by Roger

April 15, 2021

Most Durable Climbing Shoes

Are you looking for climbing shoes that will last long even after you over-utilize them during your adventures? Short of sheathing your feet with blocks of durable metal, the shoes in this review are the most durable climbing shoes on the market.

If durability is your main priority, then you've come to the right place. Whether you're rock climbing or bouldering, there are very high chances that you will destroy the average climbing shoes regularly. So, let's delve into the review without further ado, followed by a comprehensive buying guide.

Here we go!

List of the 5 Most Durable Climbing Shoes

#1 La Sportiva TC Pro Climbing Shoe

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.

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.

Cons:

  • The stiffness sacrifices sensitivity.

#2 La Sportiva Tarantulace Rock Climbing Shoe

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 about these climbing shoes, read our full La Sportiva Tarantulace review.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Pricey.

#3 La Sportiva Miura Climbing Shoe

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's feature 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.

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.

Cons:

  • They are not ideal for climbers with wide feet.

#4 Five Ten Anasazi VCS Climbing Shoe

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, lead 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 it 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.

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.

Cons:

  • They are not easy to get on or off.

#5 Evolv Defy Climbing Shoe

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 or 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.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive;
  • Comfortable;
  • Durable;
  • Versatile.

Cons:

  • Average performance.

Most Durable Climbing Shoes Buying Guide

Now that you know the most durable climbing shoes, it is essential that you understand how we came about these pairs specifically. Read on to find out more.

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.

Most Durable Climbing Shoes

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.

Conclusion

Well, we've reached the end of our review. Our top pick is the La Sportiva TC Pro climbing shoe, the most durable pair we have tested. We put them through numerous tests, and they still looked good after every one of them. 

Additionally, they are affordable and comfortable high-performance shoes. You should try them out!

Our #1 Product Recommendation in the Most Durable Climbing Shoes Category

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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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