Climbing Shoe Reviews

Whether you're looking for soft climbing slippers or stiff-soled shoes for wide cracks, Climbing's gear testers will guide you to the best climbing shoes. Our many field testers wear out dozens of pairs of climbing shoes each year in the search for the best new climbing shoes. We also provide in-depth articles on how to choose, maintain, and resole your favorite shoes.
  • HPECAlpine

    Gear Guide 2014: Alpine

    Rock, ice, or snow, these 12 tester-approved toys will get you to the top.

  • HPECTrad

    Gear Guide 2014: Trad Climbing

    From cams to carabiners to shoes, here are 18 of the best new products for plug-and-chuggers.

  • ECSport

    Gear Guide 2014: Sport Climbing

  • HPEC

    Gear Guide 2014: Editors' Choice Awards

    Innovative, smart, lust-worthy, and just plain cool: 10 new must-have products that topped our testers’ lists.

  • Scarpa-Stix-Shoe

    Scarpa Stix

    Instant-classic alert! Cobbler genius Heinz Mariacher (the man behind some of the sport’s most notable shoes like La Sportiva’s Mythos and Testarossa and the Scarpa Boostic) has struck gold again. The Stix packs top-end performance in a surprisingly easy-to-wear synthetic-leather slipper.

  • Five-Ten-Team-Shoe-660

    Five Killer Rock Shoes

    Before any epic alpine rock route, redpoint burn, or warm-up boulder, there sits the climber: slipping on, lacing up, or strapping down a pair of rock shoes. We know the bond between a climber and sticky rubber is nothing to make light of, so we called in 12 pairs of brand-new kicks for this fall to find the top models for every kind of adventure.

  • Millet-Hybrid

    Millet Hybrid

    Comfort is king for shoes on alpine rock routes, especially if the climbing involves multiple standing belays, jamming wet cracks, or even some unroped scrambling. The new Hybrid (not to be confused with Millet’s old Hybrid shoe) is designed for comfort without sacrificing performance, with a padded tongue and collar and a cushioned heel that offers extra protection (it looks like the heel of a sneaker from the outside) on gravelly belay ledges or walk-offs in your climbing shoes.

  • Boreal-Diabolo-Shoe

    Boreal Diablo

    The Diabolos feel precise but versatile with just enough comfort to keep sport and trad climbers happy all day on long granite routes or pumpy, overhanging limestone. “On Hot Dog (5.11b) in Clear Creek Canyon, I needed to pinpoint tiny nubs, heel-hook, and edge multiple times on each burn, and these were the perfect shoe,” one female tester said.

  • Scarpa-Force

    Scarpa Force X

    With a flat-lasted sole, suede leather uppers, and padded mesh lining for the heel cup and tongue, this shoe is super comfortable for full days of climbing. And the unlined toe box, tensioned rand, and 4mm Vibram XS Edge sole rubber create sensitivity and power on pockets and edges.

  • La-Sportiva-Jeckyl-VS

    La Sportiva Jeckyl VS

    Instead of trying to add performance to a pure comfort shoe, La Sportiva took a top-of-the-line shoe and dialed back the aggressiveness by loosening the tensioning in the heel rand and flattening out the downturn. The result? A shoe that’s easy to wear all day, but still has enough high-end features (rigid forefoot for toeing in and edging, asymmetric toe for precision, and sticky Vibram XS Edge rubber) for performance on hard routes.

  • Five-Ten-Stonelands-Lace-up

    Sacrifice Nothing

    “Comfort-performance” seems like an oxymoron when talking about climbing shoes. Dime-edging and precision pocketing mean dealing with the features of purely performance shoes: a tight, toe-crunching fit and an aggressive downturn. Wearing purely comfort kicks can feel clunky or sloppy on hard routes. What about somewhere in between? Five companies have filled the void with their version of a “comfort-performance” shoe, meaning you won’t have to compromise.

  • Tenaya-Ra-Tested

    Tenaya Ra

    “I’m in love,” said our longtime shoe tester of the Tenaya Ra ($140; “I’ve worn them on everything from slab to dead-vertical to slightly overhanging to roofs, and they perform perfectly everywhere.” Whether you’re running a few dozen endurance laps or trying to redpoint your hardest boulder problem in the gym, you’ll find high-performance edging, hooking, and smearing.