Best Climbing Shoes of 2023
Unparallel Duel ($120)
When it comes to climbing, having the right gear can make all the difference in the world. One essential piece of equipment that every climber needs is a reliable pair of climbing shoes. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the Unparallel Duel climbing shoe, a fantastic option for climbers of all levels.
The Best for the Gym
The Unparallel Duel climbing shoe was initially designed for Olympic speed climbing, which demands both precision and speed. However, it has proven to be a stellar choice for gym training as well. What sets it apart is its remarkable comfort, allowing climbers to wear it for extended periods without discomfort or fatigue.
Comfortable and Versatile
One of the standout features of the Unparallel Duel is its pliable build. This characteristic not only provides comfort but also allows for greater sensitivity when climbing. Whether you’re tackling slabs or indoor walls, this shoe excels in various settings.
Climbing shoes endure a lot of abuse, especially when used on real rock. The Unparallel Duel boasts a thick 4.2-millimeter sole that can withstand significant wear and tear. This means you won’t have to replace your shoes as frequently, making it a cost-effective choice.
The Unparallel Duel is available in unisex sizes ranging from 3 to 13, ensuring that there’s a size for everyone. This broad size range makes it accessible to a wide audience of climbers.
If you’re looking for a versatile and comfortable climbing shoe that can perform exceptionally well in the gym and on real rock, the Unparallel Duel is an excellent choice.
La Sportiva TC Pro ($199)
If you’re more into traditional climbing and big wall adventures, the La Sportiva TC Pro is a climbing shoe that’s worth your consideration.
Best for Trad and Big Walls
The La Sportiva TC Pro is the result of input from two legendary climbers, Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold. It’s specifically built for long climbs and offers several key features that climbers will appreciate.
Durability and Protection
One of the standout features of the TC Pro is its single-piece rand design. This design choice reduces the chances of delamination over time, ensuring that your shoes remain in excellent condition even after extensive use. The rand also extends higher up the foot, providing increased protection in critical areas.
Comfort and Breathability
Climbing in comfort is essential for long climbs. La Sportiva has addressed this by using thinner webbing on the lace harness, improving jamming comfort. The perforated leather uppers enhance breathability, keeping your feet cool during challenging ascents. The redesigned tongue also reduces toe scrunch, further enhancing comfort.
The La Sportiva TC Pro is available in unisex sizes ranging from 34 to 46, ensuring a good fit for a wide range of climbers.
For those who are serious about trad climbing and big wall adventures, the La Sportiva TC Pro offers the durability and comfort needed for challenging climbs.
Red Chili Voltage Lace ($170)
If sport climbing is more your style, the Red Chili Voltage Lace is a climbing shoe that’s designed to deliver high performance on overhanging terrain.
Best for Sport Projects
The Red Chili Voltage Lace is the updated version of its Velcro predecessor and retains the aggressive downturn and wide last, making it ideal for climbers with wider feet.
What sets the Voltage Lace apart is its stiffer midsole and added leather lining in the toe box. This design provides extra forefoot support, allowing climbers to confidently tackle overhanging terrain. The minimalist, four-eyelet lacing system ensures a precise fit, combining the benefits of a lace-up with the convenience of a slipper.
The Red Chili Voltage Lace is available in unisex sizes ranging from 4 to 13, catering to a broad audience of climbers.
For those who love pushing their limits on overhanging routes, the Red Chili Voltage Lace is a top choice that marries precision and comfort.
Evolv Shaman Lace ($185)
Bouldering enthusiasts, the Evolv Shaman Lace is a climbing shoe that’s designed with your needs in mind.
Best for Bouldering
Evolv’s Shaman Lace is renowned for its stability on small to medium edges on vertical and gently overhung terrain.
The raised midsole and stiff heel rand drive your foot forward, ensuring maximum stability and power on the tiniest of holds. The toe box is meticulously designed to minimize dead space, providing excellent control and sensitivity.
The new lace-up closure offers more fit control, allowing you to adjust the shoe to your liking. It’s available in both men’s sizes 7 to 13 and women’s sizes 6 to 11, ensuring a comfortable fit for all climbers.
For boulderers who demand precision and stability on challenging routes, the Evolv Shaman Lace is an excellent choice.
Scarpa Quantic Velcro ($159)
For climbers who want a versatile shoe that can handle a variety of terrains, the Scarpa Quantic Velcro is a fantastic option.
Best for Doing It All
The Scarpa Quantic Velcro is a lightweight and comfortable climbing shoe that sits right between intermediate and advanced levels.
Comfort and Precision
What sets the Quantic Velcro apart is its overall comfort. It’s more forgiving than rigid, aggressive shoes, making it perfect for extended climbing sessions. However, it doesn’t sacrifice precision, thanks to Vibram’s stiffest rubber compound, XS Edge, which provides excellent toe grip on small holds.
The Quantic Velcro excels on gently overhanging terrain but can handle a wide range of climbing styles. It’s available in men’s sizes ranging from 34 to 50 and women’s sizes from 34 to 45, ensuring a good fit for most climbers.
For climbers who want a shoe that can do it all, from casual climbs to more technical routes, the Scarpa Quantic Velcro is a reliable choice.
Lowa X-Boulder ($185)
If you’re into techy terrain and edging, the Lowa X-Boulder climbing shoe is designed to excel in these challenging conditions.
Best for Techy Terrain
The X-Boulder stands out for its seriously stiff midsole, making it ideal for edging and providing support for heavier climbers.
Two hook-and-loop straps overlap to create an X over the forefoot, resulting in one of the snuggest fits in the climbing shoe genre. This ensures that your shoe stays securely on your foot during demanding climbs.
The perforated upper keeps your feet cool, even on humid days, enhancing comfort during your climbs. It’s available in unisex sizes ranging from 5 to 14.
For climbers who prefer techy terrain and need a shoe that can provide the necessary support and grip, the Lowa X-Boulder is an excellent choice.