The Best Gym Climbing Shoes of 2021

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For many climbers, the only real climbing is done in the great outdoors. For others, the gym is a more refined and inclusive way to get a workout while still having fun. For whatever reason, you find yourself in the climbing gym. So you ask yourself, “what are the best gym climbing shoes for me?”.

The answer to this question depends on your needs. Are you an avid outdoor climbing enthusiast who spends time in the gym during the week? Or maybe you’re a newbie climber who needs to find the right pair of shoes to get started. Or perhaps you prefer bouldering over sport climbing. Whatever your needs, chances are this article has the answer for you.

Our Top Favorite
La Sportiva Men's Miura Climbing Shoe, Lime, 42
Our Top Runner Up
Five Ten Moccasym Shoes Men's, Red, Size 10
Our Top Value Pick
La Sportiva Men's TarantuLace Rock Climbing Shoe, Flame, 42
Gym Climbing Shoes
La Sportiva Miura
5.10 Anasazi MoccAsym
La Sportiva Tarantulace
Prime Eligible?
-
-
Our Top Favorite
La Sportiva Men's Miura Climbing Shoe, Lime, 42
Gym Climbing Shoes
La Sportiva Miura
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Runner Up
Five Ten Moccasym Shoes Men's, Red, Size 10
Gym Climbing Shoes
5.10 Anasazi MoccAsym
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Value Pick
La Sportiva Men's TarantuLace Rock Climbing Shoe, Flame, 42
Gym Climbing Shoes
La Sportiva Tarantulace
Prime Eligible?
-

Last update: 2021-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our Favorites for the Best Gym Climbing Shoes Our Favorites for the Best Gym Climbing Shoes

For climbers that have a preference for a specific type of climbing, it makes sense to purchase a pair of shoes specific for that style. For those climbers who like to dabble in a few different styles, buying a few different pairs specific for each style gets pricy fairly quickly. Fortunately, our favorite climbing shoes for the gym are great all-rounders.

La Sportiva Miura

Our Pick for Top All-Rounder

With a legacy worth bragging about, the La Sportiva Miura is the quintessential multipurpose climbing shoe. It feels as good on a steep sport climbing route as it does on an overhung boulder problem. And even better, these shoes work just as well outdoors as they do in the gym.

With many upsides and no real downsides, it’s hardly a surprise that the shoe is a favorite of some of the world’s best climbers—think Adam Ondra and Alex Honnold. Not only that, but they consistently rank at the top of climbing shoe lists. And most importantly, they are highly recommended by your average-joe everyday climber.

Now, what makes these shoes the favorite of so many, you might ask. Read on, dear reader, and let us enlighten you.

First and foremost, the La Sportiva Miura is a performance climbing shoe. With a moderate downturn and a highly asymmetric profile, this shoe lets you push your limits while still being comfortable enough to be worn for hours.

An outer sole of 4mm Vibram XS Edge rubber gives the shoes incredible edging ability while effortlessly holding pockets in overhangs. While the stiffness and hardness of the rubber may make the shoe seem overly rigid and imprecise, learning to use proper placement overcomes any problems. Especially as once they have been worn in, your footwork will be all the better for it. Moreover, the hardness of the rubber is indicative of its durability and longevity.

In addition to the Vibram outer sole, the Miuras feature a 1.1mm LaspoFlex midsole in the forefoot. This midsole ties the high tensioned Slingshot rand into the Powerhinge, a feature that enables the shoe to stretch in the back half instead of the front when edging on small features. Unlike the Miura VS, these shoes do not feature the P3 sole, meaning that without the extra support, you will need to work a little harder on tougher moves.

Designed with a simple leather upper that allows the shoe to stretch during use, the shoe molds to your feet over time. This design not only makes them more comfortable but enables more precise footwork.

Furthermore, an eight-panel Dentex liner channels the direction of the stretch allowing the shoe to stretch as much as it needs to without making them loose. However, the Miuras are not recommended for people with wide feet due to their narrow sole and inability to stretch sideways.

A slip-on design and speed lace-up system makes the Miuras a cinch to wear and adjust on the fly. It must be noted that while the shoes themselves are incredibly durable, the laces are not quite at the same level, and will need replacing.

When it comes to sizing, in general, gym shoes are meant to be comfortable. With more technical climbing such as bouldering or hard sport routes, it is recommended to size down two sizes from your street shoes. This sizing will give you the power and precision needed, but with a certain degree of pain.

That being said, the Miuras are an excellent shoe for any style of climbing but excel for climbers with specific goals in mind.

While the Miuras are not cheap, they are definitely worth the price for a pair or even two! As with many other shoes on the market, they can often be found at steep discounts or bought second hand.

What makes La Sportiva Miura Unique:

  • The Miura employs Vibram XS Edge rubber sole with a highly tensioned Slingshot Rand, which transfers power to the toes for you to smear, hook and edge precisely.
  • The quick lace-up closure system allows you to slip them on and adjust them quickly.
  • The Dentex liner is made up of eight sections that direct the stretch of the shoe while keeping your feet dry.

Why You Should Choose this Shoe:

  • Dominating the climbing market for the past decade, this shoe has an excellent reputation in the climbing community and professional climbers alike.
  • Excellent shoes for the gym or the outdoors: whatever style you prefer, these shoes can handle it.
  • The thick hard rubber rand makes this shoe the best edging shoe on the market.
  • A versatile shoe, it takes to any style of climbing you can think of.
  • While not the cheapest shoe, they are durable and relatively inexpensive to re-sole. Excellent value for money.
La Sportiva Men's Miura Climbing Shoe, Lime, 42
  • FAST LACING SYSTEM - Quick-pull lacing harness allows for precise regulation of inner volumes; Wrapping the foot snugly for excellent support, fit, and comfort
  • ADVANCED CONTROL - A grippy 4mm Vibram XS Edge rubber sole and a highly tensioned Slingshot Rand that transfers power to the toes let climbers smear, hook, and edge like pros; Asymmetric build is ideal for precision pocket climbing
  • CLIMB IN COMFORT - From the gym to the crags, the classic leather upper is soft yet supportive; Moisture-wicking Dentex lining keeps feet dry and comfortable all day long

Last update: 2021-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


La Sportiva Solutions

Our Pick for Top Bouldering Shoe

With over a decade in the spotlight when it comes to performance bouldering, it is hardly surprising that La Sportiva Solutions nab the top spot for bouldering shoe time and time again. Some of the world’s best climbers, Adam Ondra and Daniel Woods to name two, rely on these shoes when they need an ace.

Explicitly designed for overhanging sport routes, bouldering, gym climbing, and technical face climbing, the Solutions are a performance-oriented shoe. This means high asymmetry to focus power onto the big toe and a high degree of down-turn.

An outsole of sticky 4mm Vibram XS Grip2 rubber gives the shoes a sensitivity to feel small features on the rock while securely holding to the rockface. The downside to this soft rubber is the lack of durability. However, proper footwork and placement mitigate their reduced lifespan. Furthermore, the toe box is reinforced with a 1mm LaspoFlex midsole.

Supporting the Vibram outsole, the patented P3 Power Platform ensures that the shoe retains its shape throughout its lifetime. Moreover, the power platform enables the climber to push all their power through the toe box while supporting the entire foot.

A 3D molded heel cup further enhances the performance of the shoe and increases the heel hooking performance.

Finally, the Lock Harness System surrounds your foot and securely holds it in place with the leather upper to provide maximum security and performance.

The shoe upper is composed of a combination of leather and Lorica, allowing the shoe to breathe while still being comfortable. This comfort is further enhanced by a cloth tongue that accommodates most foot sizes.

A versatile and functional Fast Lacing System allows you to adjust the hook and loop closure system precisely as you need it. This adjustability allows you to get an exact fit to your foot to maximize the performance of the shoe.

While all of these features make for an incredible performance shoe, they are not built for comfort. That is not to say that they are horrible to wear, but they are best suited for short climbs with breaks in between.

As a performance shoe, most climbers prefer to wear this shoe one to two sizes below their shoe size. Even more performance can be squeezed out by reducing the size even further. However, the trade off is an increase in pain.

While this shoe is not cheap, it is a specialty shoe and reflects its value. For those that want to push their limits and performance, this climbing shoe is well worth the price. The ability to re-sole these shoes somewhat mitigates their high cost.

What makes La Sportiva Solutions Unique:

  • The Solution features Vibram XS Grip2 rubber sole with P3 Power Platform, which supports the foot transferring tension to the toes.
  • The adjustable closure system allows you to slip them on and adjust them quickly.
  • The 3D molded heel cup and Lock Harness System makes for a snug fit and optimal performance.

Why You Should Choose this Shoe:

  • Dominating the bouldering shoe market for the past decade, this shoe has an excellent reputation in the climbing community and professional climbers alike.
  • Excellent shoes for the gym or the outdoors, these shoes excel in overhanging sport routes, bouldering, and technical face climbing.
  • The soft rubber rand makes this shoe extraordinarily grippy and after a breaking in period, very sensitive.
  • While not the cheapest shoe, they relatively inexpensive to re-sole. Excellent value for money, especially if you want to push your bouldering performance.
La Sportiva Men's Solution Climbing Shoe, White/Yellow, 40
  • Marbled P3 rands - each pair is unique!
  • Ideal terrain: Overhanging sport routes, bouldering, gym climbing and technical face climbing
  • AWARDS: Climbing Magazine - Editors' Choice, Climbing Magazine - Editors' Chouce 2014, Rock and Ice - Best in Gear, Gear Institute - Best in Class 2014, IF Product Design Award 2006

Last update: 2021-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Our Runner Ups for the Best Gym Climbing Shoes

Our Runner Ups for the Best Gym Climbing Shoes

Although these shoes didn’t quite make the cut into the top of the list, they are still favored by many climbers and experts. They are high-functioning shoes and may suit individual climbers better than our favorites.

5.10 Anasazi MoccAsym

Our Top Pick for Most Comfortable Gym Shoe

While this shoe doesn’t make the lists for “best of” in most reviews, they are a favorite of your everyday climber, and so take a spot on our list. Worn by many as dedicated gym shoes, they are perfect for when you are training in the gym but are not in high performance mode. Designed with comfort over performance, these shoes are perfect for hours of fun without needing to be taken off.

First manufactured in 1990, the Moccasym has undergone few changes. Those features that attracted climbers such as Dean Potter back in the heyday, still attract many climbers to this day. Its simplicity of design and ease of use make this shoe a perfect choice for anyone looking for a dedicated gym shoe.

With a flat profile and narrow toe box, the Moccasyms are comfortable to wear but still able to perform in tight cracks. And with Stealth C4 rubber outsole, they are reasonably durable, even feeling clunky out of the box. That is until they’ve been broken in, after which they are soft enough to feel the divots on slabs.

The addition of the Asym slingshot rand adds tension to the heel, somewhat spreading tension away from the toes.

The unlined leather uppers are soft and breathable, allowing the shoes to stretch…a lot. When sizing these shoes, you may want to keep in mind that they will become loose by the time they finish stretching. For this reason, some climbers will go several sizes down so that they will fit just right by the time they are done. This ultimate fit comes at the price of an intense initial break-in period.

Falling into the category of a slipper, these climbing shoes have a simple elastic opening that allows the shoe to be easily slipped and off. This is a convenient feature for those who prefer to remove their shoes after every problem. The downside is the shoe may eventually become too loose to hold on when heel hooking.

It is the simplicity of the shoe that keeps the Moccasyms relevant in today’s environment of highly engineered shoes. And it is this simplicity that makes them perfect gym shoes for when you just want to get a workout or just cruise.

While the shoe is minimal, the price is not! Over time the price has steadily risen to the point at which it now sits. While many find the price to be a bit much, others find the shoe to be worth the cost. Ultimately, it is up to each climber to judge their value.

What makes 5.10 Moccasym Unique:

  • The Moccasym features a C4 Stealth rubber outsole with an Asym slingshot rand, which adds tension to the heel.
  • A flat and relatively symmetric profile translates to comfort while still functioning well in the gym.
  • The elastic opening allows you to slip them on and off quickly.

Why You Should Choose this Shoe:

  • On the market since 1990, this shoe has been a favorite with many climbers over the years.
  • Excellent shoes for the gym but also functions as a superb crack climbing shoe.
  • The soft rubber rand makes this shoe extraordinarily grippy and after a breaking in period, very sensitive.
  • While not the cheapest shoe, they relatively inexpensive to re-sole.
Five Ten Moccasym Shoes Men's, Red, Size 10
  • Do-it-all climbing slipper with a soft leather build
  • Easy-on, easy-off design
  • Soft build is best suited for crack climbing and gym training sessions

Last update: 2021-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Butora Endeavor

Our Runner-Up Pick for All-Rounder

While the Butora Endeavor doesn’t quite make the cut of many climbing lists, once again the climbing community has spoken. From data-mined from the internet of all things, we have found that the Endeavor is a highly recommended gym shoe. It even beats out more dedicated sport climbing shoes such as the Butora Acro.

The reason for this lies mostly in the shoe’s versatility—it is equally good at bouldering as it is at sport climbing. Furthermore, the comfort offered by this shoe only enhances its characteristics as a gym shoe.

With a somewhat asymmetrical toe shape and slight downturn, the Endeavor closely resembles the natural shape of your foot. This mimicry gives the shoe a natural feel, giving you the power and performance without the pain. The triple forked webbing design further personalizes the fit of the Endeavors giving them a tight yet pain-free fit.

Soled with butyl Butora F5 sticky rubber sole, this shoe helps you stick to almost any rock type. The addition of a 3D-injection midsole further enhances the comfort and performance of these kicks.

Constructed with a hybrid upper composed of synthetic microfiber at the front end of the shoe and a natural leather back end, the Endeavor provide the essential support needed while remaining breathable. The upper is enhanced with a padded split-tongue secured in place with hook and loop straps. These closures are cushioned with Poron memory foam for ultimate comfort.

Further enhancing the breathability while maintaining the shape of the shoe, an organic hemp liner keeps your feet dry with its natural moisture-wicking capabilities. The liner further helps naturally reduce foot odor and bacterial growth keeping your shoes fresh.

With all these fancy bells and whistles, one would be forgiven for thinking that these shoes come with a hefty price tag. In this case, one would be wrong. For a shoe that offers so much, they are surprisingly cheap and well worth the cost.

What makes Butora Endeavor Unique:

  • The Endeavor features butyl Butora F5 rubber outsole which give excellent traction on most rock types.
  • A slightly asymmetrical toe box and slight camber mimic the natural shape of your foot, making these shoes feel natural.
  • A hybrid upper gives the shoe’s breathability while maintaining its shape.
  • The organic hemp liner helps wick away moisture while preventing bad odor.

Why You Should Choose this Shoe:

  • Excellent shoes for the gym but also functions well outdoors. Superb for every day and every situation shoe.
  • Considering what you get with this shoe, they are a bargain. Cheaper than most shoes on this list, they are great as an additional weapon in your arsenal or as a solo shoe.
Butora Men's Endeavor Moss Wide Fit Rock Climbing Shoe, Moss, 11.5
  • ODOR CONTROL: 100% Organic Hemp lining to control stretch and odor
  • HIGH-QUALITY FOOTBED: Split leather footbed for comfort and performance
  • MOLDED MIDSOLE: 3D injection molded ABS midsole for precision edging and torsion rigidity

Last update: 2021-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Our Value Picks for the Best Gym Climbing Shoes

Our Value Picks for the Best Gym Climbing Shoes

For many climbers, the gym is just a way for them to train during the week before the real climbing on the weekend. For others, the structure of gym climbing is preferred. Whatever the case for you, the odds are you don’t want to use your expensive outdoor shoes in the gym. Or pay the big bucks on a dedicated gym shoe. Not to worry, there are plenty of relatively cheap yet functional gym shoes available.

La Sportiva Tarantulace

Our Top Pick for Best Value

Another shoe from La Sportiva, the Tarantulace, has all of the quality of its siblings on this list. Built as beginners climbing shoe, this shoe heads the top of our list for Best Beginner Climbing Shoe. Although it is marketed to newbie climbers, this shoe will carry you through intermediate climbing and makes for a great gym shoe.

With a design intended for comfort, the Tarantulace has a fit that is wide, flat, and rounded. This allows for plenty of room for your toes and no pain form than an aggressive downturn. Don’t let this fool you into thinking the shoe won’t perform. They will!

With a 5mm outsole made with La Sportivas proprietary FriXion RS rubber, the Tarantulace has one of the thickest outsoles on the market. This thickness dramatically increases the durability of the sole, something that many climbers find necessary in gyms with excessively abrasive walls.

While a thick sole reduces sensitivity and perhaps reduced grip when smearin, this same thickness translates into a sole that provides plenty of support. Furthermore, a sturdy heel and toe rand facilitate heel hooks, edging, smearing, and any other technique you might use in the gym.

The leather upper enhances the breathability of the shoe while also stretching to conform to your foot. Keep in mind, as with all leather uppers, to get an appropriately reduced size to account for the final size of the shoe.

Over the top of the leather upper, the Tarantulace feature a synthetic leather overlay lacing harness. This nifty feature allows you to easily and rapidly adjust the fit of the shoe. Moreover, this precise lacing system enables you to account for shoe stretch with pinpoint adjustments.

For those that prefer velcro straps, Tarantulas are the same shoes without laces. While these are faster to put on and remove, the Tarantulace are so comfortable you won’t find the need to remove them during your gym sessions.

These versatile and dependable rock-climbing kicks are great for indoor climbing but are just as adept at bouldering or out on the crag. Features like these are what make the Tarantulace a top choice for use by climbing gyms all over.

Not the cheapest shoes available, they are by far, not the most costly. Whatever their price, they are well worth the expense. Like many of the shoes in this article, they are frequently found at steep discounts at many retailers and online stores.

What makes La Sportiva Tarantulace Unique:

  • At 5mm thick, FriXion RS rubber is among the thickest on the market, providing considerable durability and support.
  • The synthetic leather overlay lacing harness allows for rapid adjustment and a close, snug fit.
  • The unlined leather upper allows the shoes to conform to your foot.
  • A lined tongue enhances moisture control.

Why you Should Choose this Shoe:

  • One of the most comfortable climbing shoes available, these leather constructed shoes fit most feet.
  • The thick sole and durable rubber ensure the longevity of the shoes. At least on the bottoms where most wear occurs.
  • The lace-up design provides for increased adjustability, consequently increased comfort and support.
  • Excellent for climbing at the gym or on the crag, their comfort means not having to take them off for hours.

La Sportiva Men's TarantuLace Rock Climbing Shoe, Flame, 42
  • FAST LACING SYSTEM - Quick-pull lacing harness allows for precise regulation of inner volumes; Wrapping the foot snugly for excellent support, fit, and comfort
  • ALL-AROUND PERFORMANCE - Designed to help intermediate climbers smear, hook, and edge like pros; The aggressive rubber heel rand, sticky FriXion RS rubber soles, and low-asymmetry RN45 build let climbers find purchase on edges with great sensitivity and without pain or cramping
  • CLIMB IN COMFORT - From the gym to the crags, the classic unlined leather upper is soft and comfortable; Lined tongue controls moisture and enhances breathability; Synthetic leather overlay adds just the right level of support

Last update: 2021-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Why You Should Invest in Quality Indoor Gym Climbing Shoes

If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the gym, it makes sense to invest in a pair of quality climbing shoes. Not only will they improve your performance and allow you to focus on technique, but they will make the whole experience more enjoyable.

Furthermore, you will want a durable shoe that will withstand the abuse of gym climbing. Otherwise, as many climbers discover to their dismay, you will wear through them in no time. This just results in frustration as well as money out of pocket. All things considered, a quality shoe that is cheap to resole becomes a worthy investment.

How to Choose the Best Gym Climbing Shoes for You

With so many climbing shoes to choose from, it is difficult to know what to look for. With our insight, finding the perfect kicks for you is much simpler. Now, how do you choose the best gym shoe for your needs?

1. Price: first, you want to have a pair of climbing shoes that match your style. And you might need more than one pair to target the style of climbing you prefer specifically. You will be able to perform much better with a decent pair of climbing shoes. It’s important not to skimp on this essential piece of gear. While you may want to buy a cheap pair of everyday wear-and-tear, invest in a technical pair to boost your performance when you need to push yourself.

2. Durability: your shoes will suffer a lot of abuse. Between technical footwork, smearing, and everything else they have to take, a shoe with a sturdy rubber sole and durable upper will last much longer than a thinner soled shoe. This is especially important on the toe, which does most of the work and sustains constant abrasion. However, for precise footwork, a thinner sole allows for more sensitivity, so it’s essential to find a balance.

3. Fit: critical, a good fit doesn’t mean your feet have to be in constant pain. In a gym shoe, it is much more important to have a shoe that fits your foot like a second skin. This will give you the confidence to push harder and prevent injury to your feet. The shoes should be tight to the feet without extra room. Remember that leather shoes will stretch.

4. Comfort: hand in hand with and directly related to the fit, the comfort of the shoe should be a strong consideration. However, sometimes a little pain is a reasonable tradeoff for improved performance. Focusing on technique is much more important and easier if you’re not always in pain and waiting till you can remove your shoes.

Armed with these rules, the next step is to head to a brick and mortar store to try on the shoes for yourself. Even if you are planning on buying them online, nothing beats the hands-on—or in this case, feet on—experience of slipping the shoes on and giving them a test run. Additionally, many retailers frequently have steep discounts on gear in-store and offer their expertise in selecting the right shoe.

Summary of the Best Gym Climbing Shoes

Selecting the right pair of shoes is extremely important. That’s not to say that the shoes have to last you for years. Instead, the priority of a good gym shoe is to provide comfort and durability for extended sessions. This will allow you to build technique for those long days on the crag.

You may be thinking about buying the shoe with the most exceptional performance. However, it is by far more critical to focus on a comfortable shoe that fits well. If you can get that shoe for cheap, great, just remember to always try on the shoes before you buy, as not all shoes fit all feet.

Keeping all that in mind, our recommendation for the best climbing shoes, backed by reviews and the consensus of the climbing community, is the La Sportiva Miura. These excellent shoes offer all that a pair of gym shoes should, with ample comfort and performance. As they can often be bought at severe discounts, they are also a great value pick. The La Sportiva Solution is also a notable choice, coming in second by a slim margin.

For those who want to save a bit, the La Sportiva Tarantulace is an excellent pair, balancing performance with a price point that won’t break the bank.

Did you enjoy this post? Then you’ll love our other climbing gear reviews. You’d also probably like our review on the best beginner climbing shoes, best intermediate climbing shoes, and best harnesses for climbing.

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