Bouldering Climb Gear Reviews

Best Bouldering Shoes for Intermediate Climbers

Bouldering is an awesome way for new climbers and veterans alike to build their strength during the week for their big climbs on the weekend. Bouldering is a go-to activity and sport for climbers young and old, male and female, as it is a fun hassle-free work-out which just requires bouldering shoes and chalk, and you can leave your ropes at home.

So if you are in the market for your first pair of bouldering shoes, or need to replace your much loved, this bouldering shoes compilation is for you!

Best Bouldering Shoes for Intermediate Climbers

What are the Best Bouldering Shoes for Intermediate Climbers?

To find the list of absolute Best Bouldering Shoes for Intermediate Climbers, we have researched many Bouldering Shoes for Intermediate boulderers and what climbers and season boulderers who bought and used them say about these products. Based on their personal experiences, we compiled for you the top 7 Intermediate Bouldering Shoes.

Also, to make it easier for you to making the right choice, we also wrote a mini Bouldering Shoes for Intermediate Climbers Buying Guide and frequently asked questions (FAQs). You will find it at the end of this article.

1. Evolv Shaman

Evolv Shaman
Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Trax Rubber
Closure Type: Velcro Strap on
Shoe Material: Synthetic

The Sharman is a high performance bouldering shoe with downward toe and an asymmetric design. The upper is made from synthetic material, that can stretch up to half a size. The sole is comprised of two separate pieces of rubber, which makes it a little more snug, and provides added flexibility. The sole excels at everything, except small edges. While it is an advanced shoe, due to its comfort, even a beginner could do well in a pair of Sharman’s.

Pros

  • Aggressive shape
  • 3 velcro straps for comfortable fit
  • Excellent heel cup

Cons

  • Suits people with wide feet

2. La Sportiva Solution Climbing Shoe Men’s

La Sportiva Solution Climbing Shoe Men's
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Vibram Rubber
Closure Type: Velcro Strap on
Shoe Material: Leather

The La Spotiva Solution is an aggressive high performance bouldering shoe designed for climbers looking for maximal performance when bouldering. It also comes in a women’s model that has added sensitivity in the midsole. Note: male climbers also go for the women’s model when they after a shoe that performs better at smearing

It has a ‘P3 platform’, which brand jargon aside, ensures the aggressive shape of the shoe maintains in the long term. It has a leather upper that comes from a ranch which is wire free, that ensures the leather doesn’t have any weak spots. A long lasting upper is a great design feature of La Sportiva shoes, as the sole of the shoe can be replaced multiple times, which ensures the longevity of the shoe and save you money in the long run.

Pros

  • Velcro straps
  • Aggressive fit
  • Super sticky rubber sole

Cons

  • Premium Pricing

3. Tenaya Oasi

Tenaya Oasi
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Vibram rubber sole
Closure Type: Velcro Strap on
Shoe Material: Microfibre

The Tenaya Oasi is at the cross roads of performance and comfort. It is a higher volume bouldering shoe that has an aggressive down turned toe. It uses synthetic uppers, cotton lining and a Vibram XS sole. It has patented “Draxtor” lacing system that creates a fine tuned fit, for various foot-shapes. We also like, that if the velcro strap blows, Tenaya will replace it for free.

It has a sensitive sole, that is semi-split which allows added flexibility. However, the downside is, this shoe is not easy to replace the sole.

Pros

  • Odor reducing materials Durable build
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Not suitable for people with narrow feet

4. Five Ten Blackwings Women

Five Ten Blackwings Women
Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Stealth Rubber
Closure Type: Velcro Strap on
Shoe Material: Synthetic
Shape: Agressive

The Five Ten Blackwings are for kick ass female climbers looking for a bouldering specific shoe. They have a gentle downward toe turn and have a super sticky rubber making it a climbing performance shoe heavy weight. Yet the design provides comfort, with a padded tongue and a super plush fleeced microfiber interior. Despite the aggressive style, it still has a stiff rubber sole, which is what makes it a killer indoor bouldering shoe. This is known to be Five Ten‘s most aggressive female shoe model.

Pros

  • Vegan friendly
  • Dual velcro straps
  • Odor resistant Comfortable

Cons

  • Not suitable for beginner climbers

5. Climb X Crush Lace

Climb X Crush Lace
Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Rubber
Closure Type: Lace
Shoe Material: Synthetic

The Climb X crush is designed for the intermediate to advanced climber. It has a durable yet sticky rubber that will serve advanced climbers on smears and jibs. All in all, they are a traditional shoe make, with no bells and whistles, yet they incorporate the best of the past at a great price point. If you want a a reliable workhorse for the gym, the Climb X Crush is a good budget option.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Lace option for precision fit
  • Breathable mesh tongue works great in hot climates

Cons

  • More hassle given the need to lace up

6. Black Diamond Shadow

Black Diamond Shadow
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Rubber
Closure Type: Velcro Strap on
Shoe Material: Knitted microfibreM
Shape: Agressive

The Black Diamond Shadow’s are a newly released aggressive bouldering shoe that are aimed at the mid-level to advanced climber. The Shadow’s excel on steep climbs, while also performing well on slabs, and technical small holds. They have a sticky midsole and toe box that really helps you feel your toe on small holds and jibs. The heel cup is a medium to small size, though a low volume, women’s size is in the works and will be released soon. The Black Diamond Shadow is a great all round shoe, with a medium to hard level of stiffness.

Pros

  • Breathable Long lasting sole
  • Beautiful design

Cons

  • Take a bit longer than other brand shoes to break in

7. Mad Rock Lotus Women

Mad Rock Lotus Women
Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Rubber
Closure Type: Velcro Strap on
Shoe Material: Synthetic
Shape: Morderate Downturn

The Mad Rocks Lotus’ are designed for the mid-level to advanced climber. They have an aggressive shape and provide relative sensitivity for climbers finding themselves on smaller and smaller holds. As it is a women’s shoe, it is low volume, which provides a tighter fit around the heel and mid foot. While it lands in the advanced climber territory, they remain a comfortable shoe that can be used either bouldering or on multi pitch sport climbs. In sum, the Lotus is a great option for all women looking for a diverse shoe with an affordable price tag.

Pros

  • Affordable Long lasting sole
  • Beautiful design

Cons

  • Fit might not be suitable for varied foot types like Wide feet

Verdict

After all of our long research about the Best Bouldering Shoes for Intermediate Climbers, we found that Evolv Shaman is the best Intermediate Bouldering Shoe available today.

There’s also a Premium Option with all the best features and high-quality materials if you have more money to spend, namely La Sportiva Solution Climbing Shoe Men’s.

However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the Climb X Crush Lace as an affordable alternative.

Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:

What You Should Know Before Buying Intermediate Bouldering Shoes

Most Important Feature for Intermediate Shoes

Finding the best bouldering shoes is a bit of black magic. In essence, they resemble the same characteristics as other climbing shoes, yet there are nuanced differences.

A high performance bouldering shoe for an intermeditate and advance climber needs to cover a variety of tasks, edging, smearing, toe and heel hooks. Yet it also needs to be durable, as bouldering is fundamentally training for the main event – your dream big wall adventure. Come on, we all dream of going to Yosemite and climbing El Capitan one day.

Typically bouldering shoes have a more aggressive shape than say trad shoes. This is because they aim for prime performance. The banana shaped downward toe turn provides a climber with better friction on steeper and underhung climbs. However, this doesn’t mean that all bouldering shoes must be aggressive.

“Consider bouldering shoes like a tradesman would their tools – you need the right one for the job.”

In contrast, if you are a novice climber, the basic characteristics of a beginner bouldering shoe, will resemble that of a beginner indoor climbing shoe. You want a stiff flat sole, as an aggressive shoe, with a sensitive sole will be too tough on your feet.

Laces, velcro strap or slip on

Whether you are going for beginner or expert bouldering shoes, we recommend getting either velcro straps, or slippers. Simply because when bouldering you are climbing for minutes at a time, and you want to easily slip your shoes off between climbs.

However, don’t completely count out laces. If you found a perfect fitting shoe with laces – go with them. Fit is always the first priority for a climbing shoe.

Bouldering indoors or outdoors

Yes, you can boulder indoors and outdoors. While there is a big cross over between indoor and outdoor bouldering shoes, the primary difference is durability. In essence, indoor climbing involves plastic holds, so a shoe that edges well should be a priority in your decision making.

Questions and Answers About Intermediate Bouldering Shoes

What’s the difference between bouldering shoes and climbing shoes?

Bouldering shoes are made for performance. They have an aggressive shape, sensitive sole and a flexible shoe. Whereas Trad climbing shoes emphasise comfort, and have a stiff sole as they are made for people climbing hours at a time.

How do I know if my bouldering climbing shoes are the right size?

The best way to find the right size climbing shoes is to trial a variety of shoes. Take note of each brand, model and make each time you rent shoes at your climbing gym.

Should I get aggressive climbing shoes if I am a beginner?

Beginners don’t require aggressive shoes. A neutral shoe with a stiff sole will provide you with the support you need. Only when you advance into steep, overhung routes will a more aggressive shoe be useful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbnJJN0DJkY

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