April 12, 2021

Lace Vs. Velcro Climbing Shoes, the Eternal Debate

by Jullie

Climbing is a pretty straightforward sport. 

It’s not immediately obvious how to choose between Velcro climbing shoes and lace climbing shoes.

Whether to choose lace vs Velcro climbing shoes is a divisive topic, which ultimately comes down to personal preference.

We explain what are laces climbing shoes and Velcro climbing shoes and how to choose between laces vs velcro climbing shoes.


Table of Contents
Climbing Shoes Laces vs Velcro
Lace Vs. Velcro Climbing Shoes, the Eternal Debate

What Are Climbing Shoes?

Climbing shoes are a special type of shoes used for rock climbing.

With an almost flat base, made of a sticky rubber sole, ankle-high, and mimics a real human foot. 

Climbing shoes have variations when it comes to how they’re fastened.

You probably wouldn’t want your shoe slipping when you are high up on a boulder. Stressing, right?

Depending on your preference, you might choose to go for either lace or velcro climbing shoes.

Each type is nice but with some shortcomings.

Lace Vs. Velcro Climbing Shoes, the Eternal Debate

Climbing has pretty much information that climbers are aware of.

Climbing routes have grades.

Arguing about which route is tougher is quantifiable and clear-cut.

But, laces vs velcro climbing shoe information isn’t obvious.

Interestingly, the lace vs velcro climbing shoe topic gets divided attention. Each climber has its go-to style.

Irrespective of their ability and prowess, there are velcro die-hards. 

On the other hand, there is a lot that wants to hear nothing about velcro climbing shoes.

They will always go the lace way.

Velcro tales to them sound like humming.

So, why the divided preference?

Who Should Use Climbing Shoes with Laces?

For a typical laid-back person, this will always be a firm favorite.

Most traditional climbing shoes are laced up.

Whether one is a beginner or a seasoned climber, this might interest you.

However, if you are a beginner, lace-ups would be a great deal.

Laced shoes provide a secure fit as well as support.

This is because micro-fitting is possible with shoelaces.

The fit is easy to adjust.

Loosening and tightening the fit according to the lace length is easy too.

Who Should Use Climbing Shoes with Velcro?

Velcro shoes have a variety of styles.

You can stumble upon the one strap system, the two buckled, or the three buckled type.

The biggest advantage of using the velcro type is the ease of getting them on and off. The catch?

You have almost no control over the fit of the climbing shoes like the laced shoes.

Lace Vs. Velcro Climbing Shoes: How to choose

There are various factors to consider before settling for a specific type. 

1. What Type of Climbing Will You be Doing?

The type of climbing you will be involved in determines whether to go for the lace or velcro climbing shoes.

Many climbers prefer using velcro shoes because of their convenience.

First, the climbers put on aggressive types of climbing shoes.

The shoes have minimal comfort and tend to twist their feet into positions favoring maximum performance.

Maximum performance requires climbers to wear smaller, tight-fitting climbing shoes to minimize movement while increasing sensitivity.

So, getting your velcro shoes is a plus!

Shorter climbing styles require more standing.

So, slipping into your trainers is unheard of.

Do you want to focus on climbing sports or bouldering?

Then, velcro shoes will give you some good service.

So, lace vs velcro climbing shoes, which one should you go for?

For longer rock climbing styles like trad and multi-pitching, you will require shoes that guarantee you maximum comfort for the entire climbing time.

Comfortable rock climbing shoes that you can adjust; loosening or tightening is essential during this type of climbing.

Lace shoes will give you peace of mind.

Zero anxiety about your shoe slipping to the ground!

If you are into crack climbing, then lace-ups would serve you pretty well. 

2. Do You Have Crooked Feet?

If you have funny-shaped feet, then laced shoes are the way to go.

Laced shoes will give you a perfect fit as well as flexibility to your foot area.

There are specific climbing shoes for wide feet.

And if your new rock climbing shoes still don’t fit, there is a way to break in your climbing shoes.

3. What about Children Who Climb?

When you are not interested in performance, the velcro serves you better.

Young children would need someone to tie their laces constantly.

Most likely, the better part of climbing will involve tying laces.

4. The Maintenance

With frequent use, laces are prone to fray and tear.

The good thing is that they are easily replaceable.

Velcro lasts longer than laces.

However, if the teeth on the velcro straps start collecting dirt, the effectiveness is lost.

Climbing shoes – laces vs velcro?

At the end of the day, personal preference outweighs everything.

With a clear picture of the type of climbing, you will be doing, give your best shot.

Is Velcro Better than Laces?

Velcro is a type of fastening that has been used since the late 1940s.

It is a closure that consists of two strips of fabric with small hooks on the surface.

The two pieces are then pressed together and hooked, which creates a seal.

Velcro is often used in place of shoelaces because it is easier to use and more convenient.

Velcro does not require any tying or lacing, which makes it easier for people to put on their shoes or take them off with one hand without assistance from another person.

Velcro also does not require any special skills to tie or lace, so it can be used by people with disabilities or impairments who have difficulty using their hands.

Why Is Velcro Better than Shoelaces?

Velcro is a lot better than shoelaces in many ways.

One of the best things about Velcro is that it doesn’t break easily.

If someone accidentally trips over your shoelaces and pulls them, they will most likely just break and you’ll be left with no laces.

With Velcro, you can just cut them off and have a new pair in no time.

Velcro also has a strong grip on the shoe, so you don’t have to worry about it coming undone or your shoes slipping off when you walk or run.

It’s also easier for people with disabilities to put on their shoes because of this.

Why Do Climbing Shoes Have Two Loops?

Climbing shoes are designed to be worn in a specific way.

They have two loops on the top of the shoe that allow you to adjust the fit by tightening or loosening them.

This is done so that you can create a tight fit around your foot.

This will allow you to get a better grip on surfaces and also improve your balance.

The loops also help keep your feet from slipping out of the shoes while climbing.

How Do You Tie Climbing Shoe Laces?

The most common way to tie climbing shoelaces is the “figure eight” method.

  • Take one lace, and make a loop with it over the other lace.
  • Bring the two ends of the loop together and run them under the other lace, then pull them up through the loop.
  • Pull both ends tight and adjust as necessary.

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About the author 

Jullie

Jullie is a professional indoor climber. She loves speed climbing competitions. This style makes her feel like she's flying. Maybe because her other passion is flying airplanes. Obviously, high speeds are her thing.

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