Alex Honnold’s Climbing Shoes
Find the shoes that power the most daring climber ever.
There’s no arguing that Alex Honnold is one of the most famous people to ever slip on a pair of climbing shoes. His fearless solo ascents have given him a seriously impressive climbing resume, endless sponsorship opportunities, and of course, the Oscar-winning documentary Free Solo.
While he might not be climbing the mind-blowing grades of Ondra, or sticking gravity-defying dynos like Sharma, Alex Honnold has helped catapulted rock climbing into the global spotlight.
If you have come looking for what climbing shoe the Honnold uses, you have come to the right place. We have looked back on Alex’s awesome career and scoured the climbing archives to bring you the most up-to-date record of Alex’s favorite climbing kicks.
As Alex is sponsored by La Sportiva, it’s hardly surprising every shoe he has worn for the last 15 years had been made by this Italian company. Like every serious climber, Alex Honnold’s climbing shoe choice depends on what he is climbing. The style of climbing, size, and rock type all influence which shoe Honnold ultimately uses.
Here’s are a few of the Honnold’s favorite shoes (there are a lot), as well as some of the famous ascents he has used them for.
IMPORTANT: You don’t need me to tell you soloing is super dangerous, be safe out there kids.
FOR BIG WALLS
La Sportiva TC Pro
Used for: Freerider Free Solo, Fitzroy Traverse, The Nose speed record
Remember Alex’s crazy free solo of El Capitan? Of course you do. If you have keen eyes, you would have noticed that he uses the TC Pro extensively for both his training, as well as the final solo ascent of Freerider.
This is Tommy Caldwell’s signature shoe and shoe is the choice for Yosemite climbers look to tackle the world of vertical granite. It’s comfortable, super-stiff, and designed to excel on the relentless cracks, slabs and micro edges found in abundance on El Cap.
This isn’t the only time Honnold has turned to the TC Pro either. Both Alex and Tommy used the TC Pro for breaking the speed record on The Nose, completing the Fitzroy Traverse and plenty of other big-wall adventures.
La Sportiva Miura
Used for: Half Dome solo, Too Big to Flail, Moonlight Buttress solo
After the TC Pro, the Miura is the second most used shoe that has helped Honnold bag some big ascents. The La Sportiva Miura is a shoe that we LOVE and is perhaps one of the most versatile all-around climbing shoes out there.
This downturned performance shoe uses the Vibram XS Edge to create a still shoe that performs just as well on the overhangs as it does on its edges.
Honnold is obviously a big fan of this shoe too and has used both the lace and velcro version for noteworthy ascents throughout his career. For his solo of Half Dome in 2008, an ascent that started Honnold’s career, he trusted the Miura lace to bag the ascent. Wet Lycra Nightmare, El Sendero Luminoso and the solo of Half dome are some other noticeable ascents Honnold has sent using the Miuras.
There’s also plenty of proof of him donning a these shoes for his noteworthy boulder problems (The Mandala and Too Big to Flail) as well as messing around on Yosemite boulders.
La Sportiva Solution
Used for: Arrested Development
When it comes to the world of overhung climbing, there’s one shoe in the La Sportiva range that jumps out.
The La Sportiva Solution was one of the first to introduce the world to modern performance shoes and has maintained its title as one of the best aggressive shoes ever since. There’s plenty of great features about this menacing looking shoe
Like the Miura, this time-tested has been one of Alex Honnold’s climbing shoes of choice since the start of his career. While the Solution is predominantly his shoe of choice for bouldering, he recenly used this shoe for his first every 9a ascent of Arrested Development.
As Alex says himself “they’re amazing for heel/toe hooking – it’s rare that a shoe is great at both. I use them for pretty much anything other than trad climbing.”
If you follow Alex on Instagram, you might have also noticed him taking the updates Solution Comp out for a spin. While we are yet to see Alex give the Solution Comp a noteworthy send, we look forward to seeing what he does with these in the future.
FOR THE GYM
La Sportiva Skwama
The Skwama is the last shoe Alex uses fairly frequent basis. He certainly doesn’t seem to use it as much as the others on this list but it’s not rare to snap a sight of Honnold in a pair of Skwama’s.
From what I have seen, it seems Honnold mainly uses the Skwama for gym climbing, which is hardly surprising as this is a super soft profile. While there are some photos of him using them for a bit of soloing in Red Rock, we are yet to see him bag a mega send with these, and honestly, we probably never will. I am sure the uncompromising stiffness of the TC Pro inspires a lot more confidence than a softer shoe.
After spending a few days looking back on Alex’s career and shoe choice, a few things became apparent.
At one time or another, Honnold has used almost every performance shoe La Sportiva has. From their super soft no edge shoes (Futura and Genius) to their super-stiff range, Honnold likes to keep a diverse shoe selection. That said, it’s rare to see Honnold use the Katana, Otaki or the Kataki.
Other Honnold FAQ’s
What size shoe does Alex Honnold wear?
Alex Honnold wears a size 46 (8.5 US) in both the TC Pro and Solution. For longer climbs he will go up half an EU size for extra comfort.
What are Alex Honnold’s approach shoes?
Honnold’s go-to approach shoe is the La Sportiva TX2. A favorite of many climbers, the TX2 is a lightweight, breathable shoe that uses the popular Vibram Mega-Grip to deliver a reliable and resilent shoe.