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Finally reaching the top of a climbing route as your arms shake and ache wouldn’t be nearly as easy without the top technologies behind today’s best climbing shoes. You might prefer straps over laces or a flatter shoe versus one with an extreme downturned shape. Either way, the wrong shoe for your foot can have you stalling on a climb whereas the right one can have you conquering the route. Check out these top-ranked women’s climbing shoes to decide which shoes are best for your climbing needs.
Best Overall: La Sportiva Solution
When it comes to a climbing shoe that is aggressive, comfortable, and sensitive, the La Sportive Solution doesn’t fall short. In fact, the hard-climbing, steep performance shoe not only keeps feet happy, but is also easily adjustable for a customizable fit. With a criss-cross, lock harness strap, climbers get a tight fit around the entire top and bed of the foot, so efficiency isn’t compromised. The shoes come in a funky white and pink design and fit slightly small.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Scarpa Techno X
The Scarpa Techno X is made for all-day wear on multi-pitch routes where you don’t want your feet aching within the first ten minutes. The snug heel and stiff, flat shape make for a comfortable and secure shoe with decent sensitivity, while the outsole provides plenty of grip needed to dig your feet into cracks. Plus, with the asymmetrical lacing system, your laces won’t tear or shred since they rest off to the side of your toes, not on top. The shoe comes in a purple and orange color, and run quite small.
Best Budget Shoe: La Sportiva TarantuLace
When buying your first pair of climbing shoes, you want one that is cheap, but will still get the job done and leave your feet ache-free. With the La Sportiva TarantuLace, climbers get a non-technical shoe at a lower price point that will still allow for sensitive footwork and a snug fit with the lacing system. The quick-pull laces are easy to use and allow for the entire foot to be wrapped uniformly and securely. The shoe is downturned slightly with a shape that doesn’t crunch the toes, yet still feels sleek and not bulky on the rock. The rubber outsole is sticky and the inner is comfortable with a lined tongue that helps wick moisture and ensure breathability. The shoes are made from leather, so expect some stretching, but overall, the TarantuLace fits true to size. Colors available include teal or orange.
Best Shoe with an Aggressive Shape: Five Ten Blackwing
The lightweight Five Ten Blackwing shoes are made for climbers looking to conquer extremely technical routes or hard problems. The pink and black shoes come with a very aggressive arch with a rubber outsole to stick on any hold. Inside the shoe you’ll find a soft padded tongue, a fleece inner that is moisture wicking and a slightly roomier heel than most climbers would prefer, though no slippage was reported. The shoes are slightly expensive, but come with a dual adjustable strap closure for a secure fit. Size up, as these shoes do run small and won’t stretch out much, since they are made from synthetic material.
Best Shoe with a Flat Shape: Butora Endeavor
The Butora Endeavor shoes are ideal for climbers looking for a versatile, all-around shoe. The last of the shoe is slightly downturned for technical problems and the outsole is extremely sticky, but comfort isn’t compromised at all. The inner layer of the tongue is made from memory foam and the top layer of the shoe is designed with breathability in mind. Plus, the fabric is made from 100 percent hemp to minimize odor and resist stretching over time. Two straps close on opposite sides with multiple attachment points for a precise and comfortable fit. The purple shoe runs fairly true to size, with a recommendation of sizing just a half-size up.
Best Shoe for Narrow Feet: Five Ten Anasazi LV
The Five Ten Anasazi LV women’s specific climbing shoes are best for climbers with small or narrow feet that are looking for a high performance and versatile shoe. The shoe has a low instep with a higher arch and has an extremely comfortable and narrow heel cup. The rubber outsole is sticky and durable, and the synthetic upper is secure, but will have some stretch over time as the shoes form to your feet. Overall, the moderately downturned shoe with a medium midsole stiffness might seem like a beginner’s shoe, but is sensitive enough for your toes to feel every crack and bump. The lightweight shoe comes in a bright teal color that fits fairly true to size, if not slightly smaller.
Best Lace-Up Shoe: La Sportiva Miura
An overall top climbing shoe, the La Sportive Miura performs highly on all types of terrain (especially when it comes to edging) and is ideal for experienced climbers who are looking for a moderately aggressive shoe. The shape is slightly downturned for precision and sensitivity, so the shoes aren’t going to be extremely comfortable when you aren’t climbing. The upper is made from leather with a synthetic liner, which makes for limited stretching as you break the shoes in. The best part? The padded heel cup promises a tighter fit for women’s often narrower heels. The only color available is white; the shoe fits true to size.
Best Strap Shoe: Evolv Shaman LV
With a unique build that allows for extra room for your big toe knuckle and a secure heel cup, that Evolve Shaman LV is a high performance, comfortable shoe. The arch is slight with minimal downturn, but the shoe still responds well to rock features once the shoes are broken in. The outsole is made from rubber and the lining is made from a synthetic microfiber material. For a close fit, three opposing straps secure your foot with plenty of all-around support. The color scheme is green and purple and fits slightly small.