April 22, 2021

What Are the Best All Around Climbing Shoes in 2023?

by Brad

The world of climbing is constantly evolving, and with it comes new and improved climbing shoes tailored to specific types of rock climbing.

As technology advances, so do the available options for climbers, and it can be difficult to know which shoes are the best for the job.

This blog post will look into the best all around climbing shoes and explore their features, strengths, and weaknesses for women’s and men’s models.

With a better understanding of the available products, climbers can decide what shoes will best meet their needs.

We will examine different aspects of climbing shoes and the features that make them great, such as the type of sole material, the amount of cushioning, and the fit.

We will also take a look at the cost of the shoes and discuss their value for the price.

By the end of this post, readers should better understand the best all-around climbing shoes and be able to make an educated decision.


Table of Contents
Best All Around Climbing Shoes
The Best All-Around Climbing Shoes

List of the 5 Best All-Around Climbing Shoes

1. Scarpa Arpia

SCARPA Men's Arpia Rock Climbing Shoes for Sport Climbing and Bouldering - Black/Red - 11
55 Reviews
SCARPA Men's Arpia Rock Climbing Shoes for Sport Climbing and Bouldering - Black/Red - 11
  • Comfortable Performance | The Arpia features a slight downturn and moderate asymmetry, making it an ideal rock shoe as you transition from a flat profile to a more performance-oriented fit.
  • Z-Strap Closure | Customize the fit by simply adjusting the single hook-and-loop Z-strap, which also makes it easy to get the shoe on and off in seconds.
  • Vibram XS Grip 2 Rubber | Ideal for any rock type and style, the XS Grip 2 rubber is both stiff and sticky, giving you the grip you need for steeper walls and overhanging boulders.
SCARPA Women's Arpia Rock Climbing Shoes for Sport Climbing and Bouldering - Black/Aqua - Low-Volume, Women's Specific Fit - 10
11 Reviews
SCARPA Women's Arpia Rock Climbing Shoes for Sport Climbing and Bouldering - Black/Aqua - Low-Volume, Women's Specific Fit - 10
  • Comfortable Performance | The Arpia features a slight downturn, moderate asymmetry, and a more narrow, women’s-specific last making it an ideal rock shoe as you transition from a flat profile to a more performance-oriented fit.
  • Z-Strap Closure | Customize the fit by simply adjusting the single hook-and-loop Z-strap, which also makes it easy to get the shoe on and off quickly.
  • Vibram XS Grip 2 Rubber | Ideal for any rock type and style, the XS Grip 2 rubber is both stiff and sticky, giving you the grip you need for steeper walls and overhanging boulders.

Last update on 2023-02-07 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

Unlike all the high-performance climbing shoes, the Arpia has a moderate asymmetric and averagely aggressive downturned last.

Even though it offers better precision and control than most beginner shoes, it fails to generate the extreme compression present in more specialized climbing shoes. 

The result is an amazing combination of comfort and climbing performance appropriate for most middle-level climbers.

In tandem with its versatile last, the Arpia climbing shoe has a V-Tension randing mechanism that offers the needed power for climbing without sacrificing comfort in the process. 

The 1.4mm midsole provides much-needed support when standing on tiny edges, and it will still be flexible enough for pulling and smearing on steeper terrains. When it comes to the upper, it is made of soft microsuede and incredibly soft lining. 

his blend develops interior comfort that is virtually unmatched. The integration of the Z-style strap closure mechanism lets you fit easily and make adjustments effortlessly, which is ideal for all types of climbing. The Vibram XS Grip2 rubber is ideal for both rock and plastic. 

Sizing 

Scarpa advises that you downsize from half a size to 2 sizes from your standard shoe size. However, downsizing depends on the shoe version, use, and preference. For mountaineering, you should upsize by half size or more. 

For women

The Arpia’s women version is quite different from the male version. It comes in different colors and has a narrower heel to offer a snug for low-volume feet. 

Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Additional support
  • Extra balance to the midsole

Cons:

  • The sole is not soft enough to smear

2. La Sportiva Miura

La Sportiva Men's Miura Climbing Shoe
65 Reviews
La Sportiva Men's Miura Climbing Shoe
  • 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
La Sportiva Women's Miura Climbing Shoe, White/Jade Green, 38
27 Reviews
La Sportiva Women's Miura Climbing Shoe, White/Jade Green, 38
  • Slingshot rand connected to the powerhinge under the shoe to keep you on edges
  • Speed lacing system for quick lace-ups
  • 8-panel directional lining for channeling stretch

Last update on 2023-02-07 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

The La Sportiva Miura has been serving climbers for the last decade. It has a reputation for being an amazing all-around climbing shoe, and after testing it, we were not disappointed.

Many all-around climbers who prefer to own one pair of climbing shoes go with these. Read our entire La Sportiva Miura VS review, where we look into details.

Beyond all the hype that comes with the Miura, it is a high-performance shoe. It smears, edges, and hooks impressively, and the toe box makes it perfect for sticking inside pockets.

What’s more, it has a rubber that is somewhere between soft and stiff, making it ideal for climbing cracks. 

The La Sportiva makes the women’s Miura using Vibram XS Grip2, which is soft, though less durable. For lighter climbers, this rubber will offer more freedom and, as a result, more friction.

The upper is made of leather which allows it to form into your foot’s shape. The Miura has a three-strap closure system that lets you take off and wear them easily.

Sizing

When it comes to sizing the Miura, like all La Sportiva climbing shoes, these shoes run big. If you’re looking to get the maximum performance from it, size it 1 to 1.5 smaller than your average shoe size.

On the other hand, if you are looking for comfort, go for your standard street shoe size or smaller for maximum comfort. 

For women

Similar to the Katana’s, La Sportiva launched the Miura women’s climbing shoes in 2018. 

Pros:

  • The shoe has a stiffer rubber sole great for outdoor bouldering
  • The shoes are easy to use
  • Great for beginners

Cons:

  • They are not ideal for climbers with wide feet

3. Five Ten Anasazi Pro

Five Ten Men's Anasazi Lace Climbing Shoe,The Pink,3 D US
50 Reviews
Five Ten Men's Anasazi Lace Climbing Shoe,The Pink,3 D US
  • Cowdura Polyester Upper
  • Cotton Textile Lining
  • Form fit heel and stiff midsole for support
Five Ten Anasazi LV Pro Climbing Shoes Women's, Orange, Size 10
  • Medium fit; Hook-and-loop closure
  • Lined synthetic upper for minimal stretch
  • Stealth C4 rubber outsole; Molded Stealth Mi6 toe patch

Last update on 2023-02-07 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

The Anasazi Pro is a flat and stiff all-around climbing shoe that works well in all kinds of climbing adventures, precisely boulders and routes that require tricky edging.

The climbing shoe has a comfy fit and unmatched traction, thanks to the stealth C4 rubber.

The Mi6 toe patch translates to impressive toe hooking and smearing performance. Regardless of its iconic bouldering pedigree, the Anasazi Pro is mostly ideal for vertical routes. 

The company took the previous Anasazi and incorporated a molded Mi6 toe patch, better closing straps, heightened heel tension, and a breathable tongue. Additionally, they got rid of the liner on the upper to come up with the Anasazi Pro. 

This all-around climbing shoe keeps the relatively asymmetric last, somewhat stiff midsole, and stealth C4 rubber. The Mi6 is among the softest compounds purposely created to stick on virtually any surface.

Five Ten only uses Mi6 rubber as an outer sole for just one shoe; the VXi, a specialized tool for overhanging and competition, climbs on smooth surfaces.

Sizing 

To size, the Anasazi pro ideally sizes them down by one size. The climbing shoe has no lining and stretches minimally.

The upper is made of polyester, and the toe cap helps in achieving a comfortable fit. These also reduce the upper’s chances to mold the foot’s intricacies. 

For women

The Anasazi shoe is labeled as a unisex shoe; therefore, these all-around climbing shoes are perfect for women and men. 

 

Pros:

  • They are high-performing climbing shoes
  • The rubber is sturdy and sticky and offers excellent traction on different types of rocks
  • They can handle multiple resoles before deforming or developing holes

Cons:

  • None

4. La Sportiva Katana

La Sportiva Mens Katana Lace Rock Climbing Shoes, Yellow/Black, 6.5
4 Reviews
La Sportiva Mens Katana Lace Rock Climbing Shoes, Yellow/Black, 6.5
  • User profile - Ideal for anyone looking for a high-performance climbing shoe they can wear for any type of climbing — whether it be overhanging sport routes, bouldering, gym climbing or technical face climbing.
  • Breathable & Durable - The combination leather and microfiber upper placed durable leather in high wear areas and microfiber where breathability is needed. The highly breathable tongue works in conjunction with the shoe lining for moisture management
  • Fit & Comfort - Updated heel pattern with narrower heel sole has increased rubber coverage to improve grip while heel hooking. Full length lacing made from recycled raw materials. Updated with two heel pull-tabs.
La Sportiva Womens Katana Lace Rock Climbing Shoes, White/Black, 9.5-10
2 Reviews
La Sportiva Womens Katana Lace Rock Climbing Shoes, White/Black, 9.5-10
  • User profile - Ideal for anyone looking for a high-performance climbing shoe they can wear for any type of climbing — whether it be overhanging sport routes, bouldering, gym climbing or technical face climbing.
  • Breathable & Durable - The combination leather and microfiber upper placed durable leather in high wear areas and microfiber where breathability is needed. The highly breathable tongue works in conjunction with the shoe lining for moisture management
  • Fit & Comfort - Updated heel pattern with narrower heel sole has increased rubber coverage to improve grip while heel hooking. Full length lacing made from recycled raw materials. Updated with two heel pull-tabs.

Last update on 2023-02-07 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

The La Sportiva Katana is an ideal all-around climbing shoe. Why? 

Firstly, this shoe excels on all kinds of terrain, and several features contribute to this: 

  • Smearing, hooking, and edging ability makes it perfect for vertical face and slab climbing.
  • The P3 Midsole, asymmetrical toe box, and aggressiveness are handy in making this climbing shoe perform incredibly in bouldering. The P3 technology keeps this climbing shoe’s sole downturned.
  • The Vibram XS Edge rubber and laces are ideal for crack climbing.

The Katana climbing shoes perform best when it comes to edging on overhanging or vertical terrain. While its build may look quite simple, there is a lot that this shoe has to offer.

This climbing shoe has an asymmetrical last with an average downturn. The sole features a medium stiffness and a prehensile sport beneath the toes.

What this means is that it has increased support in the toes while maximizing sensitivity. Therefore, you will be able to feel everything underneath your feet throughout the entire adventure. 

Sizing 

The upper is made of leather, and it will stretch relatively when you break-in, which is a significant factor to consider when sizing the La Sportiva Katana. 

On the other hand, we found that the normal street shoe size will fit you just right, or half a size down if you are really looking for maximum comfort. 

For women

La Sportiva launched a lot of their most common shoes in women’s versions in 2018. This is because women’s feet are relatively different from men’s feet. Women’s feet are usually low volume compared to men’s feet.

Pros:

  • Impressive edging ability
  • Ideal for steep terrains and crack climbs
  • Suitable for expert climbers
  • The rubber balances sensitivity and control, translating to comfort

Cons:

  • A bit expensive

5. La Sportiva Finale

La Sportiva Womens Finale Rock Climbing Shoes, Clay/Topaz, 9.5-10
  • User profile - Ideal for climbers who prefer comfort above everything else, but still expect a high level of performance when it comes to cracks and edges.
  • Eco Leather Upper - Soft, unlined leather uppers stretch and mold to the contours of your feet for a comfortable, snug fit. Eco Leather utilizes an ecological tanning process free of heavy metals and is biodegradable.
  • Fit & Comfort - Updated Slingshot heel design increases comfort while maintaining fit and performance. Highly breathable padded mesh tongue with wicking cotton lining supports all-day comfort. Full length lacing made from recycled raw materials. Microfiber lacing harness provides tear resistance to lacing eyelets. Updated with two heel pull-tabs.

Last update on 2023-02-07 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

Here we have yet another shoe from La Sportiva – the La Sportiva Finale. This all-around climbing shoe features uppers with unlined leather.

Typically, the upper part is made using leather which offers you more durability compared to a synthetic one. The leather also guarantees easy comfort and fit. 

The 5mm XS edge rubber on the outer sole is ideal for excellent grip. The La Sportiva Finale’s outsole is among the best in the market. The durability and grip are worth purchasing.

The power hinge lets this all-around climbing shoe simply stretch half of the shoe in the back when it’s weighed. This leaves the toes unmoved on the rock’s surface. Additionally, the La Sportiva Finale climbing shoes are extremely comfortable.

After testing it several times, we realized that thanks to features such as a power hinge and the tensioned heel rand for superior edging ability and friction, which is essential for safe climbing. These features also make sure you are highly comfortable. 

Sizing 

Considering that these all-around climbing shoes are made using unlined leather, it is essential to remember that they will eventually stretch and form your foot’s shape.

Therefore, based on our tests, you will not need to downsize a lot to achieve a comfy fit. Try out 0.5 downsize from your normal shoe size, and reduce till its fits. 

For women 

Similar to all La Sportiva climbing shoes in this review, the La Sportiva Finales for women was released in 2018.

It comes in a pleasant grey color, and it will surely be comfortable for your low-volume feet. Read our full review of La Sportiva Finale climbing shoes.

Pros:

  • They are durable and will last a long time
  • Ideal for beginners and intermediate-level climbers
  • Affordable
  • Versatile

Cons:

  • Not suitable for bouldering

Best All Around Climbing Shoes Buying Guide

Now that you already know the best all-around climbing shoes, it is also essential to know what to consider when buying these shoes.

Continue reading to find out more.

1. Evaluate your climbing style

Evaluating your climbing style is essential in selecting the best all-around climbing shoes.

Consider the type of climbing you do most, what type of terrain you encounter most often, and what types of holds you favor.

Do you favor overhangs and aggressive edging?

Are you doing mainly sport or trad climbing?

Knowing your style will help you make an informed decision when selecting a shoe.

Once you understand your climbing style better, you can start looking for a shoe that meets your needs.

2. Consider the comfort of the all-around climbing shoe

Regarding the best all-around climbing shoes, comfort should be a key consideration.

Not only do climbing shoes need to provide grip and sensitivity for complex routes, but they should also be comfortable enough for a long day of climbing.

Look for shoes with a roomy toe box and a medium-stiff midsole; these features provide the support and protection you need without compromising sensitivity.

Cushioning in the heel and arch areas should also be considered when looking for the best all-around climbing shoes.

3. Look at the grip of the all-around climbing shoe

When looking for the best all-around climbing shoes, it is essential to consider their grip.

An excellent all-around climbing shoe should provide a good balance of grip and comfort, making it suitable for various terrain.

The rubber used on the climbing shoe should be high quality and have the right balance of stickiness to ensure it will grip various surfaces.

Additionally, the shape and fit of the shoe should be considered, as a shoe with too much grip can be uncomfortable and cause excessive wear on foot, while one with too little grip can be slippery.

4. Understand the materials used in the all-around climbing shoe

Consider the materials when shopping for the best all-around climbing shoes.

The upper material should provide support and breathability, and the sole should be durable and offer the right amount of stiffness for the type of climbing you’ll be doing.

Look for shoes with Vibram rubber outsoles, which are known for their excellent stickiness and durability.

Leather uppers are often the most comfortable, but synthetic materials may also be an option.

Ultimately, the best all-around climbing shoe will depend on your individual needs.

5. Consider the closure system of the climbing shoe

The shoe’s closure system should be considered when considering the best all-around climbing shoes.

Different closure systems may be more suitable for you, depending on the activity you plan to engage in.

For example, a slipper-style shoe is best for comfort and convenience and is typically used for bouldering and sport climbing.

Lace-up shoes are better for long multi-pitch routes, as they provide more support and a more secure fit.

Velcro shoes are a good compromise between the two, providing a secure fit and convenience.

Ultimately, the best all-around climbing shoes should provide a secure fit and appropriate support for your needs.

6. Assess the shape of the rock climbing shoe

One of the most important aspects to consider when shopping for the best all-around climbing shoes is the shoe’s shape.

The shoe’s shape is essential for many reasons, including its support, the amount of edging and smearing it allows, and the comfort it provides.

Flat, downturned, and asymmetrical climbing shoe shapes are the most commonly used.

Flat shoes provide comfort but lack support, while downturned and asymmetrical shoes provide the most support but can be uncomfortable.

By assessing the shape of the rock climbing shoe and determining which shape works best for your needs, you can ensure you choose the best all-around climbing shoe for your style of climbing.

7. Consider the price of the all-around climbing shoe

When considering the best all-around climbing shoes, it is essential to consider the shoe’s price.

Generally, the more expensive the shoe is, the better quality it will be.

However, there is a wide range of prices and quality levels, so it is essential to find the right balance of quality and price.

You should be willing to pay a bit more for a shoe that will last longer and provide a better performance, but you should also be careful not to go too far and buy a shoe that is way too expensive for your budget.

Compare prices across different brands to find the best one for your needs.

8. Look for any special features

When finding the best all-around climbing shoes, you should also look for any special features that might set them apart from other models.

A good example is the Vibram XS Edge rubber sole, which provides excellent grip and climbing stability.

Additionally, some shoes feature extra padding in the heel and forefoot for increased comfort and padding.

Additionally, some feature adjustable lacing systems for a secure fit and breathable fabric to keep your feet cool and comfortable while you climb.

9. Research user reviews

Before purchasing your best all-around climbing shoes, you must research user reviews.

Look for customer feedback from those who have purchased the same shoes you are considering.

This allows you to determine the quality and customer satisfaction with the product.

User reviews also provide insight into the shoes’ durability, performance, and comfort.

Pay attention to customer reviews that discuss customer service, as well as any other product-related issues.

Evaluating user reviews is crucial in selecting the best all-around climbing shoes for your needs.

10. Consider the durability of the all-around climbing shoe

Durability should be considered when selecting the best all-around climbing shoe.

All-around climbing shoes are designed to provide a balance between edging and smearing capabilities, so they need to be able to handle a wide range of terrain.

The outsole material should be durable enough to withstand the stresses of edging, and the shoe should have a snug fit to provide extra support.

Additionally, the upper material should be durable to avoid premature wear and tear.

If you’re looking for an all-around shoe that will last, make sure you check the quality of the materials used in the construction.

11. Consider high-quality rubber 

This feature is quite apparent since an all-around climbing shoe that will do well in all types of climbing requires a high-quality rubber with the ability to work in different situations.

As seen, most of the climbing shoes in this review feature either Stealth C4 or Vibram XS Edge compound.

They are somewhere between stiff and soft, which is why they are ideal for various terrains and rock types. 

12. Consider a moderate last 

An aggressive last is ideal for overhang terrain and bouldering.

On the other hand, neutral last is comfier and better for edging and smearing.

When searching for an all-around climbing shoe, go for one with a moderate last since it will perform well in both situations. 

13. Consider the closure system for the all-around rock climbing shoes

Velcro strap shoes don’t usually perform impressively well in crack climbing like the slipper style or climbing shoes with laces. 

Conclusion: Which Are the Best All-Around Climbing Shoes?

Our top pick is the La Sportiva Miura which has been in the market for more than a decade.

It smears, hooks, and edges well.

Additionally, the upper is made of leather which allows it to form into your foot’s shape. 

It is made using Vibram XS Grip2, which is extremely soft.

That said, you should try them out sometime!

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About the author 

Brad

Brad is a professional climber in the discipline of traditional climbing. He often jokes that he can get a book to read during the long climbs. Of course, it always goes well with a good cup of coffee. Drinking coffee is his safer hobby.

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