A budget-friendly slipper, ideal for those easy-going gym and crag days.
Soft, comfortable, and built for serious sends. Ideal for narrow-footed crushers.
One of the lightest climbing shoes ever made, the Furia Air excels at gym bouldering.
Here’s a trippy thought for you: blue hasn’t always been recognized as a color. In fact, research suggests that for thousands of years, many early civilizations simply didn’t have a word for the color blue.
Mentions of black, white, red, yellow, green can be found in a wide range of ancient Greek, Chinese, Hebrew and Japanese text, yet a single mention of blue was nowhere to be found. That might seem a bit strange, especially as we now recognize it as one of the three primary colors.
This blue business gets even weirder.
One of the most interesting studies done on the psychology of color was done with a remote Namibia tribe who don’t have a word for the color blue. When asked to select the blue square which was surrounded by green squares, many participants simply couldn’t distinguish the difference between the colors. The theory is also supported by the fact that if you have never described the color of the sky to a child, they will often struggle to describe it.
It begs the question, do we see something if we don’t have a word (or an attached association) for it?
I’m not going to try and explain this strange phenomenon, mainly because I can’t, but also because you came here to look at climbing shoes, not a science lesson. If you want to dive deeper into the weird history behind the color blue, Business Insider ran a really interesting article on this a few years back, I recommend giving it a read.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Let’s talk about blue climbing shoes.
The Best Blue Climbing Shoes
When it comes to blue climbing shoes, we are spoilt for choice. In fact, as far as I can tell, there isn’t a single brand that doesn’t use the color blue for at least one of their models.
Nevertheless, we have said it before and we will say it again, climbing shoes shouldn’t just look good, they need to come with all the tools you need to excel at your preferred style of climbing.
Here are a few blue shoes that don’t just look great, but perform great too.
La Sportiva Futura
La Sportiva Futura is a very popular shoe, especially with gym rats. This model is also frequent sight on the feet of big-name crushers like Adam Ondra and Stefano Ghisolfi.
It is one of four in the La Sportiva collection that uses its No Edge technology, a revolutionary design. In the place of a traditionally pronounced edge, a layer of rubber is wrapped over the very tip of the shoe, allowing your foot to be in closer contact with the rock. This helps the Futura follow a more natural profile of your foot, rather than having defined edges at the front and sides. This ultimately improves the sensitivity of the shoe and your ability to ‘feel’ the rock, helping with secure foot placements
Because the Futura is soft and aggressive, it works wonders on steep terrain and boulder problems. It works particularly well in the gym, especially on friction moves. It would suit climbers with narrow feet looking for an intermediate to advanced shoe for those more difficult boulder problems.
SCARPA Furia Air
The new Scarpa Furia is super-soft, super-sensitive and ultra-light. This is actually the lightest shoe Scarpa has ever made, and one of the lightest climbing shoes currently available. Much like the Futura, this shoe feels at home on tricky gym projects, although it’s more than capable at tackling short styles of outdoor climbs too.
The shoe is literally jam-packed with clever Scarpa shoe technology. For starters, it uses 3 different tension systems (PAF, DTS and SRT) that keep the shoe laser precise and strong when applying weight. The clever heel design also helps disperse tension, reducing pressure on your Achilles tendon and providing a more comfortable heel.
The ⅓ outsole of Vibram XS Grip 2 allows for plenty of flexibility in the forefoot, and of course provides the winning friction Vibram are renowned for. The rubber toe box is made with Scarpa M-50 rubber, SCARPA’s own sticky compound that makes toe hooking a breeze.
There is a thin midsole placed under the big toe only, which helps the Furia Air maintain an amazing balance between smearing and edging. This contributes to the incredible sensitivity of the shoe and making them perfect for tiny footholds and smearing on those big gym volumes.
Because they are super soft, you won’t be climbing for long periods of time in the Furia Air. That said, they make an excellent pair of shoes for gyms or single-pitch crags.
There are also a completely vegan climbing shoe, which is a win in our books!
Another steep route specialist, the Mastia from Spanish shoemaker Tenaya is the latest model in their Aerial Plus line, their line of high-end performance shoes. Tenaya developed a completely new last shape for this shoe, making it slightly better suited to wider feet than other shoes in the Tenaya line-up. Another new feature here is the moulded heel cup, which helps make the heel stay rigid when sticking those gnarly heel hooks.
The shoe is pretty stiff too, in comparison to the other Tenaya shoes anyway. This gives the forefoot plenty of support when edging and balancing on tiny footholds, while the split sole design helps keep the shoe flexible for smearing and working less overhung terrain.
Tenaya is known for making comfortable performance shoes, and some think that the Mastia is even more comfortable than other popular Tenaya shoes, like the Oasi and Iati. The upper is made of breathable, unlined microfiber, giving the shoe yet more comfort on long days.
The Mastia is an excellent option for someone looking for a balance of performance and comfort for serious sending at the gym or days out at the crag.
Red Chili Charger
iThe Red Chili Charger is a comfortable shoe with a neutral profile, suited for beginners or climbers looking for all-day comfort. The padded tongue and soft leather are enclosed by two velcro straps that make the shoe comfortable straight out the box.
For an entry-level shoe, they edge surprisingly well thanks to a stiff forefoot. The reinforced toe box significantly increases the durability of the rubber, making the Charger the perfect shoe for beginner climbers that tend to drag their shoes against holds or the wall.
In truth, you probably be climbing any V10 boulders in these, but they can handle their own on the slabby and vertical terrain. The Charger is a solid choice for new climbers looking for their first pair of climbing shoes.
Originally made in collaboration with legendary climber Chris Sharma, the Evolv Shaman was one of the earliest high-performance shoes created. Although Chris has since parted ways with this American shoe manufacturer, the Shaman still remains a hugely popular model for bordering and sport climbing (it’s even favorite of Olympic climber Collin Duffy).
The Shaman brought some new innovations to Evolv’s shoe line when it was for released in 2011. It was their first shoe to use a three strap Velcro closure, but the most noticeable addition was ‘knuckle box’ and ‘love bump’ technology. These features work together to keep your toes in a crimped position allowing for maximum edging and grabbing power.
It’s probably no surprise then that Shaman excels on overhangs and vertical routes, the perfect compromise for someone looking to push their grades without having to cram their feet into uncomfortably small shoes. I really like the padded split tongue too, it adds an extra level of comfort to the shoe.
La Sportiva Cobra
A favorite with speed climbing specialists, the La Sportiva Cobra is a no-frills slipper that is great for easy climbing days. A thin midsole provides plenty of sensitivity, yet also provides a bit of support for edging. For the fashion-conscious climber, the Cobra comes in four colors; orange, blue, grey, and green.
In addition, the Cobra Eco launched in 2017 is an eco-friendly, version of the Cobra, made with 85% recycled materials, metal-free tanning, and water-based adhesives.
A modern redesign by Heinz Mariacher, the Scarpa’s Boostic is an edging monster designed for technical face climbs and mastering tricky foot beta.
Extremely precise and rigid, this shoe shines on thin micro edges and small footholds. The stiff sole limits sensitivity but provides power like no other. They are not the most comfortable shoes but will suit intermediate to advanced climbers on short boulder problems or single pitches.
Evolv’s Geshido Velcro was designed to be an all-around shoe for everything from moderately overhanging routes to tricky face climbs. This shoe will even serve you well on long trad or multi-pitch days too. The beefy 4.2mm of TRAX SAS rubber offers a great balance between friction and durability, and is guaranteed to keep performing at it best for many months to come.
The synthetic vegan upper will not stretch as much as leather, and as a result, the shoe feels tighter and more powerful. This shoe will suit anyone looking to add a one-size-fits-all shoe in their collection that they can grab and go most of the time.