50 best trad climbing shoes

Based on reviews from 179 experts and 1,147 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to trad climbing shoes. Updated Jun 2020.

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      1. Evolv Kronos - Black/Olive
        Any color
        Evolv Kronos - Black/Olive
      2. Scarpa Vapor V - Lime
        Any color
        Scarpa Vapor V - Lime
        $175 $102 Save 42%
      3. La Sportiva Mythos Eco - Greenbay
      4. Black Diamond Focus - black-diamond-focus-dc65
        $180 $100 Save 44%
      5. So iLL Free Range - Lime Green, Black
        $150 $100 Save 33%
      6. Five Ten Anasazi Lace - Pink
      7. Evolv Nighthawk - Gray/Black
        $80 $64 Save 20%
      8. Evolv Supra - White/Neon Green
        $145 $120 Save 17%
      9. La Sportiva Miura - Lime
        $165 $120 Save 27%
      10. Five Ten Grandstone - five-ten-grandstone-a848
      11. Scarpa Arpia - Black
        $160 $112 Save 30%
      12. Five Ten Rogue VCS - Lila Violett
        $100 $40 Save 60%
      13. Tenaya Tanta - Weiß-blau
      14. Scarpa Furia Air - Blue
        $200 $150 Save 25%
      15. Scarpa Force V - Black
        $140 $98 Save 30%
      16. Scarpa Maestro Mid Eco - Stone Lightgray
      17. Five Ten Anasazi VCS - Brown
      18. Five Ten Gambit VCS - SEMI-SOLAR GREEN
      19. Black Diamond Aspect - Aluminum
      20. La Sportiva Futura - Blue / Yellow
        $185 $174 Save 6%
      21. Five Ten Asym - Black
      22. So iLL New Zero - Grey and Black
      23. Scarpa Maestro Eco - Ink
        $190 $135 Save 29%
      24. Unparallel Up Mocc - unparallel-up-mocc-f1a5
      25. Butora Altura - butora-altura-80e8
        $160 $104 Save 35%
      26. Evolv Oracle - Blue/Red/Gray
        $175 $123 Save 30%
      27. Mad Rock Remora - Blue
        $95 $72 Save 24%
      28. La Sportiva Kataki - Ocean Sulphur
        $175 $132 Save 25%
      29. Butora Sensa - butora-sensa-661f
        $139 $63 Save 55%
      30. Scarpa Instinct VSR - Black/Azure
        $175 $139 Save 21%

      Trad climbing shoes are designed with an emphasis on improved technical performance and robustness so you can tackle more difficult climbs. Some trad climbing pieces use a flat shape for multi-pitch routes, while certain offerings are more downturned for technical routes. Moreover, they feature sticky rubber soles to help keep your foothold in these challenging conditions. Shown below are some tips to help you in finding the ideal trad climbing shoes.

      Features to check out when buying the best shoes for trad climbing

      Best trad climbing shoes

      Best trad climbing shoes - November 2019

      • Fit. Buyers should check the closure system of their target trad climbing shoes to achieve an ideal fit. There are three kinds of closure systems you can choose from - Velcro, lace-up, and slip-on (slippers).
      • Last shape. The rock shoe’s last shape is determined by the kind of climb you’re about to take. There are three options you can consider - straight, asymmetric, or downturned. Those built on straight lasts are ideal for long ascents and crack climbing. Meanwhile, trad climbing shoes with an asymmetric shape use a front point that goes over the user’s big toe. This quality delivers power on the shoe’s inside edge. Lastly, kicks with a downturned shape are geared towards difficult routes by giving optimal control and performance.
      • Upper material. Trad climbing shoes use an upper made of either leather or a synthetic material. Leather kicks, both lined and unlined, can stretch to accommodate the shape of your foot. On the other hand, synthetic shoes don’t stretch that much  (or won’t stretch at all).
      • Flexibility. Check your target pair if it’s slip-lasted or board-lasted. The latter is stiffer, while the former offers more sensitivity. Keep in mind that flexible trad climbing shoes are best used for smearing and slabbing while stiff kicks are preferred for tackling cracks.
      • Rubber. When shopping for new trad climbing shoes, it’s important to take a look at the rubber outsole’s thickness. Thick outsoles, ranging from 4 to 5.5mm, are durable and more supportive for edging. Outsoles that fall under 4mm offer more sensitivity, making them preferred for smearing on slabs. 

      Some brands that carry the best trad climbing shoes for men and women

      Five Ten

      Five Ten, an American outdoor brand, is one of the leading names when it comes to rock shoes. Their trad climbing shoes are engineered to help your feet perform on edges, cracks, and slabs. The finest Five Ten offerings feature an outsole made of Stealth rubber, which offers optimal grip and durability. 

      Scarpa

      Scarpa rock shoes for traditional climbers offer a lot of value for their price. These kicks come with flat soles that give ample comfort for multi-pitch wear. Their finest offerings also feature Vibram XS Edge rubber outsoles to aid climbers in edging.

      La Sportiva

      La Sportiva trad climbing shoes are built towards quality and performance. Their products specialize in delivering comfort and support for edging. They are constructed using durable materials so you can get the most out of them during a climb. A couple of La Sportiva climbing pieces also feature the brand’s No-Edge technology, which increases sensitivity to help you gain a better foothold during an ascent.

      15 best trad climbing shoes

      1. Evolv Nighthawk
      2. Evolv Supra
      3. La Sportiva Mythos Eco
      4. Scarpa Arpia
      5. Tenaya Tanta
      6. Five Ten Anasazi Lace
      7. So iLL Free Range
      8. Scarpa Furia Air
      9. Scarpa Force V
      10. Five Ten Grandstone
      11. Black Diamond Focus
      12. Evolv Kronos
      13. Scarpa Vapor V
      14. Five Ten Rogue VCS
      15. Five Ten Anasazi VCS