The following article will allow the reader to understand the various types of rock climbing shoes along with some of the considerations to be thought of while selecting the best rock climbing shoes out of a ton of options. 


It is through rock climbing shoes that most people tend to find stability while climbing rocks. However, finding the right bouldering shoes might be hard if you are a beginner and have no idea what to take into consideration while selecting one. While there might be hundreds of articles that claim which are the best rock climbing shoes however the secret is that there are no best bouldering shoes, it is all about which climbing shoes are the perfect match for you and which one is the best beginner climbing shoes based on your needs. To understand the same, this article will help you out.

Types of rock climbing shoes

The first step when trying to find the best rock climbing shoes that truly fit you, you need to initially check for various types of rock climbing shoes for beginners. To understand more about the same, along with their pros and cons, here is a list of the types of shoes for rock climbing that you need to consider.

- Neutral

Neutral rock climbing shoes are the ones that provide a relaxed and all-day comfort sort of feel. They allow your toes to lie flat in the shoes, which provides a neutral sensation. As they are quite comfortable, they tend to be one of the best choices for beginners who are just starting out. These shoes are also great for professionals who would like to just get on a relaxed multi-pitch climb.

  • Pros of using neutral shoes:
  • These shoes provide a relaxed fit which provides great comfort all day long
  • These are relatively flat, which makes them a great choice for slotting into cracks while climbing
  • Medium to thick midsoles are present within the shoes, along with thicker rubber soles which provide great support

Cons of using neutral shoes:

  • For overhanging routes, it might be hard to use the relaxed-fitted neutral shoes
  • Thick rubber soles present might have lower sensitivity than the thin soles present in aggressive and moderate shoes.

 - Moderate

Moderate shoes are identified with a small downturn shape present. This part is also called the camber, which makes it one of the best choices for technical climbing. These shoes can not only handle crack climbs but also can handle slab routes and long multi-pitch climbs along with slightly overhung sports routes.

Pros of using moderate shoes:

  • The downturn shape present in the moderate shoes provides a great structure for your feet, especially when rock climbing through challenging routes.

Cons of using moderate shoes:

  • Does not provide as much of a performance rate as seen in aggressive shoes. This hence makes them not much of a great choice for overly challenging boulder problems or very overhung routes.
  • Does not provide as much comfort as those found in neutral shoes
  • Thinner rubber soles tend to wear out faster than the soles found in neutral shoes, which are thicker.

 - Aggressive

When there is too much of a downturned posture in the shoes, these are called to be aggressive shoes. These shoes tend to put your feet in the perfect position to climb overly hanging routes. Most of these shoes also consist of an asymmetric curve, especially towards the toe, which helps focus the power onto the toe for small holds. These being snuggly fit and the shape being very downturned, most rock climbing athletes tend to wear these during single-pitch sports climb or other such routes at the gym rather than during all-day long multi-pitch climbs.  

Pros of using aggressive shoes:

  • Provides great strength to feet due to the ultimate downturned position in the shoes.
  • Consists of a stickier and thinner rubber sole which gives a better grip and feel than other neutral shoes.

Cons of using aggressive shoes:

  • Not as comfortable as those neutral or moderate shoes
  • The thinner and sticker soles tend to wear out faster than other soles found in neutral shoes.

What are the materials used?

Shoe uppers are mostly made up of either synthetic or leather. Leather shoes, both lined and unlined, are one of the easiest to take care of, along with deodorizing them. Most of the high-performance shoes are, however, made of synthetic and most vegan athletes actually prefer synthetic shoes.

Lined leather shoes:

The leather, when it is lined there, is half a stretch in the shoes than those found in unlined leather shoes. Sometimes the manufacturers tend to line only the toes, which reduced the cost while also reducing the stretch near the toe area.

Unlined leather shoes:

The unlined leather shoes actually provide a full stretch. However, you might want to check the size so that your toe just touches the end of the shoes. The toe knuckles must be felt touching the leather, but it shouldn’t feel like the knuckles are pushing through the leather. You also need to be aware of the leather shoes as they tend to bleed colour to your feet when worn.

Synthetic material shoes:

Synthetic shoes do not tend to stretch as much and tend to soften as time goes by. The fit does not change a lot, and hence you cannot expect the fit to change later on. Unlike solid fabric, perforated synthetic material shoes provide a better breathable shoe. Some of the shoes also provide great breathable properties along with the ability to wick away foot sweat.

Things to consider before buying rock climbing shoes

When it comes to considering a few things while selecting the right rock climbing shoes and finding the best bouldering shoes, you might want to consider the following three criteria:

1. Climbing shoe type:

As mentioned before, there are three types of climbing shoes such as neutral, moderate, and aggressive rock climbing shoes for beginners. Depending on the type of terrain you are to climb and based on your comfort, you can select the bouldering shoes that fit the best.

2. Fitting of the shoe for rock climbing:

Fitting affects performance while climbing rocks, and hence it is important to check for the right fit along with paying attention that the shoe is snuggly fit but not painfully tight.  

3. Features involved in the rock climbing shoes:

You might want to check up on features such as straps, laces, linings, and rubber soles and how they affect the performance of your shoes.

Best Rock climbing shoes to buy in 2022

If you are among those who are confused about where to look at some of the best beginner climbing shoes and how to check whether they fit your description, then you can check out some of the best rock climbing shoes mentioned below:


Trekking Shoes

The CLIMBING SHOES - ROCK+ GREY is one of the best options if you are a beginner looking for shoes for rock climbing that provides great comfort with foam padding and provides moderate rigid sole to keep your foot in place. This shoe also provides great precision by keeping the shape of the front sole intact. The rubber toe grip also provides great strength to complete the course you will be taking.

  • Size: UK 5 to 12
  • Waterproof: No
  • MRP: Rs. 5,999/-


Mountain Trekking Shoes

The MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS - ALPINISM BLEU is one of the lightweight yet robust shoes that you might want to invest in, especially when you are just starting as a beginner in rock climbing. These rock climbing shoes also have a cushion effect which provides thermal insulation and great comfort.

  • Size: UK 8 to 10.5
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • MRP: Rs. 17,999/-



Getting the right rock climbing shoes makes all the difference, especially when you are a beginner. With the above article explaining everything right from the things to be considered to the types you need to take a look at, you can now check out all the available options and find out the best rock climbing shoes you need for a great experience in climbing rocks!


1. Do rock climbing shoes have to be tight?

Instead of rock climbing shoes being tight, they should be snuggly fit. However, you should ensure that it is not painfully tight; else, there might be discomfort all along the way of your course.

2. How long are climbing shoes supposed to last?

With a climbing activity of about two to three times per week, the rock climbing shoes can last about three to nine months. After this period, there might be some wear and tear on the shoes, which need some repair. However, if you take care of them within the time period, then you can easily work with them again.

3. Do you wear socks under rock climbing shoes?

If the rock climbing shoes are causing pain in some of the areas of your foot, then you might want to add in a thin pair of socks which will also act as a layer of protection while also reducing friction.


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