Today, there are more women rock climbers than ever. With good reason, it is an exhilarating social sport and a great workout.
Get a good pair of climbing shoes, and you can send that climb. Get a bad set, and you may spend your session on the ground chatting about sore feet. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
So today, we are going to talk you through the ins and outs of climbing shoes for women to get you started on your climbing journey!
What are the Best Climbing Shoes for Bouldering?
To find the list of absolute Best Climbing Shoes for Bouldering, we have researched many Bouldering Climbing Shoes and what people who bought and used them say about these products. Based on their experiences, we compiled for you the top 5 Climbing Shoes for Bouldering.
Also, to make it easier for you to making the right choice, we also wrote a mini Bouldering Climbing Shoes Buying Guide and frequently asked questions (FAQs). You will find it at the end of this article.
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Excels at edging, Rubber topsole performs great for toe hooks, Comfortable for an aggressive shoe, Velcro straps allows quick removal between climbs
The Butora Acro is a unisex shoe designed for bouldering and sport climbing. It has a stiff sole that provides ample support, yet provides some sensitivity for the climber to feel the rock beneath their feet.
We like that it comes in both in narrow and wide feet options options, meaning most climbers will find this shoe a good fit.
With it’s slightly downturned toe, we recommend this shoe for people who have at least 6 months and are considering a more aggressive shoe.
- Excels at edging,
- Rubber topsole performs great for toe hooks,
- Comfortable for an aggressive shoe,
- Velcro straps allows quick removal between climbs
- The heal on the shoe may not be the best fit for people with narrow feet
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La Sportiva designed the SKWAMA climbing shoe with an S-heel. The feature helps remove the dead space from the heel for a better fit. Some people said it felt too tight when they first used the climbing shoe, but they broke in after a while. Most people loved the shoes’ sensitivity to the rock and the ability to climb cracks. They felt comfortable at all times, which is rare to find in climbing shoes. The P3 technology worked well, but they were still pretty soft, limiting how well you could edge. One of the best features is the toe box; it was great for toe hooks. The problem was it made the shoe feel pretty hot. After a while of climbing and breaking in the shoe, its versatility comes to life. They become more comfortable, so you should be able to take on small multi-pitch climbs. One of the most noticeable differences is the rubber toe box pattern, which is excellent hooks.
- Ultra sticky toe box
- S-Heel construction
- Super sensitive
- Stretchy leather
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Scarpa’s Vapor V is a great all-rounder for people of any ability. The shoe is slightly downturned and feels padded under your foot. It’s aimed at climbers with slim feet, so beware. A significant downside of this shoe is the lack of sensitivity; you can’t feel the rock under your feet. This is an issue if you’re climbing tiny edges. If you’re looking to improve your footwork, this might not be the best bouldering shoe for you. What the shoe lacks in edging, it makes up for in crack climbing. The softness of the rubber meant it didn’t hurt. The bouldering shoe uses two velcro straps to secure it to your foot. This made it a lot easier to take the shoe on and off. If you’re looking for an all-rounder climbing shoe, and you’re not going to edge much, this is a fantastic choice. It slightly lacks in edging ability, but it’s a great all-rounder for beginner climbers.
- Well-padded for comfort
- Vibram sole
- Not great at edging
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Five Ten climbing has always been considered one of the stickiest shoes on the market. They use Stealth C4 rubber which is 4.2mm thick, to account for general wear and tear. To keep the climbing shoe securely on your foot, it uses a single strand closure system. The aggressive shoe has a split sole to help you feel what’s going on under the rubber. It’s also known for being one of the most comfortable bouldering shoes on the market. Although being focused on high-performance climbing, the shoe is very versatile. You’ll have no problems using the shoe for technical footwork, slabs, or smears. One of the shoe’s downsides is the dye from the blue leather transfers to your sweaty climbing foot. Some people refer to this as getting “smurf foot”. Five Ten’s have always focused on grip, but with the Hiangle, they now bring some aggression.
- Stealth C4 Rubber
- 100% split grain leather Stiff toe box
- Rubber wears easily The color transfers to your foot
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Five Ten wanted to provide climbing shoes that were comfortable yet aggressive. And that’s how FIve Ten created the Quantum VCS bouldering shoes; they offer the perfect balance between comfort and aggression.Considering the sole isn’t the stiffest on the market, they perform very well at edging on steep terrain. The most significant feature is the Stealth C4 rubber, which is among the market’s stickiest soles. If your climber that loves smearing yourself up climbs then, Five Tens will do the job. One problem a user found was in the breaking-in period. They found there was a minimal amount of stretch. If you’re looking for a more aggressive fit, you may have to go half a size down. It’s super breathable, making it great for people who hate sweaty feet. It’s also up there as one of the most comfortable climbing shoes on the market.
- 4.2mm Stealth C4 rubber
- 100% Synthetic Clarino
- Breathable tongue
- Not very stiff
After all of our long research about the Best Climbing Shoes for Bouldering, we found that BUTORA Unisex Acro Rock/Indoor Climbing Shoes is the best Climbing Shoe for Bouldering 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 Scarpa Women’s Vapor V.
However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the Five Ten Hiangle Men’s Climbing Shoes as an affordable alternative.
Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:
Questions and Answers About Climbing Shoes for Bouldering
How curled should toes be in climbing shoes?
There’s a lot of misconception here, so let us explain. Your toes shouldn’t be overly curled to the point it’s causing pain. But yes, if you’re using aggressive bouldering shoes, your toes will bend slightly.
Should climbing shoes hurt?
Your climbing shoes shouldn’t hurt… too much. When you first get them there going to stiff, but they start to feel better after a while. Again, aggressive shoes will hurt after long periods; it’s just the way it is.