10 Best Climbing Shoes For Women in 2022
With the steady rise in popularity of climbing as both a thrilling pastime and a competitive sport, it’s no surprise that empowered women like you want in on the fun. That said, you need to be in the right shoe, which is why we’ve come up with this space just for you.
What you see on here are the best climbing shoes for women in a variety of categories. These must-haves we’ve rounded up after testing over 150 pairs of climbing shoes. There’s more than enough for you to choose from in this selection—from the finest all-rounder to the most formidable steep rock shoe.
Overview of this guide
How we choose the best climbing shoes for women
What you are about to unravel are women-specific climbing shoes that can elevate your game, whether on rock or wall. We’ve formed this insightful list using this approach:
- For us to be unbiased with our reviews, we buy women’s climbing shoes using our own money.
- We climb in each pair for days, both indoors and outdoors.
- Our reviews on the best women’s climbing shoes reflect hundreds of opinions from expert senders and regular climbers alike.
Every reviewed climbing shoe is then given a 0-100 rating or CoreScore. This RunRepeat-exclusive scoring system helps us determine the climb-worthiest of them all.
Best climbing shoes overall for women
Do everything in your power to snag the Scarpa Instinct VS, because you’re not going to find something as ferocious, whether on plastic or rock!
When it comes to surface traction, the Instinct VS is the one to beat. Heel-hooking in it felt very secure, and side-smearing was quite reassuring. We tested its toe-hooking grip on a variety of surfaces, and we came away super-impressed!
If your preferred route features a lot of edges, the Instinct VS should also be your go-to climbing shoe. In it, mounting on micro-edges was mind-blowing. It also performed beyond our expectations outdoors on ripples and sags. So, yeah, this Scarpa kick is such an edge-master!
Now, the Instinct VS was glove-like for us right from the start. We noted no air pockets within its synthetic confines, making us feel in control all the time. And its heel zone? Magnetically fitting!
As a moderate or semi-downturned climbing shoe, the Scarpa Instinct VS needed minimal break-in. After climbing in the gym a few short routes, the shoe already felt mighty comfortable. While not as breathable as we would’ve preferred, this remarkable climbing shoe for women has plushness few among its kind can match.
Are you ready to level up your climbs from entry-level sets to intermediate routes? Then add the La Sportiva Katana Lace to your to-buy list and start conquering trickier ascents!
Just like our overall top pick, the Katana Lace provides tons of comfort. Indeed, so pampering was its lined interior that we didn’t feel the need to take it off in between climbs. Adam Ondra would also agree with us on this: the shoe’s midsole delivers top-notch comfort and support on most edges!
Now, in our strong opinion, sticking is the Katana Lace’s main business. Whether you smear in it with its toe rand or lateral rubber coating, you can get a secure purchase out of it without a hitch.
The shoe also floored us in cracks. This La Sportiva kick delivered an impressive combination of flexibility and stiffness while we were negotiating fist-sized fissures. We wouldn’t bet on it when it comes to toeing, though.
We want to commend the Katana Lace for being quite a workhorse on all of our test-climbs. Its upper and Vibram outsole toughed it out there like a real superhero. Its leather shell sustained erasable smudges, while its rubber outsole received only minor dents.
Best women's climbing shoes for beginners
After climbing in over 50 pairs of beginner climbing shoes for women, we are pleased to crown the Mythos as our top performer for entry-level climbers!
The moment we laid our eyes on this La Sportiva gem, we knew that comfort would be its biggest draw. When we slipped into it, our preview was quickly realized. It’s true—the Mythos has plushness everywhere; we even thought we were wearing a worn-in tennis shoe once or twice during our sends!
Performance-wise, the Mythos aced edge-filled routes for us like an absolute queen. Its moderately stiff sole unit made every mountable feel safe. We also commend the Mythos’ crack-climbing skills. Slipping it into medium-size fissures felt natural, and dealing with them wasn’t painful at all.
Its randing made our hearts skip a beat or two. We’re talking about its superb stickiness, particularly where smearing was required. The shoe’s adhesive power made a cakewalk out of edges, as well. Incredible!
And believe us when we say that the La Sportiva Mythos will last you months, even years. Its upper might look flimsy at first glance, but in practice, it is fully capable of weathering through hard beatings and scratches.
Trailing so close behind our beginner-friendly top pick is the resplendently comfy Butora Endeavor!
We were mesmerized by this entry-level climbing shoe with its sneaker-like plushness at first wear. While not a straight kick by any means (it has a slight inward bend), the Endeavor never felt intimidating, nor did it give us painful pressure around the arch.
Just like the Mythos, the Endeavor eats edges for breakfast. Indeed, we didn’t break a sweat mounting on ledges and nubbins. We wish we could say the same about its smearing grip, though.
The shoe in question only has a little give when it comes to stretch. This means that the Endeavor will not grow too big on you, especially if you pick a tighter size. In our case, and after weeks of use, the shoe still felt quite spot-on!
And have we mentioned the Endeavor’s anti-odor construction yet? We climbed for hours in the Endeavor, making our feet sweat profusely in the process, yet our feet came out stink-free! Its secret? Its antimicrobial liner.
It might not be the ideal shoe for more challenging outdoor pursuits, but the Endeavor has the aces to win you over in an indoor setting. Plus, it only retails at an MSRP of $100!
Best women's climbing shoes for trad climbing
A serious female climber like you needs an equally exceptional trad climbing shoe. We’re, of course, referring to and recommending the TC Pro from La Sportiva!
This Tommy-Caldwell-designed climbing shoe wears its edging superpowers on its sleeve. Yes, tiptoeing on nubbins and tiny edges was such a thrilling experience in this kick. The shoe also made us feel like we were stepping on ledges when it was ripples we were negotiating!
Equally impressive was how the La Sportiva TC Pro worked its magic in cracks. Outdoors, where we encountered crooked fissures, the shoe moved with our feet without feeling too stiff. Its moderate rigidity and carefully placed randing made dealing with cracks more of a “let me do it again” experience than an “I’m outta here” one!
Now, if you haven’t noticed it yet, the TC Pro is a mid-top climbing shoe. Its over-the-ankle collar provides convincing ankle support. It also delivers that much-needed abrasion protection on outdoor climbs.
Last but not least, the La Sportiva TC Pro has through-the-roof comfiness. Its supple leather upper is lined, giving your tootsies a plush-yet-responsive cradle. Its semi-stiff midsole is also commendable on this front (it helped us climb without getting tired easily)!
No, this isn’t a boot you’re looking at. What your sights are on is Evolv’s The General—the high-top trad climbing shoe you’ve been waiting for!
What does this towering Evolv offering bring to the climbing table, you might ask? Quite a lot, actually. That said, if we could focus on just one thing, we’d definitely brag about The General’s edging skills. Seriously, it doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with ledges or pebble-sized bumps in it—this supportive climbing shoe will stomp on all of them to submission!
Smearing is another forte of The General. Whether you’re using its rubber toe patch or outsole, this Evolv piece will stick to the featureless parts of the rock or wall no problem.
Speaking of its toe patch, the shoe boosted our morale while toe-hooking on granite boulders. Even though it’s intricately patterned, this rubberized section still gave us sufficient sensitivity and abrasion protection!
Comfort-wise, we give The General a ten out of ten! Shoe-like cushioning was what we got out of it, compelling us to climb a few more routes as a result. That said, it did take us about a few days and several climbs to break it in completely.
Best women's climbing shoes for steep terrain
Ascending face walls or vertical rock is no easy feat. But, if you feel like you’re up to the task, there’s no better climbing shoe than the La Sportiva Solution!
Toe-ins and heel-hooks in the Solution were quite a walk in the park for us. Indeed, we ascended this one steep route as if we had two extra pairs of hands for feet, creatively zig-zagging our way to the top!
With its superior edging prowess, the La Sportiva Solution transformed micro-edges into sturdy ledges. The shoe also granted us surefootedness on crooked pockets and nubbins.
But does it perform well on smears? We answer that with a confident yes! The rock we chose for our testing was moderately dusty, yet the Solution got us smearing on its feature-less sections like supercharged lizards!
This go-to kick for steep climbs has the comfort level to match its send-worthy capabilities. While it requires a few sessions to loosen up fully, past that, the Solution will spoil your piggies with personalized plushness all over!
As for fit, all we want to say is that the Solution didn’t feel loose at all. In fact, its heel felt like a suction cup. Yes, once you’re in it, your feet won’t be going anywhere!
Breathing down the proverbial neck of the Solution is a Scarpa doozy. We’re talking about the steepness-conquering Drago, of course!
“Exceptionally sensitive” is a very accurate way to describe the Scarpa Drago. Despite its heavily rubberized bottom section, the shoe helped us “feel” our way on vertical faces, resulting in heightened control underfoot!
In the comfort department, the Scarpa Drago didn’t disappoint. Its generously flexible sole unit and soft-to-the-touch upper (lined) made the shoe plush right from the get-go. We also give its pampering, no-lift heel zone extra credit here.
Side-hooking in the Scarpa Drago was mesmerizing, to say the least. The stickiness of its rubber rand and Vibram outsole propelled us to negotiate tricky footholds with cunning speed. Before we knew it, we were already at the top!
The one downside to the Drago’s stellar resumé is its soft sole unit. For advanced climbers, it shouldn’t be a problem, but for anyone still learning the ropes of micro-edging, the shoe might come as a struggle.
Oh, but the Drago’s heel-hooking capabilities are more than enough to save the day on your vertical climbs. Yes, there’s no way to go but up with the shoe’s incredible heel!
Best budget climbing shoes for women
Are you looking for a downturn-less Scarpa climbing shoe that you can snag for roughly $95 a pair? If so, check out the super-cheap Origin!
Immense comfort is what awaits you in the Scarpa Origin. It’s true—we felt right home within the shoe’s snazzy confines. We felt neither pinching nor hotspots in the shoe, tricking us into believing that we were wearing a pair of sneakers!
Now, the Scarpa Origin’s main game is edging. Its flat and sufficiently stiff forefoot afforded us surefootedness on ledges and beveled fixtures alike. Tiny nubbins were also a no match against its finely tipped front end.
As a neutral climbing shoe, it was only natural for the Origin to perform amazingly on smears. The flexibility of its arch zone and the Origin’s hyper-magnetic rubber outsole made smearing on extra-smooth boulders enchantingly easy!
Fit-wise, this beginner-friendly Scarpa climbing shoe felt custom-made, as well. Everything just snapped into place the moment we put it on—no air pockets, no slippage anywhere.
And let’s not forget the Scarpa Origin’s tank-like construction. From its scratch-proof upper to its enduring rubber outsole, this affordable piece will stick with you for many months. Get one now!
What’s an inexpensive La Sportiva climbing shoe called? One that also lives up to its name in the area of tenacity? Why the Tarantulace, of course!
MSRP-wise, this $90-ish gem will somehow force you to second-guess its capabilities. We’re telling you right now—don’t. As a beginner-friendly climbing shoe, the Tarantulace is quite empowering in bouldering pursuits.
We were able to send low-level boulder problems in it with agile feet. Extra credit goes to its incredible platform for giving as more than enough toeing-in support.
The La Sportiva Tarantulace impressed us greatly on the smearing front. While its outsole could be stickier, its rubber rand (particularly around the toe section) made us smear on the wall without exerting too much effort!
Edging and heel-hooking are also quite easy to pull off in the La Sportiva Tarantulace. Similar to the Origin, the Tarantulace’s front tip is fine enough to secure enough purchase on tiny nubbins.
But what is a highly affordable entry-level climbing shoe without the comfiness to match? Fortunately for you, the Tarantulace has an almost broken-in feel on day one. We just wish removing it were a whole lot easier, though.
What are the most popular women's climbing shoes in 2022?
- La Sportiva Theory
- La Sportiva Solution Comp
- La Sportiva Kubo
- Scarpa Drago LV
- Butora Gomi
- Evolv Zenist
- Scarpa Booster
- La Sportiva Zenit
- Evolv Rave
- Five Ten Crawe
- Butora Acro Comp
- Scarpa Reflex V
- Five Ten Hiangle Pro
- So iLL Momoa Pro
- Ocun Oxi S
What are the cheapest women's climbing shoes in 2022?
- Five Ten Hiangle Pro - from $80
- Five Ten Crawe - from $90
- La Sportiva Zenit - from $91
- Mad Rock Weaver - from $99
- Evolv Rave - from $115
- So iLL Momoa Pro - from $139
- Ocun Oxi S - from $140
- Butora Gomi - from $149
- La Sportiva Kubo - from $150
- Butora Acro Comp - from $160
- Evolv Zenist - from $160
- La Sportiva Solution Comp - from $185
- La Sportiva Theory - from $189
- Scarpa Booster - from $189
- Scarpa Drago LV - from $189