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Top 10 Best Men’s Bouldering Shoes in 2022

Today, there are more boulderers and rock climbers than ever. With good reason, it is an exhilarating social sport and a great workout regardless of in the gym or the great outdoors.

Get a good pair of fitting and good bouldering shoes, and you can send that climb. Get a bad set, and you may spend your session on the ground chatting about sore feet. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

So today, we are going to talk you through the ins and outs of the best bouldering shoes for men to get you started on your indoor or outdoor bouldering journey!

What are the Best Men’s Bouldering Shoes?

To decide on the absolute best men’s bouldering shoes, we have examined dozens of bouldering shoes for men and reviews left by real users who bought and used them. Based on what they genuinely shared and experienced, we have shortlisted the top 10 men’s bouldering 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 bouldering shoes for men. You can find later further down in the article. So without further ado, here’s introducing the best men’s bouldering shoes.

1. Scarpa Origin

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Rubber
Closure Type: Velcro Strap
Shoe Material: 100% Leather

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Scarpa Origin shoes are brilliant for beginners and intermediate climbers. The relatively flat profile makes them very comfortable, yet they have a very strong sole and so, with a bit of imagination, can also perform relatively well on easy overhanging routes. The sharp rubber edge gives you confidence on smaller holds, and the thick rubber takes a lot of wear and tear to get through.

The Scarpa shoes are lacking in any protective rubber on the top, which means that your toes are going to suffer if you try to jam them into small pockets or toe-hook. This does, however, allow for a little more breathability as the suede is slightly more permeable than the rubber would be.

Pros

  • Fantastic beginner shoe that is also loved by intermediate climbers
  • Strong and durable design
  • Flat profile, great for slab
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • No rubber on the top for toe-hooks
  • Not streamlined for overhanging routes

2. La Sportiva Solution Climbing Shoe Men’s

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Vibram Rubber
Closure Type: Velcro Strap on
Shoe Material: Leather

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The La Sportiva Solution is an aggressive high-performance climbing shoe designed for climbers looking for maximal performance when bouldering. It also comes in a women’s model that has added sensitivity in the midsole.

Note: male climbers also go for the women’s model when they after a shoe that performs better at smearing

It has a ‘P3 platform’, which brand jargon aside, ensures the aggressive shape of the shoe maintains in the long term. It has a leather upper that comes from a ranch that is wire-free, which ensures the leather doesn’t have any weak spots.

A long-lasting upper is a great design feature of La Sportiva shoes, as the sole of the shoe can be replaced multiple times, which ensures the longevity of the shoe and save you money in the long run.

Pros

  • Velcro straps
  • Aggressive fit
  • Super sticky rubber sole

Cons

  • Premium Pricing

3. 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

4. Mad Rock Drifter

Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Rubber
Closure Type: Velcro Strap on
Shoe Material: Leather

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The Mad Rock Drifter is a great all-rounder shoe that gains praise from beginners to advanced alike. It has a neutral shoe shape, with a leather upper that creates a comfortable climbing shoe. It is slightly asymmetric in shape, yet not too aggressive for a beginner climbing shoe.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Velcro straps makes for easy removal between climbs
  • Stiff soles supports new climbers

Cons

  • Sizing runs small. If buying online, check return shipping options

5. Black Diamond Momentum

Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Rubber
Closure Type: Velcro Strap on
Shoe Material: Leather

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Black Diamond’s Momentum are designed to be a good quality beginner shoe. These shoes are reminiscent of the hand-crafted classic La Sportiva design. However, the addition of the velcro system makes it a great gym shoe.

Made from durable rubber, and a breathable upper, these Black Diamond shoes are a good option for a climber that values comfort.

Pros

  • Breathable
  • Long lasting sole
  • Beautiful design

Cons

  • They can take a bit longer than usual to break in

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 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. Evolv Shaman

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Trax Rubber
Closure Type: Velcro Strap on
Shoe Material: Synthetic

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The Sharman is a high-performance shoe with a downward toe and an asymmetric design. The upper is made from synthetic material, that can stretch up to half a size.

The sole is comprised of two separate pieces of rubber, which makes it a little snugger, and provides added flexibility. The sole excels at everything, except small edges. While it is an advanced shoe, due to its comfort, even a beginner could do well in a pair of Sharman’s.

Pros

  • Aggressive shape
  • 3 velcro straps for comfortable fit
  • Excellent heel cup

Cons

  • Suits people with wide feet

8. Black Diamond Shadow

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Rubber
Closure Type: Velcro Strap on
Shoe Material: Knitted microfibreM
Shape: Agressive

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The Black Diamond Shadow’s are a newly released aggressive bouldering shoe that are aimed at the mid-level to advanced climber. The Shadow’s excel on steep climbs, while also performing well on slabs, and technical small holds. They have a sticky midsole and toe box that really helps you feel your toe on small holds and jibs. The heel cup is a medium to small size, though a low volume, women’s size is in the works and will be released soon. The Black Diamond Shadow is a great all-round shoe, with a medium to hard level of stiffness.

Pros

  • Breathable
  • Long lasting sole
  • Beautiful design

Cons

  • Take a bit longer than other brand shoes to break in

9. Butora Acro

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Rubber
Closure Type: Velcro Strap on
Shoe Material: Synthetic Leather

See it in your local store:

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The Butora Acros are designed for those doing vertical acrobatics. The downward toe angle is designed for climbers venturing into overhang territory. This is where the shoe excels, as its performance fit allows you to maximise the power transfer from your feet to the wall. With a velcro strap, and elastic tongue system, they are a breeze to take off between climbs and give your toes a breather.

Pros

  • Stretchy tongue makes for great fit
  • Extremely sticky rubber
  • Great for overhangs
  • Wide and narrow options available

Cons

  • They are a performance shoe (AKA they fit tight)

10. Tenaya Oasi

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Vibram rubber sole
Closure Type: Velcro Strap on
Shoe Material: Microfibre

See it in your local store:

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The Tenaya Oasi is at the cross roads of performance and comfort. It is a higher volume shoe that has an aggressive down turned toe. It uses synthetic uppers, cotton lining and a Vibram XS sole. It has patented “Draxtor” lacing system that creates a fine tuned fit, for various foot-shapes. We also like, that if the velcro strap blows, Tenaya will replace it for free.

It has a sensitive sole, that is semi-split which allows added flexibility. However, the downside is, this shoe is not easy to replace the sole.

Pros

  • Odor reducing materials
  • Durable build
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Not suitable for people with narrow feet

Following all the comparisons, research and information we have gathered about these top men’s bouldering shoes, we can confidently say that Scarpa Origin is the best men’s bouldering shoes out in the market.

However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the Evolv Defy 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 Solution Climbing Shoe Men’s. 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 Men’s Bouldering Shoes

Type Of Materials And Sole

Many climbing shoes come with leather uppers. This allows a natural stretch over time, and creates a very comfortable shoe. However, for vegan climbers, there are shoe manufacturers who use synthetic, cotton, and hemp uppers.

All soles are made from rubber. If you are a beginner, you want a stiff one-piece rubber sole as this will give you the most amount of support. Beyond the beginner model, the amount of rubber is stripped back to allow the climber to feel the rock they are climbing.

For the advanced climber, you may opt for a shoe with two temperate pieces of rubber on the toe and the heel. This provides more flexibility, which is crucial when taking on overhangs.

Neutral, Moderate And Aggressive Models

If you are a beginner, you don’t need to buy 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.

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.

Bouldering Indoors Or Outdoors

Yes, you can boulder indoors and outdoors. While there is a big cross over between indoor and outdoor bouldering shoes, the primary difference is durability. In essence, indoor climbing involves plastic holds, so a shoe that edges well should be a priority in your decision-making.

Questions and Answers About Men’s Bouldering Shoes

Are Scarpa Climbing shoes good for men?

Scarpa produces shoes for both women and men and adjusts the shape of the shoes accordingly to better fit the contours of the feet of each gender. Furthermore, the brand focuses on being as inclusive as possible, and through their Scarpa Stands program, hope to bring attention and equity to people of all genders and color in the climbing community.

Should I get aggressive bouldering shoes if I am a beginner?

While the focus on bouldering shoes is for an aggressive shape, beginners should go for a neutral shoe with a stiff sole. This will provide you with the support you need as your muscles develop.

Are La Sportiva Climbing shoes good for men?

La Sportiva makes specialized shoes for both men and women, and some unisex models as well. Every major model is either unisex or has a version that is fitted to the standard shapes of women’s feet.

What makes a good men’s rock climbing shoe?

Men tend to have wider feet and bigger heels than women. By opting for a men’s specific shoe over a unisex shoe, you will have a better-fitting shoe. And with a better-fitting shoe, you will avoid any shoe movement and be able to translate more power from your foot to the wall.

What’s the difference between a men’s bouldering shoe and a women’s bouldering shoe?

A women’s bouldering shoe will have a low profile and a narrower foot shape. This creates a more snug fit around the heel and arch of your foot, unlike men’s shoes which tend to be wider and have a broader big toe portion.

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