Rock Climbing Shoes for Beginners

Rock Climbing Shoes for Beginners
Climbing shoes are an important part of your climbing gear and equipment arsenal. Knowing how to size and evaluate climbing shoes is the key to ensuring a good fit. As with any new footwear, product features and construction are very important. Not all climbing shoes are designed for beginners, so it's important that you know what to features to find in a good climbing shoe. When purchasing climbing shoes, a slow-but-steady approach is best.

Necessary Features

When selecting a rock climbing shoe, beginners need to find a climbing shoe that is both comfortable and functional. As a beginning climber, you'll need to build muscle strength in your feet as you scale to greater heights. Climbing shoes for beginners are designed with added support. The extra support protects your arch and absorbs the impact from climbing. Velcro and lace-up shoes offer the most support and hug the feet closely for the best overall fit.


Sizing rock climbing shoes is not like sizing street shoes. As a general rule of thumb, you'll need a climbing shoe that is at least 1/2 to 1 size smaller than normal street shoes. Climbing shoes need to feel snug, but not too constrictive. When you wear climbing shoes, your shoes and feet should move as one and your toes should touch the end of the shoe. Purchase climbing shoes at a local retailer or gym where you can test the fit. If you purchase climbing shoes online, use a shoe sizing guide and read the return policy so you know in advance if returns are allowed.


The La Sportiva Nago rock shoe works well for beginners. It features a suede upper with a perforated synthetic leather insert, according to the Bestcovery website. This lace-up shoe molds to your foot and can be stretched for a snug fit.

The Evolv Defy climbing shoe features a hook-and-loop fastener that wraps the shoe snugly around your feet. An ideal choice for long multi-pitch routes, the Evolv Defy climbing shoe is a multipurpose shoe that is perfect for rock climbing.

The Boreal Joker Lace-Up climbing shoe is designed with a half-length stiffener, which offers added support. Durable enough for all-day wear, the Joker features suede uppers lined with a padded nylon mesh for added ventilation.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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