April 22, 2021

What Climbing Shoes Does Alex Honnold Wear

by Jullie

Here is the stuff that is worn by the most daring climber. Let us review some Alex Honnold climbing shoes. Undoubtedly Alex Honnold is amongst the most famous climbers. He got the coveted Oscar winning documentary "Free Solo" because of his fearless solo ascents. 

He enjoys unlimited sponsorship opportunities and has a highly inspiring climbing resume. Alex Honnold may not have stuck dynos like Sharma or climbed the amazing grades of Ondra. Still, he has projected rock climbing sports into the global spotlight.

If you are curious about those Alex Honnold climbing shoes, you will get all the details here. We scoured Alex's all climbing records. We even made a sincere effort to look back into his splendid career. Finally, we managed to maintain the most accurate records of his climbing kicks.

An Italian company La Sportiva sponsors all of Alex's events. For the last 15 years, this company has been designing every shoe worn by him. His choice of shoes depends on what he is climbing. Like every serious climber, several factors influence his choice. The rock type, size, and climbing style determine which specific shoe model he will choose. 

He has used quite a lot of different shoes. We have shortlisted a few of our favorite Alex Honnold climbing shoes with famous ascents where he used them.

WARNING: Soloing is a super dangerous activity. Be careful out there.

List of the 4 Best Climbing Shoes that Alex Honnold Wears

#1 FOR BIG WALLS: La Sportiva TC Pro

Alex used TC Pro shoes for the Nose speed record, Fitzroy Traverse, and Freerider Free Solo. Let's hope you remember his crazy free solo of El Capitan. In case you have a keen sense of observation, you might have noticed the make of his shoes. 

He extensively used these shoes for his training. He was also wearing the pair in the final Freerider ascent in solo style. These are also the signature shoes of Tommy Caldwell. Yosemite climbers prefer TC Pro to tackle the treacherous world of vertical granites.

You can find endless micro edges, slabs (what is slab climbing?), and cracks on El Cap. These climbing shoes feature a super stiff and comfortable design, perfect to wear them while rappelling. La Sportiva TC Pro has an ideal design to excel on the relentless terrain of this ascent, they are part of the best crack climbing shoes list.

Alex did not use these shoes only once. Alex wore TC Pro for several Big Wall adventures. Both Tommy and Alex relied on TC Pro to complete the Fitzroy Traverse, break the speed record on The Nose, and many more.

#2 TOP ALL-AROUNDER: La Sportiva Miura

Alex used the Miura shoes for The Moonlight Buttress solo, Too Big to Flail, and Half Dome solo. Miura helped Honnold scale some of the big ascents. It is the second most used shoe after the TC Pro. Miura is amongst the most versatile climbing shoes available out there. It is the top all arounder climbing shoe that everybody loves. 

Miura shoes use the Vibram XS Edge technology for downturn performance. It creates still shoes that can perform equally well on edges as well as overhangs. That is why Honnold became a big fan of La Sportiva Miura shoes. Throughout his career, he has used both the Velcro and the Lace versions for his noteworthy ascents. 

Alex Honnold started his career in 2008 with his solo on Half Dome. He used Miura lace to conquer his first ascent. Some of his other ascents worth mentioning are El Sendero Luminoso and Wet Lycra Nightmare. In these two ascents also, he trusted the Miura climbing shoes.

He also donned the Miura shoes for his notable boulder issues at the Too Big to Flail and The Mandala. There is enough proof of his trust in Miura. You can even find Honnold tackling the Yosemite boulders.

#3 FOR BOULDERING: La Sportiva Solution

Alex used the La Sportiva Solution climbing shoes for The Arrested Development. The Solution shoes are perfect for overhung climbing. It is the only shoe in the La Sportiva range that is a clear choice for many for this purpose. 

La Sportiva was amongst the first ones to bring shoes like Solution for modern performance. It ranks among the best aggressive shoes ever made. The Solution with menacing looks still maintains this position with several innovative features. Read the whole review about La Sportiva Solution climbing shoes.

The Solution climbing shoes remains one of the favorite Alex Honnold climbing shoes since the beginning of his career. It is his preferred choice for bouldering. Recently, he used the Solution for his first-ever ascent of Arrested Development.

Alex mentions that the Solution is ideal for both heel and toe hooking. It is rare for a shoe to be good at both types of hooking. Honnold used these shoes for almost every style except tread climbing.

You can see Honnold on Instagram taking the Solution Comp for a spin. We are looking forward to seeing him doing something more spectacular with these pairs in the future. In the meantime, you can read our guide on the best bouldering shoes for beginners.

#4 FOR GYM: La Sportiva Skwama

Alex uses Skwama shoes frequently but not as much as the others. Still, it is not rare to catch him with these. According to my opinion, La Sportiva Skwama has a super soft profile. That is why Honnold primarily uses these climbing shoes for gym climbing.

For records, we have some photos of Alex using the Skwama climbing shoes for a little soloing in The Red Rock. We are yet to spot him with these shoes in a mega event. Perhaps we may never spot him with Skwama. The reason is that TC Pro inspires more confidence due to its uncompromising stiffness than softer shoes like Skwama. Read our La Sportiva Skwama review.

Afterthoughts on Alex Honnold's Climbing Shoes

We spent quite a few days looking back on Honnol's career and his preferences. We have noticed that he has used about every performance shoe made by La Sportiva.

He has a diverse collection ranging from super soft no edge shoes to super stiff ones. He seems to like super soft Futura and Genius a lot. Still, it is rare to spot Alex with Kataki, Otaki, or Katana shoes.

Other Honnold FAQ's

What is the Size of Alex Honnold Climbing Shoes?

He prefers the size 8.5 US (46 inches) in Solution and TC Pro models. He wears a size of half-inch more than his EU sizes for longer climbs to ensure additional comfort.

What are Alex Honnold's approach shoes?

His approach shoes are TX2 from La Sportiva. They are breathable and lightweight shoes, offering the famous Vibram mega grip. They are a favorite of several climbers because of their resilience and reliability. Read our two guides about the best women's approach shoes and best approach shoes for men.

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About the author 


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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