Climb Gear Reviews Rock Climb

Best Vegan Climbing Shoes

With more climbers around the world taking a stand to be more conscious of animal cruelty and testing, one step that we can take is to start investing in products that are not harmful to animals. This brings us to considering in investing in more vegan climbing products, one of which starts with climbing shoes.

What are the Best Vegan Climbing Shoes?

To decide on the absolute best vegan climbing shoes, we have examined dozens of climbing shoes that are vegan and reviews left by real users who bought and used them. Based on what they geniunely shared and experienced, we have shortlisted the top 7 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 that are vegan. You can find later further down in the article. So without further ado, here’s introducing the best vegan climbing shoes.

1. Five Ten Anasazi

Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Stealth Rubber, Synthetic
Closure Type: Velcro Strap on
Shoe Material: Cowdura leather

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The Five Ten Anasazi shoes are a great all round indoor rock climbing shoe. The velcro straps, and durable rubber sole make it a great workhorse shoe for the gym.

They have a relatively neutral sole which will suit beginner to intermediate climbers. We also love that despite being made by a top quality brand, they come with an affordable price tag.

Pros

  • Velcro straps
  • Affordable
  • Great for heel hooks

Cons

  • Wide toe box may suit some climbers

2. 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.

Pros

  • Odor reducing materials
  • Durable build
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Not suitable for people with narrow feet

3. Scarpa Vapor

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

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The Scarpa Vapors are brilliant intermediate shoes, especially for those who are beginning to transition from beginner slab style climbing to caves and overhangs. There is a small amount of rubber on the top of the shoe to protect your toes in your first toe-hooks, a slight downturn to give you power from your feet up on steep routes, and yet they are soft and flexible enough to provide confident footing on slabs and sloping surfaces. They are quick to put on and take off and have a relatively sharp inner edge to help you stand on small ledges.

Aside from the long breaking-in period that these shoes have, which is especially frustrating for those who have not used them (and as these shoes are perfectly aimed at those buying their second pair of shoes, this could well be the case), the Vapors are not particularly specialized in any discipline of the sport, which can be restrictive for those who want to focus on one type of climbing

Pros

  • Great all-around shoe for intermediate climbers
  • Slight downturn but still flexible enough to perform on slabs
  • Strong, reinforced straps
  • Sharp inner edge for standing on small ledges

Cons

  • Long breaking-in period

4. 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’s 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 a 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

5. Tenaya Oasi

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

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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

6. Scarpa Veloce

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

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The Scarpa Veloce is something of a game-changer in the world of downturned shoes. The shoes are very soft and flexible, with a thin coating of rubber that allows your feet to retain sensitivity so you can connect with every little groove in the rock. The flexibility is helpful for performing on slabs and standing on sloping surfaces, yet the downturn of the shoe helps you to climb at your best on powerful and dynamic overhanging routes. The modern strap design is great for wider feet and quick to put on and take off.

The biggest problem with these shoes is the fact that the rubber is so thin and soft. This is a great thing for flexible footwear and retaining sensitivity, however, it means that they wear through quickly and don’t last so long before they need a resole.

Pros

  • Malleable and flexible rubber – provides heightened sensitivity through your feet
  • Quick to put on and take off with adjustable velcro strap
  • Generously coated in rubber and slightly downturned

Cons

  • Rubber is thin and wears through quickly

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 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 more snug, 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

Following all the comparisons, research and information we have gathered about these top climbing shoes, we can confidently say that Five Ten Anasazi is the best vegan climbing shoes out in the market.

However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the Scarpa Vapor 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 Evolv Defy. 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 Climbing Shoes

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.

Most Important Features For Indoor Climbing

Indoor climbing shoes are worn for performance. The downside of a performance fit is they are rather tight (Ok, understatement of the year). That’s why we suggest you go for shoes with velcro straps or slip-ons.

The next thing you want to consider is how aggressive a shoe you realistically need. Are you going for a banana, aubergine, or carrot shaped shoe?

If you are smashing overhangs on a regular basis, go for a banana shaped shoe with the aggressive downward toe turn.

If you are intermediate, a moderate shoe with a slight downward toe, or to continue the fruit and veg analogy, an aubergine curvature shall do the trick.

If you are a beginner, you need a beginner rock climbing shoe that is stiff to support your feet. In this case, your shoe should be as straight as a carrot.

If you want further information on selecting you dream shoes we have you covered: How to Pick the Best Rock Climbing Shoes.

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 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.

Maintenance Of Your Gym Climbing Shoes

Maintaining your climbing shoes will extend their lifespan, so it is important for all climbers to follow a few basic rules.

Only wear your shoes when climbing – every step off the wall wears the rubber out.

Wipe your rubber soles down with a cloth after use. This is particularly important should you take them outdoors and they get covered in mud.

Take them out of your pack when you get home, so they can dry out and don’t develop mould.

Store them in place that avoids direct sunlight and extreme temperature changes. This avoids the glue cracking and the fabrics fraying.

Don’t wear them as part of a costume at fancy dress party. Again, rule 1 – they will wear out.

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 Climbing Shoes

Why should you have a different pair of shoes for indoor and outdoor climbing?

Indoor climbing is about building your strength. For this you want a relatively rigid and tight fitting performance fit shoe. For outdoors, you want a shoe with a sensitive, yet durable sole as this assists your foot to stick to natural rock, while also ensuring the longevity of your shoe.

How do I know if my indoor climbing shoes are the right size?

The best way to find the right size climbing shoes is to trial a variety of shoes. Tip: Take note of each brand, model and make each time you rent shoes at your climbing gym.

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

Beginners don’t require aggressive shoes. A neutral shoe with a stiff sole will provide you with the support you need. Only when you advance into steep, overhung routes will a more aggressive shoe be useful.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbnJJN0DJkY

Why shouldn’t I use lace up shoes indoors?

It is best to use velcro or slip-ons for indoor climbing as this allows you to quickly take your shoes off and rest your feet between climbs.

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