Adam Ondra’s Climbing Shoes
The shoes that power the best climber ever.
When it comes to professional climbers, they don’t come much better than Adam Ondra. Whether it’s plastic or rock, the world cup circuit or an unheard crag in Europe, this man can crush it all.
Of Adam’s many accomplishments, perhaps his biggest achievement to date was the first ascent of a route graded 9c. Adam topped out Silence on the 3rd September 2017 after more than four years of rigorous mental and physical training.
Silence aside, Adam still has plenty of other impressive ascents, having logged over 1550 mind-blowing ascents graded between 8c (5.13b) and 9c (5.15d) and even bagging the Dawn Wall on his first visit to Yosemite.
With all that climbing, Ondra burns a fair share of rubber. In fact, Adam estimates he goes through about twelve pairs of shoes every year. For more intense projects, like the Dawn Wall, Adam burnt through a staggering seven pairs of Katanas in less than four weeks.
What shoes does Adam Ondra wear?
Adam uses a range of La Sportiva climbing shoes depending on what he is climbing, however, his two most used shoes are the Solution and Miura.
Here’s an episode from Adam’s ‘Road to Tokyo’ series where he gives us an insight into his shoe collection and when and where he uses each shoe.
Having looked back on some of his biggest ascents, here are the shoes Adam’s used the most.
La Sportiva Solution
Used for: Silence, Disbelief, One Slap, Brutal Rider
Whether Ondra is wrestling boulders or topping out an overhung sport route, the chances are a pair of La Sportiva Solutions won’t be far away.
Adam has mentioned on several occasions that the Solutions are his favorite climbing shoes, and there’s plenty of evidence of that in his noteworthy ascents. Not only did he use one (on his right foot) for his ascent of the world’s first 9c, but he also donned the Solutions for 50% of his V16 boulder top outs.
La Sportiva Miura
The Solution might be Adam Ondra’s favorite climbing shoe, but the Miura seems to be his most trusted. If you look at all his 9b+ climbs, the Miura has been used on a staggering 75% of the ascents.
Adam himself says he utilizes the stiff and downturned characteristics of the Miura for outdoor climbing, especially for hard vertical routes.
On his iconic ascent of Silence, Adam turned to the reliably stiff profile of the Miura lace to help pull off that gravity-defying foot jam, something that wouldn’t be possible with a softer shoe.
There’s plenty of other classic Ondra ascents that the Miura (both the lace and Velcro) have made an appearance. For that iconic battle for the first ascent of La Dura Dura against Chris Sharma for example, Ondra used the Miura to claim that sweet first ascent.
FOR THE GYM
La Sportiva Futura
If you tuned in to see Adam crushing it on the comp circuit over the last 10 years, then you have probably spotted the Futura more than a few times.
The Futura is the softest shoe that La Sportiva manufacturer and also makes the most of their no-edge technology. These features make this shoe super sensitive and the king of the large volumes and high-friction moves found on modern bouldering problems.
Adam almost always brings out a pair of Solutions and Futuras at world cup events. For the small edges and delicate footwork problems, Ondra uses the Solutions. For the smeary problems, he cracks out the Futuras. Or sometimes, a combination of the two.
Don’t think this shoe is just for messing around on plastic though. Plenty of pro climbers use this to crush world-class lines, including Adam himself, who has used the Futura on both 9b+ sport climbs, and V16 boulder problems.
FOR THE GYM
La Sportiva Katana
Ondra is a renaissance man of the climbing world. He climbs sport, he wrestlers boulders, and he tops out sh*t-scary big walls. When he is working on the latter, it seems the Katana is Ondra’s weapon of choice.
Remember that Dawn Wall project Tommy Caldwell spent 7 years working on? Less than a year after Tommy and Kevin’s ascent in 2015, Ondra came into the valley and crushed the route in less than seven days. Seven. Days. WHAT?
The Katana was on the feet of the Czech machine’s feet after this record-breaking ascent. While there’s no arguing that the Katana is a laser-precise shoe that excels at technical climbing, it’s slightly unusual Ondra chose it over the TC Pro, the shoe virtually everyone else in Yosemite is wearing.
FOR BIG WALLS
La Sportiva TC Pro
Used for: Belly Full of Bad Berries
He might not have used it for the Dawn Wall, but Ondra is no stranger to the TC Pro. High top climbing shoes are ideal for crack climbing and offer are superior ankle protection to the ‘ballerina’ shoe style we are all familiar with.
For Adam’s handful of off-width ascents, like Belly Full of Bad Berries, he has laced up the TC Pros, or at least one anyway.
FOR SPEED CLIMBING
La Sportiva Cobra
The final shoe on our list is the La Sportiva Cobra, Adam’s go-to shoe for speed climbing. This unique sub-discipline requires very little precision for foot placement, so this soft and neutral shoe is perfect for the job.
La Sportiva brought out an updated version of this classic in 2020, named the Cobra 4.99, which boasts an updated design, and a half sole for an even lighter weight.
While Adam might not be beating any speed records any time soon, he will certainly be spending plenty of time in the Cobra 4.99.
Like a lot of pro climbers, Adam understands the importance climbing shoes and their varying properties bring to the table. Whether is for their downturned profile, stiffness or ability to perform well at individual moves, it’s blindingly obvious how serious Ondra takes his climbing shoes.
Other Ondra FAQ’s
What size shoe is Adam Ondra?
Adam Ondra’s street shoe size is a 44 EU, but he wears a size 40 climbing shoe. Ondra is renowned for aggressively downsizing his climbing shoes.
What Approach Shoe Does Adam Ondra Use?
Adam usually uses the La Sportiva TX4, although he has also used the TX2 and TX3 in the past.