28 best intermediate climbing shoes

Based on reviews from 105 experts and 536 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to intermediate climbing shoes. Updated Jan 2020.

  • Intermediate
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  1. Any color
    Scarpa Vapor V - Lime
    $175 $108 Save 38%
  2. $80 $63 Save 21%
  3. Any color
    Scarpa Instinct - Black/Orange
  4. $150 $100 Save 33%
  5. $140 $98 Save 30%
  6. $140 $98 Save 30%
  7. $140 $111 Save 21%
  8. $90 $26 Save 71%
  9. $100 $56 Save 44%
  10. $160 $145 Save 9%
  11. Any color
    $150 $94 Save 37%
  12. Any color
    $175 $125 Save 29%
  13. Any color
    $130 $75 Save 42%
  14. Any color
    $165 $108 Save 35%
  15. $160 $91 Save 43%
  16. $150 $120 Save 20%
  17. Any color
    $80 $67 Save 16%

When your next climb requires complex techniques, you may need to get new intermediate climbing shoes. They offer a balanced option between beginner rock shoes and performance-driven aggressive kicks.  These shoes are designed to be an effective pair for climbers by offering ample grip, sensitivity, and precision. These traits will come in handy for individuals who need a secure foothold on cracks, boulders, and small edges, among others.

Qualities to look for in good climbing shoes for intermediate climbers

Best intermediate climbing shoes

Best intermediate climbing shoes - November 2019

  • Grip. Intermediate climbing shoes are used for a wide variety of climbing disciplines, such as bouldering, edging, and hooking. As such, they are equipped with sticky rubber soles to help you gain traction on tricky surfaces. These soles are usually 4mm thick and made of a high-friction rubber compound for optimal stickiness.
  • Sensitivity. When looking for new intermediate climbing shoes, you need to consider if their sensitivity suits your preferences. Flexible kicks are ideal for gaining a foothold on slabs while stiff offerings are your go-to option for edging. Some shoes for intermediate climbers sport medium-stiff midsoles to deliver all-around performance for different climbing techniques.
  • Fit. Getting the right fit from your target intermediate climbing shoes is essential to your performance. In the climbing world, there are three types of closure you can consider - Velcro, lace-up, and slip-ons (slippers).
  • Durability. Some of the best intermediate climbing shoes are engineered to withstand harsh conditions during an ascent. Kicks that feature leather uppers and thick rubber outsoles are a safe choice if you value lasting durability.

Notable brands that manufacture the best intermediate climbing shoes

La Sportiva

La Sportiva intermediate climbing shoes are sought after for their blend of performance and quality. Some of their best kicks come with features that maximize your performance for both indoor and outdoor activities. For instance, their No Edge shoes are ideal for individuals in need of better sensitivity and an increased contact area to secure a foothold.


Scarpa climbing shoes are known for giving excellent results in various disciplines, such as crack climbing and bouldering. Some of their finest climbing pieces are equipped with a Bi-Tension Active rand to give you enough toe power required to claw on small holds. Moreover, several intermediate climbing shoes from Scarpa lower the tension on your Achilles tendon for an increase in comfort.

Five Ten

Intermediate climbing shoes manufactured by Five Ten are built to handle multi-pitch routes, slabs, and crack climbs. Their moderately downturned kicks feature a medium-stiff midsole that allows you to feel small cracks and bare edges. Some of these Five Ten offerings use Stealth C4 outsoles, a high-friction rubber compound that grants an ideal level of grip for challenging terrain.


Climbing shoes from Butora yield a number of qualities that may come in handy for intermediate climbers. The brand’s best kicks use uppers made of split leather, nylon mesh, and silicon sponge for a blend of robustness and moisture management. They also feature Butyl Butora F5 rubber soles to help you establish a foothold on tiny edges and pockets.

15 best intermediate climbing shoes

  1. Black Diamond Zone
  2. Evolv Nighthawk
  3. Evolv Shaman
  4. La Sportiva Skwama
  5. Scarpa Vapor V
  6. Boreal Lynx
  7. La Sportiva Cobra
  8. So iLL Street LV
  9. So iLL Free Range
  10. So iLL Street
  11. La Sportiva Kataki
  12. Five Ten Wall Master
  13. Five Ten Moccasym
  14. Boreal Diabolo
  15. Scarpa Instinct
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