Crack climbing is one of the most difficult parts of any ascent on rock, and it can tire you out or keep you occupied for hours on end. You should consider it to be just as dangerous as any other type of climbing as it takes a toll on your arms and legs. That’s why you need to be equipped with the Best Crack Climbing Shoes that are reliable. You don’t want t just take on such a challenge only to fail to overcome it.
This particular technique in climbing involves sticking your feet into the crack or crevice between two slabs of rock and using them as a lever to continue scaling up the wall. However, if you’re going to be doing this frequently then it’s extremely important that you make sure your feet are protected, which is where the Best Crack Climbing Shoes come in to play. In the reviews that follow, we will highlight some of the most high-quality models out there today. Just buckle up and get ready because we’re about to check out some of the very best options currently available on today’s market.
Best Crack Climbing Shoes – Buying Guide
Best Crack Climbing Shoes with a good fit are the most important thing to look for when selecting climbing footwear. It is imperative that you have a shoe that will stay secure on your foot while you climb because otherwise it can result in injuries. As a more advanced climber, you may opt for a shoe with a slip lasted sole which provides you with sensitivity as it allows you to push your climbing grades.
All good climbing shoes are made from robust, abrasion-resistant leather in the upper, but not all brands use the same type of rubber on the sole. On some models, the sole itself is designed to provide optimum friction against rough mountain rock faces while also allowing your feet to breathe and perspire inside. The particular compound used can be a trade secret – like a recipe for baking perfect chocolate chip cookies – so we won’t tell you who makes what.
A climbing shoe’s sole is designed to be strong enough to keep you from falling in cracks, but it has to offer your foot enough breathability (stretchiness) for your sensitive toes so that you can feel the rock beneath them and give you that extra push when grip is needed. That’s a lot of functionality built into just 2-3 inches of rubber, but thankfully manufacturers understand this and have done their best via high-quality compounds to ensure your sole won’t get sore even after all day adventures. Hopefully with adiPRENE+™ technology, the only time your foot will feel sore is once we stop climbing!
3. Upper Material
The upper of climbing shoes has a delicate job to do. It needs to ensure that power and grace are balanced with breathability, which is done through the use of leather in most cases. However, at times synthetic material can be used as well and these are equally strong while less likely to stretch enough to snugly fit the shape of your foot. The choice between leather or synthetics is entirely down to personal preference.
The choice of closure system mostly comes down to one of two options: lace-up or slip-on. If you don’t mind tying strings, then lace-up shoes will easily fit your foot, provided they’re not oversized, and the fit can be adjusted precisely when you tie the footwear up. Velcro straps are also available on some pairs which make it much easier to put them on quickly after long days at the crag.
The flatter the shoe, the more it will allow your foot to move naturally. This is useful for long climbs where feet may begin to throb from being in a fixed position due to the curve on a higher arching shoe.
3 Best Crack Climbing Shoes in 2022
1. Five Ten Moccasym Crack Climbing Shoes
If you’re looking for shoes that are simple to get into and out of, the Five Ten Men’s Anasazi Moccasym Climbing Shoe is a perfect pick. The collection from Five Ten make this shoe a favorite amongst climbers looking for something that’s easy to slip on and off. These shoes also boast some of the stickiest rubber features we’ve seen on any Best Crack Climbing Shoes While these might not turn out to be your go-to picks for smaller cracks, they excel with larger cracks so consider them for your big wall goals.
While it’s not necessarily for everyone, many outdoor aficionados appreciate the Five Ten Moccsam because of how simple, lightweight and comfortable these footwear options are. Just like most Five Tens the shoe parts in question are designed to be easy to put on, which works out well especially for those who climb at higher altitudes or tend to prefer multipitch routes that take a while to complete.
- Very comfortable and easy to slide off and on
- Excellent for thinner cracks
- Very sticky rubber sole
2. La Sportiva Mythos Crack Climbing Shoe
La Sportiva manufactures some of the Best Crack Climbing Shoes you can find, but this particular model is especially versatile and comfortable for a variety of climbing scenarios ranging from bouldering to gym climbing. Made with breathable leather and a flat fit, these shoes are optimized for both your indoor and outdoor sessions, and their top-of-foot lacing system lets you customize the fit based on your unique needs.
Vibram rubber wraps around your toes and over the bunionette of your foot providing excellent protection, optimal friction, stability, and an all-around improvement in ease of movement when out on the rock. A rigid heel cup helps your climbing shoe retain its shape even after countless repetitions while the materials used are exceptional because they combine durability with comfort as well as ease of use. The La Sportiva Mythos is a serious contender to the title of best crack climbing shoes on the market, which really is no surprise for an entry from one of the world’s leading manufacturers of outdoor footwear.
- Laces go up to the toe for a very customizable fit
- Sole maintains shape even after long climbs
- Very comfortable and versatile
- Excellent foot protection
- Not durable and the leather stains your feet
3. La Sportiva Men’s TC Pro Crack Climbing Shoe
The La Sportiva TC Pro is a shoe designed for extended climbs, putting the comfort of the climber in demand. Soft internal padding at the ankle and back adds to this comfort level complementing nicely with the leather neoprene shoe upper that stretches to your foot form adding even more comfort from being so lightweight. Professional climbers have had plenty of positive reviews about how most Versatic shoes are very breathable which is vital since you do have to wear them all day long while climbing.
The TC Pro is the most versatile and durable Best Crack Climbing Shoes from La Sportiva. This high performance shoe uses a dual Velcro closure system to easily adjust for performance fit in any crack climbing situation. It has a downturned shape with an extended toe rand for technical footwork, and its stiff midsole offers power and control on steep terrain.
- Designed for comfort over long climbs
- Maintains arched shape even after many hours
- Vibram rubber on the sole reduces deformation
One of the things that makes product reviews subjective is that everyone’s feet are shaped differently. If someone has really narrow feet, they may not fit into a pair of shoes that more generously shaped – and vice versa. There are also some climbers who prefer to wear their shoes super tight and other who want them to be more loose. These Best Crack Climbing Shoes preferences will ultimately influence what rock climbers think of particular pairs.
Our testers with wide feet said they loved the Tenaya Tarifa, but narrower-footed testers disliked it. The opposite was true for the Scarpa Drago, which narrow-footed testers liked while wide-footed testers couldn’t stand it. However, we diligently researched these shoes and talked to as many industry professionals as possible to gather informed opinions about design and construction. We’re confident that we’ve helped you find a pair of shoes you will enjoy whether you want them for climbing or simply wearing around town.
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