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Best Beginner Climbing Shoes 2023: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Climbing is one of the most enthralling and amazing hobbies that we witness profoundly in today’s generation. It is a known fact that climbing is super fun for beginners as people tend to learn new skills very fast.

When you start this sport, the first and foremost bit of gear required would be a pair of specialized climbing shoes. There used to be certain gyms that could lend you climbing shoes.

But as per the pandemic situation, gyms have totally put a full stop on renting shoes. Therefore, buying a new set of shoes won’t be only a smart investment but also the only course of action if you wish to climb.

It is generally said when you are out for sports like climbing, your first shoe should always be both comfortable and affordable.

As a beginner, the last thing you would want to spend your time worrying about is your shoes or the poor feet you have crammed into them. After reading this article, one thing you could surely strike off your list is having the best climbing shoes for beginners.

Here is a list of all the top class and best beginner climbing shoes available in the market that provide you a comfortable and exciting climbing experience.

Top 10 Best Beginner Climbing Shoes 2023

1. La Sportiva Men’s Low Top Climbing Shoes

La Sportiva Men's Climbing Shoes, Unisex-Adult, Tarantula, Green/Grey, 8

This is the super comfortable, all-round climbing shoe for the one searching for multipurpose shoes. It is the best shoe for the crack climbing period. The upper is leather and can suit beginners and pros.

It has a hook-and-loop closure that promises easy and comfortable fit and efficient usability. This makes this model easily adjustable, enabling wrapping that provides excellent comfort and support.

It is round-shaped and has a high volume for a climber’s feet that makes it aggressive enough to be used when needed without mangling one’s feet.

This model has a Laspflex midsole of 1.8mm, which is positioned to provide complete cushioning and is a good shock absorber. It prevents your shoe from damaging even if used for a long period of time.

It is well equipped with a highly adaptable closure system that enables it fit to multiple foot shapes and sizes. This adds to the agility of this model. This model is purely designed for men.

Supposedly, it is one of the best rock climbing shoes for beginners that offers an amazing and comfortable climbing experience.

2. La Sportiva Katana Lace Climbing Shoe

La Sportiva Unisex Katana Lace Climbing Shoe, Yellow, 44.5 M EU

Katana lace model is a one-show quiver for face accents, crack climbing and multi-pitch routes. Katana is widely comfortable and ensures that it does not compromise its performance in any way.

This shoe has a synthetic structure and a Vibram sole that helps in a smooth motion and firm grip. It prevents you from slipping or getting imbalanced while you are up there rock climbing.

Although Katana is an ideal shoe for every level of climbing, it is more popular among intermediate and advanced level climbers. It also overperforms from the gym to the boulders and crags.

This model offers you advanced edging. The presence of the Vibram XS Edge compound allows you to focus your weight even on the tiniest of footholds. It has a PD75 structure meaning it has a downturned shape for proper weight distribution, which also offers great support while edging.

The precision and sensitivity of this model are on par. The medium-asymmetrical toolbox allows for great precision and sensitivity. These shoes are super sticky when used for smearing, aggressive enough for steeper pitches, and comfortable enough when it comes to gyming.

It is made of high-quality premium materials. It has a leather or lorica upper and a pacific lined forefoot to keep the fit tight yet comfortable. The 1.1mm Laspo flex midsole combined with P3 patented technology provides solid support even after years of hard use.

The Katana model has a medium interior volume and is designed for feet with medium instep circumference, medium joint interference, and small volume heels. It is recommended to buy 0.5-1 US sizes smaller than your regular shoe size for a snug fit.

La Sportiva Katana Lace Climbing shoe is one of the best climbing shoes for beginners. It offers a completely firm and smooth grip and an overall comfortable experience. It is just like a friend to your feet.

3. La Sportiva Tarantula Women’s Climbing Shoe

La Sportiva Women's Tarantula Rock Climbing Shoe, Coral, 41

This shoe is easy to use and offers great comfort and hold. It is easy to get in and off this shoe in a flash. They are designed only for women and weigh nearly about 7.84 ounces. This climbing shoe performs extremely well while gyming in addition to climbing.

Rock climbing is not an easy task. You must need a firm grip and a strong finish so that your shoe does not get ripped. Therefore, your shoe must be made of some good quality materials.

Tarantula for women is made up of leather in the upper part and the unlined upper is excellent for moisture management and feels super comfortable on your foot all day long. It has hook-and-loop kind of straps to properly grasp your feet inside the shoe. This also ensures a snug fit.

The shape looks round and it has higher volume for a climber’s feet, not looking to mangle their feet but yet aggressive enough to use when needed.

This model has a Laspflex midsole of around 1.8 mm in order to provide proper cushioning and is a good absorber. It is firm due to which it makes the shoe stiffer and heavier. It uses Fixon RS rubber adhesive to hold the parts together for a longer period of time even after hard use.

It has a highly adaptable closure system that adapts to multiple foot sizes and shapes which makes this model a versatile one. It has the agility which lets it stay put for a good amount of time.

It is undoubtedly one of the best rock climbing shoes for beginners, specifically designed for females. It offers you an all-round comfortable and cozy feel in your feet.

4. Five Ten Women’s Rogue VCS Climbing Shoe

Five Ten Women's Rogue VCS Climbing Shoe,Purple/Charcoal,8.5 M US

Five Ten is the Brand of the Brave. They are the lead producers of footwear that exhibit high-friction and great performance. Even if it is the world’s most dangerous sport, Five Ten has a solution for it.

Not just for downhill mountain bike racing, or rock climbing, but even for wind suit flying and kayaking, Five Ten footwear suits well. This particular model is only designed for female climbers. It weighs nearly around 6.2 ounces.

Its body is 100% synthetic and it has a rubber sole. Rubber sole allows this shoe to maintain a firm grip on the surface and avoid any slipping. The outsole is made of Stealth C4 rubber that offers necessary traction and protection from the surfaces it will be in contact with.

The rubber outsole increases the lifespan of this shoe. It could be used for a longer period of time without wearing out even when used in rough situations. The grip it provides develops a sense of confidence in the climber when they are somewhere out for rock climbing.

Five Ten Women’s Rogue model has a leather upper with a half-size stretch feature. This increases the number of foot sizes a particular model can accommodate which thus adds to the versatility of this model.

It has a cutting-edge design with a double strand velcro closure system. This makes it easy to use and promises a snug fit. This holds your feet in a correct position and offers you a comfortable shape.

It is by far the roughest and toughest climbing shoe available in the market. Five Ten is a shoe branch of choice for the world’s most exciting athletes. This model is one of the most stretchable and comfortable shoes for beginners.

5. Black Diamond Men’s Momentum Lace Climbing Shoes

Black Diamond Momentum Lace Climbing Shoe - Men's Ash 9.5

Black Diamond has been a leader and innovator in climbing gear for decades but more recently made its debut in the world of climbing shoes.

Black Diamond Mens Momentum is a flat, entry-level model that is somewhat similar to the Scarpa Origin and Evolv Defy. Although there exist a few important differences that makes this model a commendable choice for the gym. The Engineered Knit Technology upper of this model provides exceptional breathability and comfort.

This stretchy knit upper breathes well in sweaty indoor environments to avoid a foul smell, and the presence of Neo Fuse rubber makes this model a durable choice for high-volume gym climbing. It is not only built for durability but also molded for optimal consistency and performance.

With the addition of vegan Momentum, Black Diamond now has something for everyone.

Alas, the design of the Velcro closure of Black Diamond’s Momentum model is substandard.

Further, the flat last may not be the best option as you might in a slightly downturned shoe like the Endeavor. Also, the medium flex midsole provides add-on support without sacrificing sensitivity.

It is one of the best beginner climbing shoes available at an affordable price. Providing you the world’s best comfortable and enjoyable climbing journey.

6. Scarpa Men’s Helix Climbing Shoe

SCARPA Men's Helix Climbing Shoe-M, Hyper Blue, 10-10.5

Scarpa Helix, producing one of the all-time classic shoes, is the latest incarnation and it remains amongst the most popular shoes in the line. The original, classic randing of a flat profile over a relatively symmetrical footprint are all retained.

This particular model shows more comfort and refinement built into the shoe than ever before due to the additional padded tongue, and a heel cup that is inherited from a more advanced techno family.

It is made of 100% Suede and has a rubber sole to protect from any kind of traction and provide a firm grip to the climber. The rubber sole ensures that this shoe can be used for a longer period of time even after use in rough situations.

The Vibram XS Edge is capable of providing incredible grip and durability. Mostly, the flat lasted construction delivers all-day comfort and performance. The presence of a light heel cup cushioning enhances all all-day-wear.

It also has a to-the-toe lacing that is useful for providing a smooth all-day-fit and great adjustability. This improved adjustability of fit is a new feature with lacing that runs further down toward the toe.

Scarpa Men’s Helix Climbing Shoe model is one of the best rock climbing shoes for beginners with a cutting-edge finish and proper comfort.

7. La Sportiva Men’s TarantuLace Performance Rock Climbing Shoe

La Sportiva Men's Tarantulace Rock Climbing Shoes, Black/Poppy, 45

An unlined leather climbing shoe, TarantuLace has an asymmetric shape for advanced performance. The shape is great for upper-end performance without hurting your toes.

It has a fast lacing system. The quick-pull lacing harness allows for precise regulation of inner volumes. Due to this reason wrapping the foot snuggly for excellent support, fit, and comfort becomes quicker and easier.

It is designed especially for intermediate climbers to smear, hook, and edge like advanced climbers . The climbers are able to find purchases on the edges with great sensitivity and without any pain due to the low-asymmetric RN45 build. The aggressive rubber heel rand and the sticky FriXion RS rubber soles add on to the grip this shoe aims at providing.

The classic unlined upper leather is soft and comfortable, providing an overall great experience from the gyms to the craggs. The lined tongue controls the moisture content and enhances breathability. Additionally, the synthetic leather overlay adds the perfect level of support.

This climbing shoe is made from high-quality materials; 1.8mm LaspoFlex at the midsole and 5mm FriXion RS at the sole, making the TarantuLace as stable as it is durable.

TarantuLace is the best rock climbing shoe for beginners with a comfortable finish and a supportive grip. It is an all-rounder with long-lasting features that provides you a completely enthralling rock climbing experience.

8. La Sportiva Women’s Climbing Shoes

La Sportiva Tarantulace Shoe - Women's Turquoise 37

These shoes are designed specially for women. They possess a fast lacing system that is well equipped with a quick-pull lacing harness that allows precise regulations of inner volumes. It is designed for wrapping the foot snuggly for excellent fit, comfort, and support.

This model has a lined tongue which is capable of controlling moisture and enhancing breathability. The versatility of this model is increased due to its great performance in all fields, may it be gym or craggs.

The upper is made of classic unlined leather and is soft and comfortable. Not only beginners but also intermediate climbers can use it to smear, edge, and hook like pros. The climbers are able to find purchase on the edges with great sensitivity and without any pain due to its low-symmetry RN45 build, aggressive rubber heel rand, and sticky FriXion RS rubber soles.

It is made of premium quality materials like Laspoflex in the midsole to provide solid support even after years of use. The FriXion RS rubber makes the La Sportiva women’s collection more stable and durable.

This model is one of the best beginner climbing shoes that offers you a smooth grip and a firm hold. It also promises great comfort and agility while you are out climbing a rock.

9. Five Ten Gambit VCS

Five Ten Men's Verdon Vcs Climbing Shoe, Grey, 11.5 D US

The Gambit VCS from Five Ten blends easy comfort and technical precision for a reliable climbing shoe. It is designed for comfort on long routes, trad climbing, slab climbing, and gym climbing.

They are ideal for rock climbers belonging to beginner to intermediate levels. The upper leather with minimal stretch provides it a stiff texture and strong grasp. It is embedded with a hook-and-loop closure for easy adjustability. This also makes Gambit VCS easy to use.

It has a perforated ariaprene tongue. This keeps your feet cool and provides you with a soothing experience if you are amidst some tough rock climbing. It has a rounded toe box for a snug fit and breathable cotton lining.

These shoes are molded with a thermoplastic midsole for effective stiffness and unbeatable grip. The outsole is constructed of Stealth C4 4.2mm rubber that combines friction and durability in order to give an incredible all-round performance on any surface.

Five Ten’s Gambit VCS model is one of the best climbing shoes for beginners available in the market that offer you a completely all-around comfortable experience.

10. Climb X Rave Strap Climbing Shoe

Climb X Rave Strap Climbing Shoe 2018 (9.5, Red)

Climb X Rave Strap Climbing Shoe is a great all-around comfortable model that is precise enough for your next gym session. Its usability does not stop at the gym level, rather it is an excellent model for beginners who are in search of good climbing shoes.

It features a double stitch construction for easy usability and adjustability. The padded collar and heel are aggressive enough to provide you excellent fit and comfort. The polypropylene midsole and one-piece binding offer protection to your shoe for a longer period of time.

You can size up for a comfortable fit or size down for more aggressive performance. But it is a known fact that climbing shoes are supposed to fit very tight and you must ensure that at a minimum your toes should be touching the end of your shoe.

It is one of the best performing footwear lines when it comes to climbing shoes. It promises you great fit, comfort, and support.

Factors To Look For In Buying The Best Beginner Climbing Shoes

If you are looking at all the options of beginner climbing shoes, you will find that these are easily discernible. Beginner shoes are basically flat, whereas more advanced shoes have at least some downturn.

Generally speaking, a quality starter shoe comes with a few very important features, and not all are visible at first glance. The most important one is the price tag. It is not suggested that beginners should spend a lot of money on a pair of climbing shoes.

Listed below are some of the vital features that you need to consider while you are looking into the specifications of a pair of climbing shoes.

1. Sizing, Fit And Sensitivity

Fitting is the most important factor that must be taken into account while buying the best beginner climbing shoe. There are different shapes of feet, length, heel sizes, shapes, and with this, there come different levels of comfort.

Climbing shoe sizes differ with respect to brands. But, one thumb rule you can apply is always going for 0.5 to 1 Euro size lesser than your street size.

There are certain shoes that have lower volumes. Generally, women?s shoes have a lower volume and they are slimmer and have a smaller heel fit. If you think that your feet might fit well in different gender sizes there is no harm in keeping the options open.

Sensitivity is defined on the basis of thickness and the type of material used. It is how comfortable you find these things while you are up there climbing. It is always suggested that you try and test the footwear before buying it. If your shoes don’t fit well, you won’t be able to enjoy climbing.

2. Material And Lining

Different shoes are made of different materials and linings. It is observed that leather and natural materials on the upper will stretch to a fair amount, generally half the size. Whereas, on the other hand, synthetic materials stretch less. Although, synthetic materials tend to absorb sweat smells more.

Some shoes are also made of modern synthetic knit that offers a very breathable and fairy stretch. However, they don?t stretch much in the long term.

If a shoe is lined it means that it has an extra layer within it to keep the shape the same and prevent the shoe from stretching too much.

Therefore, it is better to look for the material and lining that you think would give you a comfortable fit and firm support.

3. Rubber

Observations state that harder rubbers work better on small edges, whereas softer rubbers work better for smearing. The harder the rubber is, the longer it lasts.

For beginners, it is highly recommended that you opt for a slightly thicker rubber than normal rubber so that your climbing show would last a little longer.

4. Stiffness And Downturn/Aggressiveness

Most of the best beginner climbing shoes recommended have a flat profile rather than an aggressive one. Some downturn is common in mid-level shoes and tends to be better for harder sport routes. If a shoe is downturned or very aggressive, it tends to perform well on overhanging routes, where hooking a toe or heel is a major necessity.

Soles could be of three types: one long piece that is stiffer, or two pieces that connect, or two separate pieces for a good flex in the middle.

At a beginner level, you might be looking for something that is an all-rounder.

5. Closure

How the shoe closes is a factor that is totally dependent on your preference. Generally, people do prefer lace as they give the best fit because they allow you to custom fit for snugness and also adjust as your feet swell up throughout an entire session of rock climbing in hot weather.

Lace-ups or velcro straps are the best options of closures for a beginner level. They both are simple. Velcros are better for indoors whereas laces are the most ideal ones when it comes to outdoors.

Best Beginner Climbing Shoes – Conclusion

Comfort is really important where you are to start climbing. Therefore, the best climbing shoe for beginners must promise excellent comfort, fit, support, and great agility.

When you are out there rock climbing, grip, and a proper hold might be something you are looking up to.

The best climbing shoe for beginners is the one that is made of the most suitable material and has the most comfortable closure. This is the only way you would be able to enjoy the rock climbing sport keeping in mind your protection at the same time.

Various shoes that are available for beginners differ in a lot of aspects. But they are designed keeping in mind what would be the prime requirement of a beginner. You need not invest much into a pair of shoes if you are a beginner, as it is your trial period.

To make your choice easier we have listed out the best beginner climbing shoes that are available in the market that could provide you a snug fit and a comfortable experience.

FAQs on Beginner Climbing Shoes

Q1. How Climbing Shoes Should Fit?

All of your toes should be right at the end of the toe box, there should be no dead space. Your heel must be snug and secure and you should ensure that your shoes don?t come off at the crucial heel hook. The climbing shoe should have a snug fit around your foot as well.

Q2. Should My Climbing Shoes Hurt?

No, your climbing shoes should be relatively tight at first, especially if you buy a pair that is supposed to stretch after a few hours of climbing. But, the shoes should never make your feet hurt.

Q3. Are We Supposed To Wear Socks With Climbing Shoes?

A number of climbers choose not to wear socks with their bouldering shoes. This provides a tighter and better fit with less foot slippage. But one of the major disadvantages of not wearing socks is that this might make your shoes really smelly and sweaty.

Q4. Should You Size Down In Climbing Shoes?

It is highly recommended for beginners to wear shoes that are 0.5 or 1 (Euro size) lesser than their street size.

Q5. What To Know Before Buying Climbing Shoes?

You must avoid buying shoes that have dead spaces so that your toes touch the end of your shoe. Another major point to keep in mind is that the shoe must provide a snug fit at your heel and should not fall off at heel hooks. Apart from this, you must know that a climbing shoe must be tight at first and also provide a comfortable and snug fit at your foot too.