The Best Rock Climbing Shoes for Intermediate Climbers

The Best Rock Climbing Shoes for Intermediate Climbers

Are you an intermediate rock climber looking for the perfect pair of climbing shoes to enhance your performance? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you through the best rock climbing shoes available in the market specifically designed for intermediate climbers. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or a gym climber, the right pair of shoes can make a significant difference in your climbing experience. From superior grip and durability to comfort and versatility, we have compiled a list of top-rated rock climbing shoes that will meet your needs and take your climbing skills to the next level. So, let’s explore the best options and help you find the perfect fit for your climbing adventures!

Features to Consider

Climbing Shoe Fit

When choosing rock climbing shoes, one of the most important factors to consider is the fit. A proper fit ensures comfort, stability, and performance while climbing. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Snugness: The shoes should fit snugly, without any excessive pressure or discomfort. A snug fit helps maintain control and prevents your feet from moving around inside the shoe.
  • Toe Space: Make sure there is enough room for your toes to move and flex. Your toes should not be cramped or curled up.
  • Heel Fit: The heel of the shoe should fit securely and not slip or lift while climbing. A snug heel fit provides stability and prevents blisters or hot spots.

Sole Material

The sole material of rock climbing shoes plays a vital role in performance and durability. Different types of sole materials offer varying levels of grip and durability. Here are a few common options:

  • Rubber: Most climbing shoes use rubber soles due to their excellent grip on different surfaces. Look for shoes with high-quality rubber compounds that provide optimal friction against the rock.
  • Thickness: Thicker soles offer more support and durability, making them suitable for long-lasting use. However, thinner soles provide better sensitivity and precision, making them ideal for technical climbs.
  • Sticky Rubber: Some climbing shoes feature sticky rubber soles that offer enhanced grip on challenging terrains. These shoes are popular among intermediate climbers who often tackle difficult routes.

Closure System

The closure system of rock climbing shoes determines how they fasten and secure to your feet. Different closure systems offer varying levels of convenience, adjustability, and performance. Here are a few common closure options to consider:

  • Laces: Traditional lace-up shoes provide maximum adjustability and allow for a customized fit. They are often preferred by climbers who prioritize precise fit and control.
  • Velcro Straps: Shoes with Velcro straps offer quick and easy on/off functionality. They are great for climbers who value convenience and want to make speedy adjustments.
  • Slip-On: Slip-on shoes are hassle-free and provide a snug fit without the need for laces or straps. They are suitable for climbers who prioritize simplicity and comfort.

Considering these features will help you narrow down your options and find the best rock climbing shoes for intermediate climbers. Remember to prioritize fit, sole material, and closure system based on your climbing style and preferences. Happy climbing!

Top Rock Climbing Shoes for Intermediate Climbers

La Sportiva Tarantula

The La Sportiva Tarantula is a great choice for intermediate climbers who are looking for a comfortable and versatile shoe. Made with a leather upper and an adjustable hook-and-loop closure system, these shoes provide a snug and secure fit. The Tarantula also features a sticky rubber outsole, which offers excellent traction on various types of rock surfaces. Whether you’re climbing indoors or outdoors, these shoes are durable and supportive, making them ideal for intermediate climbers.

Scarpa Origin

Another top pick for intermediate climbers is the Scarpa Origin. These shoes are known for their all-around performance and comfort. With a suede upper and a flat profile, the Origin provides a balanced combination of sensitivity and support. The dual-strap closure system ensures a customizable fit, while the Vibram XS Edge rubber outsole offers exceptional grip on both edges and smears. The Scarpa Origin is a reliable choice for intermediate climbers who want a shoe that can handle a variety of climbing styles and terrains.

Evolv Defy

The Evolv Defy is a popular choice among intermediate climbers due to its affordability and performance. These shoes are designed to provide comfort and precision on the wall. The synthetic upper and the elastic closure system offer a snug fit without sacrificing flexibility. The Defy features a Trax rubber outsole, which delivers excellent grip and durability. Whether you’re bouldering or sport climbing, these shoes will give you the confidence and control you need to progress as an intermediate climber.

Overall, the La Sportiva Tarantula, Scarpa Origin, and Evolv Defy are all excellent options for intermediate climbers. Each shoe offers its own unique features and advantages, so it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences when making a decision. With any of these top rock climbing shoes, you can enhance your climbing experience and take your skills to the next level.

Budget-Friendly Options

Black Diamond Momentum

When it comes to budget-friendly rock climbing shoes, the Black Diamond Momentum is a top choice for intermediate climbers. These shoes offer excellent value for money without compromising on performance. With a neutral shape and a flat sole, they provide a comfortable fit for all-day climbing sessions.

The Black Diamond Momentum features a durable upper made of synthetic material, which not only enhances breathability but also ensures longevity. The lace-up closure system allows for a custom fit, providing added security and precision on the rock. These shoes also have a moderate downturn, allowing for precise foot placements and improved climbing technique.

With a sticky rubber outsole, the Black Diamond Momentum offers reliable grip on various surfaces, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor climbing. Whether you’re tackling boulders or scaling walls, these shoes will provide the necessary support and traction to enhance your climbing experience.

Mad Rock Drifter

Another great budget-friendly option for intermediate climbers is the Mad Rock Drifter. These shoes offer a balance between comfort and performance, making them ideal for climbers looking to progress to the next level without breaking the bank.

The Mad Rock Drifter features a flat sole and a neutral shape, providing a comfortable fit for extended climbing sessions. The shoes are constructed with a combination of leather and synthetic materials, offering durability and breathability. The Velcro closure system ensures easy on and off, while also providing a secure fit during climbs.

With a slight downturn, the Mad Rock Drifter offers improved precision and sensitivity, allowing for better control on the rock. The sticky rubber outsole provides excellent friction, ensuring reliable grip on various surfaces. Whether you’re climbing on slabs or overhangs, these shoes will deliver the performance you need.

Butora Endeavor

If you’re an intermediate climber looking for a budget-friendly shoe that excels in both comfort and performance, the Butora Endeavor is worth considering. These shoes are designed to provide all-around performance, making them suitable for a wide range of climbing styles and terrains.

The Butora Endeavor features a neutral shape and a medium stiffness, offering a comfortable fit without sacrificing performance. The upper is constructed with a combination of synthetic and natural leather, providing durability and breathability. The lace-up closure system allows for a precise and snug fit, ensuring maximum security during climbs.

With a slight downturn and a medium asymmetry, the Butora Endeavor offers enhanced sensitivity and precision, allowing for improved climbing technique. The sticky rubber outsole provides exceptional grip on various surfaces, making these shoes suitable for both indoor and outdoor climbing.

In conclusion, if you’re an intermediate climber on a budget, the Black Diamond Momentum, Mad Rock Drifter, and Butora Endeavor are excellent choices. These budget-friendly options deliver the performance and comfort you need to take your climbing skills to the next level without breaking the bank.


In conclusion, choosing the right pair of rock climbing shoes is crucial for intermediate climbers looking to take their skills to the next level. The article has provided a comprehensive review of some of the best options available in the market, taking into consideration factors such as comfort, grip, durability, and overall performance. Whether you prefer a moderate downturn or a stiff sole, there is a shoe on this list that will suit your needs. Remember to prioritize fit and functionality over aesthetics, as the right pair of climbing shoes can significantly enhance your climbing experience. So, lace up, grab your gear, and conquer those challenging routes with confidence in your chosen rock climbing shoes. Happy climbing!