Nowadays, it’s common for climbers to have multiple pairs of climbing shoes designed to tackle various terrains and climbing styles. Unfortunately, collecting climbing shoes is an expensive hobby.
So, if you are looking for just one pair of shoes that are great at everything, you have come to the right place. Finding the best all round climbing shoes is no easy task due to the huge variety of brands a shoe styles out there.
Our top five shoes, shown below, will give you an idea of some shoes that will work across a huge variety of climbing disciplines including bouldering, sport climbing and trad climbing. We have also tested the shoes mentioned below on various types of terrain to ensure our best all round climbing shoes will help you perform at your best, no matter what you are climbing.
OUR TOP PICK
La Sportiva Katana
The Katana has been described by some as the ‘one shoe wonder’ and is easily one of the most versatile shoes in the whole La Sportiva range, if not the entire climbing shoe market.
The internet is full of climbers raving about their Katanas’, and it’s not hard to see why. Super comfortable, yet uncompromising performance are the two winning features of a great all round climbing shoe, both of which the Katana has in abundance.
A moderate last and low asymmetry allows these shoes to excel on trad and crack routes, while also delivering an impressive show on some of our harder bouldering projects. If you have wide feet and struggle to find good fitting climbing shoes, you are in luck at the PD 55 last to provide a great fit.
Other standout features include 4mm of Virbam Xs Edge rubber, The Katana also uses La Sportiva’s P3 platform to ensure that they keep their shape throughout their life.
Sizing: The leather upper will stretch a bit once broken in, which is something you will always want to take into account when sizing up your shoes. However, we have found that the sizing to be true, so we recommend going for your normal shoe size, or half a size down if you really want to guarantee a snug fit.
For women: In 2018, La Sportiva released a whole bunch of their most popular lines in styles especially designed for women. The reason for this is because women’s feet tend to be lower volume (higher arches, less wide) than men’s feet. Find the Women’s Katana’s here.
La Sportiva Miura
It’s probably no surprise we have voted the La Sportiva Miura as one of our best all around climbing shoes. The Miura is a huge favorite among climbers and can be seen as the slightly more aggressive big brother of the Katana’s.
For climbers who only want to buy one shoe, this is a very popular choice. Aggressive enough for overhung routes, but neutral enough to deal with any vertical or slab route you throw at them. The narrow toe box also makes the shoe perfectly suited to dealing with even the smallest pockets, while the stiffer sole makes light work of any edging you will require.
The sole has a perfect balance between stiff and soft rubber which is created by the 4mm of Vibram Xs rubber. Regularly seen in world climbing championships as well as a fan base including Adam Ondra and Alex Honnold. If it’s good enough for the pros you know these are a force to be reckoned with!
Sizing: Like a lot of La Sportiva shoes, the Miura’s run big. If you have performance in mind, make sure to size 1-1.5 smaller than your average street shoe. If comfort is more important to you, try your normal shoe size, or 0.5 smaller for the perfect fit.
For women: Like the Kanata, a women’s version of the Miura was released in 2018 . There is now a women’s Miura, which you can find here.
Five Ten Anasazi Pro
The Anasazi is Five Ten’s most popular all round climbing shoe, and has been for over a decade. In that time, the Anasazi line has expanded to include the Anasazi Pro, an upgraded version of the legendary shoe.
When we started testing to find the best all around climbing shoes, we agreed that we wouldn’t included any Velcro ones, as they tend not to perform well crack climbing. However, after trying the new Anasazi Pro, we knew it had to be on the list.
This updated version of the Five Ten favorite is everything you could ask for in an all-round shoe. An astonishingly good toe box for bouldering and crack climbing, a great heel for a secure fit and Five Ten’s legendary Stealth rubber are all winning qualities of this dark horse.
The medium/stiff sole also make this shoe great at edging and smearing, staple skills in any climbers repertoire.
Now, we do need to mention that some climbers have been disappointed with the build quality of 5.10’s climbing and approach shoes since the acquisition by Adidas. Despite this, they are still a key player on the climbing shoe market, giving us some brilliant shoes including the Anasazi and the Hiangle.
Size: The synthetic uppers will provide minimal stretch, so make sure you size to fit. The general consensus for the Anasazi Pro is to size approximately 0.5 down from your average street shoe.
For Women: The Anasazi Pro is classed as a unisex shoe, so is suitable for both men and women. It is even used by Shauna Coxsey throughout her competitive climbing career.
La Sportiva Finale
If you are looking for a good all round climbing shoe without breaking the bank, the Finale could be the shoe for you. Ideally suited to beginner and intermediate climbers, this shoe is a jack of all trades that can hold its own in the gym as well as the local crag.
The Finale’s moderate last and a stiff sole, makes it perfect for entry level bouldering and sport climbing, while still maintaining all day comfort. The low-volume toe box, paired with the lace-up closure system also makes it perfectly suited for slab and crack climbing.
The 5mm Virbam Xs Edge rubber not only makes the shoe ideal for beginners and intermediate climbers but the high quality rubber also insures great friction no matter what surface you are climbing on.
Sizing: As the Finales are made from unlined leather, it’s worth remembering that they will stretch and fit to the shape of your foot after a few sessions. That said, based on our full Finale review, you won’t have to downsize much to guarantee a good fit for these shoes. Start off with 0.5 size smaller than your average street shoe and take it from there.
For women: Again, La Sportiva brought out a women’s version of the Finale in 2018. Not only does it come in nice grey colour but it will also guarantee a better fit for those female climbers out there. Take a look at the women’s version here.
Introduced in 2019, the Arpia is a newbie to the Scarpa family and is quickly building a reputation as one of the brands best all around climbing shoe.
While these shoes might not pack the same punch as the Scarpa Instinct line, these shoes are specifically designed for beginners who have outgrown their training wheels and looking for something that focuses a little more on the performance rather than comfort.
The shoes slight downturn helps out on overhanging boulders, while the stiff sole makes the shoe suited to edging and all day climbing. You will notice the sole only covers ⅔ of the shoe sole, meaning the down-turned last won’t effect smearing ability.
For women: There is also a women’s version of the Arpia. Apart from the colour, the main difference between the male and female shoe can be found in the heel, with the female version having a narrower, sculptured heel to provide a better fit for lover volume feet.
What makes a good all-round climbing shoe?
If none of our suggestions are taking your fancy why not try and find your own all-round climbing shoe? Here are a few of the key things to look out for when hunting for the perfect do-it-all climbing shoe.
Rubber is a key feature when looking for a multi-purpose climbing shoe. Savvy readers will notice almost all of our top 5 either support Vibram or Five Ten’s Stealth rubber. This is because both of these rubbers are tried and tested on various climbing surfaces including plastic in the gym, soft sandstone or shiny granite and have a proven track record of delivering a high level of performance on any surface.
Choosing a shoe with a moderate last is another important feature. An aggressive last will work better for overhung routes and bouldering problems. While neutral lasts are more comfortable, make smearing and edging easier. When looking for an all round shoe, make sure to pick one which has a moderate last, to get the best from both worlds.
Closure systems is the final factor you will want to consider. It’s a known fact that velcro shoes won’t generally preform as well crack climbing as lace or slipper styles. You can see the article where we compared velcro and lace shoes here.