Do You Wear Socks With Rock Climbing Shoes?

If you’re new to rock climbing, or in recent times, you’ve been involved in the activity, there’s a chance that you’ve spotted one or two persons wearing rock climbing shoes with socks on. Socks can be a great way to fill out a big climbing shoe, leaving no loose movement or dead space.

The question which has however left many rock climbers puzzled is whether or not they can wear socks with their rock climbing shoes. While people may point at the scene and probably burst into laughter, it is worth considering, which is what we’ll be directing our focus to in this guide.

Many rock climbers have confessed to wearing socks along with their climbing shoes. You’ll know why that is so in a moment, keep reading to find out.

Yes, you can! Aside from the fact that socks are a good way to cushion your feet, they’re also useful in several ways, but you’ll hardly find a climber wearing one. I find wearing socks with a rock climbing shoe comfortable, but you must be ready to face the unprecedented attention if you follow suit.

Wear Socks With Rock Climbing Shoes

The truth is; rock climbing shoes are likely to be uncomfortable for beginners and wearing socks underneath them is a good way to feel more comfortable as it’s a more hygienic practice. In ancient rock climbing, every climber always has socks on with their rock climbing shoes. This is because it not only cushions your feet, it protects you from the sharp stitching on the inside of the shoe.

Although the odd heels on your rock climbing shoes may slip due to reduced sensitivity (which can also happen if you’re not wearing socks), so long as you fit your foot correctly, you should be good to go.

When Should You Wear Socks with Your Climbing Shoes?

Wearing climbing shoes with your socks on may not be generally acceptable but there are few cases where you need to keep those socks on. Let’s take a look at those scenarios. To fully pros and cons of wearing socks while rock climbing.

When Do I Need To Wear Socks With My Climbing Shoes

If You’re New To Rock Climbing

Beginners who are having their first experience with climbing shoes may have to keep their socks on to make climbing comfortable. Similarly, in situations where the temperature becomes unbearably hot, you can have preserved feet.

Crack Climbing

Crack Climbing is another reason why you may have to wear your socks. Jamming your foot consistently on a hard surface could easily cause an injury to your ankles. Getting extra protection from wearing socks will prevent you from having scraped skin.

Sweaty Feet

Socks are way effective in absorbing moisture and other unpleasant odor from your climbing shoes. Except you will not be toeing your way on technical edges, wearing your socks  may be the idea to get rid of sweaty feet.


Wearing socks while rock climbing may attract a lot of reaction from people, but below are a few advantages of wearing socks.

Wearing Socks While Rock Climbing


Every rock climber has gotten to the point when there’s no motivation to forge ahead. Most rock climbing shoes don’t have sufficient cushioning. This is to improve your foot sensitivity for you to have a feel of cracks, pockets, edges, and so on. With all that being said, socks will give you that extra cushioning you need to make rock climbing different and more motivating. You still get to feel the rocks and all the stuff you’ve got up there, but with comfort.

A Different Feeling

Yes, rock climbing with socks on feels a lot different. While some are of the opinion that it depends more on where you’re climbing and not what you’re climbing with, you must also pay attention to how you feel while climbing. It may not be a good idea for you to edge with your socks on, but you’ll find climbing a lot easier on cracks when you have your socks on. They can also keep your feet from aching and giving off an unpleasant odor

Climbers who do not like the idea of wearing socks with their rock climbing shoes may have an alternative. By putting some climbing chalk in your shoes, you’ll get the grip needed as well as reduce moisture that may cause odor.

Your Climbing Shoes Fit Better

Climbing feels better with tightly fit shoes. Having your socks on will help your feet fit better in your climbing shoes. If your climbing shoes are however snug, there’ll be nothing to fit. You may have to purchase a new pair of climbing shoes that you’ll have your socks with.

Our Thoughts

Climbing is what we all do at different stages. If at any point you feel the sport is not getting comfortable for you, chances are that something is missing in your climbing experience. If you discover that your feet hurt each time you set out on the cracks, try putting on cushioned socks with your rock climbing shoes and say no to painful climbing.

Wearing socks with shoes has always been the trend in the early years of rock climbing. This trend has taken a new turn over the years as several shoe manufacturing companies continue to produce rock climbing shoes that will improve feet sensitivity and allow climbers to feel what they are stepping on. This revolution in the history of rock climbing made the wearing of socks appear like an alien activity.

However, wearing socks while rock climbing can be a brilliant way to improve comfort as no one can tell what’s waiting for you up there. For climbing where peak performance is not a priority, you can decide to wear your socks for a smoother experience. This will make it much easier for you to maintain focus on your climbing as well as ensure the process rather than having to shove the thought about how long you have to ensure the pain in your feet.

Calvin Rivers

Hey, I’m Calvin Rivers, a climbing veteran with 10+ years on crags and walls around the world. I can’t wait for you to explore our site and fall in love with the outdoors just like I have.

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