85 best bouldering climbing shoes

Based on reviews from 449 experts and 1,719 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to bouldering climbing shoes. Updated Jan 2020.

  • Bouldering
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  • Technology  
  • Features 
  • Construction  
  • Closure 
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  1. Any color
    Scarpa Vapor V - Lime
    $175 $108 Save 38%
  2. Any color
    La Sportiva Futura - Blue / Yellow
    $185 $85 Save 54%
  3. $175 $113 Save 35%
  4. $180 $130 Save 28%
  5. Any color
  6. $160 $130 Save 19%
  7. Any color
    $180 $139 Save 23%
  8. $180 $123 Save 32%
  9. $150 $80 Save 47%
  10. $170 $118 Save 31%
  11. $175 $140 Save 20%
  12. $100 $50 Save 50%
  13. $150 $100 Save 33%
  14. $175 $113 Save 35%
  15. $140 $98 Save 30%
  16. $190 $140 Save 26%
  17. $100 $71 Save 29%
  18. $140 $98 Save 30%
  19. $140 $111 Save 21%
  20. $150 $102 Save 32%
  21. $110 $82 Save 25%
  22. $95 $67 Save 29%
  23. $95 $60 Save 37%
  24. Any color
    $170 $77 Save 55%
  25. $150 $112 Save 25%
  26. $139 $103 Save 26%
  27. $90 $26 Save 71%
  28. Any color
    $140 $98 Save 30%
  29. $100 $56 Save 44%

Bouldering shoes are among the essential items for climbing enthusiasts. Whether you’re just starting to take up this sport or you are experienced in it, you may need to invest in this particular type of gear. There may be times when you’re going to practice on indoor boulders or tackle them in outdoor situations. Whatever the case may be, these bouldering kicks might come in handy for your climbing pursuits. Shown below are some of the qualities you need to look for in a new pair of bouldering shoes.

Characteristics of the best women's and men's bouldering shoes

Best bouldering shoes

Best bouldering shoes - November 2019

Fit

When getting new bouldering shoes, it’s important to remember that performance and fit go hand in hand. They need to give you a snug fit that won’t allow your feet to move while you’re negotiating those boulders. These kicks don’t need to be overly comfortable or unbearable at the same time. You need to find a balance between these two qualities to get an optimal fit.

Grip

Climbing boulders require all the grip you can get from your kicks. The finest bouldering shoes are equipped with a high-friction rubber outsoles. It allows you to stick on tricky boulders without compromising your foothold. When shopping for bouldering kicks, you may want to consider those with thinner soles. They grant more sensitivity when you encounter tiny nubbins and micro-edges on those boulders.

Downturn

Some of the best bouldering shoes use a downturned shape. These aggressive kicks possess a hook-shaped front end for a better power transfer to your toes. This design allows you to hook your toes on challenging boulders and gain a secure foothold on them. Although they are not built for all-day comfort, the performance these shoes render is important for bouldering.

Heel Hooking ability

From time to time, you might need to hook your heels to get a foothold on difficult boulders. Your target bouldering shoes should have a heel cup integrated into their design. It allows you to be more precise when performing this climbing technique.

Closure

Rock climbing shoes feature a closure system for fit management. There are three types employed by these kicks - lace-up, Velcro, and slip-on. Some of the finest bouldering shoes use Velcro straps because it is more customizable than slip-ons. It also tends not to get in your way when toe hooking on boulders.

Notable companies that offer the best bouldering climbing shoes

La Sportiva

Some of the finest La Sportiva offerings are crafted for bouldering. These kicks feature several of the brand’s technologies, such as P3 and S-Heel. The former, which stands for Permanent Power Platform, is a randing system that works with the base of the foot to maintain tension. The latter is La Sportiva’s S-Heel, which optimizes performance and adaptability when executing heel hooks. Both of these features make these bouldering shoes suitable for this climbing discipline.

Scarpa 

Notable Scarpa climbing pieces are built to give performance on boulders. They come with sticky Vibram rubber soles for optimal grip on difficult terrain. Some of these climbing pieces feature a tensioned rand to transmit power to the toes for those tiny holds. Moreover, the brand’s top bouldering shoes can be resoled to extend their lifespan.

15 best bouldering climbing shoes

  1. Butora Acro
  2. Evolv Oracle
  3. La Sportiva Futura
  4. La Sportiva Miura VS
  5. Scarpa Drago
  6. Scarpa Instinct VS
  7. Scarpa Origin
  8. Scarpa Vapor V
  9. Five Ten Rogue VCS
  10. Five Ten Dragon VCS
  11. Scarpa Furia S
  12. Five Ten Moccasym
  13. Boreal Diabolo
  14. Butora Narsha
  15. La Sportiva Finale
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