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You’ve got your ropes, harness and chalk bag, but which shoes do you need? That depends on what you are climbing and how technical your skills are. Some shoes are made for cracks and edging, while others play better on steep sport climbs. Maybe you have a wider foot or maybe your toes are real boxy. Either way, there’s a shoe for that. Read on to see the top picks for men’s climbing shoes that can help take your skills to the next level.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: La Sportiva Genius
The makers of the La Sportiva Genius knew exactly what to call this high-tech shoe. It uses a no-edge technology for supreme edge work and has off-center laces for perfect toe hooking. The wrap-around midsole, tight heel and lacing system offers a secure and supportive fit for the aggressively downturned shoe, but overall, you’ll still maintain a natural and comfortable foot position. The upper is suede leather and microfiber and the inner is unlined. The shoe is available in a red and yellow color and fits true to size.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Five Ten Anasazi Pink
A top shoe with a moderate downturn and lace closure, the Five Ten Anasazi Pink is ideal for technical face climbing and edging, but is sticky enough to offer traction on any type of surface. The synthetic upper means no stretching, while the snug heel cup is made for heel-hooks. Overall, the Anasazi pink are extremely comfortable shoes that offer aid when it comes to high-performance climbing. The shoes come in a bright pink color and fit true to size.
Best Shoe with an Aggressive Shape: Butora Acro
Built for steep climbs and technical walls, the Butora Acro has an extremely aggressive downturned shape to help with toe holds and edging. The form-fitting shoe is comfortable and sleek, and is easy to slip on and off quickly between climbs with its hook and loop strap that connects with a triple fork attachment for a customizable, tight fit. The toe box is designed to stretch width wise, not length wise, so that tightness isn’t compromised over time. The Acros are available in orange for a wide fit and blue for a narrow fit. Fitting is true to size, or just slightly smaller.
Best Shoe with a Flat Shape: La Sportiva TC Pro
With a higher price point, the La Sportiva TC Pro is for advanced climbers looking for optimal grip on all types of steep terrain, but especially granite. After all, TC stands for pro climber Tommy Caldwell, who climbed the Dawn Wall in Yosemite in 2015. The leather upper has minimal stretching to provide a precise fit, along with laces for tightness. It’s a highly ranked, all-around top specialized shoe by climbers and won’t disappoint in cracks. The La Sportiva TC Pro is available in a sage color and fits true to size.
Best Budget Shoe: Evolv Addict
The Evolv Addict is a perfect shoe for beginner climbers looking for a comfortable and sticky shoe that won’t cost them too much. This flatter shoe is a slip-on for easy on-and-off in the gym, and has a leather tab on top to pull them on quickly. The durable sole is sticky, but does cut some sensitivity on the rock due to it’s thickness. Use these shoes for slab climbing and multi-pitch terrain. The Evolv Addict is available in yellow and fits slightly small.
Best for Wide Feet: Boreal Joker Plus Lace-Up
Recommended for climbers with wider feet, the Boreal Joke Plus Lace-Up is an ideal all-day shoe that will provide lasting comfort. It’s not best for the high-performance climber, but still performs well on most terrain with a flat, sticky sole and a padded heel cup. The upper is made from leather for some stretching, mesh for breathability and Lorica for durability. This style comes with laces for precision and fit, but the Joker is also available with straps. The Joker comes in a bright red color and fits true to size.
Best Lace-Up Shoe: Scarpa Instinct Lace
The newest version of the Instinct by Scarpa is a lace shoe updated to include a micro suede synthetic upper and a tighter heel fit for extra support. The shoe has a moderately aggressive downturn shape with a full-lace closure for top fitting and performance, but still has a soft midsole aimed to improve precision on climbs. There is a break-in period for the shoes, but once that’s passed, these work best for bouldering and sport climbing. The shoes are available in an orange and black color; the shoe fits true to size and is not recommended for climbers with narrow feet.
Best Strap Shoe: Evolv Shaman
The updated version of the Evolve Shaman has more rubber on the toe and has set the front strap in more, so as not to get in the way or tear. The shoes can get stinky with a synthetic upper and unlined inner and do often stretch out over time. However, the shoes are extremely comfortable and durable for the high-performance climber. The color scheme for the Evolve Shaman climbing shoe includes a blue and orange design; the shoe fits slightly small.