Bouldering is one of the most fun activities to do with your friends. But if you’re currently gym climbing to be an experienced climber in the future, your practice should be on point. To get yourself ready for outdoor rock climbing, you should climb rocks indoors with proper equipment. Indoor climbing shoes are one of the essential pieces of equipment you need for your aggressive sport climbing. Whether you are trying bouldering for the first time or trying indoor multi-pitch climbing, we recommend you use the best indoor climbing shoes to keep yourself safe from any sudden injury.
Indoor Climbing Shoes Comparison Chart
Best Indoor Climbing Shoes: Top 5 Reviewed
La Sportiva Tarantula Women’s Climbing Shoe
- Upper Material: leather
- Lining: unlined
- Closure: hook-and-loop straps
- Midsole: Laspflex (1.8mm)
- Rubber: Fixion RS (5mm)
It’s difficult not to be amazed by the Tarantula Women’s climbing shoes. These climbing shoes really reflect La Sportiva’s craftsmanship and reputation for their superior quality. Although the Tarantula model is mainly entry-level climbing shoes, they’re aggressive enough for high-performance sport climbing.
Specially designed for women’s feet, these shoes feature an Unlined comfortable suede leather upper. Like any other new climbing shoes, you need to break them before you wear them for indoor climbing. After breaking the shoes will give you a more custom fit and better comfortability.
The highly adjustable Velcro closure system makes it easy to quick on and off. What makes Tarantula the best indoor climbing shoes are their 5mm FriXion® rubber sticks to rock as well as plastic for a long time. Because of being extra durable, you don’t need to upgrade your shoes, even if your climbing skill gets upgraded.
Besides, you’re getting 1.8mm Laspflex midsoles that provide you maximum support even if bouldering isn’t your regular activity. The flex is quite stiff to give you balance and the relatively flat profile helps to slot into the cracks. Overall they’re great as beginner climbing shoes for medium to high-performance indoor rock climbing.
- The low asymmetrical shape of the shoes lets you push the grades fast
- Comfortable throughout your rock climbing
- Great moisture management
- The stiff sole and leather upper makes the shoes very durable
- Easy on/off
- Beginners friendly
- Adaptive to multiple foot shapes
- Not preferable for tough overhanging walls
- Can stretch up a bit after several uses
Butora Brava Climbing Shoes
- EXTRA-DURABLE MATERIAL - 100% synthetic microfibers are vegan-friendly
- CLOSURE - Wide open, single flap hook and loop closure design for easy on-and-off
- COMFORTABLE MIDSOLE - EVA-cushioned midsole lets kids wear the shoe all day with comfort
- ADJUSTABLE STRAP - Adjustable heel strap will keep them comfortable even as they outgrow their normal shoes
- FEATURES - Shoes run a bit small but are adjustable, so sizing up two sizes insures the shoes last a bit longer and are comfortable for your special little one
If you’re looking for a pair of good performance bouldering shoes at a good price, the kids’ Butora Brava will not disappoint you. Butora started satisfying their customers as soon as they entered the climbing/bouldering shoe market. These shoes are just perfect for indoor climbing activities because they feature a synthetic microfiber upper which is vegan-friendly.
These flat climbing shoes have a subtle (low to moderate) asymmetrical curvature. This allows you to climb up the rock wall or gym routes with power. The closure of the shoes is very unique. The single flap Velcro hook and loop wides open for easy on and off. You’re also getting adjustable straps behind the heels for a more fit to your feet.
In addition to that, these climbing shoes also have super comfy EVA midsoles that provide you a cushiony feel for all-day-long comfort. No matter how long you are climbing, these shoes will keep your feet from tiring.
Even though these shoes are very lightweight, the Butyl Butora F5 rubber is quite stiff. The special rubber will add extra support and abrasion resistance. You might face some difficulties feeling the rock with your feet. But don’t worry, it will get the job done for indoor climbing.
- Materials are very durable
- The adjustable straps help to fit in different foot size
- Innovative design and performance
- Comes in both wide and narrow version
- Super comfortable
- Not sensitive
- The sizing of the shoes can be a little confusing
La Sportiva OXYGYM Women’s Climbing Shoes
- 3-Layer WashTex external fabric keeps the shoe clean and hygienic
- Internal breathable fabric allows for moisture wicking
- Super comfortable for extended use
- Patented hook and loop closure system allows for a personalized fit
- Ideal terrain: Gym climbing and all around climbing
We have another comfortable climbing shoes by La Sportive for you! This is the OXYGYM one. The first thing you’ll notice is their Triple-layer WashTex upper which is built with structural microfiber for high moisture management. The external fabric is also washable and is very ideal for gym climbers.
In addition to a superior upper, OXYGYM climbing shoes prevent odor with their Airtex Silver linings. The loop and hook closure system of the shoes helps to fit any women’s feet just fine. The last shape of the shoes is low asymmetry. Due to the low asymmetric last, these are moderate climbing shoes; but will give you plenty of control and satisfactory performance during your climbing activities.
You’re also getting 1.8mm LaspoFlex EVA midsoles a.k.a. heel inserts which have the anti-shock property to keep your feet safe. The soles of the shoes are also splendid. The FriXion RS rubber soles have a thickness of 5mm. You can enjoy sufficient support for edging in these shoes. However, the sensitivity will be low which is not really important for indoor climbing. Instead look at the bright side, because these thicker soles will prevent your feet from tiring quickly. Plus, Frixion rubber sticks to the rocks pretty well and thus you will experience extra safety and balance.
- Slightly downturned which gives you enough support
- Super comfortable
- Can wicks moisture and prevent odor
- Easy washing
- The double pullon loops ensure easy and secure on/off
- Not suitable for extreme overhanging climbs
Scarpa Men’s Instinct VS Climbing Shoes
- Highly charged bi-tension active randing provides maximum toe power
- Vibram xs edge in forefoot provides incredible grip and durability
- Vibram xs grip 2 makes heel hooking simple
- Mid length outsole construction
- Floating power strap enhances fit and provides power
Are you an advanced boulderer who is looking for power and sensitivity in climbing shoes? Then Scarpa Men’s Instinct VS is the right one for you. The upper is entirely made with Lorica Synthetic leather which isn’t stretchable. The rip-and-stick single strap closure on top gives you a secure fit. Plus, you’re getting loops at the heel area for easy entry.
Because these climbing shoes have an asymmetrical downturned shape, they allow you to use your feet like a hook while you’re bouldering. The aggressive downturn shape and the super-charged Bi-tension active randing position your feet and toes properly for excellent power and support even on the tiniest of holds. Another important feature of these shoes is the rubber patches placed on top to give your toes the grip they need while going up the wall.
The Instinct VS is slip-lasted which means they are quite sensitive and less stiff. Out of the two-parted sholes, the midsoles are pretty comfortable for the aggressive climbers. The incredible durability and grip come from the Vibram XS Edge rubber in the forefoot area.
Even if you’re into aggressive sport climbing, these shoes will last for a long time. So, if you’re an advanced climber, grab one pair for yourself today and show them how good you’re at multi-pitch climbing!
- The sole can be interchanged easily
- Great for advanced and aggressive climbers
- The aggressive leather ensures great wearability
- Excellent grip and support to keep you safe
- Can be used regularly
- Not suitable for beginners
- Quite expensive
Climb X Rave Climbing Shoes
- Please refer to the Sizing Chart for Recommended Size.
- Padded Collar and Heel for Comfort.
Climb X Rave is a kind of shoe that is suitable for both beginners and pro climbers. The shoes’ advanced profile is actually quite interesting. First of all, these shoes have double-stitch construction. This clearly indicates the shoes’ durability. The breathable technology-infused mesh upper is super comfortable. There’s no way you will feel suffocated in them.
You’re also getting padded heel and collar which will ensure your comfortability. Clim X designed them very carefully so that the extra padding doesn’t affect the grip and support. No chance of slipping during bouldering! These advanced shoes also have a hemp footbed to keep your feet fresh, free of impact, and odorless organic feel.
These strong body shoes also come with strong ankle support. No matter how long you stay on momentum, you will be free from any injury. To be mentioned, your toes are supposed to stay curled up inside the shoes for a better performance during climbing. But that doesn’t mean you have to buy a size smaller, they come downsized, so you will just have to buy the regular size of your climbing shoes.
- Versatile performance and excellent comfort
- It will give you a very snug feel
- Can be worn for winter indoor climbing
- The sizing can get a bit confusing for some people
How to choose climbing shoes for Indoor rock climbing or bouldering?
When choosing the best indoor climbing shoes, you have to remember a few factors as they’re quite different from outdoor climbing. Therefore, continue reading to know more about climbing shoes.
First, you need to identify what type of indoor climbing you’re willing to do. Whether it is bouldering or gym climbing. If it is gym-climbing, you will focus on comfortability more. But if it is bouldering, you need shoes with higher strength and support.
The closure type can tell a lot about a climbing shoe’s strengths and weaknesses. If you’re planning to be involved in indoor rock climbing you choose Velcro or Slipper closures. Both are quite ideal for bouldering and gym climbing. You’ll get a sufficiently precise fit for all-day-long support. The construction of both Velco and Slipper have the capability of moderate to aggressive downturn.
While choosing a last, you don’t necessarily need an aggressive downturn in your indoor rock climbing shoes. But if you’re going to practice to be an expert or skilled boulderer, you can go for an aggressive downturn. Other than that, the moderate downturn last will do just fine for indoor climbing.
Although this a personal preference and may vary from person to person, you need to know that softer shoes have more sensitivity while stiff ones have less sensitivity. You can choose whatever suits you best.
If you’re a full-time or regular climber, then it’s better if you go for the leather upper. On the other hand, if you’re an occasional climber or boulderer, the synthetic material will do fine. If you’re concerned about breathability, the leather shoes will do a better job.
The stickiness of the rubber is another important factor to look into before buying your indoor climbing shoes. The thickness of the rubber can modify the shoe’s sensitivity. The quality of the rubber represents the shoes’ durability as well.
Finding the right fit can be a little confusing for some of you. You need to go for your usual shoe size while buying the climbing shoes. Brands also offer gender-specific shoes to minimize your hassle during finding the right pair. You should know how much room for your shoes is suitable for climbing. But to find the accurate size, you can use a climbing shoe calculator too.
How should rock climbing shoes fit?
Once you have selected your shoes, the right size is the most important decision you have to take. Finding the correct fir of climbing shoes can be pretty difficult. Your shoes are supposed to feel ‘snug’ to your feet. Snug doesn’t mean tight. It is a common misconception among many climbers or beginners that you need to go for a very smaller size.
Smaller size shoes don’t let you move your toes easily and that’s why you keep your toes curled up inside. If you’re completely new to climbing, you should start with flat-last shoes and then slowly work your way up to a pair of moderate or more aggressive shoes. And, yes, all of them have to feel snug to your feet.
Do remember, leather tends to stretch a lot more you think. They can often get a full size bigger. So, if you’re purchasing leather shoes, you can actually go a size smaller. But if your shoes are made with synthetic leather or other materials, going for a size smaller shouldn’t be your main concern. Always remember to break your shoes as much as you need before you go for bouldering.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need special shoes for indoor rock climbing?
Should you buy climbing shoes a size bigger?
Climbing is indeed an amazing activity for both the mind and body. If you’re not gym climbing and going for rope-free climbing, maximum support and power are the first things you should check in your indoor climbing shoes. Once you have the right gear with you indoor climbing shouldn’t be that difficult. So, put on the right pair of shoes and have fun climbing indoor.