Best women’s rock climbing shoes

Athletic

If you’re an intermediate or advanced climber, it’s recommended to invest in more than one pair of shoes in order to better manage varied terrain and climbs.

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Which women’s rock climbing shoes are best?

One of the most important pieces of equipment in rocking climbing is your shoes. Whether you’re practicing at a gym or scaling the mountainside in nature, proper rock climbing shoes are imperative for your safety and success.

Finding the right women’s rock climbing shoes depends on skill level, the type of rock climbing you’re doing, and fit. You need comfort but also security and trust when gripping a slender ledge, and our top pick, La Sportiva Women’s Climbing Shoes, offers just that. Read on to learn more about the important factors that go into buying the right women’s rock climbing shoes.

What to know before you buy women’s rock climbing shoes

Shape

Women’s rock climbing shoes are offered in three different shapes:

  • Neutral: These shoes are familiar in design and similar to traditional sneakers, with mostly flat, stiff soles and thicker rubber outsoles. They’re comfortable and good for beginners, particularly when worn for a longer period of time. They can wedge easily into cracks and crevasses, but struggle with more advanced techniques like navigating overhangs.
  • Moderate: This option features a slightly downward-curved toe with thinner, more flexible soles. These allow for better traction and movement, particularly when the terrain changes. Moderate shoes are better for intermediate rock climbers.
  • Aggressive: Lastly, aggressive shoes boast the most dramatic angle, as both the ball of your foot and your toes are curled downward. These are reserved for advanced users tackling tough terrains, particularly overhangs and steep faces. These grow fairly uncomfortable, so they aren’t expected to be worn for long periods of time.

Closure

Similarly, there are three types of shoe closure mechanisms:

  • Lace-up: These options offer a secure fit, though lacing and unlacing takes some time. Opt for these if you’re wearing your shoes for a longer period of time.
  • Hook-and-loop: These are easier to get on and off, though they have been known to slightly loosen over prolonged climbs. They also tend to lack durability.
  • Slip-on: These often feature an aggressive shape and are easy to get on and off. As such, they’re better for intermediate and advanced climbers.

Outsoles

Thick rubber outsoles are great for beginners as they provide comfort and support, while thinner options are better served by advanced climbers where flexibility is important. You also want to consider the outsole’s stickiness — soft rubber provides a better grip but typically wears out quickly.

What to look for in quality women’s rock climbing shoes

Materials

Most shoes are either made of leather or a synthetic alternative. Unlined leather is typically breathable and flexible, while lined leather is often more comfortable but lacks airflow. Synthetic options may also trap in odor and even irritate the skin, but they’re durable and not made from animal products.

Design

Just like regular shoes or sneakers, rock climbing footwear is made in a variety of colors and designs. These are purely for aesthetic purposes, but there’s no reason you can’t show off your personality and style when climbing.

How much you can expect to spend on women’s rock climbing shoes

A pair of quality women’s rock climbing shoes costs between $75-$150, with a range of designs, styles, and grips.

Women’s rock climbing shoes FAQ

How do I care for rock climbing shoes?

A. Thoroughly clean the shoe before and after climbs, particularly if you’ve been outdoors where dirt can get caught in the soles. Don’t wear climbing shoes for anything other than climbing. When not in use, keep them in a cool, dry place and employ deodorizers as necessary to keep them smelling and feeling fresh.

Should I wear socks with my rock climbing shoes?

A. Most climbers forego socks when climbing as the shoes are designed to fit snugly against the skin. This offers the most secure fit and allows the user to better grip a rock face. If you wear socks, they should be exceptionally thin and have a neutral shape.

What are the best women’s rock climbing shoes to buy?

Top women’s rock climbing shoes

La Sportiva Women’s Climbing Shoes

La Sportiva Women’s Climbing Shoes

Our take: High-quality intermediate shoes with impressive grip and variability to tackle indoor and outdoor obstacles.

What we like: Provides proper support and traction. Breathable and flexible. Features secure lace closure. Offered in various colors.

What we dislike: Finding the right, comfortable size can be tricky.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top women’s rock climbing shoes for the money

Evolv Elektra Women’s Climbing Shoe

Evolv Elektra Women’s Climbing Shoe

Our take: Versatile shoe that works for beginners to advanced climbers and is comfy and easy to get on and off.

What we like: Breathable, synthetic material. Hook-and-loop closure. Works for indoor and outdoor use. Good value.

What we dislike: Sizes run small. Not best for tougher climbs.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out 

Scarpa Women’s Origin Climbing Shoe

Scarpa Women’s Origin Climbing Shoe

Our take: Beginner’s climbing shoe that stresses comfort and a secure grip to help you develop your skill set.

What we like: Designed for prolonged use; keeps feet breathing and comfortable. Durably constructed. Hook-and-loop closure provides a snug fit.

What we dislike: Better suited for wider feet. Not recommended for advanced users.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Anthony Marcusa writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

 

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