The 5 Best climbing Shoes for Gym

For Every Type of Climber
Five Ten Hiangle

Five Ten
Hiangle

A budget-friendly price tag make the Hiangle a popular choice for beginners.

Scarpa Drago Review

Scarpa
Drago

One of the softest – and stickiest – shoes in Scarpa’s line-up.

La Sportiva Solution Review

La Sportiva
Solution

One of the most popular bouldering shoes since its first release in 2007.

It is widely thought that Schurman Rock in Seattle was the first ever ‘man made’ structure purposely made for rock climbing in 1937. Since then, climbing gyms have developed massively to give us the complex indoor structures that we know and love today. 

To keep up with with the gym climbing revolution, shoe manufactures are creating a never ending list of specially-constructed shoes, all created with the single purpose of improving your gym climbing game.

TOP TIP: Most climbers will want an indoor climbing shoe that utilizes a soft construction and sticky rubber. These features will allow the shoe to mold around those big plastic holds and smear on the sandpaper-like wall with ease.

Unless you are a complete beginner, in which case you will probably want something a bit stiffer to help you find your feet. Even for advanced climbers, stiffer shoes still have their benefits for gym climbing, and come in handy for those vertical problems with micro edges and crimps.

To help you find your perfect shoe for you, we have shortlisted some of the best climbing shoes for gym we have tested. 

OUR TOP PICK

Scarpa Drago

Scarpa Drago

Scarpa has been churning out a bunch of great climbing shoes recently, but if there is one that stands above the rest as the best indoor bouldering shoe, it is the Drago. 

The Drago is exactly what you need for sticking moves on those big volumes that are so common in modern gym climbing. The Drago’s super soft construction and sticky Vibram rubber are ideal for friction moves, whilst the aggressive downturn and large toe patch make the shoes feel at home on the overhanging terrain. 

The Drago uses a lot of the brilliant features seen in other Scarpa shoes including a 3D rubber toe box and clever Power Tension Band which ultimately contribute to the brilliant performance and quality of this shoe.

The Drago uses a convenient velcro sock-style closure, which is ideal for slipping them on and off at the gym.

We Like

Amazing sensitivity
Fast break-in
Perfect for Gym Climbing
Great Toe Box

We Don’t Like

The small toe rand

BEST INDOOR BOULDERING SHOE

La Sportiva Solution

La Sportiva Solution Review

It’s no shocker that we have chosen the La Sportiva Solution as the best indoor bouldering shoe. This high-performance shoe has been at the top of its game for almost 15 years. 

The Solutions have everything you need for a high-performance shoe, whether that’s on plastic or rock, you can’t go wrong with the solutions. 

Stand-out features include a 3D molded heel cup that can handle every crazy heel hook you can throw at it, a hook and loop closure system and and aggresive downturn with a brilliant hooked shape sole 

If you follow professional bouldering competition, you will notice that this shoe is a regular with some of the best in the game including Adam Ondra, Daniel Woods and many more.
If you want to find out more about the Solution make sure to take a look at our full review here.

For Women: La Sportiva have also made a counterpart for this shoe especially for women. Built on the Women’s PD 75 last, this version of the shoe will ensure a better fit for narrower feet. Find the women’s version here!

We Like

  Laser precision 
Comfortable
 Master of the heel  & toe hook
Great for overhangs

We Don’t Like

 Not great for smearing
The closure strap is known to break

BEST INDOOR SPORT CLIMBING SHOE

Scarpa Instinct Lace

Scarpa Instinct Lace Review

The Instinct line has been Scarpa’s most successful line of performance climbing shoes ever due to their reliability and reputation as all-round climbing shoes.  Although the Instinct Lace was first released in the early 2000s, the shoe has recived an 

This lace-up version brings increased precision, tighter fit and more tension the table, making it one of the best shoes for indoor sports climbing, in our option at least.

 

We Like

  Good for bouldering and sport climbing
 Technical toe box
 Durable rubber

We Don’t Like

 Long break-in period
Laces can be a pain

BEST BUDGET GYM CLIMBING SHOE

Five Ten Hiangle

cheap womens climbing shoe

There’s plenty of cheap climbing shoes out there but if you want a shoe that will help you climb harder, then you should probably spend more than $100. 

Fortunately, the Hiangle is one of the best indoor climbing shoes that fall on the lower end of the price range. If you are really looking for a bargain, you could even pick up last season’s model even better deal.

The Hiangle is a frequent sight on both the world cup circuit and on the feet of amateur gym rats. This shoe brings plenty of 5.10’s famous characteristics to the table which of course includes their super stick Stealth rubber. 

The next-generation Hiangle varies slightly from the original, most noticeably with a split sole design. The heel and toe are separated by the heel rand, which gives the shoes more flexibility and helps maintain the shoes downturned profile for longer

Five Ten have a long history of creating world-class climbing shoes and with such a reasonable price tag, the Hiangle is a good competitor for one of best budget indoor climbing shoes out there.

We Like

  The price tag
Stealth rubber
The heel cup

We Don’t Like

 Fit can be awkward

BEST GYM CLIMBING SHOE

La Sportiva Miura

La Sportiva Miura VS

If you have been doing your climbing shoe research, the chances are you have probably already heard of the La Sportiva Miura. This shoe was revolutionary when it was first released in the late ’90s and is still one of the best climbing shoes on the market.

I admit, it probably wouldn’t be my first choice of indoor climbing shoes due to its stiffer profile. But if it’s good enough for the likes of Adam Ondra or Alex Honnold to solo Half Dome in, you know the Miura means business.

The Miura is a fairly-aggressive shoe that works well on everything from sloping slabs to  not to mention the fact you could edge on a dime with these. This shoe will undoubtedly raise your gym game. The Miura also use the Vibram XS Edge rubber, a harder rubber compound that strikes a good balance between friction and durability. 

The Miura comes in both a Velcro and lace version. Both offer similar features, with the velcro being slightly more aggressive.

If you are an intermediate climber looking to dabble with a variety of disciplines in both gym and on some real rock, this could be the shoe for you.

For Women: Sometimes it can be difficult finding women’s climbing shoes but not with the Miuras. The female version not only comes in a jazzy ‘Jade Green’ but is also designed specifically for low volume feet. You can take a look at them here.

Like most La Sportiva shoes, you will probably want to wear 1/1.5 size smaller than your average street shoe. 

We Like

  Great edging
Good durability
 Solid all around
High and low volume options 

We Don’t Like

 The small toe rand

BEST OF THE REST

Evolv Defy

Evolv Defy Review

The Defy is one of the most sold climbing shoes on the market. Not only because of its attractive price tag but because its a great starting shoe for any beginner looking to learn the ropes.

The Defy is most at home on indoor walls, which is why we think it’s one of the best beginner climbing shoes for gym.

Like any good beginner shoe the shoe supports a very neutral last and a thick rubber and mid-sole. These are important features for newbies as it helps distribute your weight across the entire foot, making it easier to smear, edge and become familiar with other key climbing skills.

Some other note-worthy features include a Antimicrobial liner to increase comfort and prevent odor, as well as being 100% vegan friendly! If you want to find out more about the Evolv Defy, take a look at our full review. 

We Like

  Affordable
 Very comfortable
 Vegan friendly

We Don’t Like

 Lacks substantial performance
Not great for outdoor climbing

BEST OF THE REST

La Sportiva Oxygym

La Sportiva Oxygym side

The La Sportiva Oxgym deserves a mention on this list. Not only is it specifically designed for beginner climbers in the gym, but it’s also a very affordable and comfortable shoe.

Amongst other interesting features, what really makes this shoe stand out is that it is the first climbing shoe that is designed to be machine and hand washable. This is an amazing feature, which any climber would kill for after a few sweaty sessions in the gym.

Its also super comfortable thanks to the P3 performance design of the shoe. This smart design not only allows the shoe to retain is shape throughout its life, but it also creates a super supportive shoe, perfect for any beginner looking to hone their skills in the gym.

Again, you take a read of our full review for more info on the Oxygym.

We Like

  Washable
 Reduces odor
 Good velcro closure

We Don’t Like

 Bad friction
Lack performanace

Important elements for gym climbing shoes

As we already mentioned, a soft shoe will usually perform better in the gym, but there are a few extra characteristics that make a climbing shoe more suited to work in the gym.

Breathability is a key one. If you have ever stepped foot in a climbing gym, especially in the summer, you will notice that they are usually pretty hot. Without that cool breeze flowing through your hair like down at the crag, you are going to sweat a lot. So shoes that are designed to let some of that heat and moisture out are definitely a bonus.

The ease in which you can get your shoes on and off is also another common factor for good indoor climbing shoes. When climbing in the gym, you tend to take you shoes off a lot more than you do outside. That’s why you tend to see a lot of velcro and slipper style shoes. 

Now you know what makes the best climbing shoes for gym. If none of our top 5 choices jumped out at you, why not take a look at some of our other shoe reviews.