Review of Top Bouldering Shoes Brands: What to Consider

Searching for the ideal climbing shoes can seem overwhelming, given the vast array of models and brands available. As a passionate rock climber, I’ve encountered this challenge myself and have dedicated numerous hours to finding the perfect pair.

This article provides you with detailed reviews of top bouldering shoe brands that I’ve field-tested myself and key factors for consideration, ensuring you make an informed decision. Ready? Let’s find your perfect fit!

Key Takeaways

  • The top bouldering shoe brands include La Sportiva Solution, Five Ten HiAngle,
  • Factors to consider when choosing bouldering shoes are comfort, performance,
  • The importance of comfort in bouldering shoes is emphasized with features like
  • Performance is a critical factor in bouldering shoes with features like downturned shape,

Top Bouldering Shoes Brands

The top bouldering shoe brands include La Sportiva Solution, Five Ten HiAngle, Evolv Shaman, Mad Rock Flash, La Sportiva Skwama, Butora Acro, Scarpa Instinct VS, La Sportiva Miura VS, and La Sportiva Tarantulace.

La Sportiva Solution

The La Sportiva Solution is an exceptional choice for every bouldering enthusiast. Its key features, such as a patented P3 Permanent Power Platform system and aggressive downturned shape, provide excellent ability to bear weight on small holds with precision.

Notably, in 2023 we saw improvements that have deepened their heel cup for better security during heel hooks. The updated locking harness ensures this shoe adjusts perfectly to your foot shape providing unparalleled comfort—one of the main factors you need when choosing bouldering shoes.

I’ve field-tested these shoes myself and found them unsurpassable in terms of sensitivity and grip—two critical things all climbers value highly. Plus, being from La Sportiva—a brand known for its high-quality climbing gear—the Solution guarantees durability and long-lasting wearability even under intense conditions making it my top pick amongst all!

Five Ten HiAngle

In my experience as a rock climber, one brand that consistently stands out is the Five Ten HiAngle bouldering shoe. Known for its exceptional performance and versatility, this shoe is a top choice among amateur climbers like myself.

The HiAngle features a downturned profile that provides excellent precision on small holds and edges, making it perfect for steep or overhanging routes. Its sticky rubber sole offers incredible grip and sensitivity, allowing me to feel even the tiniest footholds.

Comfort is also paramount with the HiAngle, thanks to its padded tongue and synthetic upper that molds to my foot shape over time. Whether I’m tackling challenging boulder problems or pushing my limits on sport climbs, these shoes never let me down.

Evolv Shaman

As an amateur rock climber, one bouldering shoe brand that you should definitely consider is the Evolv Shaman. Known for its impeccable performance and comfort, the Evolv Shaman is a top choice among climbers.

With its unique design and innovative features, this shoe provides excellent grip and sensitivity on the rock surface, allowing you to make precise foot placements. The durable construction ensures that these shoes can withstand the toughest climbing conditions, giving you long-lasting use.

Whether you’re tackling steep overhangs or delicate slabs, the Evolv Shaman delivers exceptional performance every time. Don’t miss out on experiencing the high-quality craftsmanship of these bouldering shoes!

Mad Rock Flash

I’ve got to say, the Mad Rock Flash is definitely a bouldering shoe worth considering. It’s not just budget-friendly; it also delivers performance and comfort that can rival even some of the more expensive models out there.

The Flash features a moderate downturn with a medium-stiff midsole, providing excellent support and precision on small edges and pockets. The rubber on these shoes offers great grip, allowing you to confidently stick to those challenging holds.

And when it comes to comfort, the Mad Rock Flash doesn’t disappoint either. With its breathable upper and comfortable fit, you’ll be able to climb for longer without any discomfort or hot spots.

La Sportiva Skwama

As an amateur rock climber, you’re probably looking for a bouldering shoe that offers excellent performance and comfort. The La Sportiva Skwama is a top contender in these areas. With its precise fit and sticky rubber, it provides the sensitivity and grip needed to tackle challenging routes.

The Skwama’s P3 platform technology ensures optimal power transmission while maintaining flexibility, making it suitable for both overhangs and slabs. Additionally, its S-Heel construction offers heel hooking excellence.

As someone new to bouldering, investing in a shoe like the La Sportiva Skwama will enhance your climbing experience and help you progress quickly on different types of terrain.

Butora Acro

I’ve had the opportunity to test out a variety of bouldering shoes, and one that stood out to me was the Butora Acro. These shoes offer excellent performance and are suitable for both indoor and outdoor climbing.

The aggressive downturn provides great precision on small edges and pockets, while the sticky rubber sole offers fantastic grip on different types of rock surfaces.

The Butora Acro also features a unique triple fork hook-and-loop closure system that allows for a secure fit without any pressure points. This is especially important during intense climbs when you need your shoes to stay snugly in place.

The synthetic upper material is durable and breathable, ensuring long-lasting comfort during those extended sessions at the crag.

As an amateur climber, I appreciate how the Butora Acro strikes a balance between sensitivity and support. They allow me to feel the rock beneath my feet while still providing enough stiffness for edging on tiny holds.

The shoe’s asymmetric shape also promotes better power transfer through your toes for those explosive moves.

Scarpa Instinct VS

I have personally field-tested the Scarpa Instinct VS, and I must say it’s a top contender for bouldering shoes. The Instinct VS offers exceptional performance with its precise fit and excellent sensitivity that allows you to feel every foothold.

The shoe features Vibram XS Edge rubber, which provides incredible grip on both indoor and outdoor surfaces. Not only does the Instinct VS excel in performance, but it also offers great durability, ensuring that your investment lasts longer.

Overall, if you are looking for a high-performing bouldering shoe that combines precision with durability, the Scarpa Instinct VS is definitely worth considering.

La Sportiva Miura VS

As an amateur rock climber, you may be on the lookout for a bouldering shoe that offers a perfect balance of performance and comfort. Let me introduce you to the La Sportiva Miura VS, one of the top bouldering shoes available in 2023.

This shoe is known for its exceptional edging capabilities and precision when it comes to climbing on steep terrain. The Miura VS features a Vibram XS Edge rubber sole that provides excellent grip and sensitivity, allowing you to feel every hold.

The hook-and-loop closure system ensures a secure fit, while the overall design of the shoe promotes optimal foot placement and stability. With its durable construction and superior performance, the La Sportiva Miura VS is definitely worth considering as your next pair of bouldering shoes.

La Sportiva Tarantulace

As an amateur rock climber, you may be looking for a bouldering shoe that offers both comfort and performance. La Sportiva Tarantulace is a top brand known for providing just that. With its lace-up closure system, the Tarantulace allows you to easily adjust the fit to your liking.

The shoes are designed with a moderate downturn and asymmetrical shape, making them suitable for various climbing styles.

When it comes to comfort, the Tarantulace features a lined synthetic leather upper that molds to your foot over time, ensuring a personalized fit. The sticky FriXion RS rubber sole provides excellent grip on different types of rock surfaces.

Additionally, these shoes are known for their durability, meaning they will last through countless climbs.

One important thing to consider when choosing bouldering shoes is sizing. The Tarantulace tends to run small, so it’s recommended to size up half or even a full size larger than your regular shoe size for optimal comfort and performance.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Bouldering Shoes

When choosing bouldering shoes, it is important to consider factors such as comfort, performance, foot shape, closure systems, and rubber.


Comfort is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing bouldering shoes. As an amateur rock climber, you’ll spend hours on your feet, making it crucial to have shoes that provide a comfortable fit.

Look for shoes with padded collars and tongues that offer cushioning and reduce pressure points. Additionally, a shoe with a soft and breathable lining will keep your feet dry and prevent discomfort caused by sweat build-up.

It’s also essential to find a shoe that molds to the shape of your foot without overly restricting movement or causing pain. Prioritize comfort during long climbing sessions by selecting bouldering shoes that prioritize padding, breathability, and flexibility while still providing the necessary support for optimal performance on the wall.


As an amateur rock climber, one of the most important factors to consider when choosing bouldering shoes is their performance. The right pair of shoes can greatly enhance your climbing experience by providing optimal grip and sensitivity on the rock surface.

When it comes to performance, you’ll want to look for shoes that offer excellent edging ability and smearing capabilities. Features such as a downturned shape, sticky rubber soles, and a snug fit are all indicators of high-performance bouldering shoes.

Additionally, durability is crucial to ensure your shoes can withstand rigorous climbing sessions without wearing out quickly. By selecting a pair of bouldering shoes that prioritize performance, you’ll be able to tackle even the toughest climbs with confidence and precision.

Foot shape

When it comes to choosing the right bouldering shoes, one important factor to consider is your foot shape. Every climber’s feet are unique, and different shoe brands cater to different foot shapes.

For example, some shoes are designed with a narrower fit for those with slimmer feet, while others offer a wider toe box for climbers with broader feet. It’s crucial to find a shoe that matches your specific foot shape to ensure maximum comfort and performance on the wall.

So when trying on bouldering shoes, pay attention to how they feel around your toes and the overall fit of the shoe in relation to your foot shape.

Closure systems

When it comes to choosing the right bouldering shoes, one important factor to consider is the closure system. The closure system determines how well the shoes will fit your feet and provide the necessary support while climbing.

There are three main types of closure systems: lace-up, Velcro, and slip-on. Lace-up closures offer a customizable fit and allow for adjustments as needed during your climb. They provide a secure and tight fit but can be time-consuming to put on and take off.

Velcro closures, on the other hand, offer convenience as they are quick and easy to adjust. They provide a snug fit but may not offer as much customization as lace-up closures. Slip-on closures are typically used in beginner-friendly bouldering shoes as they are easy to put on and take off.

However, they may not provide the same level of security or support compared to lace-up or Velcro options.


One crucial factor to consider when choosing bouldering shoes is the type of rubber used in their construction. The quality and stickiness of the rubber can greatly impact your performance on the wall.

Look for shoes with high-friction rubber that provides excellent grip on different types of surfaces. Brands like La Sportiva, Scarpa, Evolv, and Five Ten are known for using top-notch rubber compounds in their bouldering shoe models.

It’s important to note that there are various rubber formulations available, each offering different levels of sensitivity and durability. So make sure to check out reviews and recommendations from experienced climbers to find a shoe with the right balance of stickiness and longevity for your climbing style.

Reviews and Recommendations

In this section, we will provide in-depth reviews and recommendations for the top bouldering shoe brands mentioned earlier.

Top pick: La Sportiva Solution

My top pick for bouldering shoes is the La Sportiva Solution. These shoes are incredibly popular among climbers for their outstanding performance and versatility. The aggressive downturned shape allows for precise foot placements on even the smallest holds, giving you an edge in challenging climbs.

The Vibram XS Grip 2 rubber provides excellent grip, ensuring that you can trust your feet on any surface. Not only are they high-performing, but they also offer a great balance of comfort and sensitivity.

The P3 (Permanent Power Platform) technology in these shoes ensures that they maintain their downturned shape over time, providing consistent performance throughout their lifespan. If you’re looking to take your climbing to the next level, I highly recommend giving the La Sportiva Solution a try.

Best value: Five Ten HiAngle

As an avid climber, I understand the importance of finding a pair of bouldering shoes that offer great value without compromising on performance. That’s why I highly recommend the Five Ten HiAngle as the best value option for amateur rock climbers like yourself.

These shoes are designed with both comfort and durability in mind, making them perfect for long climbing sessions.

The Five Ten HiAngle boasts excellent grip thanks to its sticky rubber outsole, allowing you to confidently tackle even the most challenging routes. Its snug fit ensures maximum precision and sensitivity, which are crucial when navigating tricky footholds.

Additionally, these shoes feature a lace closure system that allows for customizable adjustment according to your preferences.

What sets the Five Ten HiAngle apart from other bouldering shoes is its affordable price point without compromising on quality. You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy reliable performance on your climbing adventures.

Most comfortable: Evolv Shaman

The Evolv Shaman is hands down one of the most comfortable bouldering shoes out there. As an amateur rock climber, comfort is crucial to ensure a great climbing experience, and these shoes deliver on that front.

The Shaman features a roomy toe box that allows your toes to spread naturally, preventing any discomfort or cramping during those long climbing sessions. The shoe also provides excellent arch support, which helps reduce fatigue and keeps your feet feeling fresh even after hours on the wall.

With its precise heel fit and secure closure system, you can count on the Evolv Shaman to stay snugly in place without any hot spots or pressure points. Whether you’re tackling steep overhangs or delicate slab climbs, these shoes will keep you comfortable and confident every step of the way.

Budget pick and best for beginners: Mad Rock Flash

As an amateur rock climber, I understand the importance of finding quality bouldering shoes that won’t break the bank. That’s why I highly recommend the Mad Rock Flash as a budget-friendly option that is perfect for beginners like you.

With its affordable price tag, you don’t have to compromise on performance and comfort. The Mad Rock Flash provides excellent grip and sensitivity with its sticky rubber sole, allowing you to feel every hold on your ascent.

Its velcro closure system ensures a secure fit without the hassle of laces or buckles, making it convenient for quick adjustments while climbing. Made from durable materials, these shoes can withstand the rigors of indoor and outdoor climbing alike.

Other top brands and models

Off the beaten path, there are other notable brands of bouldering shoes that deserve your attention. These alternatives may not be as popular as the mainstream models, but they have unique features that make them stand out. No matter what your climbing style or preference is, there’s likely a shoe out there that’s perfect for you.

BrandModelKey Features
La SportivaTarantulaceOffers excellent grip and sensitivity. It’s an ideal pick for climbers with wide feet and beginners who are on a budget.
ButoraAcroKnown for its aggressive downturn and asymmetric shape, this shoe is for advanced climbers seeking precision and power on steep climbs.
ScarpaInstinct VSThis shoe provides a balance of sensitivity and power, making it suitable for both bouldering and sport climbing.
La SportivaMiura VSA classic in the world of rock climbing shoes, the Miura VS provides excellent edging and precision on small holds.
UnparallelUp Rise VCSDesigned with top-of-the-line rubber, offering great stickiness and durability. Ideal for moderate climbs.

Take your bouldering experience to the next level with these alternative shoes. They bring together durability, comfort, and performance, ensuring you conquer your climbs with confidence and style.


In conclusion, when it comes to choosing the perfect bouldering shoes, comfort, performance, and fit are key considerations. The top brands like La Sportiva, Scarpa, and Five Ten offer a range of models that cater to different needs and preferences.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, investing in the right pair of bouldering shoes can greatly enhance your climbing experience. So take into account factors like closure systems, rubber quality, and foot shape compatibility before making your choice.

Happy climbing!


1. What factors should I consider when choosing bouldering shoes?

When choosing bouldering shoes, it’s important to consider factors such as fit and comfort, type of climbing you will be doing (indoor or outdoor), shoe construction and materials, performance features like grip and sensitivity, and your own skill level.

2. Are there specific brands known for producing top-quality bouldering shoes?

Yes, there are several well-regarded brands in the market for their high-quality bouldering shoes. Some popular brands include La Sportiva, Scarpa, Five Ten (now Adidas Outdoor), Evolv, and Black Diamond. Each brand offers different models with unique features tailored for different types of climbers.

3. Can beginner climbers use advanced-level bouldering shoes?

While it is possible for beginner climbers to use advanced-level bouldering shoes, it may not always be recommended. Advanced-level shoes often have a more aggressive downturned shape with stiffer soles that provide better precision on small holds but can feel uncomfortable for beginners who are still developing their foot strength and technique. It is generally advisable for beginners to start with more comfortable and supportive all-around climbing shoe designs before transitioning to more specialized models.

4. How do I determine the right size for my bouldering shoes?

Finding the right size for your bouldering shoes can vary between brands and even different models within the same brand due to variations in last shapes and materials used. In general, you want your toes to lightly touch the front of the shoe without curling or feeling overly compressed while ensuring a snug fit throughout the rest of your foot without any painful pressure points or excessive heel movement when standing on edges or smearing holds.

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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