The Best Rock Climbing Shoes for Indoor Climbing

The Best Rock Climbing Shoes for Indoor Climbing

Are you an enthusiastic rock climber looking for the perfect pair of shoes for indoor climbing? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you through the top rock climbing shoes specifically designed for indoor climbing. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced climber, having the right footwear is essential for a successful and enjoyable climbing experience. We have carefully curated a list of the best rock climbing shoes available in the market, taking into consideration factors such as grip, comfort, durability, and performance. So, let’s dive in and discover the ideal pair of rock climbing shoes that will help you conquer the indoor climbing walls with confidence and style.

What to Consider When Choosing Rock Climbing Shoes

When it comes to rock climbing shoes, there are several factors to consider in order to find the perfect pair that suits your needs and preferences. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced climber, the right choice of rock climbing shoes can significantly enhance your performance and overall climbing experience. Here are three important aspects to take into account when selecting your next pair of rock climbing shoes:

Type of Climbing

The type of climbing you primarily engage in should heavily influence your choice of rock climbing shoes. There are different types of climbing shoes designed specifically for various climbing disciplines, such as indoor climbing, bouldering, sport climbing, or trad climbing. Each type of climbing requires specific features and performance characteristics from the shoes.

For indoor climbing, where you often encounter artificial holds and smooth walls, shoes with sticky rubber soles and a moderate downturn are generally recommended. These shoes provide excellent grip on the plastic holds commonly found in indoor climbing gyms.

On the other hand, if you are into bouldering, shoes with a more aggressive downturn and a sticky rubber sole are preferable. The aggressive shape of the shoes helps in achieving precise foot placements on small holds, while the sticky rubber sole ensures optimal grip on both indoor and outdoor bouldering surfaces.

For sport climbing, where you typically face longer routes with a mix of vertical and slightly overhanging terrain, shoes that strike a balance between comfort and performance are ideal. Look for shoes with a moderate downturn and a medium-stiffness sole, which allow for both edging and smearing on different types of rock.

For trad climbing, where you rely on placing your own gear and often encounter long and varied routes, shoes with a neutral shape and a slightly stiffer sole are generally recommended. These shoes provide all-day comfort and support for a range of climbing techniques.


The fit of your rock climbing shoes is crucial for both comfort and performance. Finding the right fit can be a bit tricky, as climbing shoes are typically supposed to fit snugly, but not painfully tight. A good fit ensures that your shoes provide proper support, stability, and sensitivity while climbing.

When trying on climbing shoes, it is important to pay attention to the following factors:

  • Toe Box: The toe box should fit comfortably without any excessive pressure or pain. Your toes should be slightly curled but not crammed or bent uncomfortably.

  • Heel Fit: The heel of the shoe should fit snugly without any gaps or slippage. A secure heel fit is essential for heel hooks and maintaining stability during climbs.

  • Arch Support: The shoe should provide adequate arch support without causing discomfort. The arch support helps in maintaining proper foot position and reducing fatigue.

  • Sizing: Climbing shoe sizing can vary across different brands and models. It is advisable to try on multiple sizes and styles to find the best fit for your feet. Remember that climbing shoes typically stretch over time, so a slightly tighter fit initially can be beneficial.

Closure System

The closure system of rock climbing shoes plays a significant role in their fit, adjustability, and ease of use. There are three main types of closure systems commonly found in climbing shoes:

  1. Velcro Straps: Velcro straps offer quick and easy adjustability, making them popular among climbers. They provide a secure fit and are convenient to take on and off, especially during indoor climbing sessions or bouldering.

  2. Lace-up: Lace-up shoes allow for a more precise and customizable fit. They offer better adjustability and allow you to fine-tune the tension at different parts of the shoe. Lace-up shoes are preferred by many trad climbers and those who prioritize a personalized fit.

  3. Slip-on: Slip-on shoes have an elastic closure system and are incredibly easy to put on and take off. They provide a snug fit, but they may lack the adjustability and precision of the other closure systems. Slip-on shoes are often favored by gym climbers and those who prioritize convenience.

Consider your personal preferences, the type of climbing you engage in, and the level of adjustability you desire when choosing the closure system for your rock climbing shoes.

By considering the type of climbing, finding the right fit, and selecting an appropriate closure system, you can ensure that you make an informed decision when choosing your next pair of rock climbing shoes. Remember, investing time in researching and trying on different options will ultimately lead to a more enjoyable and successful climbing experience.

Top Rock Climbing Shoes for Indoor Climbing

La Sportiva Tarantulace

La Sportiva Tarantulace is a highly recommended rock climbing shoe for indoor climbing. It offers great performance and comfort for both beginner and intermediate climbers. The shoe features a highly adjustable lace-up system that provides a snug fit and excellent support. The Tarantulace also has a sticky rubber sole that offers optimal grip on indoor climbing walls. With its durable construction and all-around performance, the La Sportiva Tarantulace is a top choice for indoor climbers.

Evolv Defy

Another top contender for indoor climbing shoes is the Evolv Defy. This shoe is designed to provide maximum comfort and performance during indoor climbing sessions. The Defy features a unique split tongue design that allows for easy on and off, while also enhancing comfort and breathability. The shoe has a medium stiffness that strikes a balance between support and sensitivity, making it suitable for climbers of all skill levels. With its durable construction and excellent grip, the Evolv Defy is a popular choice among indoor climbers.

Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym

The Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym is a classic rock climbing shoe that excels in indoor climbing environments. It is known for its exceptional sensitivity and precision, allowing climbers to feel the texture of the holds and make precise movements. The Moccasym also features a slip-on design that provides a snug and secure fit without the need for laces. The shoe’s Stealth C4 rubber sole offers unbeatable grip on indoor surfaces, enhancing performance and confidence. If you are looking for a high-performance shoe that delivers precision and grip, the Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym is a top choice for indoor climbing.

These top rock climbing shoes for indoor climbing provide a combination of comfort, performance, and durability. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced climber, investing in a quality pair of climbing shoes can greatly enhance your indoor climbing experience.

Budget-friendly Options

Black Diamond Momentum

The Black Diamond Momentum climbing shoes are an excellent choice for indoor climbing on a budget. These shoes offer great value for the price, providing both comfort and performance. With a neutral shape and a flat last, they are perfect for beginners and intermediate climbers.

The Momentum shoes feature a breathable knit upper, ensuring proper ventilation during intense climbing sessions. The durable rubber sole provides excellent grip on various indoor surfaces, allowing for precise foot placement and stability. Additionally, the shoes have a convenient hook-and-loop closure system, making them easy to put on and take off.

Mad Rock Flash 2.0

Another affordable option for indoor climbing is the Mad Rock Flash 2.0 shoes. These shoes are known for their versatility and durability, making them a popular choice among climbers of all skill levels. With a moderate downturn and a slightly asymmetrical shape, they offer both comfort and performance.

The Flash 2.0 shoes feature a synthetic upper that molds to the shape of your foot over time, providing a customized fit. The sticky rubber sole ensures excellent traction on indoor climbing walls, allowing for precise edging and toe-hooking. The shoes also have a dual hook-and-loop closure system, ensuring a secure and adjustable fit.

Butora Endeavor

If you’re looking for budget-friendly climbing shoes that offer exceptional comfort, the Butora Endeavor is a great option. These shoes are designed with a wide toe box, providing ample space for your toes to spread out naturally. This feature makes them ideal for climbers with wider feet or those who prefer a more relaxed fit.

The Endeavor shoes feature a blend of synthetic and natural leather, offering a balance of durability and breathability. The sticky rubber sole provides excellent grip on indoor climbing holds, allowing for precise footwork. The shoes also have a hook-and-loop closure system, making them easy to adjust and secure.

In conclusion, when it comes to budget-friendly options for indoor climbing shoes, the Black Diamond Momentum, Mad Rock Flash 2.0, and Butora Endeavor are all excellent choices. Consider your specific needs and preferences to find the perfect pair that will enhance your climbing experience without breaking the bank.

High-performance Choices

Scarpa Instinct VS

The Scarpa Instinct VS is a top choice for rock climbers seeking high-performance indoor climbing shoes. These shoes are designed to provide maximum precision and sensitivity, allowing climbers to feel the rock surface and make precise movements. The Instinct VS features a downturned shape and aggressive toe profile, which enhances performance on steep and overhanging routes. The sticky rubber sole offers excellent grip, ensuring climbers can confidently tackle difficult moves. With a velcro closure system, the Scarpa Instinct VS provides a secure and snug fit, allowing climbers to focus on their technique without worrying about shoe slippage.

La Sportiva Solution

Another exceptional option for indoor climbing is the La Sportiva Solution. These shoes are known for their innovative design and superior performance. The Solution features La Sportiva’s patented P3 platform, which maintains the shoe’s aggressive shape over time, ensuring consistent performance. The downturned shape and high-tension heel rand provide excellent power transfer, allowing climbers to push themselves to the limit. The Solution’s sticky rubber sole delivers exceptional friction on indoor climbing surfaces, enhancing overall grip and control. Additionally, the shoe’s Fast Lacing System enables quick and easy adjustments for a snug, personalized fit.

Tenaya Oasi

The Tenaya Oasi is a high-performance indoor climbing shoe that combines comfort and precision. Designed for climbers who prioritize both performance and comfort, the Oasi offers a precise fit without sacrificing comfort during long climbing sessions. The shoe’s SXR Dynamics technology provides excellent balance and support, allowing climbers to maintain stability on various types of holds. The Oasi also features a unique closure system that combines a velcro strap and lace closure, offering a customizable fit to accommodate different foot shapes. With its sticky rubber sole and downturned shape, the Tenaya Oasi provides optimal grip and power for indoor climbing pursuits.

In conclusion, finding the right rock climbing shoes for indoor climbing is crucial for optimal performance and safety. With the wide variety of options available in the market, it is important to consider factors such as fit, comfort, grip, and durability. The top contenders for the best rock climbing shoes for indoor climbing include the La Sportiva Tarantulace, Five Ten Rogue VCS, and Scarpa Vapor V. Each of these shoes offers unique features and benefits that cater to different climbing styles and preferences. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on individual needs and personal preferences. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced climber, investing in the right pair of rock climbing shoes will greatly enhance your indoor climbing experience and help you reach new heights.