If you are looking into doing more slab climbing in the great outdoors, then your typical indoor gym climbing shoes just don’t cut. Slab 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 more 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 on that slab surface.
What are the Best Climbing Shoes for Slab Climbing?
To find the list of absolute Best Climbing Shoes for Slab Climbing, we have researched many Slab 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 Slab Climbing.
Also, to make it easier for you to making the right choice, we also wrote a mini Slab Climbing Shoes Buying Guide and frequently asked questions (FAQs). You will find it at the end of this article.
1. Five Ten Moccasym Shoes Mens
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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.
- Slipper style shoes make for great convenience for gym climbing,
- Rubber topsole allows advanced climbers to take advantage of toe hooks,
- Durable rubber
- These shoes do stretch over time, so it is important to size down and account for shoe stretch after the breaking in period
2. Evolv Oracle Climbing Shoe
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Evolv Oracle uses a split heel outsole, which means the rubber on the toe and heel are separated. The middle of the shoe is connected with a red rubber arch which helps reduce the strain on your foot. Downturned shoes are notoriously unforgiving, but Evolv tries to break the mold. The main feature is the “Knuckle Box”; it provides more room for your curled toes. Another noticeable feature is the quick close laces. Laces give you a better fit with less movement, but it takes time to take them on and off. The quick close system gives you velcro speed but with a laces’ style fit. The Trax SAS rubber is 4.2mm thick, which is slightly more than other technical shoes. This feature made things a little more challenging as you there isn’t much sensitivity between your feet and the rock. It’s a super aggressive bouldering shoe and uses Trax SAS rubber to provide a soft sole with extra grip.
- Quick close laces
- Trax SAS rubber
- Comfortable downturn
- Softer rubber
3. La Sportiva Men’s TC Pro Climbing Shoes
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If you are looking for a agressive pair that is good for big wall, trad and multi pitch climbing, it has got to be the La Sportiva Men’s TC Pro Climbing Shoe.
It is perfect for the likes of multi-day climbs and is great for edging on granite rock. The shoe arch and toe is flexibility and malleability, with reinforced padded in key areas to protect your feet from blistering or getting cramped from long big wall climbing expeditions.
- Lace design Comfortable and snug fit,
- Worn by climbing athelete Tommy Caldwell,
- Padded toes to protect your feet from sharp edgaes and granite cracks
- Unsuited for long use on rocky mountains or slippery slopes,
- Lace design makes it difficult to wear and remove at ease
4. Five Ten Anasazi Lace 2021 Women
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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.
- 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
- Quite expensive in comparison to competitors products.
5. La Sportiva Mythos Rock Climbing Shoes
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Sole Material: Recycled/Repurposed Rubber and Eco Idro-Perwanger Biodegradable Leather
Closure Type: Lace-up
A streamlined shoe for multi-pitching, th Mythos is commonly spotted by big wall climbers tackling the routes at Yosemite. The soft and malleable structure is designed to provided excellent grip and smearing power as you inch up those grantite walls. Given its relatively flat design, its good for long outdoor climbs, but may not be downturned and aggressive enough for bouldering and overhang routes.
- Leather material
- Comfortable on your toes
- Suited for high wall climbing
- Time-consuming to wear and take off due to lace design
- More suited for outdoor climbing due to thicker sole
After all of our long research about the Best Climbing Shoes for Slab Climbing, we found that Five Ten Moccasym Shoes Mens is the best Climbing Shoe for Slab 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 Anasazi Lace 2021 Women.
However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the La Sportiva Mythos Rock Climbing Shoes as an affordable alternative.
Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:
What You Should Know Before Buying Climbing Shoes for Slab Climbing
Difference between moderate climbing shoes and beginner shoes
A beginner climbing shoe will have a stiff and flat sole. This provides support to your feet as you develop your muscles. A moderate or intermediate climbing shoe will have a slightly down turned toe, with a bit more added sensitivity than a beginner shoe. This improves your ability to feel the small jibs you place your feet on.
This video provides a good run down on the basic models of climbing shoes.
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.
Questions and Answers About Climbing Shoes for Slab Climbing
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.
Should you be able to walk in climbing shoes?
Walking in climbing shoes generally involves a bit of a hobbled step. But no need to be self conscious, all climbers look like they are from the Ministry of Silly Walks.