The best climbing shoes in the UK 2023

Whether in the wilderness or indoors, climbing is becoming increasingly popular among many English people. But when it comes to the right equipment, especially shoes, it is difficult to choose between the different models. Follow our guide to find the perfect pair for your passion.

Tarentula Woman La Sportiva 1

Best value for money

Tarentula Woman La Sportiva

The best climbing shoes in 2021

Want to climb steep slopes safely? Look to La Sportiva's Tarentula Woman slippers. They are both comfortable and easy to put on thanks to a velcro closure.

72,68 £ on Cdiscount

The Tarentula Woman climbing shoes are perfect for women. They have a rather singular design, but they are no less efficient. They are generally turquoise in color. They were designed for all the neophytes in the field of climbing.

In addition, the rubber outsole offers a good grip to evolve on slopes with strong inclinations. Another detail is that the pair weighs only about 500g. In addition, the neutral shape of these shoes fits all types of feet perfectly, which is a good thing for precision when climbing.

Easy Up MILLET 2

Best low cost


The best entry-level climbing shoes

Do you need a pair of shoes to start climbing? The Easy Up is what you need. With its 4 Point Grip rubber, they are ideal for indoor use to train for better progress.

43,99 £ on Amazon

The Millet brand has not lacked ingenuity in developing this new pair of booties. Indeed, the Easy Up perfectly meets the expectations of beginners who can now evolve like professionals in this discipline.

Available in 3 levels of asymmetry (straight, classic or strong), the 4-point rubber with a durable grip offers a good grip on the ground. The Velcro closure system allows for quick on and off and offers great comfort. What's more, its synthetic upper offers unprecedented comfort and great stability since it is made of Polycotton lined with hemp.

Instinct Vsr Scarpa 3

Best high end

Instinct Vsr Scarpa

The best high-end climbing shoes

The Scrapa brand sets itself apart from its counterparts with the Instinct Vsr, high-end climbing shoes for men. They feature Velcro and an elastic gaiter for added comfort.

122 £ on GoSport

Scrapa has literally outdone itself with this new line of climbing shoes. Taking some of the features of the Instinct Vs, the Vsr model has a rather aggressive design at first glance and a sober color (black/blue). More flexible, they are intended for men who want to climb the steepest slopes with a neutral stride.

As a specificity, these shoes are equipped with an elastic band and Velcro closure. Scrapa is a company that listens to its customers, so it replaced the Vibram No Edge rubber. Here, you'll have a 3mm Vibram XS Edge rubber outsole that offers better traction as you progress through the terrain.

Alpha Woman BORÉAL 4


Alpha Woman BORÉAL

The best alternative

If you want to combine design and performance for your climbs, choose the Alpha Femme slippers from BORÉAL. Its hyper comfortable semi-asymmetrical shape will delight you for sure.

63,59 £ on Cdiscount

Finding women's climbing shoes that look good and perform well is no longer a problem with BORÉAL's Alpha Femme line. Not only are they recommended for beginners, but they are also a godsend for women looking for a second pair for comfort or even just for fun.

On the technical side, the Alpha Femme booties have a low-tension coating to prevent any pressure-related pain on the feet. This allows this product not to deform surreptitiously. In addition, its cushioned heel (THS system) combined with its Zenith Quattro rubber guarantees a good grip.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best climbing shoes

Any specific needs?

The best climbing shoes in 2021

The best entry-level climbing shoes

The best high-end climbing shoes

The best alternative

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best climbing shoes

Tarentula Woman La Sportiva 5
Easy Up MILLET 6
Instinct Vsr Scarpa 7
Alpha Woman BORÉAL 8
Tarentula Woman La Sportiva
Instinct Vsr Scarpa
Alpha Woman BORÉAL
Want to climb steep slopes safely? Look to La Sportiva's Tarentula Woman slippers. They are both comfortable and easy to put on thanks to a velcro closure.
Do you need a pair of shoes to start climbing? The Easy Up is what you need. With its 4 Point Grip rubber, they are ideal for indoor use to train for better progress.
The Scrapa brand sets itself apart from its counterparts with the Instinct Vsr, high-end climbing shoes for men. They feature Velcro and an elastic gaiter for added comfort.
If you want to combine design and performance for your climbs, choose the Alpha Femme slippers from BORÉAL. Its hyper comfortable semi-asymmetrical shape will delight you for sure.
Durable 4 Point Grip Rubber
Vibram XS Edge 3 mm
Zenith Quattro
Turquoise blue
Grey Red
Gum Yellow/green/black
Synthetic Rubber

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Buying guide - climbing shoes

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How to choose your climbing shoes

It is not always easy to make up one's mind when it comes to choosing an appropriate outfit or other accessories to practice a sport. The same goes for climbing shoes, which require special attention according to certain selection criteria. Find out here what you should consider before buying a pair that suits you.

#1 - The size

Unlike traditional shoes, a pair of climbing shoes differs by the choice of dimensions adapted to the feet. Indeed, for them to be comfortable and efficient, you must take into account the exact size of your feet, because they tend to swell after various efforts and especially at night. Therefore, it is essential to choose a pair that fits perfectly so that your feet do not float during your climbing.

#2 - The protection

Of course, climbing is a fun activity, but you need to protect yourself. So, it's best to choose shoes made of materials that are both scratch-resistant and shock-absorbing in case of a fall.

#3 - The comfort

Even if you have to climb a wall or a steep slope, comfort is a priority that should not be overlooked. Indeed, even a simple walk through the city can be tiring.

So, it is essential to choose the pair that allows you to be comfortable throughout the day. To do this, the ideal is to put on a pair that adapts to the morphology of the feet, Greek or Roman feet, so as not to cause any discomfort when climbing.

#4 - The heel

For more precision, the positioning of the heel in a climbing shoe is one of the key points of performance. Shoes that allow this part of the foot to move even one iota are not suitable for climbing. The user must feel that the toes are well entrenched when pushing on the toe.

#5 - Clamping

There are 3 types of fasteners to properly wear your climbing shoes. The most classic is the lace fastening. Also, some models offer a velcro fastening. Finally, a tightening by elastic can also do the trick. The choice between these 3 systems will depend on the morphology of the foot in general.

How to take care of your climbing shoes?

Like any other accessory, climbing shoes require special care. Indeed, they are made of several parts fitted together. That's why it's important to take great care of them so that they don't wear out too quickly.

Polish the sole

First and foremost, it is not recommended to machine wash climbing shoes. They will tend to deform and will not be of any use to you. As far as the sole is concerned, generally made of rubber, you just have to rub it gently with a damp sponge. It should be noted that under no circumstances should you use soap or any other detergent.

This could affect its adherence and will greatly reduce its effectiveness when climbing. However, before going on the ground, some climbers do not hesitate to rub it with the palm of the hand to warm it up in order to make it more flexible.

The inner part

It is obvious that after a physical effort, the body produces a lot of sweat. And in the long run, you will feel feet, which is quite unpleasant. To alleviate the problem, it is de rigueur to regularly clean the inside of the climbing shoes. To do this, simply add baking soda after each use. The chemical properties of baking soda help to eliminate microbes and other pathogens such as bacteria.

The exterior

The outside of climbing shoes is put to the test and is always exposed to different kinds of dirt. If this area is covered in mud, it is wise to wait for it to dry completely before cleaning. Indeed, you will risk damaging it if you brush it in this state. To do this, the use of a dry brush is the most appropriate method.

It is only after the passage of the latter that the exterior can be washed with soapy water. Finally, all that remains is to let the slippers dry freely.

The different types of climbing shoes

Each individual has a particular morphology of his feet. Therefore, 3 types of climbing shoes have been designed to suit everyone.

High shaft climbing shoes

This type of product is considered to be the ancestor of the current climbing shoes. Indeed, they are the very first models put on the market. They have the particularity to maintain the foot firmly at the height of the ankles. This can easily destabilize the climber, because this posture does not offer much precision. However, it should be noted that this type of shoes allows you to be comfortable throughout the course.

The climbing shoes with a low shaft

With this model of climbing shoes, the bony protrusion of the ankle commonly known as the malleolus is where the laces or velcro are placed. This position of the tightening offers a better freedom of movement to the climber. It should be noted that this specificity makes this type of shoes the flagship product in terms of climbing accessories.

Climbing shoes

Who would have thought that ballerinas could allow climbing on uneven terrain. But, be careful, not just any shoes. In fact, this specific product is very similar to climbing shoes with a low shaft, the only difference being that the tightening is made of elastic bands. This type of ballerina offers a certain precision, but not more than the low shaft shoes.

Rigid or soft climbing shoes?

Rigid climbing shoes

The degree of rigidity of this type of accessory varies according to the stiffener placed on the product. As far as rigid climbing shoes are concerned, these allow some climbers to move with complete peace of mind on small holds and holes.

This is due to the firmness of the front part of the shoes that remain unchanged during their use. Thus, this material offers a very good precision in all the postures which the climber will adopt on the ground or in block.

Soft climbing shoes

Soft climbing shoes are distinguished by their ability to bend when gripping. This feature provides a very good grip, as the rubber surface is much larger than in other models.

In addition, these shoes are ideal for run-and-jump, on a slab or on a bulge. Therefore, these types of shoes are all the rage with blockers looking for a thrill.


Whether they are rigid or flexible, climbing shoes are useful for all climbers. However, the choice between these two types of products will depend on the level of the climber as well as the sensation he is looking for.

In addition, specialized salespeople can give good advice depending on the morphology of the client's feet. But to decide on the question, it is preferable to have 2 different pairs in order to be able to evolve on all types of grounds.

Why buy climbing shoes?

Climbing requires adapted accessories, and specific shoes have been invented for this purpose. Here are some reasons why it is necessary to have at least one pair.


Today's different models of climbing shoes are no longer similar to previous products. Indeed, the use of various synthetic materials or leather has allowed to revise their design. Some products are visually sober while others are just as elegant as moccasins. The choice is vast and every self-respecting climber will find a shoe that fits.


It is obvious that you can't practice climbing with football shoes or hiking boots. This is why climbing shoes were invented. They offer a better grip on any type of wall. Moreover, their lightness allows the climber to perform atypical movements that can only be done with this high-tech accessory.


You can't imagine climbing a slope barefoot. Climbing shoes offer a much better comfort to the climber. With this accessory, the risk of getting blisters or bruises is considerably reduced. Their flexibility allows the feet to position themselves according to the shape of the ground on which they rest.


Wearing climbing shoes with a narrow, arched sole offers more performance. This type of accessory allows you to grip and move easily on a steep wall. Moreover, it turns out that by wearing climbing shoes, the climber will take less time to cover long distances despite the difficulties involved.


It is not always easy to know where and how to put your feet when climbing a rock or a steep slope. However, with booties, this is no longer a concern. The latest models offer good precision provided they are adapted to the climber's size: neither too big nor too small.

The best brands of climbing shoes

In our opinion, the best brands of climbing shoes in 2022 are :

La Sportiva

La Sportiva is well known in the field of climbing equipment with its range of shoes. Founded in 1928 in Italy, this family-owned company has focused on the design of various accessories and sports equipment. It is among others one of the main suppliers in the field of climbing, trail, alpinism and even skiing.

Many of the great names in mountaineering have had the privilege of being equipped by Millet for several years. We could mention Bonnati, Lachenal, Profit, Messner, etc. However, the brand has not left out climbers in search of strong sensations by designing top-of-the-range boots since 1921.

Since 1938, Scarpa has been competing in ingenuity with the biggest brands in its category. In particular, it stands up to other companies that design equipment for climbing, hiking, trail-running, etc.

Little by little, BORÉAL began to make a name for itself among climbing enthusiasts with its new range of shoes. Under the impulse of Jesus Garcia Lopez, the brand was created in 1975 in Villena, Spain. The climbing shoes that the brand produces guarantee lightness and performance. The Gallego brothers, Spanish pioneers of climbing, have bet everything on the latter for climbing shoes equipped with rubber soles.

The Ferrino brand is no longer in demand by climbing enthusiasts. It was founded in 1870 and has established its reputation in the design of accessories for climbing and mountaineering. In addition, it also produces equipment for camping and hiking.

What is the price climbing shoes

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

25 £ to 50 £
50 £ to 100 £
more than 100 £
Price range diagram


Take care of the sole of your climbing shoes

Avoid using any accessory such as a brush or any other corrosive material to clean your soles. All you need is a well-moistened sponge to remove any dirt. This process will help to ensure a good grip during your exercises.

Avoid bad smells

Be sure to wash your feet before putting on your climbing shoes so that they fit properly. Also, since sweat is the source of bad odors, it is important to have dry and clean feet so that bacteria do not proliferate.

Avoid the washing machine to clean your climbing shoes

The cleaning of this type of slippers requires a well-tried process. There is no need to put them in the washing machine. The heat and friction against the drum accentuate the deterioration of this type of slippers. What's more, they may lose performance or tear entirely.

Air your climbing shoes after each exercise

Don't just put your slippers in the closet after each use. Make sure you take them out of your bag. Then put them in a dry, well-ventilated place. Also, don't hesitate to sprinkle the inside with 2 teaspoons of baking soda to eliminate all those bacteria.

Think of a simple but effective manual cleaning

The materials used to make climbing shoes tend to shrink or expand during washing. That's why it's recommended not to put them in the washing machine. Instead, hand wash them to prevent any damage that could restrict their effectiveness. Because of this, use a sponge soaked in soap and water instead.


How do you compensate for the crushing sensation with soft climbing shoes?

To avoid this unpleasant feeling, choose shoes that fit your feet perfectly. It should be noted that this feeling is often associated with climbing shoes with soft soles. This means that you will have to exert more energy by exerting more force on your feet.

How do I clean my climbing shoes?

The cleaning and maintenance of your climbing shoes must be done after each use. Do not use a washing machine, soap or any other detergent. Instead, use a sponge soaked in clear water for the sole and, if necessary, Marseille soap for the outer fabric, which is quite delicate.

What should I wear to climb a cliff?

In this type of situation, choose shoes with lace-up fasteners. They may be difficult to put on and take off, but they offer very good precision. However, avoid climbing shoes as they are very fragile. If the cliffs are steep, opt for shoes with an arch for a better grip.

Are all climbing shoes suitable for both men and women?

In fact, it is only a question of size. The frequency with which they are used plays a major role, but the only concern is the function they must perform. Indeed, your first concern should be based on the type of terrain and environment (block or outdoor).


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Tarentula Woman La Sportiva 9
Tarentula Woman La Sportiva
Easy Up MILLET 10
Instinct Vsr Scarpa 11
Instinct Vsr Scarpa
Alpha Woman BORÉAL 12
Alpha Woman BORÉAL


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