October 18, 2022

The Best Slab Climbing Shoes for Slab Climbing of 2023

by Bernice

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 in 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?


Table of Contents
5 of the Best Slab Climbing Shoes Reviewed
The Best Slab Climbing Shoes for Slab Climbing

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 slabs.

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

Last update on 2023-02-06 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

Another impressive slab climbing shoe 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.

La Sportiva TC Pro climbing shoes are among the favorite climbing shoes that Alex Honnold wears.

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

La Sportiva Mens Mythos ECO Rock Climbing Shoe, Taupe, 11.5
80 Reviews
La Sportiva Mens Mythos ECO Rock Climbing Shoe, Taupe, 11.5
  • 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 Mythos ECO Women's Climbing Shoe, Greenbay, 38
17 Reviews
La Sportiva Mythos ECO Women's Climbing Shoe, Greenbay, 38
  • 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 2023-02-06 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

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 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 of flexibility and softness in a shoe, then you are merely thinking of Mythos.

3) Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym Climbing Shoe

Five Ten Moccasym Shoes Men's, Red, Size 10.5
160 Reviews
Five Ten Moccasym Shoes Men's, Red, Size 10.5
  • 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
Five Ten NIAD Moccasym Climbing Shoes
26 Reviews
Five Ten NIAD Moccasym Climbing Shoes
  • Climbing slippers with do-it-all appeal and an all-day fit.
  • Easy-on, easy-off design for comfort and simplicity.
  • Pull them on for gym training and outdoor routes.

Last update on 2023-02-06 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

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 they can get in a shoe.

4) La Sportiva Katana Lace Climbing Shoe

La Sportiva Men's Katana Lace Climbing Shoe 43.5 M EU (10.5 M US)
9 Reviews
La Sportiva Men's Katana Lace Climbing Shoe 43.5 M EU (10.5 M US)
  • Ideal Terrain: overhanging sport routes, bouldering, gym climbing and technical face climbing
  • Upper: Leather/ Lorica®; Lining: Pacific (forefoot and back)
  • Midsole: 1.1 mm Vibram® XS Edge; Sole: 4mm Vibram® XS Edge™

Last update on 2023-02-06 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

Are you looking for an all-around 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.

How to Choose Climbing Shoes for Slab Climbing?

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 ones that will help you narrow your options and get a good one.

If you are looking for 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 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 a 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 temperatures 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 they 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.

There are different shapes and sizes of climbing slabs. Most hate slabs during climbing because most climbing shoes cannot handle slab climbing well. Friction slabs and Vertical slabs are some common types of slabs.

What Makes a Good Slab Climbing Shoe?

The best slab climbing shoes should allow you to master the smearing skills.

You can stand with all weight of your body on a slab with a width of a tip when you have better slab climbing shoes.

You require strong adhesive properties to handle all types of slabs.

You can get it with the specialized rubber material on the edge of the climbing shoes.

Climbing shoes will perform better when it has the most suitable material.

A stiff sole is better for granite and slab climbing.

You can climb soft rocks fast with soft climbing shoes. Sandstone is a soft rock.

You can get both types of climbing shoes from the market.

It is hard to find which type of climbing shoes will suit you more without testing them.

You can get help from experts because they will guide you about the slab climbing shoes for your feet’s shape.

Your foot shape also affects the type of climbing shoes you need.

Which Slab Climb Is the Hardest in the World?

The Meltdown is the hardest slab climb in the world.

Most climbers consider it the hardest slab climbing because of its slippery surface.

You can estimate the level of difficulty of climbing this wall by the time it took to climb this wall.

People have been trying to climb this wall since the 80s.

The route water bolted in the 80s.

No one could climb it for a long time.

It took more than twenty years before someone climbed this wall.

James McHaffie made the first ascent on this slab climb in 2012.

Banshousha is a boulder slab climbing wall in Japan.

It is also one of the hardest climbing slab walls. Currently, it has a difficulty grade of V13.

Which Climbing Shoes Are Best for Slabs?

Different types of climbing shoes work best for various types of slab walls.

It depends on the rock type of various climbing walls.

You will find smaller footholds on the Yosemite climbing wall or climbing walls of limestone.

These walls also have small pebbles and horizontal cracks.

Climbing shoes with harder rubber and stiff design will help you better in these types of climbing walls. It is better to find soft shoes with flexible toes and soft rubber to climb soft slab walls of sandstone.

In simple terms – hard rubber shoes with stiff designs work better with hard rocks. Soft rocks require soft shoes with flexible rubber.

What’s the Best Temperature for Slab Climbing?

A temperature difference can affect your choice of shoes for slab climbing.

It is due to the effect of temperature change on the climbing shoe rubber.

Rubber can become softer at high temperatures. Lower temperatures can make the rubber harder.

Colder temperature enhances friction between climbing walls and shoes.

Kevin climbed Dawn Wall at night due to the lower temperature.

You can perform smearing better at high temperatures.

You can go for smearing on a hot day because it enhances your chances of climbing a slab wall.

Are La Sportiva Solutions Good on Slab Climbing?

La Sportiva Katana shoes are better for slab climbing because of their less aggressive downturn profile.

Most experts do not recommend using La Sportiva Solutions because it has an aggressive downturn profile.

The downturn is more aggressive and causes pain when you use them for a long time.

Is Slab Climbing Easier?

Slab climbing requires more technical skills.

It is not easy to climb a slab wall because you need to have some experience.

Overhang walls are the most climbing wall.

Slab climbing holds second place.

You can use different techniques in the overhang and slab climbing.

Overhang climbing requires more strength from your core and limb muscles.

Slab climbing tests your mental ability to place the foot in the right place and put a specific amount of pressure.

How Do You Climb Slabs Better?

  • The first step to climbing a slab better is selecting the best slab climbing shoes.
  • You can relax your muscles before starting the slab climb.
  • Keeping heels low will allow you to hold the slab wall better.
  • Keep your hip as close to the wall as possible to adjust your center of gravity.
  • Maintain your balance all the time.

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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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