A velcro/slipper hybrid with a wide toe box and a budget-friendly price tag.
A soft performance shoe, perfect for wide-footed boulders and gym climbers.
One of the best semi-aggressive shoes favored by the pros and hard crushers.
Finding a the right pair of climbing shoes is always difficult, especially if you have funny shapes feet. So if you are looking for the best climbing shoes for wide feet, we have a few tips to help you on our search.
We know the drill. Your climbing buddy swears by a shoe, saying it’s the best thing they’ve ever climbed in. Now it’s all they wear and there is no debating with them about it. When you give them a shoe, all you feel is toe-curling pain.
Just because a shoe works for someone else, certainty doesn’t mean it will work for you.
The shoe brand, upper material, closure type, and shape profile all play a role in what makes a wide climbing shoe perfect for your foot. Ultimately, 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.
Keep in mind that sizes aren’t exactly universal across climbing shoe brands, and neither is width . 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 whether a shoe will fit your feet.
If you are looking for wide climbing shoes, we hope that this guide gives you a head start on your search. The shoes we list below are all built for wide-footed climbers, with something here for climbers of every skill level climbing style preference.
It’s time to find your wide climbing shoes!
TOP TIP: Laces can offer an opportunity for a finer-tuned fit, which is great if you have bunions or a really unusual foot shape. Also, leather climbing shoes will stretch at least a half size (if not a lot more) after the break-in process, so are a are a good feature to look for in a wide fit climbing shoe.
OUR TOP PICK
La Sportiva Skwama
After our team reviewed the La Sportiva Skwama a few months ago, it’s been a challenge to pray them off our testers grubby feet.
We love the versatility and sensitivity that the Skwama brings to the table. This super-soft shoe is designed with overhung bouldering and climbing in mind but really its one of the best all-round performance shoes available right now. Indoors or outdoors, smearing, edging or bat hanging from your tippy-toes, these shoes can do it all.
Of course, there is no one shoe that is perfect for everything but the Skwama is pretty damn close.
La Sportiva shoes tend to run on the narrower side compared to other brands but the wide toe box, combined with the elasticated tongue and soft rubber of the Skwama should make this shoe suitable for most wide-footed climbers. The upper is also made of leather, so expect so see a little bit of stretch once you have broken them in.
In 2018, La Sportiva brought out the low volume version of the Skwama which is also one of the best women’s shoes for wide feet.
BEST FOR BOULDERING
Scarpa Instinct VS
The Scarpa Instinct VS is a real favourite among many climbers and are one of the best bouldering shoes for wide feet due to the elasticated upper their wide toe box.
Walk into the bouldering gym on any given night and you are bound to spot at least a handful of climbers sporting these high-end shoes. Specifically designed for hard bouldering, the Scarpa Instinct VS address all the demands of the modern boulderer while offering a snug comfy fit.
Features include an adjustable Velcro strap for quick on/off action and a generous toe patch. The heel of this shoe really shines with its ultra-snug design which. A tight band (also known as a slingshot rand) runs across the back of the Achilleas, comfortably securing your heel and offering unparalleled confidence when cranking hard.
The last of the Instinct VS is moderately-downturned and asymmetrical, boosting it’s performance on steep overhang. This design, like many performance shoe, puts the climber’s weight is focused on the big toe providing great accuracy. On vertical to slabby terrain however, the stiff sole lacks the sensitivity needed to feel out tiny numbs and edges.
As mentioned earlier, Scarpa as a brand can be great for wide climbing shoes, especially those looking for climbing shoes with a wide toe box and narrow heel. In general, their models tend to be made on a wide last. If they fit your foot correctly, they’ll slip on like a glove and should feel like a second skin.
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 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 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 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 are your favorite wide climbing shoes?
Finding the right shoe can be a frustrating experience. Like Cinderella slipping on the glass slipper, finding the the perfect shoe for you can feel like a miracle.
If you’ve got a wide foot, hotspots and ill-fitting heels might be a familiar struggle. However, the market now a days is vast, so chances are there is a shoe out there for you. A shoe modelled off of a wider last will reduce these dreaded points. Within a brand, this will often carry over from one shoe model to another. Keep an eye out as well for lace up versions and leather construction to optimize that customized fit.
Give some of these a go. You might just find your next best friend.
Now you know what we think are the best climbing shoes for wide feet. If none of our hoices jumped out at you, why not take a look at some of our other shoe reviews?