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|Top Pick: La Sportiva Katana Lace|
|The Classic: La Sportiva Miura|
|Best for Wide Feet: Scarpa Instinct VS|
|Most Comfortable: La Sportiva Mythos|
|Best Value: Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym|
If your climbing appetite requires you to partake in every type of climbing, then you have no doubt run into shoe-related issues. Some shoes work great for certain styles of climbing but underperform at others, and buying a different pair of shoes for every type of climbing you do is expensive. Luckily, there are shoes you can buy which can climb on every type of terrain.
Our list of best all-around climbing shoes consists of shoes that work well for bouldering, trad climbing, and sport climbing. Any of them could easily be your only climbing shoe, for indoors and outdoors, hard granite or soft sandstone.
Top Pick: La Sportiva Katana Lace
There is no terrain at which the Katana Lace doesn’t excel, and certain features of the shoe make this so:
- Edging, hooking, and smearing abilities make it good for slab climbing and vertical face climbing
- Laces and semi-pliable Vibram XS Edge rubber are good for crack climbing
- Aggressiveness, an asymmetrical toe box, and a P3 Midsole (a technology for keeping a shoe’s sole downturned) help the shoe perform well when bouldering or climbing overhung faces
Our in-depth review of the Katana Lace determined that the shoe only lacks top-level performance when it comes to toe hooking and jamming it into pockets. Otherwise, this shoe excels.
Get your pair 0.5-1 sizes below your street shoe size (in US Men’s sizes) for a performance fit and expect them to stretch a little bit.
The Classic: La Sportiva Miura
If you’re a climber who hasn’t heard of the Miura before then you’ve been living under a rock (puns…). The Miura has been on the market for over a decade and during that time has earned a reputation as the quintessential “quiver of one” climbing shoe. Many climbers who decide to only own one pair of climbing shoes go with the Miura.
The shoe also has serious pro talent backing up its case as an all-around classic. Adam Ondra climbed La Dura Dura in them, Alex Honnold free solos in them, and this guy named Squib climbs 8a+ trad routes in them.
Beyond the hype, the Miura packs a performance punch. It edges, hooks, and smears well, and its narrow toe box makes it good for sticking into pockets. Also, the rubber on it is a nice medium between stiff and soft, making it good for climbing cracks.
For a performance fit, go 1-1.5 sizes below your street shoe size (in US Men’s sizes). Or, if you’d like to learn more about the shoe, read our full review of the Miura.
Best for Wide Feet: Scarpa Instinct VS
La Sportiva shoes tend to run narrow. So, for those of you with wide feet, the Scarpa Instinct VS is an aggressive velcro shoe that will climb on anything. The shoe edges and hooks among the best which makes it especially adept at climbing vertical and overhung terrain.
It isn’t the best for slab climbing due to its downturn, but it comes with the same high-quality rubber as the La Sportiva options do.
Like the Miura, get your pair 1-1.5 sizes below your street shoe size (in US Men’s sizes) for a snug performance fit.
Most Comfortable: La Sportiva Mythos
The shoe is marketed by La Sportiva as “a high performance shoe that does everything and fits everyone.” While we’re weary of the claim that there is one climbing shoe that can fit everyone, we agree that this shoe can do everything.
What’s more, it does everything without sacrificing comfort. The Mythos can climb slabs, cracks, and vertical faces. Many climbers even consider it a top multi-pitch shoe. It isn’t the best shoe for overhung terrain, but will hold its own there as long as you aren’t climbing super difficult routes or problems.
The Mythos stretches a good bit. For a performance fit, get your pair 1-1.5 sizes below your street shoe size (in US Men’s sizes). I’ve even read stories of people sizing two full sizes down, though, so if you’d like to squeeze as much performance out of them as possible you can go smaller.
Best Value: Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym
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The Anasazi Moccasym is the cheapest shoe on this list and gets our pick as the best value all-around climbing shoe. The Moccasym, after over two decades on the market, is virtually an institution in the climbing shoe realm.
Owners often remark that this is the one of the most comfortable climbing shoes available. The slipper design and flat sole contribute to this comfort, and make the shoe capable of all-day wear and good for long routes.
Even though this is our best value pick, the Moccasym can perform in the toughest of situations. Professional rock climber Steph Davis crack climbs in these shoes, and the late Dean Potter even free soloed in them.
For sizing, get them a full size or more below your street shoe size (in US Men’s sizes). You’ll have a couple of uncomfortable weeks of climbing while they break in, but after that they will feel like moccasins. 🙂
Best Women’s All-Around Climbing Shoes
The above shoes are all men’s or unisex versions.
If you are a female climber looking for all-around climbing shoes designed specifically for women, here are your best options:
- La Sportiva Katana Women’s (Velcro version)
- La Sportiva Miura Women’s
- Scarpa Instinct VS Women’s
- La Sportiva Mythos Women’s
- Unisex shoes: Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym
How to Choose the Best All-around Climbing Shoes for You
Unable to narrow it down?
If you still can’t decide which all-around climbing shoe to get, consider the following in making your decision. All the shoes on this list meet the first two criteria so you’ll probably want to focus on the last one, fit.
Laces (or Slippers)
If you’re going to be doing all types of climbing, you will probably be doing some crack climbing as well. Velcro straps just don’t work well for cracks, since they can be painful and risk coming undone when jammed against the rock. Laces are better for cracks and thus will work better for the person doing all types of climbing.
This feature should be self-explanatory. A shoe that excels at all styles of climbing needs a high-quality rubber that is capable of working in all situations.
The above shoes either come with Stealth C4 or Vibram XS Edge rubber, both of which are some of the best climbing rubbers on the market. They are a nice medium between soft and stiff which makes them work well for many different terrains and types of rock.
This goes for every climbing shoe, but make sure you size the shoe correctly and that it fits your foot properly. Some shoes are made to fit different foot widths, arch heights, and heel volumes. Make sure the shoe you’re considering is designed to match your foot shape and you’ll get even more performance out of it.
You can get shoes that fit properly by trying them out in person or buying multiple pairs from an online retailer that offers free returns.