How to Choose the Right Indoor Climbing Shoes

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Indoor Climbing Shoes

When it comes to indoor climbing, having the right footwear is crucial for both performance and safety. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the best pair of climbing shoes for your needs. In this article, we will discuss important factors to consider when selecting indoor climbing shoes, as well as provide tips on how to find the perfect fit for your climbing adventures.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Indoor Climbing Shoes

When it comes to choosing the right indoor climbing shoes, there are several factors to consider to ensure you get the best pair for your needs. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Fit and Sizing

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing indoor climbing shoes is the fit and sizing. Climbing shoes should fit snugly without being too tight or uncomfortable. It’s important to try on different sizes and styles to find the best fit for your feet. Keep in mind that climbing shoes tend to stretch out slightly over time, so they should fit snugly from the start.

Type of Climbing

Another important factor to consider is the type of climbing you will be doing. Different types of climbing require different features in a shoe. For example, bouldering shoes tend to have a more aggressive downturn, while sport climbing shoes may have a stiffer sole for edging. Consider the type of climbing you will be doing most often and choose a shoe that is designed for that specific type of climbing.

Closure System

The closure system of a climbing shoe is another important factor to consider. There are several different types of closure systems, including lace-up, velcro, and slip-on. Each type of closure system offers different levels of adjustability and convenience. Lace-up shoes tend to offer a more custom fit, while velcro shoes are quick and easy to take on and off. Consider your personal preference and the type of climbing you will be doing when choosing a closure system for your indoor climbing shoes.

By considering these key factors when choosing indoor climbing shoes, you can ensure that you find the perfect pair to help you climb with confidence and comfort.

Types of Indoor Climbing Shoes

When it comes to indoor climbing shoes, there are three main types to consider: neutral shoes, moderate shoes, and aggressive shoes.

Neutral Shoes

Neutral shoes are a great choice for beginners or for those who prefer a more comfortable fit. These shoes have a flat sole and a moderate amount of stiffness, providing a good balance between comfort and performance. They are versatile and can be used for a variety of climbing styles, making them a popular choice for climbers of all levels.

Moderate Shoes

Moderate shoes are a step up from neutral shoes in terms of performance. They typically have a slightly downturned shape, which helps with edging and precision on small footholds. These shoes offer a good balance between comfort and performance, making them a solid choice for climbers looking to improve their skills without sacrificing too much comfort.

Aggressive Shoes

Aggressive shoes are designed for advanced climbers who prioritize performance over comfort. These shoes have a highly downturned shape, which allows for maximum power and precision on steep terrain and tiny footholds. While they may not be the most comfortable option for long sessions, aggressive shoes are essential for pushing your climbing to the next level and tackling challenging routes.

Features to Look for in Indoor Climbing Shoes

When choosing the right indoor climbing shoes, there are several important features to consider to ensure you get the best pair for your needs.

Rubber Sole

One of the most crucial features to look for in indoor climbing shoes is a rubber sole. The rubber sole provides traction and grip on the climbing wall, allowing you to confidently make your way up the route. Look for climbing shoes with a sticky rubber sole that will help you stick to even the smallest footholds.


The downturn of a climbing shoe refers to the curve of the sole, with more downturn providing better performance on steep and overhanging routes. If you primarily climb on steep terrain, consider choosing a shoe with a more aggressive downturn to help you maintain control and power through your climbs.


Indoor climbing can be sweaty work, so it’s important to choose climbing shoes that offer good breathability to keep your feet cool and comfortable. Look for shoes with breathable materials and perforations that will allow air to flow through, helping to prevent moisture build-up and keep your feet feeling fresh during your climbing sessions.


In conclusion, choosing the right indoor climbing shoes is essential for a successful and enjoyable climbing experience. By considering factors such as fit, material, closure system, and intended use, climbers can find the perfect pair of shoes that will enhance their performance and comfort on the wall. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned climber, investing in a quality pair of climbing shoes that meet your specific needs and preferences is crucial for reaching your full potential in the sport. So take your time, do your research, and find the indoor climbing shoes that will help you climb to new heights.