Climb Gear Reviews

Top 9 Best Women’s climbing Shoes

Today, there are more women rock climbers than ever. With good reason, it is an exhilarating social sport and a great workout.

Get a good pair of climbing 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 climbing shoes for women to get you started on your climbing journey!

What You Should Know Before Buying Women Climbing Shoe

Most Important Features

There are many factors to consider when getting the perfect fit for women’s rock climbing shoes. Our mantra at Lydiascapes is climbing shoes should be uncomfortably snug, but not painfully tight. New climbers may have heard you need to size down, and that they are always painful. But we say listen to your foot. If it’s too tight, it’s too tight!

A women’s climbing shoe is designed to account for the fact that women have smaller heels and narrower feet than men. In general, a women’s climbing shoe will also have a lower profile, which creates a more snug fit.

Pink climbing shoes

It is also good to know that brands cater for different types of feet. For example, La Sportiva typically suits people with narrow feet, whereas Evolv suits people with wider feet.

With a well fitted shoe you will climb harder routes than you thought possible. And when you start ticking off more climbs, you will also start to reap the benefits of a rock climber’s body.

A good women’s climbing shoe should be using a women’s shoe sizing. I know this is obvious, but sometimes this isn’t the case, and female climbers find themselves with the completely wrong shoe size.

Beyond that, the shoe should have a low profile, a smaller heel and relatively narrower foot in general compared to the men counterparts. If you get these elements right, you will have a good fit that will keep you going long before your arms burn out.

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.

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.

Adam Ondra #17: The Alchemy Of Climbing Shoes

What’s the Top 8 Best Womens Climbing Shoes?

Climbing shoes fit differently with each company and every model. You also need to consider your preference in terms of climbing style.

If you are a beginner climber, we recommend you go with a neutral shoe with a rigid sole. This will provide your feet the support you need whilst you develop your foot muscles.

For those climbing regularly for six months or more, we recommend you look at a shoe that has a bit more flexibility. By this stage you will be ready to hold your weight on smaller holds with your feet.

If you are tackling slight overhangs, you will want to opt for a moderate shoe, with a bit more flexibility, as this will allow you to grip better to smaller holds.

For advanced climbers, an aggressive shoe will assist you with slamming overhangs, nailing heel and toe hooks, and smearing those invisible granite footholds.

Taking into consideration our advice from above, and feedback from women climbers, we created our shortlist of great climbing shoes for women. The shortlist list provides several good options for women, from beginner to advanced.

1. La Sportiva Tarantula Women’s Climbing Shoe

PROS

Versatile

Affordable

Shines on vertical walls

CONS

Not an aggressive performance shoe

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Versatile Affordable Shines on vertical walls

What makes LA Sportiva’s Tarantula a great option is that it accommodates both the beginner to intermediate climber. It is an all-rounder shoe with a relatively stiff sole, which will support your climbing as you develop your foot muscles.

The velcro straps make it easy to slip-on and slip-off in between climbs, which is always useful for a long day of climbing. While slightly more aggressive than most beginner shoes, they maintain a high level of comfort.

It is hard to go past these shoes, we think every female climber would do well to have a pair of these.

2. Five Ten Women’s Anasazi LV Climbing Shoe

PROS

Toe box works well for gripping small holds

Great traction

Comfortable

CONS

They run small, so you may need to go a half or full size up

Not for women with wide feet

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Toe box works well for gripping small holds Great traction Comfortable

The Five Ten Women’s Anasazi LV Climbing Shoe is a good all-rounder. 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. Overall, it is a versatile shoe that works as well in the gym, as it does outdoors on cracks. It got voted down a place as the velcro strap didn’t hold the foot as tight as the La Sportiva Tarantula.

3. Butora Women’s Endeavor

PROS

Affordable

Odor resistant

Low profile

Rubber sole good for edging

CONS

You may need to size up for a pain free fit

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Affordable Odor resistant Low profile Rubber sole good for edging

The Butora Endeavour is an affordable entry level women’s climbing shoe. Made from synthetic and leather material, this shoe provides great stability when climbing.

We like that the design minimises foot odor through the inclusion of organic hemp lining. We also like that the Endeavour comes in both a narrow and a wide option.

While only achieving a bronze in our women’s climbing shoe round up, its level of quality and affordability makes it podium worthy.

4. Evolv Kira

PROS

Vegan friendly

Low profile and low heel

Comfortable

Velcro-straps

CONS

Sensitive sole may not suit a brand new climber

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Vegan friendly Low profile and low heel Comfortable Velcro-straps

The Evolv Kira are a good low profile climbing shoe for the beginner-to-intermediate level climber.

The shape of the shoe has a moderate downward facing toe, making it a good option for climbers venturing into overhang routes. If you are looking at climbing granite, these shoes will be a great option as they excel at smearing.

The final selling point of the Kira’s is that unlike many vegan friendly shoes, the Kira’s are affordable.

5. Scarpa Women’s Origin

PROS

Long lasting rubber

Easy slip-on shoes with velcro straps

Comfortable

CONS

Not a great fit for people with very narrow feet

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Long lasting rubber Easy slip-on shoes with velcro straps Comfortable

The Scarpa Women’s Origin is an affordable beginner climbing shoe. It is a flat and neutral shoe with a stiff sole that supports your feet.

While these shoes are aimed at the beginner climber, the durable rubber makes them a good workhorse shoe that could work well as a second pair for climbers looking to save their premium shoes for more aggressive tougher climbs.

6. CLIMBX Women’s Rave

PROS

Durable

Comfortable

Odor resistant

CONS

You may need to go from one to two sizes bigger for a comfortable fit

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Durable Comfortable Odor resistant

The ClimbX Rave Women’s Performance is a budget friendly option for the beginner climber. This is an all-round shoe that has a neutral profile and stiff sole to provide additional support to your feet. It is made with a plush leather upper and a hemp foot bed to better mold to the contours of your feet.

If you are just dabbling with rock climbing, and want something better than worn out rentals at the gym, these are a great option to get you started. If you are in the market for cheap shoes to get your started, we have a few more options for cheap shoes.

7. Black Diamond Momentum

PROS

Breathable

Long lasting sole

Beautiful design

CONS

They can take a bit longer than usual to break in

Narrow shape – not great for people with wider feet

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Breathable Long lasting sole Beautiful design

Black Diamond’s Momentum Lace Climbing Shoes are designed to be a good quality beginner shoe. Very reminiscent of 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.

8. Tenaya Tanta Rock Climbing Shoe

PROS

Vegan friendly

Comfortable

All round workhorse

CONS

Tenaya recommends downsizing 0-0.5 sizes from your US street shoe size for an all day fit and 0.5-1 sizes for a performance fit

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Vegan friendly Comfortable All round workhorse

The Tenaya Tanta is a beginner to intermediate level shoe designed for all day climbing. It is a neutral shoe that lands mid range in terms of flexibility, with a slightly downturned toe.

The shoe includes velcro straps, and is a good option for people who want a durable shoe that gets the job done at the gym and on sports routes.

9. La Sportiva Miura VS

PROS

Durable sticky rubber

Aggressive shape suitable for tough overhang climbs

Good transition shoe: intermediate to advanced

CONS

Narrow fit

The sensitivity of the sole may be too much for the beginner climber

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Durable sticky rubber Aggressive shape suitable for tough overhang climbs Good transition shoe: intermediate to advanced

The La Sportiva Miura VS is a more aggressive style shoe for the more advanced climber. The show is very flexible and the rubber is extremely grippy, allowing the shoe to shine when edging and smearing. The velcro straps allow you to easily take the shoes on and off, making them a great option for gyms, bouldering or sports climbs.

In our opinion the La Sportiva Tarantula is the best women’s shoe on the market. It has a reasonable price tag and has a beautiful design. What makes it unique, is that it hits the sweet spot between the beginner and advanced shoe. It provides enough support for those in the early stages of climbing, yet provides enough flexibility in the shoe to tackle harder climbers. With a super durable rubber sole, even the advanced climber will do well to have this workhorse in their climbing kit.

Questions and Answers About Women Climbing Shoe

What makes a good women’s rock climbing shoe?

Women tend to have narrower feet and smaller heels than men. By opting for a women’s specific shoe over a men’s 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 are the best shoes for indoor rock climbing?

In theory, any rock-climbing shoe can be used for indoor climbing. The best shoes for you will be one’s that fit well and are appropriate to your climbing level. If you are just starting out, get a stiff shoe which will support your foot. If you are moving into overhangs, get a moderate to aggressive shoe. Velcro or slip-ons can be a good option for a climbing gym, as you can size down for a performance fit, yet easily take them off in between climbs.

What are the best climbing shoes for beginners?

The two main elements to look for in a beginner’s climbing shoes is a flat and stiff sole. This provides additional support for you as you develop the multitude of foot muscles used during climbing.

What shoes do pro climbers wear?

Pro climbers generally wear what is termed “aggressive” shoes. These shoes typically have a ‘banana shaped’ curved sole, with a doward pointed toe box. This allows for maximum traction and power transfer from the foot to the wall.
Advanced shoes typically have two pieces of rubber for increased flexibility, rather than one continuous sole. You’ll also find rubber on the top of the shoe, which provides traction when doing overhang toe hooks.
Have a look at pro climber Adam Ondra talk about all the considerations he takes into account when choosing a climbing shoe.

Should your toes be curled in climbing shoes?

Even in flat soled women’s climbing shoes, your toes will be slightly curled. For a beginner, your big toe should be curled down no more than 45 degrees. Remember, it’s not just your toes that should be snug in your shoes. Its also important to pay attention to how the heel of the shoe cups your foot.

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.

What size climbing shoe should I buy?

Climbing shoes sizes vary from model to model. Typically, you will need to go either a half size, or a full size down from your regular sneakers. More advanced climbers may even go down two sizes.
As a simple guide
– Performance bouldering shoes should fit the tightest as they worn for the least amount of time
– Sports route shoes should be comfortable enough that you can wear them for multiple pitches
– Trad shoes should allow you climb all day
Remember: you also need to get climbing shoes that are the right width for your foot. If you have a wide foot, get a wide shoe! If you want to know more about climbing shoe fit, check out our guide that will help your find your true climbing shoe size.

How can I make my climbing shoes more comfortable?

In general, climbing shoes are a little uncomfortable.
It is important to remember that most climbing shoes will stretch and become better molded to your feet once you break them in. So the more you climb, the more comfortable they will become. To speed up the stretching process, you can also wear your shoes in a warm bath.
If a part of your foot rubs against a particular spot on your shoes, , such as your toes, a band-aid or a compeed can help take the pressure off.

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.

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