A velcro/slipper hybrid with a wide toe box and a budget-friendly price tag.
By far one of the widest, and most comfertable, climbing shoes I have ever tested.
One of the best semi-aggressive shoes favored by the pros and hard crushers.
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 awesome to be unique, the diverse nature of our feet creates quite the headache for climbing shoe manufacturers.
We all know that a glove-like fit 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, finding the shoe that guarantees you will give you that cinderella-slipper fit isn’t exactly easy. There are so many shoes available today (almost 500 by our count) that it becomes a near-impossible, needle-in-a-haystack task, picking 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, our team has 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 Shoe 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 fit 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.
BEST FOR INDOOR CLIMBING
This is a new addition to our list, and deservingly so. 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 don’t think I have ever worn a climbing 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. 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.
There are a few flaws to the Veloce though. The rounded toe that gives the Veloce it comfortable characteristics doesn’t exactly allow for precision edging, and they do struggle on small pockets because of this. Also, as this is a really soft shoe, they don’t exactly feel great for heel hooking. It simply doesn’t have the rigidity to crank hard on a heel hook.
Don’t get me wrong though, I really like this shoe. For its reasonable price and solid performance, it’s really hard to argue with the Veloce.
As an added bonus, it’s also vegan-friendly.
OUR TOP PICK
La Sportiva Skwama
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.
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-round 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.
In 2018, La Sportiva brought out the low-volume version of the Skwama, which is also a great women’s climbing shoe for wide feet.
BEST FOR BOULDERING
Scarpa Instinct VS
If you walk into the gym on any given night you will probably spot at least a few climbers rocking these bad boys. The reason for that is simply because 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 VS 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 VS also has an elasticated tongue, which covers a lot of real estate on the shoe’s uppers, allowing for plenty of stretch.
Unlike a lot of performance shoes, the Instinct VS is only moderately downturned, which gives it the versatility to perform on both steep and slabby terrain.
In terms of performance, the VS forefoot uses a 3.5mm Vibram XS Edge outsole and a 1mm midsole. This gives the shoe a stiffer profile than the Skwma but allows for super-precise edging. This does make the VS less sensitive than Scarpa’s super-soft models like the Drago or Furia Air though.
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 of 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 BUDGET SHOE
The Butora Acro is without a doubt a top pick as a budget, wide climbing shoe. Its edging prowess, sensitivity, and solid all-round performance on a variety of terrain make this shoe a real contender for one of the best bouldering shoes currently available.
The Butora Acro might not be as well recognized as other shoes on this list just yet, they’ve started to pick up popularity in the last couple of years, and with good reason.
The Acro is a slipper-style shoe designed with a single velco strap for added support. It’s has a medium-stiff sole and features the ultra-sticky Neo Fuse rubber. The shoe should be sized tightly to get glove-like fit and make the most of the shoes 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 a wider foot 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 STYLE
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 too. 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 FOR OUTDOOR CLIMBING
La Sportiva Miura VS
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 ‘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 talk about here. Although both 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. There’s also a slight difference in the midsole shape, and the velcro uses the P3 Platform, which allows them to retain their downturned profile.
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 SX Grip 2 for the women’s shoe) which contributes to their laser-precise toe box.
This is a shoe that has stood the test of time and 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 this could be the shoe for you.
BEST FOR BEGINNERS
The Scarpa Helix is a supportive shoe that offers sensitivity and support while being kind to your wallet. Though you won’t see elite boulderers or sport climbers wearing this shoe, its performance is remarkably balanced and its construction built with quality and care. These shoes are also known for their durability, helping stretch the budget that much more.
The Helix has a flat, slightly asymmetrical profile. The midsole is relatively stiff, yet the toe is fairly sensitive making this a great intermediate shoe. It’s also a popular choice for all-day comfort at the crag or a choice choice as a trad climbing shoe. It’ll hold up pretty well on a variety of styles from vertical edging to crack climbing. Just don’t expect too much when it comes to steep terrain or heel hooks.
As with the Instinct VS, the Helix has a wider than average fit. These shoes do also stretch at least a full size so once broken in they shouldn’t cause any hotspots.
BEST FOR ALL-DAY CLIMBING
Another entry from the Butora line: the Alturas are 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 feature a protective high-top ankle and plush padded tongue, 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.
Like the Acros, the Altura is offered in a wide and narrow version and is modelled on a last that is slightly wider than the TC Pros.
BEST OF THE REST
From my experience, Evolv generally has some of the widest fitting shoes of any climbing shoe brand. they have a great selection of models to choose from too.
The Shaman is pretty good, although the Agro is my all-time favorite Evolv shoe. Sure, it was a bit bulky and plastered in rubber. Nevertheless, they look amazing and I found them to be one of the best wide-fitting performance shoes ever.
Unfortunately, the Agro didn’t make the cut for the 2021 season, so it’s unlikely you will be able to get your hands on them (maybe have a look at Steep & Cheap if you are desperate). In its place then, I will offer you an alternative, the Evolv Oracle.
The Oracle shares many of the features I love about the Agro, with the addition of a few extra features. For starters, both shoes share an identical heel design, by far one of the most confidence-inspiring heels I have ever used. The Oracle is slightly more downturned than the Agro but still has a roomy toe box that fits like a glove once broken in.
While both shoes have a split tongue, the Oracle has lace-up closure, allowing for that extra control over fit, great if you have high-volume feet.
If you are looking for a shoe that can crush hard on every style of climbing and rock surface, you can go wrong with the Oracle. I know pro climbers like Daniel woods and Paul Robinson have been known to make some tricky ascents in these shoes, so you are in good hands.
BEST OF THE REST
La Sportiva Tarantula
The La Sportiva Tarantulas has become ubiquitous in the climbing gym as the go to beginner shoe. If the sales person 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 a neutrally shaped shoe 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 slight 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.
While the La Sportiva line does trend on the narrow side, these shoes offer a customizable and comfort driven fit.
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 by their new shoes, that this means those shoes are going to be the right ones for you.
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 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 is a good characteristic to look for in a wide climbing shoe.
In truth, finding the right shoe is a highly personal experience and only you can determine what works best for you, often through some good old-fashioned trial and error.
Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions!