The Complete List Of…
Alex Honnold’s Climbing Shoes
Ever wondered what Alex Honnold’s shoe collection looks like? I’ve done the digging on his biggest sends to find his favorite footwear for every climbing occasion.
His Top Pick
Built for conquering the endless grnite cracks and slab of Yosemite.
An iconic shoe that can tackle a diverse range of rock and climbing styles.
When Honnold is boulering or sport climbing, the Solutions are never far away.
Honnold indoor shoe of choice, great for sticking to gym volumes.
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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 an impressive climbing resume, endless sponsorship opportunities, and the Oscar-winning documentary Free Solo.
While he might not be climbing the mind-blowing grades of Adam Ondra, or sticking gravity-defying dynos like Chris Sharma, there’s no denying that Alex Honnold has helped catapult rock climbing into the global spotlight.
If you’re interested in finding out what climbing shoe Alex Honnold wears, you have come to the right place. I have looked back on Alex’s awesome career and scoured the climbing archives to bring you the most up-to-date insight into the Alex Honnold climbing shoe collection.
What Climbing Shoes Does Alex Honnold Wear?
Alex is sponsored by La Sportiva, so it’s hardly surprising every shoe he has worn for the last 15 years has 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 are a few of Honnold’s favorite shoes (there are a lot), as well as some of the iconic ascents he has used them for.
For Big Walls
Used for: Freerider Free Solo, Fitzroy Traverse, The Nose speed record
Remember Alex’s insane 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 the model of choice for Yosemite climbers looking to tackle the endless sea 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.
His El Cap solo isn’t the only time Honnold donned a pair of TC Pro either. Both Alex and Tommy used the TC Pro to break the speed record on The Nose, completing the Fitzroy Traverse, and plenty of other big-wall adventures.
Edging - 8.5/10
Smearing - 7.5/10
Steep Terrain - 7.5/10
Comfort - 8.5/10
Sensitivity - 6.5/10
Value For Money - 9/10
- Great edging
- Low and high volume variations
- Laces wear fast in cracks
- Jack of all trades, master of none
- The stiffer profile isn’t ideal for indoor climbing
USED FOR: Half Dome free solo, Moonlight Buttress solo, Too Big to Flail
After the TC Pro, the Miura is Honnold’s second most used shoe throughout his career. I’m a big fan of this La Sportiva classic 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 versions for noteworthy ascents throughout his career. For his solo of Half Dome in 2008, an ascent that kickstarted 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 he has topped using the Miura.
There’s also plenty of proof of him donning these shoes for his noteworthy boulder problems (The Mandala and Too Big to Flail) as well as messing around on Yosemite boulders.
For Sport & Bouldering
Edging - 9/10
Smearing - 7.5/10
Steep Terrain - 9.5/10
Comfort - 7.5/10
Sensitivity - 8/10
Value For Money - 10/10
- Laser precise toe is awesome for technical footwork
- 3D molded heel is great for heel hooking
- Secure fit thank to the hook and loop strap
- A little expensive
- Not suitable for all-day climbing
- The straps can break easily
Used for: Arrested Development
When it comes to the world of sport climbing, there’s one shoe in the La Sportiva range that stands 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 are plenty of great things to say 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 recently 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.
For the Gym
Edging - 7.67/10
Smearing - 7.67/10
Steep Terrain - 7.67/10
Comfort - 7.67/10
Sensitivity - 7.67/10
Value For Money - 7.67/10
- Incredible sensitivity
- The clever heel Velcro/slipper hybrid
- The P3 Platform
- The soft rubber lacks support
- Wears fast
- Doesn’t resole well
The Skwama is the last shoe we see Alex using on a 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 Skwamas.
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 Rocks, we have 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.