It is easy to love slab climbing as much as it is to hate it. You either find the act of moving carefully and cautiously on a slab an interesting one, or you just hate it for the fear that comes with it.
Whichever end of the divide you find yourself is an understandable one. However, with constant practice, you can master the art of balance and footwork by learning to climb on the slab over a specific period.
Another thing that will help you enjoy slab climbing better is when you use the best slab climbing shoes. Several of these shoes in the market make it difficult for you to figure out which is the best for you. So, the real question to always ask is, what type of climbing shoes work best for slab?
First, What Is a Slab in Rock Climbing
Slab climbing is a type of rock climbing where the rock face is at an angle less steep than vertical. It is characterized by balance-and friction-dependent moves on very small holds. Special techniques such as smearing are necessary to climb slab.
How to Choose Climbing Shoes for Slab
It is not enough to know that shoes play an essential role in slab climbing; you also have to understand how to choose climbing shoes.
While there are several considerations to make, here are the most important that will help you narrow your options and get a good one. If you are looking for a narrow climbing shoes, read our buyer's guide on the best climbing shoes for narrow feet.
The type of rock
One major factor to consider when getting the best slab climbing shoes is the type of rock. You need a shoe with footholds that have small edges when climbing hard or slick rocks like Limestone.
On the other hand, you will need a stiffer shoe that has a rubber when climbing tiny pebbles. Shoes with rubber contact will be the most appropriate for softer rocks like the Gritstone in the UK.
The temperature of the rock
Another factor you need to consider when choosing the best slab climbing shoes is the rock's temperature. If you are climbing slab on a rock with a low temperature, then you can consider getting a rubber shoe.
At this temperature level, rubber shoes can remain compact and rigid. For rocks with high temperatures, you should avoid going for a rubber shoe because it will become very soft. Rubber shoes during high temperature can also make you very uncomfortable and can affect your confidence while climbing the slab.
During the cold, you will notice that they have better friction and less sweat. This is different when the temperature gets high as you will have lousy friction and more sweat.
Notwithstanding these temperature variations, you can enjoy great slab still climbing with your shoes. You can smear on a soft rock during high temperature if there are a decent breeze and relatively low humidity.
Sizing and Fitting of the Climbing Shoes
To climb several smeary slabs, you'd need to get a climbing shoe that fits. Now is not the time to get shoes that are bigger than your legs or rock climbing shoes that are way too tight. You need to provide your feet with all the comfort it can get, and that's why you need to go for a climbing shoe that fits appropriately.
Avoid downsizing your climbing shoes; instead, go for one that provides your feet with adequate comfort so you can smear better. Read our review on the 5 best neutral climbing shoes for all-around climbing
What are the Best Slab Climbing Shoes You Can Buy?
Having said a lot about climbing shoes for slab and what to consider when buying one, let us quickly examine some of the best options available to you.
1) La Sportiva TC Pro Climbing Shoes
Another impressive slab climbing shoes you may want to consider is the TC Pros. These climbing shoes have been rated the best option for hard rocks like the Yosemite granite.
Designed by Tommy Caldwell, these shoes have been used by notable figures like Alex Honnold, among others. The central feature of this shoe is its stiffness, which gives you a firm grip when climbing.
You don't have to worry or get scared that you may slip off and fall any longer if you have these climbing shoes on. It is designed with an XS edge rubber that makes it the perfect option for climbing big walls or slabs where edging is essential.
2) La Sportiva Mythos Climbing Shoe
Are you looking for soft, flexible, and comfortable slab climbing shoes? Then, Mythos is a great option to consider. You can smear perfectly well in these shoes, even on insecure slabs.
The outstanding feature of this shoe is its unlined leather design, which fits in nicely to the shape of your foot. You can also get this shoe for your quiver when traveling to somewhere with soft rocks. When you think flexibility and softness in a shoe, then you are merely thinking Mythos.
3) Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym Climbing Shoe
This list of best slab climbing shoes will be incomplete without making mention of the MoccAsym. This climbing shoe is a classic one for smearing and jamming into cracks. It comes as a flat, soft shoe made from quality leather.
Asides from being a more comfortable option, this is also a best-budget slab climbing shoe. The price to quality ratio of this climbing shoe stands out from others in the market.
If you love white, then you can go for the white synthetic version of the MoccAsym, and you'd pretty well love it. Slab climbing is a great sport that everyone should love and be confident about. The fear that comes with it at the initial stage is understandable, especially for beginners.
Apart from that, another thing that can make you reluctant about it is not finding the best climbing shoes. The shoes provided above are the best slab climbing shoes based on brand, design, and the features they possess.
You can plan a budget around any of the shoes provided above and take your slab climbing experience to a whole new level. A new level where you now have the confidence to climb slabs knowing fully well that your feet are as comfortable as it can get in a shoe.
4) La Sportiva Katana Lace Climbing Shoe
Are you looking for an all-round climbing shoe that you can trust? Then, what you need is the Katana Lace. These shoes are a good option for slab on hard rock provided you do not downsize it, making it too tight for your foot. Read our entire product review about La Sportiva Katana Lace climbing shoes.
This shoe is made from leather, comes very stiff, and can help your foot flex well. You may be going to be in an area where the rock is hard today and another area where it is soft tomorrow.
Getting different slab climbing shoes for these rock types can be costly. Save yourself that cost by getting these all-rounder climbing shoes. Read our review on the top 10 of the best climbing shoes for wide feet.
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