Investing in a decent pair of climbing shoes will not only enhance your performance as you maneuver your way to new heights, but they will also make climbing comfortable and safe. The best climbing shoes for indoor are ones that offer the correct support for the sport’s requirements and they also provide comfort and decent ventilation. Essentially, this genre of footwear should feel like an extension of one’s foot.
Shopping for the correct pair can be a tad difficult, however, since there’s a multitude of brands and designs to choose from. Not to worry though, I have compiled enough research to narrow down a list of the most popular and best rock climbing shoes currently available for purchase.
Climbing shoes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. There are models that are best used for gym bouldering and others that are best for indoor climbing. These include:
What to Consider When Buying Shoes for Indoor?
Each person has unique feet, so the most crucial feature in the best climbing shoes for indoor is that it fits your feet well. Most manufacturers offer suggestions for sizing based on your street shoe size.
This article offers some tips for selecting a climbing shoe and figuring out if you have the right fit.
Fit: A good fit is vital in a climbing shoe. When you’re buying a gym climbing shoe, you should generally size down from your street shoes. All climbing shoes will need a break-in period to form to your foot, but shoes with unlined, natural leather uppers stretch more, while shoes with synthetic lined uppers are designed to fit closer to size right out of the box.
Comfort: Features like breathable tongues and wicking linings make shoes more comfortable and minimize sweat and odor. Some shoes even have extra padding, but you can lose a little sensitivity with too much padding.
Durability: When you find your perfect shoes, you want them to last, and thick rubber is extra durable and provides great performance. However, thinner rubber is desirable for more sensitivity on tiny footholds, so you might have to make a trade-off in durability if you’re hoping to climb like a pro.
The 5 Best Climbing Shoes for Indoor
1. La Sportiva Kids’ Stickit Rock Climbing Shoe
The Stickit is more of a conventional climbing shoe in design, and so it will have higher performance for indoor climbing, sport, and bouldering. Like most kid’s shoes, the Stickit features an unlined leather upper which will stretch up to full size, as well as being the most breathable and comfortable of all climbing shoe uppers. It’s essentially designed to eliminate all pain and discomfort where possible.
The Sticks, a bona fide climbing shoe with sticky rubber, have a nifty heel adjustment that enables parents to dial in fit across two full sizes—just pull the cord and knot the end.
The lacing system allows the heel of the shoe to adjust so kids can get the best fit possible. The lace that wraps around the heel can be easily shortened or lengthened with a simple knot and easily replaced if needed.
This easy slip-on shoe has an adjustable heel and lacing system so your little climber can get the most out of them as his or her feet grow throughout the years. It has FriXion RS rubber provides the same performance as adult models
It is a highly adjustable and easy to use hook and loop closure system for fast-growing feet. The Stickit is quite a soft shoe, but it’s also incredibly comfortable.
Who Should Buy This?
This best shoes for indoor rock climbing has a wide assortment of shoes for children that range from super comfortable to high performing.
2. SCARPA Women’s Origin Wmn Climbing Shoe
The shoe has a decent downturn and aggression as well as a comfy construction and breathable tongue. The Scarpa Women’s Origin Climbing Shoe is the best women’s shoes for indoor climbing for beginners. The two velcro straps mean easy on and off so the shoe is versatile for bouldering, sport climbing, or multi-pitches.
These best indoor climbing shoes for beginners have lush leather uppers that give you a padded, luxurious feel rarely found in a starter shoe.
Their flat profile and relatively relaxed randing ease your feet into a cocoon of comfort. Hook-and-loop closure keeps the foot snug and well positioned during use, while the Vision rubber outsole is both sticky and resilient.
These best indoor rock climbing shoes for women have proprietary vision rubber soles that provide sticky performance and durability and its passive rands offer classic performance.
For all-day comfort and performance, it has flat-lasted construction and for maximum adjustability, it possesses dual power-strap closure.
The split sole normally means a softer shoe but the active rand gives good support. Generally, the shoe is better at overhangs due to the downturn. A really good all-around climbing shoe that also comes in a lace version.
Who Should Buy This?
They are the best climbing shoes for beginners that provides you with all of the tools you need to improve your climbing, and they aren’t going to smash your feet while doing it. Depending on how much you climb, these shoes could last you years as well, preventing you from having to keep investing more money and allowing you to keep climbing.
3. X Rave Strap Climbing Shoe
This is a great beginner and intermediate shoe and although it comes with a lower price tag, it’s still quite a durable and effective climbing shoe. This is why I feel that the Climb X Rave is probably the best intermediate climbing shoes and also the best value for money in that it manages to include all the basics while remaining comfortable and reliable.
It features double stitch construction, padded collar and heel, polypropylene midsole, and one-piece binding. Size up for a comfort fit and size down for a more aggressive performance fit but keep in mind that climbing shoes are supposed to fit very tight and at a minimum, your toes should be touching the end of the shoe. Your toes will be curled a bit if you buy a size down for a more performance fit. They also boast an anti-microbial hemp footbed which helps to reduce foot odor.
This best shoes for indoor rock climbing is constructed to the more natural foot shape. The sole has a rigid flat profile (i.e. no downturn). This makes the shoe suitable for beginners and trad/multi-pitch climbers as it does not contort the foot.
Who Should Buy This?
The Climb X Rave is a very affordable shoe aimed at beginners. Its main benefits are its low price point and comfort. It is a good all-round climbing shoe for climbers who are getting into the sport and for adventuring onto traditional classic routes. If you have more to spend they’re better performance shoes, however, for a price-conscious beginner, it is good to move to snag a pair.
4. La Sportiva Tarantula Low Top Climbing Shoes
Tarantulace is created for entry-level climbers who are just getting familiarized with climbing. This is reflected in the shoes’ comfort and longevity.
Boasting a rugged rubber heel and 5mm FriXion® RS rubber soles, the La Sportiva TarantuLace is a versatile shoe that is suitable for a wide range of climbing sports.
The upper structure of the shoe is made with a mixture of leather and synthetic fabric which feels soft to the touch and adds to the shoes comfortable and lightweight fit. The cross Velcro fastening allows for a comfortable fit and helps reduce shoe structure.
This comfortable shoe is easy to use and easy to get on and off in a flash. The unlined upper is excellent for moisture management and super comfortable on your foot all day. The shape is round and higher volume for the climber not looking to mangle their feet yet aggressive enough to perform when needed
A quick-pull lacing system is designed for a perfectly snug fit and has a lined tongue that controls moisture. It is also water-resistant. Whether you simply feel like tackling the wall at your local gym or heading outdoors for an expert-level pitch, this pair of men’s wall climbing shoes will keep you moving further and further “up the ladder”!
Who Should Buy This?
These are the best climbing shoes for indoor for a reason. These give you the grip and precision you’ll need to start, don’t crush your toes, breathe well, and won’t break the bank.
5. So iLL Street LV Half & Half Climbing Shoe
Inspired by everyday classic footwear, the Street (LV) is a new take on one of our most popular models – the Street. The LV (lower volume) provides a tighter fit for those with a more narrow foot width, providing better heel tension and higher performance.
The Street is fully sealed in a formidable matte black finish and equipped with a thin padded tongue. The larger buckles give the tightening system power and sensitivity to mold the soft shoe to your foot.
The Street is coated in “Dark Matter” rubber, a member of the “UnParallel Rubber” family, “Dark Matter” rubber is a sticky outsole rubber originally formulated for the United States Navy Seals to ensure security in foot placement during approaches.
An ultra thin midsole provides a softer more sensitive fit, creating an extremely lightweight aggressive climbing shoe. The toe box has been masterfully crafted to allow for a higher level of comfort and works conjunctively with the perfect amount of tension in the heel.
Its low-volume sizing provides a tighter fit and better heel tension for narrower feet. It has synthetic uppers that provide a softer fit and minimal stretch. Having large buckle closures make on-off easy; and padded tongues boost comfort. Its downturned toes help you hook overhung pockets and dig into tiny jibs. Semi-aggressive fit is ideal for vertical to overhung routes and boulders.
Who Should Buy This?
These shoes have a perfect level of stiffness which is ideal for edging power and flexible enough for smearing at the same time. Hence, these are the best climbing shoes for bouldering beginners.
With so many options on the market, it’s hard to know which shoe is the best climbing shoe for indoor. Keeping in mind your preferences for how your shoe should fit, the type of climbing you primarily do, your budget, and your climbing aspirations, this guide should help to make sure you find the right gear to get you up the wall every time.
While all these shoes have a great style with incredible features, nothing more amazed us than the So iLL Street LV Half & Half Climbing Shoe. Although these are expensive pair, there is nothing more important than comfort and ease. Hence, these are the best climbing shoes for indoor.
Therefore, please take the time to read the customer reviews before you purchase a product, and then actually buy it. You can try out any of the above or feel free to do your own research. Best of Luck!