ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST BEGINNERS CLIMBING SHOESCOMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST BEGINNER CLIMBING SHOESCLIMBING SHOES REVIEWSBUTORA ENDEAVORSCARPA HELIXSCARPA ORIGINLA SPORTIVA TARANTULALA SPORTIVA FINALEEVOLV DEFYEVOLV ELEKTRAMADROCK FLASH 2.0FIVE TEN ROGUE VCSSO ILL KICKHOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST BEGINNER CLIMBING SHOESFITDOWNSIZINGSTRETCHMEN’S VS WOMEN’SSHOE SHAPEVELCRO VS LACE-UP So you’ve caught the rock climbing bug and it’s time to buy your first pair of climbing shoes. New gear is exciting but it can be overwhelming knowing where to start. Climbing is a sport with many sub-disciplines, reflected by the many different climbing shoes on the market. So, how do you know what are the best beginner climbing shoes for you? One of our big goals here at The Adventure Junkies is to make your life easier when it comes to gear shopping. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to choose entry-level climbing shoes and show you our selection of the best models of the year. For more of our top climbing gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: Ropes | Harnesses | Helmets | Backpacks Climbing Shoes | Approach Shoes | Pants | Shorts | Shirts Carabiners | Cams | Nuts | Quickdraws | Pulleys | Belay Devices Bouldering Shoes | Bouldering Pants | Crash Pads QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST BEGINNERS CLIMBING SHOES 1. BUTORA ENDEAVOR VIEW AT AMAZON 2. SCARPA HELIX VIEW AT REI 3. SCARPA ORIGIN VIEW AT REI 4. LA SPORTIVA TARANTULA VIEW AT AMAZON 5. LA SPORTIVA FINALE VIEW AT REI 6. EVOLV DEFY VIEW AT AMAZON 7. EVOLV ELEKTRA VIEW AT AMAZON 8. MADROCK FLASH 2.0 VIEW AT AMAZON 9. FIVE TEN ROGUE VCS VIEW AT REI 10. SO ILL KICK VIEW AT AMAZON COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST BEGINNER CLIMBING SHOES PICTURESHOESCLOSURELINED / UNLINEDPRICERATING PICTURESHOESCLOSURELINED / UNLINEDPRICERATING Butora EndeavorVelcroLined - minimal stretch$$5.0 Scarpa HelixLace-up Unlined - will stretch$$4.5 Scarpa OriginVelcroUnlined - will stretch$4.5 La Sportiva TarantulaVelcroUnlined - will stretch$4.4 La Sportiva FinaleLace-up Unlined - will stretch$$4.3 Evolv DefyVelcroLined - minimal stretch$$4.1 Evolv ElektraVelcroLined - minimal stretch$4.0 Madrock Flash 2.0VelcroLined - minimal stretch$4.0 Five Ten Rogue VCSVelcroUnlined - will stretch$$3.7 So Ill KickVelcroUnlined - will stretch$$$4.0 CLIMBING SHOES REVIEWS BUTORA ENDEAVOR Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry WOMEN’S VERSION: Women’s Butora Endeavor CLOSURE: Velcro Strap UPPER: Leather with hemp lining RUBBER: Butora F5 COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE: Korea PROS: This shoe comes in both a wide and narrow fit. CONS: Company is less well known so may be harder to find. SCARPA HELIX Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI WOMEN’S VERSION: Scarpa Helix Women’s CLOSURE: Lace-up UPPER: Unlined leather RUBBER: Vibram XS Edge COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE: Italy PROS: Reliable rubber and higher sensitivity. Lace-up closure allows for control of sizing around foot. CONS: Lace-ups take longer to put on and off. SCARPA ORIGIN Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A CLOSURE: Velcro Strap UPPER: Unlined leather RUBBER: Scarpa Vision COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE: Romania PROS: Dual strap closure allows for quick on and off and a secure fit. CONS: Relatively new proprietary rubber with little public recognition and unknown reliability. LA SPORTIVA TARANTULA Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A CLOSURE: Velcro Strap UPPER: Unlined leather RUBBER: La Sportiva FriXion COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE: China PROS: Asymmetrical shape brings more power to the big toe and helps beginners progress. Comfortable. Similar lace-up version available. CONS: Lower end performance. LA SPORTIVA FINALE Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI WOMEN’S VERSION: La Sportiva Finale Women’s CLOSURE: Lace-up UPPER: Unlined leather RUBBER: Vibram XS Edge COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE: Italy PROS: Thicker rubber will make the shoes last longer. CONS: Reduced sensitivity and possibility of feeling clunky. EVOLV DEFY Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A CLOSURE: Velcro Strap UPPER: Synthetic Synthratek RUBBER: Evolv TRAX COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE: USA PROS: Asymmetrical shape brings more power to the big toe and helps beginners progress. Shoe is vegan. CONS: Synthetic lined shoes can become smellier over time. Lower edging performance. EVOLV ELEKTRA Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A CLOSURE: Velcro Strap UPPER: Synthetic Synthratek RUBBER: TRAX high-friction COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE: USA PROS: Women’s specific model. Asymmetrical shape brings more power to the big toe and helps beginners progress. Shoe is vegan. CONS: Synthetic lined shoes can become smellier over time MADROCK FLASH 2.0 Check out the latest price on: Amazon WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A CLOSURE: Velcro Strap UPPER: Lined leather RUBBER: Mad RockScience Friction COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE: China PROS: Comfortable and affordable. CONS: More space in heel and arch, could lead to lower performance. Few retailers. FIVE TEN ROGUE VCS Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI WOMEN’S VERSION: Five Ten Rogue VCS Women’s CLOSURE: Velcro Strap UPPER: Unlined leather RUBBER: Stealth C4 COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE: USA PROS: Lace-up version also available. Reliable all-around shoe. CONS: Well-known issue of blue dye transferring to feet. SO ILL KICK Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A CLOSURE: Velcro Strap UPPER: Unlined leather RUBBER: SoiLL Dark Matter COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE: USA PROS: Small company Kickstarter innovation. Slightly arched shape helps beginners progress. CONS: Low stock, less well known, harder to try on before hand. Gear up for climbing, without breaking the bankGet the Latest Deals on Climbing GearSent right to your inbox...GEAR UP FOR CLIMBING HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST BEGINNER CLIMBING SHOES FIT The most important consideration when choosing the best beginner climbing shoe is fit. Every person’s foot shape is different. The shape, width, volume and heel depth of your foot can all affect how comfortable you are in your new kicks. The only way to find the perfect shoe is to try on as many models as possible, so hit the shops and be patient! Your shoe should fit snug and comfortable, with no dead spaces, hot spots, or painful areas. Start with something that feels great so you can truly love it. DOWNSIZING You’ve probably heard other climbers discussing downsizing from their street shoe size and complaining of cramped and bent toes. Downsizing helps to keep your feet immobilized in your shoes. A lack of wiggle room can increase precision and power needed for finessing those tiny foot edges or pulling hard with that heel hook. Be careful not to downsize too much though – your climbing shoes should never be so painful that you dread your evening session at the local gym for fear of putting them on. STRETCH To complicate things, some climbing shoes stretch, but others don’t. Once you’ve downsized from your street shoes to a comfortable, snug fit, you need to know whether your shoes will bag out or not. The length of your climbing shoe from heel to toe will never change. But, a shoe with an unlined leather upper can stretch up to 2 sizes after being broken in. A shoe with a synthetic lining will remain comparable to how it felt right out of the box. While some people prefer wearing their shoes with a light sock, climbing shoes are designed for bare feet. MEN’S VS WOMEN’S Several climbing shoe models have a “sister shoe” which has been tweaked to better suit some women’s feet. Besides being your source for pink or purple climbing footwear, these shoes tend to be lower volume and often slightly narrower. Learn about the shape of your own foot – many dudes with low volume feet swear by these models too. SHOE SHAPE Every shoe we’ve suggested in this article is flat lasted. Flat last shoes are comfortable and easy to wear all day with little suffering. When you’re first starting, it’s a good idea to rule out the powerful shape of a hooked downturned shoe. Technically aggressive, high-performance shoes will come in useful with more experience, when you’re ready to expand you climbing style. VELCRO VS LACE-UP There are two main ways to tighten climbing shoes – velcro or laces. Velcro shoes are easier to take on and off. Some tighten just as well as their lace-up counterparts. Velcro shoes are great for bouldering, gym or sport climbing because you’ll be switching from your regular shoes to your climbing shoes often. Laces-up shoes have several advantages – they are more adjustable, this allows you to get the tightness exactly how you like it. An obvious downside is they are slower to put on and take off. ROCK CLIMBING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSROCK CLIMBINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. BASICS 5. CLIMBING CLOTHES 2. KNOTS & ANCHORS 6. TRAINING 3. CLIMBING SKILLS 7. SAFETY 4. CLIMBING GEAR 8. PSYCHOLOGY 1. BASICS 2. KNOTS & ANCHORS 3. CLIMBING SKILLS 4. CLIMBING GEAR 5. CLIMBING CLOTHES 6. TRAINING 7. SAFETY 8. PSYCHOLOGY Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.