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The Best Climbing Shoes for Wide Feet

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Having a pair of wide feet myself, I like to think I know a thing or two about wide climbing shoes. Here’s everything you need to know about climbing shoes for wide feet in 2023.

La Sportiva Skwama thumbnail

My Top Pick

La Sportiva Skwama

Whatever you’re sending, the Skwama will keep you climbing at your best.

Veloce Thumb

For indoors

Scarpa Veloce

A beginner gym shoe that is awesome for smearing and friction moves.

vsr

For Everything

Scarpa Instinct VSR

One of my favorite all-arounders, awesome for diverse bouldering and sport.

Evolv Shaman New

For Bouldering

Evolv Shaman

If steep boulders and poor footholds are your thing, then this is a great choice.

We price check from over 12 of our most trusted retailers and share the lowest price for every shoe we recommend on this page. If you click a link, we may also make a little commission (at no extra cost to you, obviously).

Your feet are special, a one-of-a-kind creation. I guarantee there’s no one on this planet that has a pair of trotters quite like yours. Although it’s nice to be unique, the diverse nature of our feet creates quite a headache for climbing shoe manufacturers. 

We all know that how a shoe fits is essential for squeezing every drop of performance out of the finely-tuned, sending machines that are climbing shoes. Shoemakers understand this better than anyone, which is why they create a range of shoes in different shapes, sizes, and genders.

The problem is, that finding the shoe that guarantees you that fairy-tale fit isn’t exactly easy. There are so many shoes available today (almost 300 by our count) that it becomes a near-impossible, needle-in-a-haystack task, to pick the right ones for you.

That said, if you are on the hunt for the best climbing shoes for wide feet, you have landed in the right place. Over the past decade, I have tried and tested dozens of wide climbing shoes. We know which brands offer the best selection of wide-fit models and the shoes that might be your best chance at finding that fairy-tale fit.

The 10 Best Climbing Shoes for Wide Feet

Best Climbing Shoes for Wide Feet

I am going to jump straight into my top 10 climbing shoes for wide feet, but if you want to learn what makes a good wide climbing shoe, or what brands are known for their wide-toe box designs, then make sure to stick around until the end of this article.

My Top Pick

La Sportiva Skwama

La Sportiva Skwama Review
Overall
8.7
(10 reviews)
  • Edging - 8/10
    8/10
  • Smearing - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Steep Terrain - 9/10
    9/10
  • Comfort - 8/10
    8/10
  • Sensitivity - 9/10
    9/10
  • Value For Money - 9/10
    9/10

Pros

  • Incredibly versatile 
  • Sensitive
  • Soft, yet still precise 

Cons

  • Difficult to resole 

After we reviewed the La Sportiva Skwama last year, it’s been quite the challenge to pray them off our tester’s grubby feet.

The wide toe box, combined with the elasticated tongue and soft construction of the Skwama should make this shoe a top pick for wide-footed climbers. The upper is also made of unlined leather, which will stretch out and mold to your wide feet once broken in.

Although I don’t believe there to be a single shoe that excels at everything, the Skwama does come pretty damn close.  

La Sportiva Skwam Testing On Boulder
Slab, vert, or overhangs, the Skwama can do it all.

I really like the versatility and sensitivity that the Skwama brings to the table. Its soft construction is designed with overhung bouldering and climbing in mind, but really, it’s one of the best all-around performance shoes you can get your hands on right now. Indoors or outdoors, smearing, edging, or bat hanging from your tippy-toes, the Skwama can do it all.

The Skwama is built on the same last as many of La Sportiva’s popular models like the Solution, Futura, and Miura, so expect a similar fit/size to these shoes. 

For The Gym

Scarpa Veloce

Scarpa Veloce Review
Overall
8.25
(3 reviews)
  • Edging - 6/10
    6/10
  • Smearing - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Steep Terrain - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Comfort - 10/10
    10/10
  • Sensitivity - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Value For Money - 8.5/10
    8.5/10

Pros

  • Amazing sensitivity
  • Ridiculously comfortable
  • Extremely breathable and lightweight
  • Vegan-friendly

Cons

  • Not great for heel hooking
  • The velcro strap is unnecessarily long
  • The rounded-toe box isn’t great for smaller pockets
  • Rubber disappears fast

Best For: Beginners and intermediates in the gym

The Veloce is Scarpa’s first gym-specific training shoe; it’s super-soft, super-breathable, and ridiculously comfortable. It’s a solid choice for new climbers looking to move away from the entry-level models, or advanced climbers who are looking for a workhorse for those long gym sessions.

After decades of cramming my feet into climbing shoes, I have never worn a shoe with a wide-toe box like the Veloce’s. It uses, what Scarpa calls, a ‘relaxed performance fit last’ to deliver a boatload of comfort.

It’s mind-blowing how comfortable the Veloce is.

Unlike virtually every other climbing shoe out there, the Veloce has forsaken its pointed toe and instead has a blunt, rounded curve. This design widens the toe box and allows for more space around your pinky toes, removing that toe-cramming sensation synonymous with climbing shoes.

Comfort aside, this shoe also has some other great features. Because they are really soft, they also have great sensitivity, you can really feel every foot placement. The tongue is also made of a barely-there breathable mesh, which is a welcomed feature as you sweat your way through a hot gym sesh. 

For a reasonable price and solid performance, it’s hard to argue with the Veloce.

Best for Everything

Scarpa Instinct VsR

Scarpa Instinct VSR Review
Overall
8.8
(5 reviews)
  • Edging - 8/10
    8/10
  • Smearing - 9/10
    9/10
  • Steep Terrain - 9/10
    9/10
  • Comfort - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Sensitivity - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Value For Money - 8.5/10
    8.5/10

Pros

  • Awesome for indoor and outdoor sport/bouldering
  • Velcro/slipper hybrid closure keeps the shoe nice and secure, with easy on/off access
  • 6-panel uppers allow for custom molding without excessive stretch
  • Sensitive and flexible, but can still stick an edge

Cons

  • Not ideal for super narrow feet
  • Velcro strap is a bit long
  • The single strap  doesn’t allow for any fit adjustment
  • Wide heel can be awkward

If you walk into the gym on any given night you will probably spot at least a few climbers rocking these bad boys. There’s a good reason for why this shoe it so popular: The Scarpa Instinct VS is one of the best bouldering shoes for wide feet, both in the gym and on the rock.

Specifically designed for hard bouldering, the Scarpa Instinct VSS addresses all the needs of the modern boulderer, while offering a snug and comfortable fit for the wide-footed pebble wrestler.

It has a wide toe box, thanks to the FV last, one of the widest and highest volume lasts in the Scarpa arsenal. The Instinct VSR also has an elasticated tongue, which covers a lot of real estate on the shoe’s uppers, allowing for plenty of stretch.

Scarpa Instinct VSR gym climbing
In the gym and the crag, the VSR never disappoints.

Unlike a lot of performance shoes, the Instinct VSR is only moderately downturned, which gives it the versatility to perform on both steep and slabby terrain.

Like many of Scarpa’s shoes, the Instinct line comes equipped with some clever technology. The tensioned band (also known as a slingshot rand) directs power to the toe box, while the bi-tension band works in reverse, helping to keep this shoe rigid and laser-precise on your foot. No unwanted rolling of the edges or heel slips here. All this technical wizardry ultimately combines to offer unparalleled confidence when cranking hard.

SIDE NOTE: I personally find Scarpa to be a really good brand for wide climbing shoes. Because they use over 12 different last shapes, and you will probably find at least one of their shoes will suit the shape of your foot.

Best For Bouldering

Evolv Shaman

Evolv Shaman Review
Overall
7.6
(2 reviews)
  • Edging - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Smearing - 8/10
    8/10
  • Steep Terrain - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Comfort - 8/10
    8/10
  • Sensitivity - 8/10
    8/10
  • Value For Money - 9/10
    9/10

Pros

  • Improved edging power
  • The stiff heel is awesome for hooking 
  • 3-Strap closure feels super secure
  • Breathable Microfibre tongue 
  • Vegan

Cons

  • The Love bump makes smearing slightly less effective
  • Synthetic materials start to smell fast

From my experience, Evolv generally has some of the widest-fitting shoes of any climbing shoe brand and lucky for us, they have an awesome selection of models to choose from. 

I’ve tested a few of Evolv’s climbing shoes, but the Shaman is the model I’m really enjoying right now. It terms of performance, it’s pretty similar to the Skwama and Instinct VSR, with a few important differences.

Evolv Shaman Testing for wide feet
Cranking hard on the Shaman heel.

The Shaman is noticeably more downturned than the other shoes I have mentioned. The “Love Bump” midsole sits under your toes and exaggerates the spoon-dip shape of the forefoot, which makes the shoe awesome for hooking and pulling holds on steeper terrain.

The third-generation version of the Shaman offers a little extra support in the toes, which makes lasering in on those small jobs a little easier, although it’s certainly not an edging specialist shoe (the Shaman Lace is better at that).

I also frickin’ love the Evolv Dark Spine heel, it’s sensitive but still rigid enough to crank on even the sketchiest heel. I feel like an unstoppable heel-hooking machine in these.

If you are looking for a shoe that can help you crush hard in the boulder bay, you can go wrong with the Shaman.

Best for Beginners

Evolv Defy

Evolv Defy Review
Overall
7.1
(4 reviews)
  • Edging - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
  • Smearing - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Steep Terrain - 5/10
    5/10
  • Comfort - 10/10
    10/10
  • Sensitivity - 6/10
    6/10
  • Value For Money - 8.5/10
    8.5/10

Pros

  • Affordably priced for beginners
  • Comfortable neutral shape
  • Sticky and durable Trax SAS rubber
  • Vegan friendly

Cons

  • Entry-level performance

Here’s another Evolv shoe for you; the Defy. Unlike the Shaman, the Defy isn’t about sending hard, it’s got two very different objectives in mind; comfort and confidence.

As with many Evolv shoes, the Defy has a nice wide toe box, and has all the features you would expect to see on a beginner shoe; a neutral shape, a stiff full-length sole, and a comfortable forefoot with a padded tongue.

In my opinion, the Defy has the edge on many performance shoes thanks to its sticky TRAX SAS rubber sole – the same rubber used on the Shaman and all other Evolv shoes – and a better-designed heel, which offers better tension an heel hooking capability of many of its counterparts.

Best for Budgets

Butora Acro

Butora Acro Review
Overall
7.3
(1 review)
  • Edging - 7/10
    7/10
  • Smearing - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Steep Terrain - 8/10
    8/10
  • Comfort - 7/10
    7/10
  • Sensitivity - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
  • Value For Money - 7.5/10
    7.5/10

Pros

  • Cheap(ish) performance shoes
  • Solid at edging
  • High and low-volume variations 

Cons

  •  Lacks sensitivity
  •  Stiff compared to other performance shoes

The Butora Acro is without a doubt a top pick as a budget, wide climbing shoe. Its edging prowess, sensitivity, and solid all-around performance on a variety of terrains also make this shoe a real contender for one of the best bouldering shoes currently available. 

The Acro is a slipper-style shoe designed with a single velco strap for added support. It has a medium-stiff sole and features the ultra-sticky Neo Fuse rubber. The shoe should be sized tightly to get a glove-like fit and make the most of the shoe’s performance capabilities. Throw in a high-tensioned rand, downturned profile, and a huge toe patch, and you’ve got the making of a thoughtfully designed aggressive climbing shoe.

The shoe is offered in a wide and narrow model, as opposed to the traditional women’s and men’s labels. Those with wider feet have found this shoe to fit exceptionally well. If you can find them in-store, don’t pass up the opportunity to give these guys a go.

Best for Outdoor

La Sportiva Miura Vs

La Sportiva Miura VS review
Overall
7.65
(3 reviews)
  • Edging - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Smearing - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Steep Terrain - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Comfort - 8/10
    8/10
  • Sensitivity - 7/10
    7/10
  • Value For Money - 9/10
    9/10

Pros

  • Incredible edging
  • Versatile performance shoe
  • High & low volume versions
  • Durable rubber

Cons

  • The small toe rand isn’t great for hooking
  • Not my first choice for gym climbing

If you have seen any of our other top 10 lists, then there’s a good chance you have already heard me bang on about the Miuras. This is a shoe that La Sportiva first introduced in the ‘90s and has barely changed since, and for good reason. These shoes are frickin’ amazing!

The original Miura was the lace version, although it’s the slightly new velcro variation that I want to tell you about. The lace and velcro share the same downturn and asymmetrical profile (they both use the PD75 last) the VS offers a wider and higher volume fit. This is because the velcro uses a partially lined upper, unlike the lace version which is fully lined.

La Sportiva Miura VS all day climbing

The Miura VS is great for both sport climbing and bouldering, although it is on rock (as opposed to plastic) where they really excel. They use Vibram XS Edge (or XS Grip 2 for the women’s version) which contributes to their laser-precise toe box. 

This is a shoe that has stood the test of time and has been used by big-name crushers like Alex Honnold and Adam Ondra. If you are planning on doing a lot of sport climbing outdoors, then the Miura is worth a look. 

Best Of The Rest

Mad Rock Drone

Mad Rock Drone

One of the newest additions to the Mad Rock performance line is the Drone, with its latest rendition coming in a badass, blacked-out design. Mad Rock offers both a high and low-volume variation of this shoe with the high-volume model offering a wider toe box and heel cup.

What makes the Drone worthy of a spot on our list is its ability to adapt to a range of foot shapes. The 3D molded heel is designed to be expandable, perfect for wide heels, and both the Syn Flex upper and stretchy tongue allow for plenty of room in the toe box.

In terms of performance, it’s currently the most downturned shoe in the Mad Rock range, which of course pays dividends on steep terrain, but also makes the toe box really precise for technical face climbing. It has a massive toe rand, perfect for sticking gnarly toe hooks, and Mad Rock’s Science Friction rubber is seriously sticky stuff.

This is another vegan shoe and is a favorite of Olympic athletes including the Mawem brothers and Russian-crusher, Alexey Rubtsov.

Best of the Rest

La Sportiva Tarantula

La Sportiva Tarantulace Review
Overall
6.7
(10 reviews)
  • Edging - 7/10
    7/10
  • Smearing - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
  • Steep Terrain - 5/10
    5/10
  • Comfort - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Sensitivity - 6/10
    6/10
  • Value For Money - 8/10
    8/10

Pros

  • Super comfortable
  • Great for new climbers 
  • Excellent, secure fit
  • Low price 

Cons

  • Limited performance

The La Sportiva Tarantulas have become ubiquitous in the climbing gym as the go-to beginner shoe. If the salesperson at your local gear shop recommends these puppies as your first shoe, you’re in good hands.

They embody the tricky balance of comfort, support and performance a beginner shoe should offer. As you hone your technique, the Tarantulas will take on the beating a beginner imparts onto their shoes like a champ, all without breaking the bank.

The Tarantulas are neutrally shaped shoes with a flat last. The midsole is rather stiff, providing a good amount of support, and consequently, comfort. An experienced climber will find the shoe falls flat on anything remotely overhung or technical, but that’s not really this shoe’s focus. The Tarantula is tailored to the climber who has just graduated from the rental shoe and is looking for a better fit and slightly better precision.

The Tarantulas are offered in both a Velcro and lace up version, so try on both to see what fits best. Keep in mind laces usually offer more adjustability. The leather construction will stretch at least a half to full size, so it’s best to size these snuggly from the get-go.

Best Of The Rest

Butora Altura

Butora Altura

Another entry from the Butora line: the Alturas is a great pick for the tradsters and adventurers out there. Comparable to the La Sportiva favorite, the TC Pros, the Alturas will support you in wide cracks and long days on the wall.

The Alturas have an ultra-stiff profile and flat-lasted profile. They may feel clunky and insensitive at first, however, with a bit of trust, they’ll keep you happily on your toes pitch after pitch. These shoes utilize the same rubber as the Acros (Butora’s Neo Fuse), so you know they are sticky. Additionally, the Alturas features a protective high-top ankle and plush padded tongue, which are a real must for jamming.

These shoes do struggle in smaller cracks, for the same reason they excel in wider features. If you’re looking for a softer, more sensitive trad shoe, consider the Scarpa Vapor V. They perform well in narrow, thin cracks and offer a lot better sensitivity on small holds, while maintaining the wide fit of the Scarpa line.

What Makes a Good Wide Climbing Shoe?

The first thing I want you to bear in mind is just because a shoe works for someone else, certainty doesn’t mean it will work for you. It’s unrealistic to think that just because your climbing buddy raves about their new shoes, this means those shoes are going to be the right ones for you. 

The Brand

Best Climbing Shoe Brands

Keep in mind that size and widths aren’t exactly universal across climbing shoe brands either. For example, La Sportiva is widely considered to fit the narrow-footed climbers best, while Scarpa and Evolve are often touted by those who need wide climbing shoes. While there is some sense in this, the shoe last is the single biggest contributor to the width of a shoe, not the brand.

The Closure & Materials

The upper material and closure system also have a party to play. Laces can offer an opportunity for a finer-tuned fit, which is great if you have bunions or a really unusual foot shape. Leather climbing shoes will stretch at least a half-size (probably more) after the break-in process, so this is a good characteristic to look for in a wide climbing shoe.

1 thought on “The Best Climbing Shoes for Wide Feet”

  1. This was a genuinely helpful review. But I’d love to know if their reviews remain the same for female wide feet??

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