Climb Gear Reviews

Top 11 Best Lace Climbing Shoes

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 decide on the absolute best lace climbing shoes, we have examined dozens of climbing shoes with laces and reviews left by real users who bought and used them. Based on what they geniunely shared and experienced, we have shortlisted the top 11 lace climbing shoes for you to consider, including their most important features, in order for you to make an informed decision.

On top of that, to make it easier for you, we have also compiled a list of critical things and frequently asked questions (FAQs) to consider before purchasing climbing shoes with laces. You can find later further down in the article. So without further ado, here’s introducing the best lace climbing shoes.

1. 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.

2. Scarpa Mens Techno X PRO M

Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.8 Pounds (0.3 kg)

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The Scarpa Techno Pro-M are comfortable lace-up trad climbing shoes, with a relatively flat profile and soft sole to help smear on slabs and generate grip in cracks. While coated in less protective rubber than some other products on this list, they still provide ample friction on technical routes. This budget option is great for those who are not sure how much they want to commit to trad climbing but need a comfortable shoe for long multi-pitches.

Pros

  • Cheaper than comparable shoes on the market,
  • Comfortable, all around-climbing shoe,
  • Colourful design,
  • Budget

Cons

  • Weak rubber joints start to tear quite easily,
  • Not as durable as other trad-climbing shoes

3. 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.

4. Scarpa Helix

Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Vibram Rubber, Synthetic sole
Closure Type: Lace Up
Shoe Material: 100% Suede

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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.

Pros

  • Another great beginner/intermediate shoe
  • Sharp rubber edge for standing on small holds
  • Comfortable to wear for longer periods
  • Versatile, flat profile

Cons

  • Laces take a long time to put on and take off
  • Toes wear through quickly

5. 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

6. Climb X Crush Lace

Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Rubber
Closure Type: Lace
Shoe Material: Synthetic
Shape:

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The Climb X crush is designed for the intermediate to advanced climber. It has a durable yet sticky rubber that will serve advanced climbers on smears and jibs. All in all, they are a traditional shoe make, with no bells and whistles, yet they incorporate the best of the past at a great price point. If you want a a reliable workhorse for the gym, the Climb X Crush is a good budget option.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Lace option for precision fit
  • Breathable mesh tongue works great in hot climates

Cons

  • More hassle given the need to lace up

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.

8. Evolv Oracle Climbing Shoe

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)

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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.

Pros

  • Quick close laces
  • Trax SAS rubber
  • Comfortable downturn

Cons

  • Softer rubber

9. La Sportiva Tarantulace

Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: 5mm FriXion RS
Closure Type: Lace-up

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The La Sportiva Tarantula shoes, whether they are the laced or velcro versions, are some of the most popular shoes available on the market for beginners, and are one of the most affordable La Sportiva climbing shoes you will find. While not specialized in any climbing discipline, the flat profile and comfortable design are perfect for easier climbs, versatile enough to use on almost any gradient, and a great way to break your feet into the more extreme climbing shoes that you will want to use as you improve your skills.

The shoes are great for beginners, but more advanced climbers will feel limited by the flat profile. Furthermore, many users complain that they leave the climbing gym with “smurf feet” as the dye washes out as their feet become a little sweaty.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly,
  • Great for beginners,
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Tedious to remove/ put on due to the laces,
  • The colour may run when the shoe gets too wet

10. 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

11. La Sportiva Miura Men

Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Vibram rubber sole
Closure Type: Lace Up
Shoe Material: 100% Leather

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La Sportiva is a powerhouse brand for rock-climbing shoes, and the Mirua’s live up to the reputation. What can we say, even Alex Honnold rocks a pair of these bad boys. The shoes are a great workhouse, that will help you develop as you keep ticking off routes at the gym.

It is a moderate to aggressive shoe, with a slight toe downturn, allowing you to get a better grip on slight footings. It got voted down to number two on our list as they aren’t quite as cheap as the Five Tens.

Hot tip: The women’s model came in second place in our Top 9 Best Women’s Climbing Shoes

Pros

  • Velcro straps
  • Durable rubber
  • Excellent edging ability

Cons

  • La Sportiva typically suits people with narrow feet

Following all the comparisons, research and information we have gathered about these top lace climbing shoes, we can confidently say that Evolv The General Climbing Shoe Men is the best lace climbing shoes out in the market.

However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the Scarpa Mens Techno X PRO M as an affordable alternative.

Lastly, if you are going all the best features with high quality materials and would like to consider all the premium options out there, we will strongly recommend the La Sportiva Men’s TC Pro Climbing Shoe. We look forward to hearing from you in the comments below what are some other models that you might have experienced that are even better!

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 and snugness around your feet. 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.

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.

Precautions

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

What’s the disadvantages of using lace shoes?

Some may claim that its best to use velcro or slip-ons as it allows you to quickly take your shoes off and rest your feet between climbs. However, lace shoes can give a much better fit as help with greater precision and control of your footing.

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.

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.

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.

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