The Best Shoes For Indoor Climbing

Indoor Climbing Shoes
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Rock climbing is a challenging and exhilarating way to push yourself both mentally and physically. Testing the strength of every muscle in your body, rock climbing is a workout unlike any other. You never realize how many muscles there are in your fingertips until you’re dangling from a plastic rock.

While rock climbing outside is a great way to be active and take in some fresh air, it’s not always practical. Outdoor rock climbing often requires somebody to spot you, good weather, and rocks. Yup, rocks. You definitely need rocks for rock climbing and not everyone lives near a mountainside that lends itself to the extreme sport.

If rock climbing indoors is more your thing, or if you just want to get some training in during the winter months before you can once again head outdoors, you need to have the right gear. Most indoor rock climbing facilities have shoes available to rent, which is a great way to test drive both the sport and the type of shoe you want to wear. But if you’re looking for something more customized, then investing in your own pair of rock climbing shoes is a must. Having your own shoes means being able to choose the various features that you’re looking for when rock climbing. And trust us, there are a lot of features.

Some rock climbing shoes can be used for both indoor and outdoor rock climbing, but if you’re focusing on indoor specifically then we recommend shoes that either slip on or use straps. These can easily go on and off between climbing sessions. Slip-on shoes are geared more towards training and provide less padding along the bottom. This will strengthen your feet faster and can be worn in indoor climbing gyms, with the lack of padding suitable for walking inside as opposed to through a mountainous range when climbing outdoors.

Rock climbing shoes should fit snugly with your toes slightly bent at the knuckles, according to REI. When deciding on which size to order, leather shoes can stretch up to one full-size while shoes with leather uppers stretch up to half size. Shoes made from synthetic material, which is typical of indoor rock climbing shoes, tend to not stretch at all.

Now that you know what to look for when purchasing indoor rock climbing shoes, here are some great options for when you’re ready to make your first climb.

1. SCARPA Origin Climbing Shoe

The SCARPA Origin Climbing Shoe is a 100 per cent suede climbing shoe with a supportive rubber sole with two straps that allow climbers to tighten and loosen the shoe as their feet swell throughout the day. A great beginner climbing shoe, the SCARPA’s leather upper means it will stretch after a few uses, so keep that in mind when ordering your size since you want the shoe to be snug. Our team loves that the shoes provide a more supportive fit that makes them ideal for anyone who is just beginning to practice indoor rock climbing and hasn’t yet built up muscles in their feet.

SCARPA Origin Climbing Shoe

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2. Mad Rock Men’s Drifter Climbing Shoe

Mad Rock Men’s Drifter Climbing Shoe have a huge following thanks to the shoe’s high quality and lack of additional features that drive up the price and are unnecessary for indoor climbing. With fans that are both new to climbing and are experienced climbers, the shoe offers support and flexibility with a leather upper and rubber sole, plus two adjustable straps and a stiffness rating of three that makes them a shoe that works for any climber.

Mad Rock Men's Drifter Climbing Shoe

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3. Climb X Rave Rental Indoor Climbing Shoe

The Climb X Rave Rental Indoor Climbing Shoe has a padded collar and heel that adds comfort for your feet, and a anti-microbial footbed that adds comfort for your nose. New climbers may want to go one size up to get a comfortable fit while learning the ropes (literally), while more experienced climbers are recommended to order one size down for an aggressive fit that allows for better performance. Finding the right size for your feet with the Climb X can be challenging, but the affordable shoe makes purchasing worthwhile even for those who only fit the occasional climb into their schedule.

Climb X Rave Rental Indoor Climbing Shoe

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4. Evolv Nighthawk Climbing Shoe

The Evolv Nighthawk Climbing Shoe is updated from Evol’s previous model, with an improved fit that and new high quality material make the shoe a great choice for beginning and intermediate climbers. It has a medium hooked toe, which may take some time for new climbers to get used to, but it will also mean they won’t have to buy a new shoe as soon as they begin advancing. Customers love the shoe for its comfortable and durability.

Evolv Nighthawk Climbing Shoe

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