best aggressive climbing shoes

When we talk about the design of the best aggressive climbing shoes, we talk about its downturned shape. The best shoes for aggressive rock climbing typically have a sharp arch and a severe decline. They are frequently designed with more seasoned climbers, which is the first thing to know about them. But as a first climbing shoe, these shoes are probably not the greatest option.

Compared to early models from 50 years, climbing shoes have undergone significant modification in recent years and are now essentially unrecognizable. There’s a good explanation for this: to meet the demands of contemporary climbing and bouldering, climbing shoes have undergone a significant evolution. The best aggressive climbing shoes can be what you need to advance your climbing if you specialize in sports climbing or bouldering.

What Are Aggressive Climbing Shoes?

Comfort usually takes a back seat to performance in comfortable yet aggressive climbing shoes. 

Your foot is forced into a “hooked” shape by the downturned profile, curving your toes. 

Climbers can profit from this foot placement in two ways.

A downturned climbing shoe’s key advantage is that it excels on overhung cliffs and roof climbs, where narrow edges and pockets are crucial. You can hook and claw these characteristics far more easily with a curved form than you could with a flatter shoe.

These shoes also have the major benefit of maximizing force pushing to your toes. 

If you suppose about it, a total crimp is one of your considerable strong grasp standings. The same reasoning holds when you weigh your toes. You can put more poundage on your short piggies when they are curved as opposed to if they were lying balanced.

It would be best if you had the other curved toes to maintain your body consequence and assemble stress within the shoe because aggressive climbing shoes often have a softer design than their neutral equivalents.

The Best Aggressive Climbing Shoes For Beginners

The norms from each trademark that have more downturn and typically more asymmetry in their shape are considered aggressive rock climbing shoes. Many companies create aggressive shoes for boulders and steeper, harder slopes. 

In addition to giving the toes more strength for weighing and pulling, this toes-down, toes-inward standpoint of the claw allows for a more unpretending concentration of parts on more vertical ropes. Aggressive climbing shoes will put the climber’s feet under great stress and strain throughout long days of sport or multi-pitch trad climbing. 

The climber will be more comfortable if they choose a modest or neutral downturn shoe in this situation. 

With our top picks for 2022, you can choose the strongly downturned shoe you need to hook your way up boulder issues, the accurate edging model you need for long limestone sport routes, or the comfy kick you need for all-day granite ascents. Here are a few bold shoes that have earned our endorsement.

Tenaya Mastia


Lined Synthetic

328 grams

Yellow Black & Orange

RS Rubber


This design incorporates the VTR, a mechanism that allows the rubber wrapped in the upper’s circumference to have different densities. The rubber will be thinner where there is the most stress and thicker where there is less stress. It makes the foot pocket more durable while also enhancing your comfort!Instead, the tensioning mechanism provides the shoe a slightly arched form that enables you to apply all your force to the toe area while still being accurate.

The Rave is a moderately rigid shoe thanks to its midsole and sole, which allows you to spread your foot out in even the most demanding volumes while providing good support on even the slightest supports. The top of the line in terms of traction and sturdiness for Evolv is the Trax SAS 4.2mm rubber, which is coated on the sole.

Despite being a unisex model, the sizes are given in men’s terms. 

Therefore, it is advised that a woman take a number and a half less than what is specified.


  • Shoes for climbing that are cozy and made for sending everywhere
  • Comfort and accuracy are balanced by the flat, asymmetrical curve.
  • Stretchable unlined leather upper that conforms to your foot contour
  • For a secure fit, the VTR rand wraps around the heel.


  • Poor edging
  • Little support while climbing

Scarpa Drago


Lined Synthetic

200 grams

Yellow Black & Orange

Synthetic Leather


Scarpa has put a lot of thought process into making this shoe one of the best ones in the aggressive shoe game. With these shoes on, we were able to perform our best climbing on demanding boulders and high-intensity sport climbs.

During our climbing tests, we found this shoe to be downturned to a very aggressive degree, and also liked its asymmetrical nature very much. The forefoot of the shoe is also made of sticky rubber, which gives one of the best results during edging activities. Both these factors do take from the comfort a little bit, but when it comes to performance, this shoe was able to outperform many other pairs we tested. 

To deliver power to the big toe effectively, the shoes have a PCB-tension direction system, which sends most of the friction directly to the big toes. The sole has a Vibram XS Grip 2 technology, which puts the rubber only where it is needed in the shoes and helps reduce the empty pockets to give maximum possible comfort while enhancing performance at the same time. 

The upper in this shoe is made of microsuede and leather material, and the primary material of the shoe is synthetic leather. The closure system in these shoes uses straps, which grip the shoes firmly. 


  • Aggressive downturn to give maximum performance
  • PCB tension system to deliver force to big toe
  • Sticky rubber forefoot


  • Outsole is made of thin rubber, which can be too soft for super technical edging
  • Less stiffness can put more pressure on the foot.

Evolv Phantom



255 grams

Black/ white

Synthetic Leather


The Evolv Phantom is the best aggressive climbing shoe for the people who are looking for the best mixture of sensitivity and power. The upper of this shoe is made of vegan synthetic material which ensures that the foot is always in the proper position and that the shoe will not stretch easily. With this pair on, we did not get any extra stretch after continuous wearing and the shoes remained fitted to our feet. 

One of the most unique things about these shoes is that they come with a dual material midsole, which means that the midsole is made of two different materials. One of these is an abridged variable thickness midsole, which is thicker in the center and tapers out to the edges of the toes to allow proper power distribution. The other midsole is a tension power system plus (TPS+) midsole which keeps the shoes in a downturned and aggressive position.

The front foot area including the area of the toes is made of thick rubber to give good edging power. The vegan upper material gives the shoes enough stiffness and also is good for the environment. Dark spine heel technology made us like the shoes very much during heel locks.


  • Dark spine heels
  • Dual midsole material to give power and downturn
  • Vegan upper material
  • Thick front foot rubber


  • Difficult smearing
  • Foot cramps are commonly seen with these shoes¬†

When To Use The Most Aggressive Climbing Shoes?

Aggressive climbing shoes might be in your future if you want to advance your climbing. 

However, not everyone should wear aggressive climbing footwear. The type of climbing you intend to do and your current skill level will determine when you should start using aggressive climbing shoes.

Not every climber should choose aggressive shoes. Some climbers will receive enormous advantages, enabling them to scale unprecedented heights. They will be an indisputable scrap of money and time for other climbers.

Keep These In Mind Before Buying Aggressive Climbing Shoes

Before pulling out your cash to get a set of rock shoes, consider the type of climbing you prefer to undertake and pick a shoe that will make it easier for you to do so. Purchase one of the several everything available if you are still trying to figure out your favorite climbing method or prefer to climb everything. What to look for is briefly described here.

Downturn: A Climbing Shoe’s Notable Feature

The word “downturn” has been mentioned numerous times above; it is one of a climbing shoe’s most distinctive characteristics. In essence, downturn describes the amount of bend in a shoe’s sole, ranging from aggressively banana-shaped to flat. 

Although your feet are less able to lay down in their natural posture as the dip becomes more pronounced, they still have plenty of force to grasp and perch on little edges.

Firm vs. Smooth

While some boulderers want harder shoes, many boulderers favor extremely soft footwear. 

Since a stiff shoe gives your foot a stable platform to stand on tiny edges, it will also deliver more edging strength. 

To accommodate the steep face and slab, we prefer a firmer shoe. Your feet will have to perform most of the helping to raise themselves in soft shoes because they are much more flexible and flexible. 

Although these shoes don’t offer the stability required for accurate edging, they let you toe in more effectively on steep slopes. Additionally, you’ll be able to experience the grips underfoot more, which is a plus for many climbers.

Closure System

What shoe is ideal for you, depending on the closure system? There are no hard-and-fast guidelines as to which is superior to the other, and each has advantages and disadvantages for certain types of climbing. 

Laces, Velcro, and slippers are the three primary closures. Velcro and slippers are increasingly mixed to create a closure that offers the best of both worlds.

Upper Material: 

The portion of the shoe that touches the front and outside of your foot is called the upper. 

There isn’t a formula to decide which is best for you in climbing shoes because the uppers are typically made of leather or a synthetic leather alternative. While some choose synthetic, others favor leather. 

Each type is represented here in several instances, each with advantages and disadvantages. The main distinction between the two is that leather stretches whereas synthetic uppers typically do not, which has several negative effects.


Sizing is extremely exact, one-of-a-kind, and customized to every shoe and every foot. Some shoes will be too broad or too small for your foot. Some will completely stretch, while others won’t. While some are sized in line with street shoes, others will require you to go down a few sizes.


What defines an aggressive climbing shoe?

To place your feet powerfully and firmly for challenging hills, these shoes have significantly downturned toes and much heel stress. To concentrate force over the toe for accurate placing on small holds, most aggressive shoes have an asymmetrical design that slopes toward the big toe.

Are aggressive shoes suitable for bouldering?

Their downturned design makes aggressive shoes less effective than moderate shoes at climbing or smearing cracks. Aggressive shoes are better suited for anything unless you seek crack climbing shoes or whole comfort.

Are aggressive climbing shoes hurtful?

The quickest response is no. Climbing shoes shouldn’t be painful. However, they should be snug enough to cause some climbers to feel uncomfortable. And this is what beginners frequently mean when they say “they hurt.”


Overall, the best aggressive climbing shoes are ideally suited for steeper terrain, with different models dividing the class based on how well they perform in particular performance areas. A climber who is well-equipped at all times may have footwear designed specifically for edges, smears, nooks, flat rock, etc. 

However, some types excel in a variety of common steeper line demands. Since most climbers cannot or do not want to bring numerous shoes to the cliffs and boulders, specialization in this field may keep growing, but the all-rounder has a solid grip.