Bouldering Climb Gear Reviews

Best Climbing Shoes for Crack Climbing

If you are looking into doing more crack climbing in the great outdoors, then your typical indoor gym climbing shoes just don’t cut. Crack climbing requires your shoes to be extra grippy, and on top of that, you will be challenged to use more friction and balance to stay on the rock face. If you are on a harder rock surface like granite stone or slate, it will require you to have a harder rubber shoe that is stiff enough to edge carefully on even the smallest micro formations and flakes. On the other hand, if you are rock climbing on a softer mor brittle rock surface, for example powdery and crumbly sandstone or limestone route, you will much prefer a softer rubber sole that has the ability to do smearing.

What are the Best Climbing Shoes For Crack Climbing?

To find the list of absolute Best Climbing Shoes For Crack Climbing, we have researched many crack climbing shoes and what people who bought and used them say about these products. Based on their experiences, we compiled for you the top 7 climbing shoes for crack climbing.

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

1. La Sportiva Men’s TC Pro Climbing Shoe

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 1 Pounds (0.5 kg)

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The La Sportiva Men’s TC Pro Climbing Shoe is a streamlined big wall, trad and multi-pitch shoe, perfect for the likes of multi-day missions traversing vertical kilometres of hard granite rock. The shoe is not only optimised for long periods of use with its flexibility and malleability, but has been gently padded in key areas to protect your feet on common features of big wall climbing. The shoe retains enough sensitivity to feel for imperfections in the surface under your toes, while providing a generous coating of rubber to give you plenty of grip.

Pros

  • Comfortable lace up design, remains malleable and flexible throughout the whole day without causing pain
  • Developed in collaboration with Tommy Caldwell, a professional and seasoned multi-pitch and trad climber
  • Padded above the toes to protect your toes in granite cracks

Cons

  • Thin rubber, wears down quickly. Lacks definition and protection for steep boulder problems. Take a long time to put on and take off.

2. Evolv Defy

Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Synthetic, Vegan
Closure Type: Velcro Strap on

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The Evolv Defy’s are made for the beginner to mid-level climber looking to get a little more performance out of their shoe. They have a more sensitive sole, than our top two picks, which will suit the climber that is pushing the grades and finding themselves on smaller, and smaller holds. The shoe also has a good level of downward toe turn, which makes them a great option for anyone looking to up their overhang game. Last but not least, this is also a vegan shoe and no animal testing is done in order to produce it.

Pros

  • Odor reducing materials Durable build
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Not suitable for people with narrow feet

3. Five Ten Moccasym Shoes Mens

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)

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The Five Ten Moccasym are a neutral climbing shoe model that has built a solid following in the climbing community. They are a good all round shoe, and provide a good level of comfort for rock climbers building their strength in the gym.

The break in period for the shoes are also relatively quick. While a great shoe, they are more expensive than the Mad Rock Drifter’s, so we didn’t give them the number one spot on our list.

Pros

  • Slipper style shoes make for great convenience for gym climbing,
  • Rubber topsole allows advanced climbers to take advantage of toe hooks,
  • Durable rubber

Cons

  • These shoes do stretch over time, so it is important to size down and account for shoe stretch after the breaking in period

4. La Sportiva Mythos

Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Recycled/Repurposed Rubber and Eco Idro-Perwanger Biodegradable Leather
Closure Type: Lace-up

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The Mythos is a streamlined shoe for multi-pitching, and it is not rare to spot climbers sporting these tremendous shoes in places such as Yosemite. The soft and malleable structure is designed to be as comfortable as possible while maintaining a maximum grip on sloping volumes or pieces of rock. With that in mind, while they might benefit you on slab climbs in the gym, these shoes will not help you so much on standard sports or boulder routes. The lack of protective rubber, the flat profile, and the long time it takes to take on and put off the shoes make them unsuitable for competition climbing.

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable, perfect for a long multi-pitch,
  • Durable leather material

Cons

  • Take a long time to remove and put on,
  • Not so much use in a bouldering gym

5. Evolv The General Climbing Shoe Men

Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 2 Pounds (0.9 kg)

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The Evolv General Climbing shoe aims to be a fantastic all around climbing shoe. When you are attempting a big wall climb, or even just a longer trad route, you should be prepared to encounter all styles of climbing across a multitude of different features on the wall. The robust, padded design ensures your feet are both protected and comfortable throughout long periods on the wall. The slight downturn should be sufficient to help guide you through trickier boulder problems or technical cruxes. The shoe is a great all-arounder, but may compromise those who are specialised in climbing on a particular type of rock or who want to train hard on indoor problems.

Pros

  • Comfortable and flexible lace-up design
  • Some downturned definition where comparable products tend to be more flat – great for technical footwork at the crux of a route. Eye popping, 80s colors
  • High top shoe protects your ankles in deep cracks

Cons

  • Shoes take a long time to put on and take off. Shoes are made of a tough synthetic material, restricting breathability and air flow.

6. La Sportiva Katana Lace Climbing Shoe

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Vibram XS Edge
Closure Type: Lace-up

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La Sportiva has made a name for themselves as some of the best bouldering shoes on the market. They’re known for their aggressive PD75 shape, which makes them great for boosting power on tiny footholds. The Katana is a brilliant shoe for intermediate climbers who are starting to experiment with overhanging routes but still want to wear comfortable climbing shoes. The shoes are well padded on the inside which makes them feel good, and yet they still feature a sharp downturn to help you powerfully push up on steeper routes. The shoes are still flexible enough to provide ample footing on slopers, and they perform in almost all modern climbing situations.

To help you edge on tiny footholds, the shoe uses a Vibram XS Edge compound throughout the whole sole. The lace feature amkes the shoe snugness more adjustable as compared to velcro.One of the best features of the La Sportiva climbing shoe is its verstaile mix of edging to smearing qualities. Because of this, it makes them excellent for any style of climbing.

The shoes are not specialized in any particular discipline, and so the more serious climbers might feel restricted if they only have these shoes and nothing else. Furthermore, the La Sportiva shoes are lacking a little protective rubber on the top, and so toe-hooking is harder and you are more likely to agitate your toes when trying ambitious and dynamic moves.

Pros

  • Comfortable all-around high performer,
  • Aggressive downturn for overhangs and soft enough for slab,
  • Well padded on the inside
  • Vibram XS Edge
  • P3 patented technology
  • Two heel hoops

Cons

  • Laces while comfortable, take a long time to put on and take off,
  • Not much rubber for toe-hooks

7. Five Ten Anasazi Lace 2021 Women

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.3 Pounds (0.1 kg)

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The Five Ten Anasazi Lace 2021 is a super-lightweight, high-performance lace up shoe, great for attacking long multi-pitches and trad routes. The generous rubber coating will provide extra grip during technical footwork and protection when squeezing your toes into cracks. The durable laces help make the shoe more adjustable to every foot shape. While a little more on the premium side of the price scale, these Five Ten climbing shoes do not sacrifice an ounce of quality and will perform well both indoors and outdoors.

Pros

  • Super light-weight shoe Stiff mid-sole to provide support to your whole foot while executing tricky footwork
  • Adjustable lace-up design, great for wearing all day
  • Generous coating of rubber over the toe PREMIUM

Cons

  • Quite expensive in comparison to competitors products.

Verdict

After all of our long research about the best climbing shoes for crack climbing, we found that La Sportiva Men’s TC Pro Climbing Shoe is the best climbing shoe for crack climbing 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 Five Ten Moccasym Shoes Mens.

However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the Evolv Defy as an affordable alternative.

Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:

What You Should Know Before Buying Climbing Shoes For Crack Climbing

Most Important Features

The most important feature to look for in beginner climbing shoes is comfort. An uncomfortable shoe isn’t going to entice you to climb more! The second feature you should look for is the overall stiffness of the sole. By having a stiff sole, the muscles in your feet will be supported during your early stages of rock climbing. Once you are a more advanced climber, you may opt for a shoe with a slip lasted sole which provides sensitivity, as this will allow you to push your climbing grades.

Laces, Velcro Strap Or Slippers

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.

Materials And Shoe Stretch

All climbing shoes have a rubber sole. Advanced shoes have a more pliable and sensitive rubber. Additionally, it is common to see performance bouldering shoes with two pieces of rubber, as this provides added flexibility to your shoe which aids the technical moves involved in bouldering.

In terms of your shoe’s uppers, they are made from either leather, synthetic, of hemp materials. In general terms, hemp and synthetic will stretch about a half shoe size once you break them in. Whereas leather will stretch up to a full shoe size.

Neutral, Moderate And Aggressive Models

If you are a beginner, you don’t need to buy the expensive and tight fitting aggressive climbing shoes. A cheaper shoe that has a stiff sole will serve you better in the early stages of climbing.

If you are an intermediate climber, a moderate show with some flexibility will improve your ability to edge on small holds. If you are climbing in a gym, you can get away with a softer rubber, but for outdoors you want to look for something that is durable.

Hot tip: Make sure you only use your shoes when climbing. The more time you spend in them, the quicker they wear out. We recommend having some approach shoes if outdoors, or simply a pair of flip-flops if you are climbing at a magic beach like Krabi.

Questions and Answers About Climbing Shoes For Crack Climbing

How can I make my climbing shoes more comfortable?

Having a new pair of climbing shoes is a great experience, but getting them to be more comfortable can be tricky. My favorite tip is to soak them in warm water to soften them. Then wear the shoes for 10 minutes, and then take them off to dry. This helps them stretch and mold them to the size of your feet a little quicker. Here are a couple more tips to make your climbing shoes more comfortable.

How long does it take to break in climbing shoes?

The answer to this age old climbing proverb is – it depends. For some models of shoes, the break-in period can take far longer than others. If you are climbing in a bouldering gym, you will break your shoes in much quicker than if you have a pair of shoes used only outdoors.

What shoes do pro climbers wear?

Pro climbers generally wear what is termed “aggressive” shoes. These shoes typically have a ‘banana shaped’ curved sole, with a doward pointed toe box. This allows for maximum traction and power transfer from the foot to the wall. Advanced shoes typically have two pieces of rubber for increased flexibility, rather than one continuous sole. You’ll also find rubber on the top of the shoe, which provides traction when doing overhang toe hooks. Have a look at pro climber Adam Ondra talk about all the considerations he takes into account when choosing a climbing shoe.

Should you size down in climbing shoes?

In general you will need to size down for climbing shoes. For a beginner, this should be about .05 to a full size. If you are buying your first set of shoes, take note of the climbing shoes you have been renting at the climbing gym.

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