A moderately downturned shoe that feels at home on sport routes.
The Skwama excels at indoor bouldering but is also a brilliant all-rounder.
Stiff and supportive, the Katana is the queen of tricky and technical footwork.
Who doesn’t want climbing shoes in their favorite color? Sure, it might not help you climb any harder, but you will look damn cool strolling around the gym in a pair of purple climbing shoes.
The smart people of this world think we have color preferences because our ancestor’s associated certain colors with survival, security, and well-being. For example, most people prefer blue over yellow. Why? Science suggests that this is because blue is associated with skies and water, whereas yellow and brown might indicate illness, decay, and sickness.
Pretty cool, right?
Purple, on the other hand, is a color long associated with royalty. Throughout history, royalty and high-ranking officials have used purple as their house colors. The rare occurrence of purple in nature made it one of the most expensive (and elusive) dyes to get a hold of, and was reserved only for the clothing of the noble-born or authoritarian leaders.
Thankfully, for all you purple-lovers out there, this is no longer the case. Most dye is now made artificially, so you can have as much purple as you can handle. This, of course, also includes your beloved climbing kicks.
Although it’s awesome when a manufacturer creates a beautiful looking shoe, here at Climbing Shoe Review, we believe it is far more important that a shoe actually performs well than looks awesome (we are a boring bunch, I know).
So today, we want to share with you some purple climbing shoes – that not only look great – but can help you crush hard too!
The Best Purple Climbing Shoes
Here’s five of our favorite purple shoes, perfect for every climbing occasion.
La Sportiva Skwama
The La Sportiva Skwama Woman. Slick, stylish – and of course – plenty of purples. This shoe is a hugely popular all-around shoe, thanks to its ability to kick-ass at a range of climbing styles. It was even the go-to shoe for legendary comp crusher Aiyo Noguchi throughout her competitive career.
The Skwama shares some similarities to the hugely successful Solution. It is built on the same shoe last (WPD 75) which means it has a very similar fit and aggressively downturned camber. The biggest difference between the Skwama and Solution is that the Skwama uses an unlined upper (therefore stretches slightly more) but more importantly has a thinner midsole and outsole.
As a result, the Skama is more flexible than the solution, which allows these shoes to work better on slabs and friction moves that are essential in modern gym climbing.
The generous rubber around the toe patch opens the shoe up to toe-hooking at every angle, and the super-sticky, textured rubber can stick anything you throw at them.
Okay, so these shoes might not be 100% purple, but the pretty violet colors complement the lime green and white perfectly.
I recently convinced my partner to grab herself a pair of women’s Skwama and she LOVES them!
Red Chili Fusion Lady
Red Chili’s Fusion Lady VCR is an updated version of their popular Spirit model that packs a more powerful punch. The Vibram XS Grip rubber delivers great friction, and the moderately soft midsole allows for superior sensitivity. The toe box is also equipped with enough rubber to throw down toe-hooks with confidence.
The relatively moderate profile makes the Fusion a comfortable shoe suitable for those longer climbing days, without forsaking performance.
Like every shoe, there are some downsides to the Fusion Lady. Some users find that the heel can slip when sticking more powerful heel hooks, and you probably wouldn’t be tackling your projects in these shoes. That said, the aesthetically pleasing colors and versatility make the Fusion a great addition to your shoe collection.
La Sportiva Mythos
Anyone who likes the color purple is going to love the La Sportiva Mythos 30th Anniversary Edition!
Designed and launched to commemorate the model’s big three-O. Although it is best suited to longer styles of climbing, the Mythos is suitable for beginners and advanced climbers alike that appreciate comfort over performance.
The Mythos 30th Edition is made with an eco-friendly outsole that reduces waste, while the leather is tanned with a process free of heavy metals.
You probably won’t be climbing V10s (or anything remotely overhung) in these shoes that said, the Mythos makes a wonderful addition to any climber’s arsenal for all-day comfort and excellent performance.
BEST FOR STYLE
The Dharma is a precise, downturned shoe with a stiff construction to support longer climbs and allow you to hone in on those micro foot placements.
The Dharma is suited for all technical face climbs but really feels at home on steep, overhanging sport routes and tricky boulder projects.
While this shoe doesn’t exactly scream purple, the gentle blend of purple/pink and yellow is a beautiful color combo.
La Sportiva Katana Women
La Sportiva Katana Woman is the female version of the massively popular Katana VCS. A classic all-rounder, these shoes will do everything you throw at them. They edge like a monster and allow precise footwork on those tiny jibs due to their stiff profile and pointed toe box. These features are what have made the Katana renowned as a technical sport climbing machine.
The moderate downturn makes them comfortable enough to wear for long lap days at the gym or crag while still taking you up your intermediate projects.
The XS Grip 2 rubber in the woman’s version of the shoe is slightly softer than the XS Edge in the men’s version, and the Katana Woman has a lower volume profile, making the shoe better suited to narrow feet. Although they cannot compete with the top-end bouldering shoes (this certainly isn’t the Katana’s forte) they will make an excellent inclusion into an intermediate climber’s quiver of shoes.
Ocun Oxi Lady
From Czech Republic’s Ocun comes the Oxi Lady, the women’s version of the bouldering star, the Oxi S. The Oxi Lady has a smaller volume and narrower last to suit the shape of a female foot better.
Ocun updated the Oxi S in 2017 to increase the toe rubber coverage and feature better sensitivity. The result is an ultra-thin midsole that provides maximum sensitivity on complex boulder problems with tiny footholds. The downturned profile and highly asymmetric last channels power into the front of the foot, and the pointy toe box gives you laser-sharp precision.
With their generous rubber and sensitive midsole, these shoes were made for bouldering. You wouldn’t be wearing them up any all-day multi-pitch adventures, but they will make a fantastic addition to gym and outdoor boulderers.
The laced version of the women’s classic Elektra. The Elektra lace is built on the same last as the velcro alternative, although the lace closure allows for greater control of fit. The laced version also has a slightly thinner midsole, which makes the shoe slightly more flexible and sensitive. Like every Evolv shoe, this model uses their Trax SAS rubber, which offers a really nice balance between grip and durability.
The neutral profile makes these shoes comfortable enough to keep on all day, while the single-layer, perforated, leather upper helps the shoe conform to your foot for that winning fit while keeping the shoe breathable.
While you probably wouldn’t be sending 5.13s in these, they will make a good choice for a beginner climber or an advanced climber looking for comfortable shoes.
And yes, there is a bit of purple thrown in there for good measure.
What’s Your Favorite Purple Climbing Shoes?
While most climbers favor function over aesthetics, sometimes, we just can’t help but be swayed by the beautiful design of some of these beautiful shoes.
Having your climbing kicks in your favorite color might be helping stabilize your moods, give you confidence, and play with your emotions in ways that might positively affect your performance at the gym or crag.
If none of these shoes take your fancy, don’t stress, there’s plenty of other great shoes out there. Why not have a look at some of our favorite pink climbing shoes, or some of the other great shoes we have tested?