Best Intermediate Climbing Shoes: Top 10 Picks

Best Intermediate Climbing Shoes

Climbing rocks and mountains can be an adrenaline boost as well as a great exercise. Some expertise and proper footwear are required to get a flawless set of grips. If you are an intermediate climber, you will want to make sure you have the finest intermediate climbing shoes fit for your level of expertise.

Climbing shoes are the connection between you and the rock, and the wrong pair might hold you back. As a result, you will require a pair of top intermediate climbing shoes. 

What makes a pair of climbing shoes the best of its kind?

The best intermediate climbing shoes provide the ideal balance of comfort, mobility, and performance for intermediate-level climbers. If you intend to climb on muddy trails, you should first spray them with waterproofing spray for shoes.

The finest intermediate climbing shoes feature a slightly downturned form, putting your feet in a more strong position to improve placements on increasingly tough and complex routes. For improved grip and sensitivity on the rock, an excellent pair of intermediate climbing shoes will contain firmer and narrower rubber than beginner shoes.

Fortunately, you have come to the right place, as we have put up this guide to advise you. These top intermediate climbing shoes can let you cut and grapple your way to the next step without the excruciating discomfort of ordinary climbing shoes. They are also far more cost-effective.

The best climbing shoes for intermediate climbers:

We have got you covered with our selection of the highest quality rock climbing shoes for beginners, whether you are searching for a strongly deep-set shoe for hooking your way up boulder issues, or a precise edging model for lengthy rock sporting routes, or a comfortable kick for stone ascents.

1. La Sportiva Men’s TarantuLace Performance Rock Climbing Shoe

La Sportiva Men’s TarantuLace Performance Rock Climbing Shoe

A good quality climbing shoe looks like a pair of La Sportiva climbing shoes. In other term, they are amongst the strongest intermediate climbing shoes available. When it comes to climbing footwear, La Sportiva is one of the best producers. 

They include a lace closing technique that ensures a secure but comfortable fit whenever you wear them. They fit snugly, are well-made, and are fairly priced — a good option for intermediate climbers.

Among the many intermediate climbing shoes on the market, the La Sportiva Men’s TarantuLace Performance Rock Climbing Shoe is among the best. For a reason, the Tarantulace is frequently dubbed the “Best Intermediate Climbing Shoe.” As is customary with La Sportiva, the pricing is low, and the shoes are constructed to last, offering a solid, long-term commitment that will provide exceptional value.

2.  Evolv Defy Climbing Shoe 

Evolv Defy Climbing Shoe 

The brand considers the Evolv Defy to be among their best-selling climbing shoes. It is made to satisfy the diverse demands of climbers of all ability levels. It is a vegan-friendly brand, which means it was created without the use of any animal products. It has been given a renovation to give it a more modern appearance.

The updated model comes with Agion’s anti-odor technology. It also has a Synthratek VX upper, which replaces the previous model’s synthetic suede main shell.

For a long time, they have been the best-selling beginning sneakers. If you get the opportunity to check a pair out, they are still a strong contender for the finest intermediate climbing shoes. These sneakers are a fantastic combination of performance and comfort – and they come at an incredible price.

They have been upgraded every year with little tweaks, and they are certainly a lovely shoe. The Evolv Defy is the ideal gym climbing shoe for beginners since it has all of the characteristics and functionality that a starting climber requires – it is inexpensive, comfortable, and durable.

3. Mad Rock Drifter Climbing Shoe

Mad Rock Drifter Climbing Shoe

If you have ever heard the term “don’t judge a book by its cover,” this shoe appears to follow that rule. The Mad Rock Men’s Drifter Climbing Shoe is a simple-looking climbing shoe that can resist the same forces as many high-end shoes.

Mad Rock earns major marks for a sneaker that costs as low as $60 but provides excellent performance and comfort. The soft shoe will aid in the development of foot strength as well as psychological strength and confidence in foot positions. This means that after lengthy climbing workouts, whether in the gym or on extended crag days, your feet will thank you.

This shoe’s value for money, along with its outstanding performance levels, makes it the ideal climbing equipment for climbers of all skill levels. Unfortunately, it is a touch difficult to clean, but it is still worth every penny. Manufacturers appear to have excelled themselves this season with such wonderful footwear, which effectively competes with some of the market’s top names.

4. Tenaya Masai Rock Climbing Shoe

Tenaya Masai Rock Climbing Shoe

Tenaya’s unisex Masai model is an excellent choice for climbing shoes in the mid-price range. When you put these shoes on, rock climbing becomes a less difficult activity. Fragile streaks and micro-edges do not seem so dangerous any longer.

The Masai model is regarded as the most powerful choice in the Tenaya series. If your climbs regularly need you to alter actions or have you standing on thin pockets or tiny edges, it is time to invest in the Tenaya Masai shoes. The Tenaya Masai climbing shoes are not inexpensive, but they are well worth the money.

The Tenaya Masai is a top-notch trad shoe that is ideal for difficult terrain, but it does have a few flaws. Its thin sole, for example, wears out a bit faster than other traditional shoes. Of course, none of this takes the focus away from the outstanding trad shoe’s performance.

5. Five Ten Men’s Rogue VCS Climbing Shoe

Five Ten Men’s Rogue VCS Climbing Shoe

Developing correct footwork and increasing foot strength is essential for extensive gym practice sessions. The Rogue VCS Climbing Shoes for Men by Five Ten are designed with intermediate climbers in mind. The Five Ten Rogue is a climbing shoe with a neutral feel. There are variations for men and women, as well as models with lace and Velcro strap fastenings, all of which are reasonably priced.

Climbers will certainly think this the second they slide into the Rogue VCS: “It is satisfyingly comfortable on day one.” This sneaker has a lot more to offer than just comfort. Yes, it is a piece of equipment with a lot to offer in terms of gripping and split climbing performance.

The Rogue is described as being appropriate for intermediate and advanced climbers who want long-term comfort for longer gym sessions (or out at the crag).

6. Scarpa Men’s Vapor V Climbing Shoe

Scarpa Men’s Vapor V Climbing Shoe

These climbing shoes are a great illustration of what SCARPA does best: making high-performance footwear that looks nice, feels well, and helps climbers.

This is a fantastic intermediate shoe for climbers or boulderers who want to dabble in high-performance climbing footwear.

Scarpa’s Vapor V is a best-seller for a reason: it is a fantastic sneaker. This shoe, designed with a more uneven toe, allows users to cut more on tiny holds, which may make all the impact on all those steeper and harsher trad climbs. With such a comprehensive design aimed at climbing skills, this shoe practically erases the majority of its rivals via pure commitment and innovation.

7.  CLIMBX Crush Lace Rock Climbing Shoe

CLIMBX Crush Lace Rock Climbing Shoe

The Climb X brand is an excellent place to start if you are looking for affordable, beginner climbing shoes. Almost all Climb X Shoe types are significantly less expensive than other brands like La Sportiva or Scarpa, as well as the craftsmanship is superb for the price.

The Climb X Rave shoe is one of the most popular transitional climbing shoes on the market. When compared to other options available, this sneaker is unbelievably affordable at around 45-50 bucks.

All of these qualities enable the Climb X Crush Lace Rock Climbing/Bouldering Shoe to be ideal for indoor and outdoor climbing and bouldering. Overall, this is a nice set of climbing shoes for beginner climbers at an extremely low price. As you continue to climb, these shoes will last a long time.

We would recommend these shoes to someone who wants to attempt climbing but does not wish to invest in a more costly pair. These shoes are excellent for novices at their pricing range and are also really comfy.

8. Butora Acro Comp

Butora Acro Comp

Comp climbing shoes include ultra-soft structures (with hardly any midsole), grippy rubber, and a curved toe for greater spreading ability on volumes. Because of its outstanding fit and build quality, ample rubber regions, and decent edging skills despite its soft makeup, the Butora Acro Comp has gone to the top of this category. It is also far less expensive than many of its immediate competitors, at only $165.

The Gomi is another fascinating option in Butora’s lineup, although its slipper-like feel limits its versatility for vertical cutting and sports climbing.

9. Black Diamond Momentum Climbing Shoes

Black Diamond Momentum Climbing Shoes

The Black Diamond Momentum Climbing Shoes are noted for their affordability and are one of the finest climbing shoes for indoor bouldering. They stand apart from other indoor rock climbing shoes because their top fabric is entirely made of Engineered Knit Technology. Not to add, the mesh fabric gives a great fit right out of the box, as well as exceptional breathability to keep your feet from overheating during a strenuous indoor climbing session.

Because of the molded outsoles with a modest slope, these indoor rock climbing shoes give excellent performance as well as comfort. They also come in a number of colors, allowing you to choose the one that you believe is the most beautiful.

10. La Sportiva Katana Climbing Shoes

La Sportiva Katana Lace Climbing Shoes

You’ve probably noticed the La Sportiva Katana Lace Climbing Shoes around the gym before. But if you haven’t tried them yet or are thinking about purchasing them, stay reading! There is a reason why these indoor rock climbing shoes are so popular. They have a modest downturn for the best balance of comfort and performance. The Vibram XS Edge rubber is also stronger and more durable than other choices, making it ideal for the edge on small supports and toeing in on sharp overhangs.

As previously said, these finest climbing shoes for the gym are really comfy. They have a particular lacing mechanism, as the name implies, that will offer you a tight fit without being excessively stiff or unpleasant.

Guide to purchasing:

To summarize, here are the features to look for in an intermediate climbing shoe:


The most essential point to keep in mind is that fit is key. Rock climbing shoes should be comfortable for the superior, but not painfully close. The perfect shoe allows your toes to gently rotate while avoiding empty spaces between your toes and the end of the shoe since the shoe will not remain rigid once you put your toes on traction. Your heel should also be comfortable to wear.


Different brands will utilize rubbers that have been particularly made for them and have different qualities. Climbing shoes have leather, synthetic, or a mix of the two uppers. Softness, stretch, and breathability are all affected by the material.


There is no such thing as the best climbing shoe closure. Laces are helpful for altering your fit during the day. Perhaps your foot is swelling due to the heat, or perhaps you let them unlaced for warming before tying them firmly for the final submission. Velcro is a very common fastener that allows for simple on and off. A slip-on or slipper type shoe is the simplest to remove, although it may expand slightly over time.


Climbing shoes, with their ideal wet, warm, and dark circumstances, are a microbe’s dream come true. Hence, the upper body structure of your shoes will, on average, determine how unpleasant your shoes smell. 

Ideal weight

If you want to climb fast and hard, every ounce counts, therefore pay attention to the shoe weight when shopping. The top material and rubber thickness will both add to the overall weight.


One of the most important is breathability. If you have ever visited a climbing gym, particularly during the summer, you will notice that they are generally pretty hot and humid places. Shoes that are intended to allow much of that moisture and heat in the air to escape are a huge plus.

Women’s & Low Volume

Women’s feet are somewhat narrower in the midfoot and have a slimmer heel than men’s. Almost every shoe we have featured is also available in a Women’s or Low Volume (LV) variant. If you know you have a thinner foot, regardless of gender, you should definitely try on LV versions of shoes. There aren’t many women’s specialty shoes on the market, and many well-known female climbers use the standard or men’s form in popular shoes.

Symmetry & Downturn

The more the shoe is turned down, the more force is given to the toe. The same may be said about shoes that are asymmetric (the foot is twisted inwards). On tiny holds and overhangs, these twisted-looking shoes are superior for precision. The trade-off is that forcing your foot into these shapes will not feel nice.


Climbers increasingly choose to climb indoors rather than outside. As a result, you will want your indoor rock climbing shoes to be able to withstand all of the scrapings, pulling, and normal wear and tear. No one wants to have to replace their shoes every few months!

Stretch and Stiffness

Any new shoe will stretch out over time and may require some breaking in. When purchasing shoes such as the Scarpa Helix, La Sportiva Finale, or the Mad Rock Drifter, you will receive a discount. The Evolv Defy/Elektra and the Five Ten Anasazi will not have many stretches, so obtain as many as you can. In contrast to linings, leather shoes are usually left unlined.


Rubber is used in climbing shoes, but not all rubber is made equal. Rubber that grips are soft and less durable than rubber that lasts. Rubber has a high friction coefficient yet will not edge. A robust rubber is a better bet for climbers or folks who perform long multi-pitch trad climbs. You should also determine whether the shoe can be resolved. This can help you save money and time down the road by eliminating the need to buy sneakers and split them in. 


The sensitivity of the rocks beneath your shoe refers to how well one can sense it. This is useful for smearing as well as small nubs and particularly awful, rounded footholds.

As a matter of thumb, the softer a sneaker is, the better its sensitivity. Sensitivity helps you to obtain a better feel of the exact form of the footing you are after, which might aid you to distribute your weight and stand on it more effectively. The Skwama or the Vapor V, for example, will have exceptional sensitivity.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. What is the best way to fit my climbing shoes?

This is a highly personal choice. Some old-school climbers would insist on everyone sizing down one or two sizes from their normal shoe size. This is absurd, owing to the lack of size uniformity across climbing shoe manufacturers. Shoes with a leather upper will typically stretch one-half to one size after one break-in period, whereas shoes with synthetic uppers or full linings will extend much less or not at all.

Q. Should I get shoes with velcro, laces, or slip-on?

Lace-up climbing shoes always will provide the fittest flexibility. Laces also add security and keep your shoe from falling off when you jam it into a gap or try forceful heel hooks. Sneakers with velcro straps and slipper-style versions, on the other hand, are considerably easier to put on and take off if you can get a tight enough fit.

Q. What is the “last” of a shoe?

A last is a three-dimensional design or mold on which a shoe is produced that replicates the form of a standard human foot. Every shoemaker employs a variety of lasts to create shoes with varying features such as heels, midsole, toe box width, overall volume, toe profile, and so on.

Q. Is it necessary for me to have my shoes resoled?

Frequent climbers who go outdoors or to the climbing gym minimum twice a month will soon wear the soles of their climbing shoes down. Given that a resole costs $30-50, contrasted to $140-200 for the typical climbing shoe purchase, it is recommended to resole your sneakers at least a couple of times before discarding them.

Q. Should I curl my toes in climbing shoes?

Yes, but not excessively. Your toes should be pushed toward the front of the shoe to form the edging platform, but not too far. If you can notice the knuckles of your two toes peeping through the top right near to your big toe, the shoes are not the appropriate fit.

Q. Is it necessary to use climbing shoes?

Climbing shoes are required if you wish to climb anything other than the most basic routes. They improve your potential to balance on tiny holds and features that would otherwise be hard to access in regular shoes. However, it is completely workable to start with trainers or, better yet, lease some sneakers from your neighborhood wall.

Q. Do you pair your climbing shoes with socks?

In general, no. Climbing shoes are really not intended to accept stockings, which might differ in thickness and substance and so affect the shoe’s performance. However, if you are renting shoes or traveling a long distance in chilly weather, a pair of light socks can be used.