The shoes you wear when rock climbing are crucial for your safety, and, if you’re an avid climber, quality of performance. A great pair should fit snugly without being uncomfortably tight. When choosing the right shoes, you should consider the type of climbing you’ll be using them for. Neutral shoes offer the most comfortable fit because they let your toes lie flat and are usually a good option for beginners. Meanwhile, moderate shoes feature a slightly downturned shape that’s ideal for more challenging and advanced climbs. For traversing tricky overhangs, aggressive styles with downturned toe boxes and stickier rubber grips are ideal. Here, we included the best options for men in every category.
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1. Five Ten Rogue VCS Climbing Shoe
This neutral shoe has a flexible split-grain leather upper that’ll conform to your feet over time for ultimate comfort.
Pros: Ultra-sticky Stealth C4 rubber outsoles grip just about every surface and allow for good edging. They can be resoled.
Cons: The toe area may feel slightly loose for some.
2. Mad Rock Drifter Climbing Shoe
This moderate shoe features an unlined, full-grain leather upper that will mold to your foot over time.
Pros: Super-sticky rubber soles prevent slippage. 3D molded heels and EVA cushioning enhances comfort. They come in three colors.
Cons: These may run somewhat small.
3. Scarpa Instinct VS Climbing Shoe
These shoes are made with a Lorica synthetic leather for a comfortable fit that won’t overly stretch out with wear.
Pros: A tensioned design positions your toes for ideal power on tiny holds. Two-part Vibram XS rubber soles improve maneuverability.
Cons: They may run a bit short.
4. Black Diamond Momentum Climbing Shoe
This pair is equipped with fabric uppers that provide stretch, support and exceptional ventilation.
Pros: Durable NeoFriction rubber soles are molded for enhanced performance. Soft flex midsole offer added sensitivity and comfort.
Cons: These also may run slightly small.
5. La Sportiva Katana Lace Climbing Shoes
These shoes have a Lorica synthetic leather toebox that optimizes edging power and lacing system for a no-stretch fit.
Pros: They’re highly breathable. A technical randing system delivers power to the soles and maintains the downturned shape.
Cons: You may want to size down in these as well.
6. Evolv Shaman Climbing Shoe
This style features more toe rubber for toe hooking and an inset front strap for better medial side toe scumming.
Pros: High-friction, performance rubber soles stick firmly to rock. The synthetic suede uppers resist stretching and dry quickly if they get wet.
Cons: These also run rather small.
7. Butora Advance Climbing Shoe
A flat profile makes these great for beginners, while the knit upper is breathable and feels soft against skin.
Pros: These shoes feature a microfiber lining with an odor-reducing treatment. The asymmetrical design compliments the foot’s natural shape.
Cons: They may not be the grippiest on our list.