Climbing is all about performance and precision, and this is the dilemma many climbers have with regards to buying shoes that are laced vs velcro. While velcro shoes offer the convenience of putting shoes on speedily, it might not give as firm and tight a fit as compared to a laced pair of shoes. This is especially true for people with narrower or wider feet that the average person, laced shoes make the fit around your sole like a second skin. So what are some of these top best laced climbing shoe options to pick from?
What are the Best Lace Climbing Shoes?
To find the list of absolute Best Lace Climbing Shoes, we have researched many Climbing shoes with laces and what people who bought and used them say about these products. Based on their experiences, we compiled for you the top 6 Lace Climbing Shoes.
Also, to make it easier for you to making the right choice, we also wrote a mini Climbing shoes with laces Buying Guide and frequently asked questions (FAQs). You will find it at the end of this article.
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The Five Ten Women’s Anasazi Laced is a good all-rounder. The lace closure feature allows for greater snugness of fit and the sole has a flat profile, which is ideal for a beginner’s first climbing shoe. It has a particularly sticky sole, which is great for smearing. It also has a precise toe box which works well on small footings. Lastly, Overall, it is a versatile shoe that works as well in the gym, as it does outdoors on cracks.
- Laced for greater fit
- Toe box works well for gripping small holds,
- Great traction,
- Laces make it a bit tedious for slip on
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This La Sportiva model has an S heel construct that allows for precision climbing on aggressive indoor and outdoor routes. The laced design provides a very snug fit and great for those big roof routes where the Kataki serves well for overhangs or heel hooks. Definitely a great all around performance shoe
- Downturn Design
- Great for crack climbing
- Laced Design for Snugness
- More suited for gym climbing and bouldering
- Laced design makes it harder to slip in and out
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Known as a great all rounder shoe, the Evolv General Climbing shoe is versatile on a big wall climb, or even just a longer trad route. The robust, padded shoe and sole design ensures your feet are both protected and comfortable as you ich and smear up the wall. The slight downturn tip allows for attempting trickier boulder problems or technical cruxes on your ouotdoor climb.
- Easy and flexible lace-up construct,
- Vibrant with 80s colors,
- Good ankle support due to show design
- It takes a while to put them on and off,
- Odour may build up with time due to the material
4. Scarpa Helix
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Sole Material: Vibram Rubber, Synthetic sole
Closure Type: Lace Up
Shoe Material: 100% Suede
The Scarpa Helix is perhaps one of the better shoes on this list for climbing instead of bouldering. The lace design and flexible materials make them one of the more comfortable shoes to wear for longer periods of time, a point only augmented by the flat profile often found on beginner and intermediate shoes. They come with that signature Scarpe inner edge to help you stand on small holds in peculiar positions. They are a truly versatile shoe, particularly good for slabs and when you have to wear them for a long time.The toes on this particular shoe seem to wear through quite quickly, and while the rest of the shoe is completely unhindered, it will still need a complete resole frequently. Furthermore, if you try to use these in a bouldering gym, you will likely get frustrated at how long it takes to put them on and take them off.
- Another great beginner/intermediate shoe
- Sharp rubber edge for standing on small holds
- Comfortable to wear for longer periods
- Versatile, flat profile
- Laces take a long time to put on and take off
- Toes wear through quickly
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Black Diamond’s Momentum Lace Climbing Shoes are designed to be a good quality beginner shoe. These shoes are also very reminiscent of the La Sportiva design. The use of a lace system provides the climber with the additional ability to adjust the shoes to the perfect snug fit. Made from a durable rubber, and a breathable upper, these shoes are a good option for a climber that values comfort.
- Long lasting sole,
- Beautiful design
- They can take a bit longer than usual to break in,
- Narrow shape – not great for people with wider feet
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The Ocun Crest Lace Up’s (LU) are a great beginner shoe that hits all the marks. It is very reminiscent of the design of the no frills, get the job done La Sportiva’s. It has a relatively stiff and neutral sole. We would recommend this shoe for people looking to get their first climbing shoe for the gym and are on a budget.
- Vegan option available
- Old-school design may not appeal visually to some people (though we like it)
After all of our long research about the Best Lace Climbing Shoes, we found that Five Ten Women’s Anasazi Lace Climbing Shoes is the best Lace Climbing 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 Evolv The General Climbing Shoes.
However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the Scarpa Helix as an affordable alternative.
Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:
- Best Climbing Shoes for Crack Climbing
- Best Climbing Shoes for Slab Climbing
- Best Climbing Shoes for Narrow feet
What You Should Know Before Buying Lace Climbing Shoes
Velcro Or Laces
It’s an age-old debate between climbers, and not many people can agree. So, let’s try to explain the benefits of either style. Velcro shoes are easier to take off and put on, which is a massive benefit with bouldering shoes. You see, it’s hard to keep bouldering shoes on for long durations. In general, laces provide a better and more customizable fit. For example, you can have the toe fitting loose while the heel is tight. You’ll also experience less roll in the shoe, which is essential when you’re edging. The downside is it takes a lot longer to take on and off. At the end of the day, the choice always comes down to personal preference.
Okay, before committing to your purchase, there are a few things you should take into account. The best bouldering shoes provide you with excellent assistance on more brutal climbs.
The most important thing to consider is comfort. All rock climbing shoes have a different fit. Some bouldering shoes can feel pretty painful, especially when you first get them. The easiest way to see if the shoe fits is by trying it first. You’re looking for a snug fit, so it doesn’t roll, but not so tight you feel in physical pain. Another thing you should consider is durability. Bouldering shoes take a hammering due to the aggressive nature of the climbing. Bouldering shoes with poor durability won’t make it past a year. To avoid this problem, check out user reviews on amazon.
Questions and Answers About Lace Climbing Shoes
How much should I spend on climbing shoes?
Anywhere between the $60 and $140 is the beginner climbing shoe market. Much of the design that goes into the higher priced shoes aren’t what a beginner needs. You need a simple stiff soled shoe.
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.
Why are climbing shoes designed to fit tight?
When climbing, you need your toes at the edge of the toe box in order to maximise the transfer of power from your foot to the wall. In addition, they require a firm, snug fit to minimise movement that may cause you to slip off a hold.
Should you wear socks with climbing shoes?
As a general rule, you don’t want to wear socks while climbing. This is because the added layer of a sock can make your shoe slightly slip, causing you to lose valuable traction. However, if you are borrowing a pair of shoes, or renting a pair that are slightly too big, socks can help to create a more snug fit.