Shoes used for climbing small rock formations. They usually have features for edging and hooking. See bouldering shoes
Shoes used for climbing slabs. They are usually constructed to allow good smearing. See slab climbing shoes
Shoes used for sport climbing. They are usually downturned and have features for edging. See sport climbing shoes
Shoes used for trad climbing. They usually have components and durability that allow the foot to jam into cracks. See trad climbing shoes
Shoes for tackling cracks. Constructed with features that give comfort and allow jamming. See crack climbing shoes
Shoes for climbing overhangs. They have features that allow hooking and edging. See overhang climbing shoes
Shoes for face climbing. They have components for edging and smearing. See face climbing shoes
Shoes that can tackle different kinds of climbing. See all around climbing shoes
Also called flat climbing shoes. The sole of these shoes are flat. The sole is usually thick and stiff. Great for beginners. Comfy all day. See neutral climbing shoes
These shoes are slightly downturned. They're known as the all-around climbing shoes. See moderate climbing shoes
These are the aggressively arched climbing shoes. They are the grippiest and most sensitive type. High-performance. See aggressive climbing shoes
The bottom end of the lacing system is close to the toe rand of the shoe; it goes beyond the lower end of the instep. See Lace-to-toe climbing shoes.
Mostly leather or part leather climbing shoes. See leather climbing shoes
Mostly synthetic or part synthetic climbing shoes. See synthetic climbing shoes
Climbing shoes that are devoid of animal substance. See vegan climbing shoes
Climbing shoes that use a Vibram outsole. See Vibram climbing shoes
A fit that sacrifices comfort in favor of performance. The shoe feels tighter. See the best performance fit climbing shoes
A fit that favors comfort over performance. See the best comfort fit climbing shoes
Good to know
Manufacturers combine a performance and comfort fit for all-around performance.
Can easily bend, remain hooked on holds and perform toe hooks. Its flexible design is great for short technical climbs and short boulder routes. See soft climbing shoes
Has enough the stiffness for edging and ample flexibility for technical climbs. Usually delivers all-around performance. See medium stiff climbing shoes
Recommended for edging and long climbs. They lessen the fatique experienced by the foot and calf. See stiff climbing shoes
The foot feels closer to the rock with a no-edge rock shoe. See *the best no-edge climbing shoes*
A climbing shoe with a midsole, whether full or partial, offers additional support underfoot. Check out with midsole climbing shoes.
These are climbing shoes that underscore flexibility and promote sensitivity. Check out without midsole climbing shoes.
These particular kicks double down on support and lasting comfort. They are rigid enough for edge-stype surfaces. Check out full midsole climbing shoes.
A rock climbing shoe with a partial midsole bridges the gap between flexibility and supportiveness. Check out partial midsole climbing shoes.
Whether the ascents you prefer demand pin-point precision or the routes you frequent require technical know-how and skills, high-quality Unparallel climbing shoes can help you make a difference. When it comes to variety, these fine offerings are capable of responding to the needs and wants of both newcomers and experienced climbers.
The masterminds over at Unparallel are driven to outdo the competition by putting out pieces that use some of the finest materials known to the climbing world. With that, climb-centric kicks from this brand are positioned to make problem-sending as fun and engaging as possible. So if surmounting verticals occupies a big space in your daily life, opting for a pair of UP climbing shoes is hardly a bad idea.
The benefits that some of the best Unparallel climbing shoes have on offer
A place of support
Have you ever mounted on a tiny ledge only to slowly lose your bearings because your pair of rock climbing shoes could not hold up? What about that time when you had to work harder than usual (performing almost every technical maneuver you could think of) just to negotiate a couple of chips and micro-edges? Those situations could have been avoided had you gone for some of the best Unparallel climbing shoes.
Yes, most climbing kicks from this brand are engineered with a midsole, whose primary role is to support the foot, particularly on edges and similar projections. This component is usually made stiff so that surefootedness can be achieved on mountable holds without resulting in unnecessary leg strain. On the contrary, a soft midsole, which some Unparallel shoes have, is ideal for ascents where technique is required.
Which Unparallel climbing shoe is the most supportive?
There is no information published as to the most supportive UP rock shoe. That said, if you need more of this particular quality in your quiver, opt for neutral or beginner climbing shoes, as these pieces are usually flat and stiff underfoot.
Unparallel knows the importance of having the ability to get on a variety of surfaces with adequate traction. As such, they developed an in-house rubber compound that can provide sufficient slip and skid resistance, whether on man-made structures or rocky routes. This high-grade rubber can take the form of a sticky outsole or an abrasion-resistant rand.
Ease of access (to and from)
Are you someone who likes slipping in and out of shoes as quickly as possible? If so, Unparallel rock climbing shoes should be right up your alley.
Indeed, many offerings from UP are built with hardy synthetic pull loops, which come in twos or threes depending on the pair. Suggestion: If you find lacing up a bit too time-consuming, then perhaps Unparallel’s slip-on kicks just might tickle your fancy.
A sense of comfort
On the comfort front, climb-specific Unparallel shoes compete with some of the comfiest rock shoes from other known shoemaking companies. The plushness of these shoes may be directly linked to their slightly padded confines. In addition, some climbing shoes from this brand are lined, which can deliver extra cushioning on longer routes and multi-pitch ascents.
If you are looking for rock shoes that you can use on different types of terrain without dying on you prematurely, chances are you will not be let down by Unparallel’s high-quality climbing shoes. Indeed, these pieces come with a promise of lasting many send attempts, thanks to their solid overall construction and sufficient rubber-based reinforcements.
How long do Unparallel shoes last?
While there is no available official resource touching on this matter, a pair of Unparallel rock climbing shoes are likely to stay in good shape over several months of use. That said, it all boils down to how much care is given to them. To that end, consider practicing the steps that follow:
- Avoid walking in them. Try your best to resist walking in your Unparallel climbing shoes. This is especially true about highly downturned (a.k.a. aggressive) kicks. Otherwise, you are likely to see your pair wearing out quickly. Do not let indifference or laziness get the better of you. If you need to walk where you need to be indoors, remove them first. In an outdoor setting, it is best to switch to your go-to approach hikers if the walk to your next route is long or if you have no climbing mat to use as a cushion.
- Clean them often. It should be in your best interest to keep your Unparallel shoes clean if you wish for them to stick around for longer. Pulling this off can be as easy as brushing off stuck dirt or debris from the rubber outsole and rands. You may also use a damp cloth (not soaking wet) to remove traces of chalk and other smudges from them. If your pair can be machine washed, do so by following UP-approved instructions.
- Store them properly. Unparallel rock shoes must be stored somewhere cool and shaded—away from the scathing glare of the sun. By doing this, you are preventing their rubberized parts from warping and, in the case of aggressive offerings, their downturn from losing their form. Tip: Throw in a couple of packets of silica gel in your storage box to prevent mold buildup.
Unparallel rock climbing shoes and the aspects that make them stick out
With over two decades in the footwear manufacturing industry, Unparallel (also known as Unparallel Sports) has a growing roster of outdoor-centric shoes, which includes both mountain biking kicks and rock climbing shoes. They take pride in their years of shoemaking experience, rivaling even those companies that precede their inception.
Presently, their main objective of producing some of the best and most sought-after rock shoes still remains crystal clear. And if that is anything to go by, fans of the climb can expect even greater things from them.
Unparallel is a proud US-based company. As such, they make all their climbing shoes in-house. Yes, from design concept to final packaging, all their offerings may be considered All-American. With that, climbers like you can expect every UP pair to have gone through and passed American quality assurance and standards.
Unparallel’s climbing shoes average around $140, which puts them in the “slightly expensive” category. The brand has premium ones on offer, although most of them are moderate to aggressive kicks. If you are after an affordable pair of rock shoes, slip-ons are your best bet.
Unparallel-exclusive rubber technology
The highly-skilled engineers and craftsmen over at Unparallel need not rely on a third-party company to make every shoe that they create stick. No, they have access to the company’s own rubber technology conveniently called Unparallel Rubber. Its climb-centric variations will be discussed in the following:
- Short for Virtual Damping, this type of rubber promises to provide a high level of friction without compromising sensitivity. As its name implies, it is capable of mitigating shock on impact.
- Real Supreme is a type of rubber that favors overhanging terrain. It can easily conform to tiny edges and crystals.
- Also known as Real Honour, the RH rubber is characterized by a combination of longevity and sticking power. It is one of Unparallel’s more well-rounded rubber compound.
Climb-centric Unparallel shoes (men’s and women’s) fit and sizing guide
Many of Unparallel’s climbing shoes are built for men. That said, the remaining kicks from this brand are unisex, which can accommodate senders from the female gender camp. Such shoes require women to go down one and a half sizes to get a performance-oriented fit.
Some UP rock shoes have low-volume (LV) counterparts. These offerings have a narrow width and an instep zone that is less spacious than normal.
Since many of Unparallel’s climb-specific kicks are synthetic, wearers might get very minimal stretch out of them. Most UP rock shoes are also asymmetric, which will force the foot to bend inward.
On the lockdown front, Unparallel rock climbing shoes are quite varied. Some sport a Velcro closure system, some are lace-ups, and some are slip-ons, which use highly elastic gore panels to rein in the foot.
Unparallel climbing shoes vs. Scarpa climbing shoes
The California-based company that is Unparallel has gained enough popularity over the years. As such, many senders are compelled to compare their high-quality climbing shoes with kicks from competitors. One of their rivals is Scarpa. Pore through the list that follows to find out some of the things that set their offerings apart.
Pricing. In this area, UP rock shoes take the cake. Indeed, on average, they are less expensive than Scarpa climbing shoes by approximately $30.
Weight. Scarpa’s climb-focused shoes win this round. On average, they are lighter than Unparallel climbing shoes by roughly 50 grams.
Selection. On this front, Scarpa appears to have the upper hand. Yes, their lineup of climbing shoes dwarfs that of Unparallel’s by a considerable gap.
Outsole technology. As previously discussed (see: Unparallel-exclusive rubber technology), climbing shoes from this brand use proprietary rubber. The kicks from Unparallel’s competitor, on the other hand, sport outsoles from a third-party company called Vibram.