April 15, 2021

What Are the Most Durable Climbing Shoes This Year (2023)?

by Roger

Climbing enthusiasts know the importance of having the right gear for their outdoor adventures.

One of the essential pieces of equipment for any climber is their shoes.

Without proper footwear, climbers risk losing grip and injuring themselves, so investing in high-quality, durable shoes is crucial.

With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right pair.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the most durable climbing shoes this year.

Our team of experts has extensively researched and tested dozens of climbing shoes to determine which ones stand up to the toughest outdoor conditions.

We considered durability, comfort, traction, and overall performance.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, our list features options for all skill levels and preferences.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the most durable climbing shoes of the year and provide a detailed breakdown of each one.

So, let’s delve into the review without further ado, followed by a comprehensive buying guide.


Table of Contents
Most Durable Climbing Shoes
What Are the Most Durable Climbing Shoes This Year?

List of the 5 Most Durable Climbing Shoes

We will review the five most durable climbing shoes according to our tests and information research on the internet.

  1. La Sportiva TC Pro
  2. La Sportiva Tarantulace
  3. La Sportiva Miura
  4. Five Ten Anasazi VCS
  5. Evolv Defy

1. La Sportiva TC Pro

Last update on 2023-09-27 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

At the top of our list is the La Sportiva TC which is the perfect definition of durable climbing shoes. So, do they live up to their reputation? Yes. We tested them out on multiple climbing expeditions on various terrains, and they did not disappoint.

These shoes can certainly take a beating. They are specifically designed for specific terrain utilization, and they are the best in terms of durability.

They will edge excellently even after hammering them multiple times, and the leather on the upper side is strong enough to endure a lot of abuse.

We used our pair on different types of terrain, and they performed impressively. The XS Edge rubber gives them an ideal combination of robustness and performance.

The rubber is relatively stiffer, translating to the shoes’ great edging and durability. This stiffness might sacrifice sensitivity, but overall they are great shoes.

If you like climbing hard and long trad routes, these are the shoes to go for. While there are other more affordable climbing shoes in the market, they will essentially compromise some key areas.

La Sportiva TC Pro Pros:

  • The soles provide lots of support which aids in reducing fatigue
  • The toe box has considerable rand rubber, which generates friction that’s handy in smearing
  • The sole is durable since it does not deform under pressure
  • The heel-toe cams are helpful due to the sole’s stiffness

La Sportiva TC Pro Cons:

  • The stiffness sacrifices sensitivity

2. La Sportiva Tarantulace

La Sportiva Tarantulace Climbing Shoe - Men's Olive/Tiger 39
  • Quick pull lacing harness that delivers a snug precise fit
  • Durable FriXion RS rubber compound for great grip and durability
  • Lined tongue for moisture management
La Sportiva Women's TarantuLace Rock Climbing Shoe, Turquoise, 36.5
  • Quick pull lacing harness that delivers a snug precise fit
  • Lined tongue for moisture management

Last update on 2023-09-26 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

The La Sportiva Tarantulance has a toe box that is quite comfortable. The tensioned heel rand reduces motion in the heel and offers your foot a secure fit. On the heel’s exterior, the shoes feature a lot of rubber which offers a decent grip.

Like all novice climbing shoes that put versatility and comfort in front of everything else, the Tarantulance marginally sacrifices performance.

They have 5mm FriXion RS rubber, which is a thicker and more robust rubber. It lessens sensitivity yet makes the shoe more solid, which is why it is excellent for beginners. 

For this reason, these shoes make edging easier, an essential skill for novices to learn. Like the TC Pros, these shoes will indeed last a long time. We climbed with them several times through multiple terrains, and they still edged perfectly. 

The outer leather works excellently, considering all the abuse we put it through. The FriXion rubber is the perfect combination of sturdiness and performance.

Overall they may be somewhat less durable than our top pick, which is stiffer. If you are interested in these climbing shoes, read our full La Sportiva Tarantulace review.

La Sportiva Tarantulace Pros:

  • Extremely comfy
  • Secure fit
  • Great at edging
  • The outer leather is quite resilient

La Sportiva Tarantulace Cons:

  • A little bit pricey

3. La Sportiva Miura

La Sportiva Miura Climbing Shoe - Men's Lime 42
  • 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 2023-09-27 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

The Miura climbing shoes are made using leather on the upper part, making them flexible enough to form your foot’s shape. When it comes to closure, these shoes feature a Velcro strap mechanism that enables you to wear and take them off quickly.

These climbing shoes are designed utilizing La Sportiva’s P3 technology. This allows them to keep their shape even after using them for a long time, and almost all La Sportiva’s high-quality shoes are made using this technology.

The Miura VS is well-known for its durability and builds quality. They have an impressive balance of durability and sensitivity.

They feature a thick rubber on the toes, making it hard to feel the small things you could be standing on while climbing. But these shoes are an exception since even with this rubber patch, it is possible for you to feel what you’re stepping on.

Edging and precision go together, and the La Sportiva Miura features accurate precision on any rock. The downturned and asymmetrical toe box allows your big toe to be comfortable.

These climbing shoes’ build will enable you to have specific placement on various footholds, and the rubber gives you a secure stick on that hold.

La Sportiva Miura Pros:

  • Great at edging
  • A flexible, high-performance climbing shoe
  • Excellent balance of sensitivity and sturdiness
  • The velcro strap closing mechanism makes them easy to wear and take off

La Sportiva Miura Cons:

  • They are not ideal for climbers with wide feet

4. Five Ten Anasazi VCS

Five Ten Anasazi VCS Mesa/Black/White 11
  • Unbeatable Grip: Stealth C4 sole for unbeatable grip.
  • Edging Performance: Tension transfer from the heel to the forefoot provides edging performance on even the smallest of holds.
  • Outstanding Comfort: The unlined Microfiber upper guarantees out-of-the-box comfort and easier breaking in.
Five Ten Women's Anasazi LV Climbing Shoe
146 Reviews

Last update on 2023-09-26 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

The Five Ten Anasazi climbing shoes are not among the fanciest climbing shoes, but they are durable. On the other hand, their design is specific and properly executed.

The “Cowdura” wraps on your foot with one swath on either side, leading to minimal seams and easy change from rand to upper.

When it comes to durability, these shoes held up exemplary well to all the tests we put them through, from multi-pitch climbing to crack jamming. Besides, after all these tests, their seamless upper parts have no signs of wearing.

The Cowdura leather is quite resilient, and the laces can handle numerous resoles before having holes on the upper or losing their fantastic shape.

However, similar to most shoes, they soften after some time, becoming comfier for smearing and less reliable for edging.

The Onyxx rubber is solid and durable, which is what you need for edging. With the rubber being 5mm thick, the soles are pretty insensitive, meaning they will last long. Read our comprehensive Five Ten Anasazi VCS review.

Five Ten Anasazi VCS Pros:

  • They are high-performing climbing shoes
  • The Cowdura maintains the durability of the 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

Five Ten Anasazi VCS Cons:

  • They are not easy to get on or off

5. Evolv Defy

Sale
EVOLV Defy Lace Climbing Shoes - Men's Fog Gray/Banana 8.5
10 Reviews
EVOLV Defy Lace Climbing Shoes - 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 2023-09-27 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

The Evolve Defy rock climbing shoes are pretty durable; when we tested them, we found that even though they could not handle a lot of hammering, they could last you as long as a year or two of regular climbing.

Some clients complain about these shoe durability, but this is because they purchase a size 1.5 down from their standard street shoe size.

The Evolv Defy climbing shoes do not stretch lengthwise; therefore, they will feel a bit uncomfortable. Also, over time, the toes will create holes in the shoes.

On the other hand, if you do purchase the right size, these climbing shoes are durable.

They are quite comfortable since they have a flat-toe box and sole making them feel like slippers, minus the soft lining. You can wear them for long hours while climbing and not hurt your feet.

Evolv Defy Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Versatile

Evolv Defy Cons:

  • Average performance

What to Look for When Buying the Most Durable Climbing Shoes?

Now that you know the most durable climbing shoes, it is essential that you understand how we came about these pairs specifically.

1) Price 

Pricier climbing shoes typically mean better features.

For instance, beginners need to purchase cheaper shoes that will meet their needs instead of expensive professional ones.

Moderate and professional climbers will most likely know what they need to look for and buy according to their interests and level of skills.

These will most likely be more expensive than beginner shoes.

2) Fit 

It would be best if you started with your street shoe size.

The climbing shoes are supposed to be fitting but not too comfy that they leave enough space to curl your toes.

This will allow for maximum hold on any surface.

For outdoor climbers, comfy shoes that are ideal for crack climbing would be better.

For steeper terrain, tighter shoes featuring an aggressive downturn would be best since they offer more sensitivity.

3) Rubber quality 

Rubber is essential for your climbing abilities, mostly on steeper terrains.

Also, there is a compromise between the durability and stickiness of the rubber.

A tackier rubber offers you additional contact with rough topography and speeds up the process of wearing out.

This means that your shoes` lifespan will be reduced.

4) Shape 

Here are the three types of shoes according to shape;

Flat/neutral 

Flat or neutral climbing shoes are best for beginner climbers.

The flat design is also a perfect fit for multi-pitch climbers who prefer climbing for long periods.

Moderate 

Moderate climbing shoes have the toe box relatively angled downwards.

This makes it easy for you to edge, smear, and hook because the rand will easily fit into smaller pockets and cracks.

Aggressive

Aggressive shoes feature an extremely downturned shape, meaning they are not comfortable enough to wear for a long time since they are uncomfortable.

On the other hand, they make steep terrains an easy task since they boost the edging ability to feel confident while climbing.

5) Weight

If you were to buy climbing shoes with thick rubber, your feet would feel heavy throughout the adventure.

On the other hand, lighter climbing shoes translate to sensitivity since there is a little layer in the rand, meaning you will have to feel the smaller surfaces.

6) Closure systems

Here are the three different closure mechanisms;

Lace model

Lace models offer the most adjustment though they take a long time to fit.

But, for a challenging climb, you may better your performance by tightening them some more.

Velcro model

These are easy to wear and take off, which is why they are ideal for indoor climbing and bouldering.

They offer enough room for climbers to adjust the tension in the toe box.

Here is our comparison between velcro and laces rock climbing shoes.

Slip-on model

Slip-on models feature the most versatile closure mechanism and provide the best sensitivity on small surfaces.

On the other hand, the best fit will be impacted because there is no other way to modify your shoe’s tightness without laces or straps.

Most Durable Climbing Shoes FAQ

We will answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding the most durable climbing shoes on the internet.

What are the key features of a durable climbing shoe?

The key features of a durable climbing shoe include a sturdy and stiff sole for support and stability, a durable upper material to withstand abrasion and wear, a snug fit for precise foot placement and control, and a design that allows for good grip and traction on various surfaces.

Additionally, a climbing shoe should be made with high-quality materials and construction techniques to ensure long-lasting durability.

How does the durability of a climbing shoe affect its performance?

The durability of a climbing shoe can have a significant impact on its performance.

A shoe with a solid and durable construction will withstand repeated use and abuse, allowing the climber to wear them for extended periods without having to replace them.

This can be especially important for climbers tackling more challenging routes, as they need to be confident that their shoes will hold up to the demands of the climb.

In addition, a more durable shoe will also provide better support and stability on the rock, allowing the climber to make more precise movements and maintain control while climbing.

Overall, the durability of a climbing shoe is an essential factor to consider when choosing a shoe for your climbing needs.

What materials are commonly used in durable climbing shoes?

Durable climbing shoes are commonly made with materials such as synthetic leather, rubber, and various types of foam for cushioning and support.

The soles of climbing shoes are usually made of sticky rubber to provide good grip and traction on the rock surface.

Additionally, the shoe’s upper part may be reinforced with materials such as TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) or rubber to provide added durability and support for the foot.

Are there any specific brands or models of climbing shoes that are known for their durability?

Yes, several climbing shoe brands and models are known for their durability.

These include La Sportiva TC Pro, Scarpa Instinct VS, Five Ten Anasazi Lace, and Evolv Shaman.

However, it’s important to note that proper care and maintenance can also significantly increase the lifespan of any climbing shoe.

How do the soles of durable climbing shoes differ from those of less durable options?

The soles of durable climbing shoes are usually made from a thicker and more durable rubber material, with a denser pattern of lugs or bumps for better grip and durability.

In contrast, less durable options may have thinner and less dense soles, which can wear down more quickly and lose their grip over time.

Can a climbing shoe be both durable and comfortable, or are these qualities mutually exclusive?

Yes, a climbing shoe can be both durable and comfortable.

While some shoes may prioritize one quality over the other, many options on the market offer a balance of both.

It’s essential to consider factors such as materials, fit, and intended use when selecting a climbing shoe that meets both durability and comfort needs.

What steps can climbers take to prolong the lifespan of their climbing shoes, regardless of their level of durability?

Climbers can take the following steps to prolong the lifespan of their climbing shoes, regardless of their level of durability:

  1. Keep them clean: After each use, climbers should clean their shoes to prevent dirt and sweat from accumulating. This can be done using a soft brush and mild soap.
  2. Air them out: Climbing shoes should be allowed to air out after each use to prevent moisture buildup. This helps to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi that can cause odor and deterioration of the shoe material.
  3. Store them properly: Climbing shoes should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. They should be stored with the soles facing down to prevent deformation.
  4. Washing them regularly: Clean climbing shoes with mild soap and water after each use, and dry them thoroughly to prevent bacteria and odor buildup.
  5. Using them only on appropriate surfaces: Avoid using climbing shoes on rough surfaces such as concrete or gravel, as these can damage the rubber.
  6. Avoid wearing them outside of climbing: Using climbing shoes as everyday shoes can cause them to wear out quickly.

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Last Updated on March 17, 2023 by Roger

About the author

Roger

Roger was born into a family of climbers. As the youngest of his siblings, he was also the most ardent climber of them. Small and agile, he practiced climbing all day. Today, Roger teaches children how to climb the large rock walls safely.

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