Best Beginner’s Climbing Shoe Reviews 2021

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This is a post about the best beginner’s climbing shoe that you can find. Shoe Rock climbing is an activity enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts all over the world, and being a physically and mentally challenging sport it is essential to have the right gear.

If you are new to the sport of rock climbing choosing the right climbing shoe from the start will ensure that your introduction to the sport is a comfortable and enjoyable experience you will want to repeat.

As a beginner rock climber, the question when choosing the right shoe is where to start, there are many brands of shoe available and each has been designed for a particular style and discipline of rock climbing. A few important points to consider when selecting your first climbing shoe:

Best Beginner’s Climbing Shoe

  • The Fit Of The Shoe

First and foremost for the beginner is the fit of the shoe. Your foot should feel snug and comfortable when putting on the shoe, almost like a second skin. All feet are different and the shape of the shoe, the width and heel depth will all affect the comfort of the shoe, so try on different brands and shoe models until you find one that meets this criterion.

  • Downsizing The Shoe

Downsizing is the practice of reducing the size of the shoe from your regular everyday street shoes. What downsizing does is help to keep your feet from moving around in the shoe aiding the grip on smaller ledges of the rock face. As a word of caution, do not reduce the size too much as it could lead to discomfort and pain in the feet.

  • Will The Shoe Stretch?

Depending on the brand and model, some shoes will stretch after being used for some time. Some shoes with an unlined leather upper may expand up to two sizes in time. Generally, the shoe with synthetic lining will retain its initial shape.

  • The Shape Of The Shoe

As a beginner, don’t be overly worried about the shape of the shoe, as you gain experience at climbing and the various disciplines involved, moving up to the more technical and performance shoes can be investigated.

Should I Use Velcro Or Lace Up?

The easiest form of tightening shoes, Velcro makes putting on and taking off the shoe a breeze, affording the same level as tightening as lace up style. The advantage of lace up over Velcro is the level of adjustment the laces allow for tightness at different points on the foot. Laces take a little longer putting on or taking off the shoe, not really an issue unless there are time constraints.

As A Beginner Buy Cheap

As with any sport or activity, the gear can be expensive. As a beginner, you are going to make mistakes, scuffing, scraping and wearing down your shoe quite quickly, starting with a cheaper shoe can help you learn the ropes and get to know what your needs will be as you progress in the sport. Why buy top of the range shoes with features you won’t need. Buy smart, buy cheap. Upgrade with experience.


Some Of The Recommended Beginner Climbing Shoes

The Boreal Joker

These shoes are specifically aimed at the beginner climber but still a great performer. Comfortable on first fit the shoe sports and EVA pad in the heel for protection and provides cushioning if you happen to slip and fall. The leather is not prone to stretching and has an abrasion resistant net for good ventilation. A really great shoe for beginners and highly rated.


The La Sportiva Mythos

The Mythos may be aimed at the beginner but this shoe doesn’t skimp on quality. The Vibram XS sole gives a solid edging platform and is a harder wearing and long-lasting sole. Designed to handle various terrains this is the perfect all-rounder for starting out. Excellent durability, versatility and comfort make this one of the best entry level climbing shoes.


The Evolv Addict

Another excellent choice for beginners, the Evolv Addict is a slipper style shoe (no Velcro or laces) that will fit like a glove right out of the box. The leather upper and foot bed provide a good fit and overall comfort. Featuring TRAX XT high friction rubber soles giving the perfect balance between grip and edging on many different surface types. It is regarded as one of the best performing rubbers on the market. Another highly recommended beginner shoe.


The Mad Rock Flash 2.0

Another go to shoe choice to consider, the Flash 2.0. Velcro straps for easy on and off, the sole is renowned for its grip although it does tend to wear down faster than other models, often compared to the Sportiva Mythos for performance and comfort the down side is the build quality, which does not compare to the Mythos, so durability may be an issue over time. None the less this is the perfect shoe to start with.


In Conclusion

The aim of any activity or sport is enjoyment and reward. As a beginner choosing the right climbing shoe can make or break your decision to continue with the sport, following the above guidelines when selecting you climbing shoe will ensure a mixture of comfort, safety and style whilst not compromising your bank balance.

As you progress and become more skilled at climbing, you will become more accustomed to what features you will need out of your climbing shoe and this will aid in the decisions for upgrading to the next tier of climbing footwear. Hope this has helped a little, happy climbing. I hope that this review about the best beginner’s climbing shoe was helpful.

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Meet the Author

'Mountain Man' John

'Mountain Man' John is a Survival and Preparedness enthusiast who loves everything outdoors. He has a passion for learning anything and everything to help sustain his and his families way of life post SHTF. He frequently shares his knowledge on a variety of topics from his hands on DIY projects, learning new skills such as hunting and trapping along with reviews on his Survival related purchases - Prepping has been in his family for generations, it's in his blood.