5 Types of Best Cheap Climbing Shoes Reviews

Good Rock climb shoes lead to better climbing and bouldering. Whether you are a beginner, a boulderer or an outdoor climber, here's some best shoe reviews.

Rock Climbing shoes are the 1st and foremost investment one makes when they decide to pick on rock climbing or bouldering as a sports hobby or workout. Some may have a perception that rock climbing is expensive, but that is untrue. It can be significantly cheaper that picking up other outdoors sports like snowboarding or diving. Climbing can be an affordable hobby, and you can start off by considering what I have to say to invest in your 1st pair of climbing shoes, should you go for something cheap, specialised to your feet type or even main type of climbing ( bouldering or sport)

Getting the best rock climbing shoes as a beginner climber, do I go for cheap or expensive
How to pick the best beginner climbing shoes?

Renting vs Buying Climbing Shoes

When you know you have enough of wearing rented old and smelly shoes at climbing and bouldering gyms and would like to invest in your own personal pair of climb shoes to fuel your rock climbing pastime, you will be faced with a lot of considerations when selecting your shoes. From brand to comfort to design and features. Suddenly, buying and picking a pair of climbing shoes sounds so complicated.

Five Ten Anasazi LV Climbing Shoes

Well, maybe you can start off with just reading a few fundamentals I am sharing here on :

  • How to decide what to pick
  • Which climbing shoe brand is suitable for you
  • Prices and usage
  • Climb on to a better you!
What are the cheap and expensive rock climbing shoes and gear to consider

1. Best Beginner Climbing Shoes

As a beginner new to climbing, you are conscious of 2 things when selecting climbing gear – price and comfort.

Your feet hasn’t quite gotten use to the torture of the high-performance downheel designs yet, so go with something more versatile and not overpriced.

BUTORA Unisex Acro Rock/Indoor Climbing Shoes
Butora Acro Beginner Shoe

Don’t worry, those pricey and high-performance ones will come along when you start getting more hardcore into this hobby and know what you want.

In the meantime, focus on getting acquainted with adequately tight and snug shoes that are not too down heel but can improve your technique. Sharing here my top tips and recommendations for the best beginner climbing shoes just for you.

TIP: Get shoes that have a soft sole (Vibram ideally, as they are more sticky and minimise slipping on the footholds).
PRICE: Price should be affordable an drange between US$50 – U$90
BRANDS: Mad Rock / Butora/ Ocun/ Five-Ten Beginner Range

2. Indoor Bouldering shoes and Gym use

La Sportiva Tarantulace Performance Shoes
La Sportiva TarantuLace

If you have been focusing on bouldering mostly and are considering your 1st, 2nd pair or more, then picking good bouldering shoes that are slightly down heel and also a bit more fitting and snug.
I have plenty of friends who boulder more than do outdoor climbing, and it seems like the most commonly desired brand is Le Sportiva.

But if the price is a bit on the steeper side, so there are other terrific rock climbing shoe options below 100 bucks.

TIP: Get shoes that have a down heel (Vibram ideally, as they are more sticky and minimise slipping on the footholds).
PRICE: Price should be mid-range between US$70 – U$140
BRANDS: La Sportiva/ Five-Ten/ Scarpa

Rock Climbing Shoes for Beginners doing outdoor bouldering
World class bouldering is abundant in Bishop.

3. Outdoor Sport Climbing

Five Ten Hiangle Climbing Shoes
Five Ten Hiangle Sport Climbing Shoe

Okay, this one is a tricky one, coz honestly, it’s hard to find a shoe that is perfect for every condition, indoor-outdoor and all kinds of weather. I do have friends who bring along 2 pairs when they travel overseas for outdoor lead climbing or multi-pitch climbing. It’s great, but a definite NO for me, coz I travel in long stretches all the time and even 1 extra pair of climbing shoes can burst my luggage capacity.

Evolv Shaman
Evolv Shaman Climbing Shoe

So if I have some guidelines for picking the right shoes, be mindful not to get shoes that are too tight and soft, as it will not survive with the changing heat of outdoor climbing, or the texture of your rubber will wear out very easily with constant abrasion and smearing on sharp limestone rock surfaces.

– TIP: Get shoes that have a stronger rubber, but prepare for discomfort at the earlier stages
– PRICE: Price should be mid to high range between US$90 – U$170
– BRANDS: Five Ten/ Le SportivaEvolv

Rock climbing equipment harness rock climbing gear

4. Rock Climbing Shoes for Women

I am adding this segment here coz I have a few friends who have made the mistake getting wrong brands and are more careful since. Ladies have narrower feet and smaller heel compared to men, so finding the shoes that fits you matter. Here’s some of my thoughts on whats the best rock climbing shoes for women.

TIP: Get narrower shoes that have softer rubber if you have extremely odd toe formations, so that its more comfortable. Some shoe brands take a longer time to get comfortable, so get ready to use a lot of plasters and tape at the beginning.
PRICE: Price should be mid to high range between US$90 – U$170
BRANDS: Five-Ten/ Boreal

Singapore women in travel - Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur | Rock Climbing Shoes for outdoor climbing
The photo was shot at Batu Caves at Kuala Lumpur

5. Affordable and Cheap Climbing Shoe Brands <TOP>

Mad Rock Mad Monkey 2.0 Kids
Mad Rock Flash Entry Level

We are all price conscious to a certain level. If climbing is a sport you just started and would like to pursue longer, than climb shoes that are affordable and can last longer matters.

MY RECOMMENDATIONScheapest, compare the fit to your fit and what you are using it for
PRICE: Price should be mid to high range between US$50 – U$80
BRANDS: Mad Rock/ Evolv/ Scarpa

So here sums up some little tips and helpful suggestions to help you make better-informed choices when picking your rock climbing shoes to bring your rock climbing to the next level, or height!
If you need some suggestions for other gear like best climbing pants and hangboards for home workouts, find out more.

Best Cheap Climbing Shoes | Buying rock climbing shoes as a beginner

If you need some extra tips on climbing:

Lydia Yang

Lydia Yang

Lydia Yang is a Singaporean city girl who decided to ditch her high heels for hiking boots and become a full-time traveller and digital nomad. She has been to almost 60 countries to date! She has a knack for adventure travel, especially rock climbing, and always hunts down the best climbing spots around the world. Check out her expert advice on the best outdoor crags to climb at or what workouts to improve your climbing performance.

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