantuLace – Best For Bouldering
The La Sportiva TarantuLace rock climing shoes has been around for a very long time, and it’s one of the top-rated for beginners. Unlike most of the new shoes, La Sportiva has been tried and tested for a long time. As a beginner, you can’t go wrong with this pair of performance climbing shoes.
The La Sportiva TarantuLace shoe is absolutely miles ahead of the Climb X Rave in terms of performance. This is the shoe to go for if you are looking for high levels of performance. Besides, the shoe will not only usher you into the world of climbing, but it will help you advance to the next level.
The TarantuLace comes with sticky FriXion RS rubber soles which provides grip as well as enhancing sensitivity, these shoes are great for bouldering.
There is no doubt that the TarantuLace is one of the most comfortable you can find around. For starters, they come with a fast lacing system which provides incredible support, comfort and fit to your feet.
Unlike most, the TarantuLace features a soft and unlined leather upper design which makes it so comfortable to wear. Moreover, the shoe has a lined tongue that allows air circulation and moisture control.
As I mentioned earlier, the La Sportiva shoe is built for performance. You can literally use it for almost all of your climbing adventures. It is for this sole reason that the shoe comes with a thick and tough sole. In fact, the shoe has a 5mm FriXion RS at the sole to improve durability and stability.
3. Scarpa Origin – Best For Comfort
The Scarpa Origin is an amazing shoe for beginners who are on a budget. It is definitely clear that this shoe from Italy has all the features and attributes of a top shoe. This explains why professionals recommend this shoe to amateurs. Having tried these several times, I must say that they provide enough support and comfort at all times. Surprisingly, you can hike with the Scarpa Origin without experiencing discomfort.
I am a big fan of Scarpa rock climing shoes, and almost all models I have tried are very comfortable. For starters, the Origin version features an awesome flat profile for the sake of comfort. You can wear these all day long without feeling pain. Secondly, the upper suede leather is spacious enough to provide extra comfort to your feet. The Scarpa Origin is definitely a great option if you are looking for a versatile climbing shoe.
It is Durable
This particular shoe comes with a Scarpa Vision Rubber Sole which has a thickness of 5mm. The sole has been designed for performance and durability. This is not the kind of rubber that tears or losses grip after a few weeks of use. The strength of the sole will automatically give you the confidence you are looking for to advance your climbing techniques.
The Scarpa Origin has been pampered with several awesome features that will improve your climbing experience. For starters, the shoes come with hook and loop straps that provide comfort and a secure fit. The second nice feature is the Flexan midsole which is designed to provide an excellent edge when maneuvering steep boulders.
4. Scarpa Helix Climbing Shoes – Best All Day Wear
If you are still not convinced by our top three picks, you might like the Scarpa Helix. These have been around for two years and they are really great for novice climbers. As you well know, Scarpa is a reputable brand and there is no way you can go wrong with this shoe. The good thing is that the Helix shoe is available in the male and female version. According to the design of the Helix, it is evident that they were made specifically for beginners. Below are some of the key attributes of the Scarpa Helix.
Soft and Comfortable
The Scarpa Helix has been designed to provide maximum comfort without compromising on sensitivity and performance. These have a symmetrical shape and flat profile that makes them super comfortable. In fact, you can hike with these all day without experiencing any kind of pain or soreness. With the new padded tongue, you can climb in these very comfortably.
What’s more? This pair of shoes features an unlined leather upper which conforms to the shape of your feet.
Solid Performance and Durability
The Scarpa Helix is one of the few beginner shoes that most intermediates would feel comfortable in. I am saying this because the shoes provide Stellar Performance without ruining comfort and durability.
The heel section is lined with ultra soft chamois to prevent abrasion from happening at the back of your shoes. Besides, Scarpa Helix comes with a relatively thin and stiff sole that provides excellent support, especially when standing on small edges. The TAC rubber sole will allow you to feel the rock surface thus enabling you to improve your skills.
5. Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym Climbing Shoes – Best For Crack Climbing
The Five Ten Moccasym happens to be my last pick in this roundup. Moccasym is a performance oriented shoe that is built for beginners who want to transition to more technical climbs. Unlike my other selections, this shoe uses a slippers closure system. This means that Moccasym has a nice fit and most importantly, it provides the sensitivity and stretch required in a climbing shoe.
When it comes to performance, the Anasazi rarely disappoints. This pair of shoe has a flexible sole that allows you to jam your feet in cracks like a pro. Besides, its Stealth C4 rubber has the ability to keep things sticky for as long as the shoe exists. Besides, the Moccasym has a high-quality unlined leather that comes in handy when digging in on smears.
It’s ts Comfortable & Durable
The comfort of these babies cannot be overstated enough. There is a possibility that the shoes won’t be comfortable enough during the first few climbs, but things will definitely get better with time.
I found the slippers closure system to be convenient especially if you need to take off your shoes between climbs. Sliding your feet in these bad boys is super easy because of the heel pull tabs.
Finally, this pair has been built to last. You can literally use it for years without having to replace it. Moreover, it’s an all-round shoe that will help you advance to the next level.
Each of these five have been designed for use by beginners who are looking for comfort and performance. Most of these can be worn during all kinds of climbing meaning that they are versatile . Grab yourself one of these pairs and say goodbye to renting every week.
How To Spot A Beginner Climbing Shoe
I am pretty sure some of you are wondering if there are any differences between beginner, intermediate and expert rock climbing shoes. Well, there are a few attributes that can help you to distinguish between the various shoes.
First of all, beginner shoes tend to be flat in shape while others are slightly curved around the toe section. Some might have an asymmetrical shape on the toe but it’s not as aggressive as expert shoes.
Secondly, you will find that most beginner’s shoes do not look that great as compared to the others. This also means that these do not have a lot of features. Finally, beginner climbing shoes are sold at a very affordable price and they have a slightly thick sole.
Any shoe that doesn’t meet the above attributes is probably not meant for beginners.
How to Choose the Best Beginner Climbing Shoes for Your Needs
Picking the right pair for your adventures does not require any technical skills. It’s all about being informed about climbing shoes. Of course, you don’t have to spend much on your first pair of shoes because you might abandon them sooner than later. Anyway, let’s jump straight to the factors to consider when shopping.
It’s always imperative to consider the material that is used to make a climbing shoe. In fact, this attribute applies to all rock climbing shoes. In most cases, they are mostly made from leather and synthetic materials. Each of these materials has its own advantages and disadvantages. For instance, leather shoes tend to stretch while synthetic materials don’t. At least, you will always be comfortable when maneuvering those huge boulders. Leather will always conform to the shape of your feet making it much more comfortable than synthetic materials. Since you are a beginner; you should try out both materials before you think of advancing.
Types Of Closure Systems
The other important feature you need to consider is the closure system used in different shoes. Normally, they are always available in three types of closure systems which include: laces, Velcro and slippers. At this stage, I can’t recommend which closure system you should go for because everybody has his or her preferences. Luckily, I can point out the pros and cons of each type of closure system since I have tried all of them several times.
Velcro is a common closure system, and most climber prefer it because it is easy to use. Getting them on and off is pretty easy with velcro. As much as the velcro is good, it comes with a few drawbacks. For instance, you will be limited when it comes to adjusting the fit of your shoes. Beside the velcro system is not reliable in terms of durability. I would not advise you to go with this system if you plan to spend most of your time climbing cracks. On the other hand, Velcro shoes are great for climbing boulders.
Honestly, I love laces than other closure systems when it comes to climbing shoes. Most climbers prefer laces simply because they can be adjusted to enhance comfort and fit. The versatility that comes with laces will obviously allow you to loosen and tighten your shoes to suit your needs. Laces are great if performance and comfort are your key preferences. On the other hand, laces might not be a good option if you will be putting your shoes on and off regularly.
Are really awesome when it comes to comfort. This type of closure system provides a nice fit because the shoe tends to take the shape of your feet. Besides, slipper shoes are so convenient because you can wear and remove them pretty fast. The only drawback about slipper leather shoes is that they tend to stretch a lot with time.
It is obvious that you will need to purchase a nice pair of fitting shoes for you to enjoy being a climber. Of course, you might have read somewhere that climbing shoes need to be as tight as possible. Does this mean you should choose smaller shoes? Not really, the primary goal is to select a comfortable and well fitting pair of shoes. It should not be too tight nor too loose especially if you are still trying to ace your climbing skills. In case, you want to purchase leather shoes, ensure that you choose a smaller size because they tend to stretch with time. Of course, you will have discomfort issues during the first few days, but they will subside.
The sole of your shoe should be strong enough to serve you during your climbing journey. Rubber will always be the point of contact between your shoe and the rock surface. You have to ensure that the sole will provide you with a strong grip. As a beginner, you should always go for ones that have a sole thickness of 4mm and above.
Comfort & Performance
Every time you are shopping for a climbing shoe; you should try to pick one that strikes a balance between performance and comfort. In most cases, you will find that beginner shoes are comfortable to wear, but they are not as efficient as intermediate and expert shoes. I can tell you for free that you will hate climbing if you start out with uncomfortable shoes. As much as performance matters a lot, you will have to consider comfort first, and the latter will follow. You can always go for a performance oriented shoe as soon as you start getting used to technical climbing.
The stiffness of a climbing shoe matters a lot especially if you are a beginner. Experts will most likely go for soft shoes because they are so flexible. Soft shoes allow you to flex your feet with ease especially when you want to support your body. Beginners should choose a pair of shoe that is relatively stiff in order to train their feet muscles and ligaments. Always check the flexibility of the midsole to determine the level of stiffness.
Indoor Vs Outdoor
Before you purchase a pair, it is always imperative to consider the type of climber you want to be. Are you planning to practice rock climbing or your main intention is climbing indoors? Once you decide on which is which, it will be easier to pick an ideal pair of climbing shoe. If you fancy indoor climbing, just go for a comfortable shoe. On the other hand, outdoor climbers should go for a durable and performance-oriented shoe.