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buy wide climbing shoes for men and women

Outdoor brands are starting to offer narrow and wide climbing shoes nowadays. This move allows them to cater to a larger audience, whether they are beginners or experts in climbing. While it is true that it is a bit harder to find shoes that fit wide feet, numerous options are now available making your search easier. Some women though, consider the men’s variant as a wide version of their shoes. 

Things to consider when choosing the best rock climbing shoes for wide feet

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Best wide climbing shoes - May 2020

When you go out and search for a pair of rock climbing shoes, one of the factors that you need to consider is the morphology of your foot. Rock shoes are meant to be an extension of your foot so that you can climb any technical terrain comfortably and confidently. Here are some of the things you need to know when on the hunt for the best men’s and women’s climbing shoes for wide feet:

Fit

An ideal pair of climbing shoes should be able to fit you comfortably and snugly. If you are looking for a wide-fitting gear, you should opt for a pair that does not have any dead space in the toe and heel areas. The presence of such may affect your performance, especially if you are bouldering into technical climbs. You also have to consider the overall width of your foot. Some climbers have a wide toe box and a narrow heel, while others have both wide rear- and forefoot. Keep in mind that the material used in your rock shoes also matter in terms of fit. Leather stretches and synthetic does not. Getting the fit right in your rock climbing shoes is a critical point and may take some time and experience. 

Stiffness

The overall stiffness of your pair of wide rock climbing shoes affects your performance. Some climbers opt for stiff gears for edging prowess while others prefer softer shoes for maximum stickiness. 

Closure system

To get the best rock climbing shoes for wide feet, you have to consider their closure system. This feature allows you to customize the tension and overall volume across the foot. There are rock shoes that come in wide widths that you sometimes feel they are too roomy for you. Lace-up closure is convenient in this situation as it permits fine-tuning the fit. Velcro and slippers have limited adjustability. Keep in mind that the materials used in your shoe affect its overall fit in the long term. 

Comfort

When you are shopping for your pair of wide climbing shoes, you have to ask yourself how comfortable you are with the shoe. It is also not a good idea to base your comfort level on your rugged pair of trail shoes. Most rock shoes come in a standard width and may be too narrow for your foot. However, there are brands that create their shoes with a roomier fit than the medium size. Trying them on before crossing them out from your list is a smart thing to do. Do not force yourself to wear an uber-tight fitting shoe, especially if you are new to the sport. Expert climbers often go for a tighter fit when they are wearing aggressively downturned shoes as it amplifies their toe-hooking multifold. 

Availability

It is also important that you look for rock shoe brands that offer a variety of widths. Some manufacturers create gears in unisex sizing only, some have men’s and women’s version, and others classify their shoes based on width—narrow and wide. In the climbing shoe world, it is a common practice that women who have wide feet wear the men’s version while men with narrow feet choose the ladies' version. 

Some brands that offer wide fit climbing shoes

Butora

Butora is a Korean outdoor gear manufacturer that offers a generous number of wide rock climbing shoes. They categorize their products based on width, not by gender. Each of their offerings come with a size recommendation to make your shoe hunt easier. You will also be pleased to know that climbing shoes from Butora come in different closure systems, giving you more options to try.

Five Ten

Rock climbing shoes from Five Ten are known because of their accommodating fit. A plus factor for individuals with wide foot is that the brand’s products are offered in different closure systems so you can optimize adjustability. 

Evolv

Evolv’s broad range of men’s and women’s rock shoes cater to a large audience by designing them using different lasts. A couple of their offerings are shaped with a high volume to accommodate climbers with a wide foot. If, on the other hand, you are on the narrow side, you can also enjoy their low-volume gears.