Best Women's Climbing Shoes

Women's Climbing Shoes - Reviews & Guides For 2020

Our Top Women's Climbing Shoes

Need Help Choosing Women's Climbing Shoes?

Women's Climbing shoes buying guide

Long gone are the days when men were only allowed to taste the thrill of adventurous activities. Today women are fully capable of meeting the expectations and pave their way to the top.

Whether it is to climb the steepest terrain or dive to a massive depth of the sea, women are never behind. When it comes to climbing challenging and high heights, you need to consider proper footwear. As your feet will be going through rigorous strain and tension, you need to invest in the shoes that provide proper comfort and support.

Women's climbing shoes are specially fabricated to support the feet adequately. The boots protect the feet from several injuries and provide sufficient comfort to reduce the pressure and strain. However, you must choose the right fit for your feet.

Selecting a suitable pair of boots can be a little confusing. With so many options to explore, you must consider the critical factors that best suit your needs. A buying guide contains all the necessary information on critical characteristics.

Referring to it will save your time to gather all the information. Moreover, you will have enough knowledge about the product to funnel down the best option for your feet.

Before starting with the guide, let us get a brief introduction to the product.

What are Women's climbing shoes? Why do you need them?

To enhance your climbing and hiking experience and ensure that your journey is comfortable yet enjoyable, you should always look out for the right pair of climbing shoes.

Women's climbing shoes play a significant role in providing support and comfort to the narrow and smaller female feet while at the same time taking the entire responsibility of their safety and success in their ongoing activity.

While selecting your climbing shoes, you should always give you more preference for your climbing style and skills because there are many Women's climbing shoes choices out there, which may confuse you at times.

Apart from the style you opt for, you should also consider your shoe size, which is crucial to find the right fit for your feet.

Women's climbing shoes offer a custom fit for your toe region, which provides you with more comfort.

Why should you read a buying guide before selecting the right pair?

By reading the buying guide, you will be able to wrap your mind around different elements of the product, which might go unseen under the over gloating of different brands. With every characteristic dissected in front of your mind, you can easily choose the best option.

Let us now start with the in-depth detail about different elements of the product

Types of Women's climbing shoes

Climbing shoes form the interaction between the surface and the feet, and it is essential to get the right pair of shoes, which will help you reach your destination without holding you back.

There are many different kinds of shoes that you will come across while searching for the best one.

For getting access to the perfect Women's climbing shoes, you are required to have a detailed knowledge of various types of Women's climbing shoes available in the market, which may directly or indirectly affect your much-awaited adventure.

The following are different types of Women's climbing shoes from which you can choose your favorite companion.

  1. Neutral

They offer you more comfort and are the best choice if you prefer wearing them throughout the day. Many beginners opt for neutral shoes and the experienced ones who want comfortable shoes all day long. They provide more room for your toes so that they can lie flat inside.

Pros

  1. You feel comfortable all the time
  2. Thick rubber soles for firm support to your feet and generally have medium or stiff mid-soles
  3. Flat characteristic of the shoes allows your feet to fit into narrow cracks

Cons

  1. The relaxed fit of the shoes is not desirable for the rough terrain
  2. Thick and stiff soles are not delicate like the thinner soles in other types of shoes.
  1. Moderate

Also called 'camber' are distinguished by their downward shape, which enables them climbing that requires skills and techniques.

Pros

  1. The downward shape helps the climber climb on more challenging terrains and rough surfaces with the feet at a commanding position.
  2. Have thinner and sticky rubber soles for better grip.
  3. Enjoyable than aggressive shoe types.

Cons

  1. Offer less relaxation than neutral shoes
  2. Thinner soles and sticky rubber wear off pretty soon than the soles of the neutral shoes.
  3. Less suited for challenging boulder-filled terrains and overhung routes.
  1. Aggressive

Provide a lot of heel tension to offer more strength and power for steep and challenging climbs. Most shoes are curved towards the big toe, thus giving it a different shape.

The shape helps in imposing power over the toe for the better placing of the foot on the small cracks. Because of the narrow fit, experienced climbers prefer it for single-pitch short climbs.

Pros

  1. Asymmetric shape puts the feet in a commanding position for technical climbs with great precision for overhanging climbs, boulder problems, etc.
  2. Have thinner soles & stickier rubber than other types for excellent feel and grip

Cons

  1. Gives less comforting experience than neutral and moderate shoes.
  2. The stickier rubber and thin soles wear off faster and are not long-lasting.

Things to deem about while selecting an appropriate Women's climbing shoes

Climbing shoes are the most ordinary and vital climbing gear, and they have a significant impact on your climbing performance.

Women's climbing shoes are made primarily to cater to the elegant shape of female feet and their small size.

For a female climber, comfortable yet good looking shoes are a must-have, and to suit your taste, there are wide ranges of women's climbing shoes with varying features, be it the material, design, durability, etc.

Before reaching any conclusion, let us have a look at the different features of women's climbing shoes, which you must focus on while purchasing.

Material

The shoes are majorly made of three materials:

  1. Leather

If you have an odd-shaped foot, which makes it difficult for you to get a perfect pair of shoes, you should rely on the shoes made of leather, which stretch on the areas where pressure is applied, thus making it comfortable for you to face the rugged terrain.

The amount of stretch in the shoe depends on how tightly it hugs your feet. The tighter the shoe, the more it stretches.

Leather breathes more than synthetic material, which means your foot sweats less, and the quantity of air inside the shoe is more. Also, a breathable material reduces the odor which you may incur otherwise.

  1. Synthetic

Unlike leather, synthetic fiber has less stretchability, and hence, you get access to the right shoe size.

If you want to make sure that your shoe doesn't stretch with passing time, then the appropriate material will be synthetic.

Although synthetic is less breathable, it traps the odor inside, but thanks to the ease of cleaning that comes with it, it helps you get rid of that bad stink.

Also, most of the synthetic shoes do not get damaged due to water.

  1. Hybrid (synthetic and leather)

Don't want to bear the headache of size issues and stretching problems?

You should undoubtedly go for the hybrid shoes, which ensure minimal stretching and offer you the ease of sizing. But this all depends on the leather-synthetic ratio.

These shoes fit you well except the leather areas, which can stretch to accommodate your foot in a relaxed manner without causing any discomfort.

Fit

Shoes are the protective shields of our feet. While we climb on rugged cliffs and rough rocks, our dear companions secure our foot from getting injured.

Shoe bites are the worst nightmare of a person purchasing brand new shoes, and to ensure it, you should always search for the perfect fit that does not give you shoe bites and feel like a bed of feathers while you wear it.

The ideas Women's climbing shoes should provide a cozy fit. You should think of the fit, like a firm hug that is cozy and comfortable and, at the same time, not painful and choking.

Your shoe should not slip mid-climb and should give a relaxed and movement-friendly fit to you. The exact fit assists you during your vertical climbs. The shoes should not injure your toes and should not interfere in your climb by causing pain.

Volume

Women's climbing shoes generally differ slightly as compared to their male counterparts. This is because women have small feet and narrow heels. When searching out for a shoe, it is better to move past the gender label and focus more on your comfort.

Regardless of your gender, never rule out Women's climbing shoes, which have specific designs tailored according to the needs of women. These are cut lower at the ankle region according to the shape of female feet and have smaller cups for the heels.

They have longer toe beds to suit the slender shape of the feet that women have and, unlike the men's shoes, have lower forefoot volume.

There are splendid designs available for women in the market, and you will be surprised to know that the significant part of the customer base comprises men who have low-volume feet.

Shoe volume differs with brands.

Shoe last

A 'last' is the foundation on which the entire shoe is built. It is foot-shaped. The height, toe dimension, volume, etc. is obtained from the shoe last. Climbing shoes come with two types of shoe lasts:

  1. Slip-lasted

They are sensitive and less stiff. They consist of only the mid-sole, which gives them the required stiffness.

  1. Board-lasted

They are more rigid and less sensitive compared to the slip-lasted shoes. They offer more comfort and relaxation and are preferred as all-day wear.

The shoe last also determines the shape of the climbing shoe because it is the ultimate requirement for building the structure of the shoe. There are three shoe last shapes:

  1. Straight: Neutral shoes have this shape. They are known to provide comfort.
  2. Asymmetric: Moderate and aggressive shoes have this shape. They are an excellent choice for technical climbers.
  3. Downturn: Moderate and aggressive shoes have this shape with the aggressive shoe having more inclination towards the toe. Regard best to magnify the performance.

Comfort

Many Women's climbing shoes come with extra cushioning and padded tongues, primarily to provide comfort to the person wearing it.

However, too much comfort can lead to decreased performance and a lack of sensitivity.

If your feet sweat more, you should look for more breathable material and moisture absorbing linings. Climbing shoes trap odor inside them because of the hard work you do while climbing, which leads to the secretion of excessive sweat, which may result in skin infections and sores.

The essential part of comfort is the fit of the shoe. You should ensure that your shoe fits well. Though the other parts of the shoes will stretch on repeated use, the rubber will not.

So, if the shoe is pinching and giving you discomfort, then that's not the right shoe for your climbing expedition and may cause you injuries mid-way and decrease your performance.

Durability

Durability is a vital factor if you want to invest in something that lasts long and stays intact in your difficult times by providing you an adequate amount of support that you need.

The thicker lining of the rubber lasts long while the thinner ones wear off pretty fast because of the sweat and the friction caused. Choose the perfect shoe for you, which pays well and matches your climbing style and the routes along which you travel.

If you are going for a downturned shoe, aggressive shoes will be the appropriate choice for you because they are designed to last long and not wear off quickly while maintaining its shape. They are made to endure the rough terrain and face it without getting damaged so quickly.

Closure

Lace and Velcro are the most common shoe closures. Selecting a closure depends on your preference and fit.

  1. Velcro

Average foot or huge toes, velcros are a great fit. Mostly velcros are used by people who are boulderers because of the speed they have to apply and take off.

  1. Lace

Oddly shaped, fussy feet, laced shoes have customizable fit. They allow you to adjust the shoe as you go along as per your preference making it more versatile.

  1. Slip-on

Often called slippers, they offer excellent sensitivity and are great for training. They don't have the traditional stiff sole. They have a low profile without the straps and laces, which makes them great for fitting in into the narrow cracks of the rocks.

Nowadays, more slipper options are available in the market.

  1. Strap

Also known as hooks and loops, these closures are great for gym climbing when you will slip the shoes off between your climb.

Upper, Midsole, and Outsole

  1. Upper sole

The ideal Women's climbing shoes have inbuilt unlined leather material because of the ability to stretch over time to give a custom fit. Also, leather is damage-proof, which ensures adequate protection and secures your foot from all the harm.

The unlined material gives a breathable nature to the shoe, which helps release the trapped odor inside the shoe, which can lead to the birth of uninvited bacteria which you don't want.

  1. Midsole

The midsole can either be stiff or soft. These impact the performance of your climb because the soft midsoles are thinner and provide high sensitivity, which is ideal for technical climbing.

Stiff midsoles help reduce the shoe to its original shape when pressure is applied. They offer great support and enhance performance.

  1. Outsole

Women's climbing shoes should have more grip to help you enhance your performance because this feature helps increase the friction between the shoe and the rock surface. Thicker outsoles provide support, durability, protection but are also less sensitive. Shoes having thicker outsoles are used by technical climbers.

Downturn

Moderate and aggressive shoes have a downturn shape in them for better performance of the climber.

They have a pointed or downward curve towards the toe of your foot. This is ideal for technical climbers, and it also features comfort and thin outsoles for additional flexibility and sensitivity.

Water resistance

Most of the Women's climbing shoes feature leather outer layer and rubber outsole fabrication. These two features are known to provide water-resistant characteristics to the boots so that they can be weather-friendly and can be used anywhere at any time.

Before making any purchase, you should always consider these features to ensure that you have adequate protection with you.

Profile

The three most commonly found profiles in Women's climbing shoes are straight, downturn, and asymmetric.

  1. Straight

These offer a relaxed fit and are more comfortable. Neutral shoes generally have this shape of the shoe last. They are ideal for long climbing journeys.

  1. Asymmetric

Most of the boots built on these lasts are moderate and aggressive shoes depending on the downturn amount. They provide a single point of contact of your foot with the rock because the shape places the longest point over the big toe.

  1. Downturn

This shape inclined more towards the toe. Found in moderate and aggressive types of shoes. These are the best choices for the climbers who go on challenging routes and expect exceptional performance.

How to get the best fitting shoes?

Years ago, shoe manufacturers didn't have the technology and knowledge about making good shoes as they have today. Shoes that are looking good on the outside but are pinching, stuffy, and squeezy inside, are not in vogue nowadays.

With passing time, the taste of every individual is changing, and so are their preferences. The more comfortable the shoes are, the more adorable they are. Although climbing shoes are required to have a cozy fit, they are not expected to offer you pinching pain.

The size of the boots changes with various brands. The goal is that you should feel like walking on a velvety carpet. The best way to find the best fitting shoes is to try them physically and to try on as many shoes you can lay your hands on.

Pick a size down, if:

  1. Your toes can wiggle around, and your heels tend to slip
  2. Your foot can move freely from one side to the other
  3. You can feel the "dead space" inside the shoe
  4. Your toes do not touch the end of your shoes

Pick a size up, if:

  1. The shoe is too tight and causing pain
  2. You cannot move your toes freely, and they are stuck in one position
  3. You can't stand on your toes and need someone to hold you

Once you get to know which brand's shoes are fitting you well, you can buy your future shoes from the same brand.

Go for the shoes which fit you well and in which you feel comfortable. Brands, reviews, and other's opinions do not matter because it is you who is going to wear it, and your opinion matters the most. If you feel pain after moving a short distance, then you should go either a size up or a size down or lookout for a different model and a different brand.

You can look out for shoes at local footwear shops or even find them online where you will get access to compare a vast range of shoes having different designs and prices.

FAQs

  1. I am new to the climbing sport. Which type of sole should I get?

As a newbie in the sport, you should go for a thicker sole. You won't be able to feel the surface beneath your show, but then the shoe will provide proper support for you to learn all the tricks and techniques and keep your feet comfortable all day long.

  1. What is the best closure system for the shoes if I have to wear socks with them?

It would be best if you opted for a lace closure system. It provides you with the ability to maintain a proper grip and accommodate the sock adequately into it.

  1. What is the best material for oddly shaped feet?

Look out for leather climbing shoes. The material has a unique property to stretch to a given proportion of its size, which will provide an excellent amount of comfort to your feet.

  1. What is the best combination of elements for the boots to offer excellent performance?

Selecting the best pair of shoes depends upon certain factors, especially your own preference. However, if you are an expert and want to enjoy the thrill of the sport to its greatest extent, then go for a combination of a highly adjustable closure system with molded cups incorporated in an asymmetric shape.

Final Verdict

After all this information at your expense, what are you waiting for? Choose the right pair of boots and get set for your hiking expedition.

Go through the comprehensive guide and make an informed decision to select the best footwear option for yourself.

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