October 12, 2022

Best Neutral Climbing Shoes for Maximum Comfort

by Bernice

The downturn profile level is one of the best ways to classify climbing shoes. You can categorize them into Aggressive, Moderate, and Neutral groups. Shoes in each category have some advantages.

We will discuss the 5 best neutral climbing shoes.

You can identify the neutral category climbing shoes due to their flat profile.

Most beginner climbers use these shoes due to their high comfort level.

Climbers who specialize in high wall climbing also prefer neutral climbing shoes because they have to wear them for a long time.

Whenever you want to have an interface between rocks and your legs, you ought to look for the best neutral climbing shoes.

Your climbing shoes should be of the right fit that will not leave you behind from swift rock climbing.

Rocking climbing shoes provide you with that interface for a convenient climb.


Table of Contents
Best Neutral Climbing Shoes
Best Neutral Climbing Shoes for Maximum Comfort

What Are Neutral Climbing Shoes?

Neutral climbing shoes provide overall comfort, an all-day, and a relaxed fit. They permit the toe placement flat within the shoes. This makes the shoe neutral and convenient. 

They make good beginner shoes for climbing.

Even experienced climbers find themselves taking a comfortable climb with these neutral shoes.

They are great as all-day comfy shoes for multi-pitch and long climbs.

Top 5 Neutral Climbing Shoes

When you go to the market, you will get hundreds of options to buy climbing shoes.

Some may try to tell you to use moderate downturn climbing shoes because they will give better support.

You can research before going to the market to ensure you have all the information you need to select climbing shoes.

You can look at the 5 best neutral climbing shoes from this list to learn what to look for in neutral climbing shoes.

Scarpa Force V

SCARPA Men's Force V Rock Climbing Shoes for Gym and Sport Climbing - Mangrove/Papaya - 9.5-10
66 Reviews
SCARPA Men's Force V Rock Climbing Shoes for Gym and Sport Climbing - Mangrove/Papaya - 9.5-10
  • All-Day Comfort | A flat profile and passive last make the Force V the perfect climbing shoe for beginner climbers who don’t want to sacrifice comfort for performance.
  • Relaxed Heel Construction | Relieving pressure on your Achilles tendon, the relaxed heel design lets you climb all day without having to remove your shoes after every climb.
  • Vibram XS Edge Rubber | Offering superb support, the XS Edge rubber is stiff, consistent, and durable — ideal for climbers learning the nuances of foot placements.
SCARPA Women's Force V Rock Climbing Shoes for Gym and Sport Climbing - Low-Volume, Women's Specific Fit - Ice Fall/Mandarin Red - 9.5
24 Reviews
SCARPA Women's Force V Rock Climbing Shoes for Gym and Sport Climbing - Low-Volume, Women's Specific Fit - Ice Fall/Mandarin Red - 9.5
  • All-Day Comfort | A flat profile and passive last make the Force V the perfect climbing shoe for beginners climbers who don’t want to sacrifice comfort for performance.
  • Relaxed Heel Construction | Relieving pressure on your Achilles tendon, the relaxed heel design lets you climb all day without having to remove your shoes after every climb.
  • Vibram XS Edge Rubber | Offering superb support, the XS Edge rubber is stiff, consistent, and durable — ideal for climbers learning the nuances of foot placements.

Last update on 2023-02-05 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

Expert climbers believe it is the most comfortable climbing shoe on the market. Two factors enhance the comfort level of these climbing shoes.

The tongue of these shoes has a padded mesh to prevent stress on your toes. It also protects your heel because of foam re-enforcement at the heel area of the shoes.

You can start your climbing career with these shoes because they will help you reach your climbing goals without putting stress on your feet.

It has a thin midsole to enhance sensitivity. You can feel the rock beneath your feet when wearing Scarpa Force V.

A stronger hold on the edges is one of the excellent features of these shoes. It is due to Vibram XS Edge rubber.

La Sportiva Mythos

La Sportiva Mythos ECO Women's Climbing Shoe, Greenbay, 39.5
17 Reviews
La Sportiva Mythos ECO Women's Climbing Shoe, Greenbay, 39.5
  • Ideal terrain: Crack climbing, face climbing and big walls
  • La Sportiva ECO rubber outsole obtained by recycling rubber used during the production process at the La Sportiva factory with no sacrifice in performance
  • The patented Mythos lacing system allows for fine-tuned adjustments and a precise fit. Click HERE for Mythos lacing instructions.
La Sportiva Mens Mythos ECO Rock Climbing Shoe, Taupe, 10.5-11
80 Reviews
La Sportiva Mens Mythos ECO Rock Climbing Shoe, Taupe, 10.5-11
  • 95% of the components come from recycled materials (soles, laces, webbing, tongue padding) and contribute to a reduced environmental impact (metal free tanning, biodegradable leather, water-based adhesives).
  • La Sportiva Eco-Rubber outsole obtained by recycling the rubber used during the production process at the La Sportiva factory, with no sacrifice in performance
  • The patented Mythos Lacing System allows for fine-tuned adjustments and a precise fit

Last update on 2023-02-05 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

These are the best neutral profile climbing shoes to climb a slab route. They are perfect for all-day comfort due to their excellent design.

There are no issues of cracks in these shoes. Choosing these shoes will give you versatility as you can climb most types of climbing routes.

You will not get excellent performance from these shoes because the company focuses on comfort. You can climb a long wall that takes days to climb wearing these shoes.

If you want to protect nature, Mythos is your best option. The company makes 95 percent of the parts for the shoes from recycled materials.

Butora Altura

Sale
Butora Altura Wide Fit Climbing Shoe - Men's Green 8
8 Reviews
Butora Altura Wide Fit Climbing Shoe - Men's Green 8
  • DURABLE AND RELIABLE OUTSOLE - Butora's own NEO Fuse sticky rubber
  • HIGH-QUALITY MATERIAL - Superior German leather and hemp lining prevent shoe stretch and prevent odor
  • LACING - Lacing with an outer sheet and inner dyneema-like core for durability, polyurethane strip around lacing to prevent tearing of upper material

Last update on 2023-02-05 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

Butora company is not as famous as La Sportiva or Scarpa. The Altura shoes will give you more comfort than many other shoes from famous companies.

These are the best shoes if you want high durability. These shoes will give you comfort without sacrificing performance.

People with wide feet can also try Altura because it can adjust to the shape of your feet. There is enough room in the shoes to move your toes comfortably.

It will help you feel the rock beneath your shoes. You can use them at the beginning of your climbing career to save money because you will not need to replace them for a long time.

Black Diamond Momentum

Black Diamond Mens Momentum Lace Climbing Shoes, Black-Anthracite, 8.5
459 Reviews
Black Diamond Mens Momentum Lace Climbing Shoes, Black-Anthracite, 8.5
  • Neutral, flat last for vertical climbing or all-day comfort
  • Updated midsole for improved edging ability
  • Lace entry for fit adjustability?
Black Diamond Womens Momentum Lace Climbing Shoes, White-Alloy, 8.5
80 Reviews
Black Diamond Womens Momentum Lace Climbing Shoes, White-Alloy, 8.5
  • Neutral, flat last for vertical climbing or all-day comfort
  • Updated heel rubber geometry for consistent tension
  • Women’s specific last provides customized fit

Last update on 2023-02-05 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

It is an excellent shoe with a balance of comfort and performance. You can go bouldering with these shoes, also.

A few neutral profile climbing shoes perform better in bouldering because you need to reach the top before others. Most climbing shoes give edge support but lose sensitivity.

It is not the case with the Black Diamond Momentum because it gives you excellent sensitivity with a stiff midsole.

You can handle edge climbing with these shoes perfectly. It has tow hooks and loop closures to fit the shoes better. A thick sole of 4mm is another feature of these shoes.

Evolv Defy

Evolv Defy Lace Climbing Shoes 2021 - Men's Fog Gray/Banana 8.5
5 Reviews
Evolv Defy Lace Climbing Shoes 2021 - Men's Fog Gray/Banana 8.5
  • The Defy Lace is ideal for climbers that want to start or have experience. Built to have performance without sacrificing comfort
  • Unlined, Perforated Leather Upper, Asymmetric profile
  • MX-P : 1 mm full length midsole, 4.2mm TRAX SAS Rubber outsole

Last update on 2023-02-05 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

It is the best-selling climbing shoe with a neutral profile. You can get high-level comfort in Evolv Defy because these shoes are flexible.

The company designed these shoes for beginners because the company focuses on comfort without sacrificing performance.

These shoes will not produce a smell as they have antimicrobial features. Defy has a synthetic upper. It has a durable sole.

You can save money because there is no need to resole your climbing shoes soon. High durability is due to the 4.2mm thick sole.

Why Use Neutral Climbing Shoes?

We do not suggest you go on a hike with neutral climbing shoes but doing it will not hurt your feet.

It is due to the high level of comfort of the neutral climbing shoes.

The most crucial feature of these shoes is a flat profile.

There is no need to curl your toes to fit these shoes because they fit the natural shape of your feet.

When you wear neutral climbing shoes, your feet need more support to hold the weight of your body.

The stiff sole of these climbing shoes will help you with that.

Beginners prefer these shoes due to their stiff construction style.

Professional climbers also use neutral climbing shoes when climbing a long wall.

Aggressive design can injure your feet when you use them for a long time.

It is not the case with neutral climbing shoes.

Aggressive or moderate climbing shoes can handle overhangs better because curved shoe ends will fit inside a small place.

You cannot do the same with the neutral climbing shoes making it hard to climb overhangs.

What to Look for When Selecting Climbing Shoes?

1) Consider the type of the climbing shoe

Select from aggressive, moderate, to neutral climbing shoes based on the climbing you are looking forward to.

2) Consider the features of the climbing shoe

Straps, rubber, laces, and linings are primary features to look for in a climbing shoe as they offer performance to a climbing shoe.

3) Consider the fit of the climbing shoe

Your climbing shoes should offer you a snug fit to your leg without any pain.

A suitable fit for your climbing shoe shall aid you in a convenient climb even for a longer and more challenging climb.

If you happen to have wide feet, we have created a guide for the best climbing shoes for wide feet.

Neutral Climbing Shoe Advantages

  • Offers comfort all day long
  • Thick, stiff, or medium midsoles
  • Its flat profile offers them to slot into cracks easily
  • Provides good support during your climb

Neutral Climbing Shoe Disadvantages

  • Comfort and relaxation aspects are not quite suitable for tough overhanging paths.
  • Stiff/thick shoe soles are not as sensitive compared to the thin shoe soles, which you get on aggressive and moderate climbing shoes.

Neutral vs. Aggressive vs. Moderate Climbing Shoes

Aggressive shoes are best for performance.

They have a steep downturn in the shoe design to allow shoes to hold your weight on the overhangs.

You can use them for a short time during climbing challenges.

These shoes can put a lot of stress on your feet due to extreme fitting.

It is unsuitable for spending a long time in these shoes.

Moderate climbing shoes are better for you when you want comfort and performance.

The downturn is less steep in these shoes.

It has a medium-thickness sole to help you climb comfortably.

Medium-profile shoes offer better sensitivity than neutral climbing shoes.

Neutral shoes are comfortable because beginners can wear them the entire day while practicing.

They can stretch to adjust the growing feet muscles of the climbers.

These are perfect to wear for a long time.

What Makes Neutral Climbing Shoes Good for Beginners?

For a beginner as a climber, you would like to select rock climbing shoes that are of a neutral climbing type.

The shoes are equipped with flatter soles, which let your toes be flat when wearing them.

What Are the Unique Features of Neutral Climbing Shoes?

1) Flat profile

Symmetry and flat shoe soles are the primary and best features of a neutral climbing shoe.

These two aspects offer a design that lets your foot lay flat or in its natural placement even during your ascent.

The convenience and comfort associated with neutral shoes are ideally suitable for anyone who aspires to be a climber or go climbing.

During multi-pitched and long routes, these shoes help experienced climbers by rending utmost comfort in the climb.

2) Closure

Neutral shoes have variant types of closure, from Velcro to laces to slip-on to slippers.

Laces permit the climber to get a personalized and accurate shoe fit.

Slip-on provides an elastic upper which cuddles the foot of the user, thus providing a snug fit.

Velcro shoes provide comfortable wearing, adjustability, and quick removal with the help of a single or many hook-n-loop Velcro straps.

3) Support

A stiff midsole is provided for some neutral climbing shoes, but some come with a softer sole.

More rigid shoes are perfect for newbies as they offer support to them.

This way, they can stand comfortably on tiny nubbins or minor edges.

A soft sole is perfect for climbers aiming to smear in a send attempt.

Therefore, it is good for the climber to understand the climbing style that you shall use before purchasing a neutral climbing shoe with soft or stiff soles.

4) Grip/Hold

Sticky rubber outsoles offer traction in a neutral climbing kick.

A climber attains a secure and safe foothold with the grip provided by these outsoles on rocky terrain.

4-5 mm is the sole thickness of the majority of the climbing neutral shoes.

The sole thickness provides durability during the climb conditions.

Which Are the Most Popular Neutral Climbing Shoe Brands?

La Sportiva

The La Sportiva brand offers neutral climbing shoes with the following features.

  • Apt for both newbies and experienced enthusiasts in climbing.
  • Offer sticky Vibram shoe soles that provide secure hold and grip in tiny rocky terrains.
  • Ideally, it is made for crack climbs because of its flat profile that permits your toes to remain in their natural position on tight enclosures.
  • La Sportiva has some of the best climbing shoes for women.

Five Ten

Five Ten offers neutral climbing shoes with the following features.

  • Provide comfort due to its neutral shape.
  • Primarily for a beginner to pair comfort and versatility to improve their skills.
  • They are used for sporty pathways by experienced climbers.
  • Has a Stealth C4 rubber outsole, which provides grip and durability on smaller edges.

Black Diamond

Black Diamond offers neutral climbing shoes with the following features.

  • Apt for both newbies and experienced enthusiasts in climbing.
  • They are used for sporty pathways by experienced climbers.
  • Apt for both newbies and experienced enthusiasts in climbing.

Final Thoughts on the Best Neutral Climbing Shoes

Best neutral climbing shoes offer a flat profile that helps in an easy climb.

It also helps in eliminating any pain that is linked to aggressive or moderate shoes.

It enables the newbie climbers to focus on their climbing skills and relax during the climb. 

Experienced climbers looking for comfort in their climb can optimize shoe usage for multi-pitched and long climbs.

Rock climbing neutral shoes offer an advantage to both beginners and experienced climbers in their way during the climb.

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About the author 

Bernice

Bernice often jokes that she is better at climbing than walking. With avid parents of climbing, her first encounter with the high vertical rock walls was at the age of one. Her favorite style of climbing is bouldering.

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