Best Men’s Climbing Shoes for Every Skill Level

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.

Five Ten Men's Rogue VCS Climbing Shoe
CREDIT: Amazon

2. Mad Rock Drifter Climbing Shoe

This moderate climbing shoe features an unlined, full grain leather upper that will stretch out and mold to your foot with wear.

Pros: Super-sticky rubber soles prevent feet from slipping and make you feel more secure. A 3D molded heel and EVA cushioning enhance comfort. They come in three colors.

Cons: These may run somewhat small.

Mad Rock Drifter Climbing Shoe
CREDIT: Amazon

3. Scarpa Instinct VS Climbing Shoe

Unlike the previous pairs, these aggressive shoes are made with a Lorica synthetic leather for a comfortable fit that doesn't stretch out as time goes on.

Pros: A tensioned design positions your toes for ideal power on tiny holds. Vibram XS rubber is placed at the forefoot and heel for excellent durability and grip so you can nail tough heel and toe hooks. Two-part soles improve maneuverability. They can be resoled.

Cons: It may run a bit short.

Scarpa Men's Instinct VS Climbing Shoe
CREDIT: Amazon

All products featured have been independently selected and curated by our editorial team. If you buy something through the links included on our site, FN may earn a commission.

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