• Rock Runners - Zach

La Sportiva Finale is a fantastic choice for anyone just arriving to the climbing scene. The finale has an unlined leather interior and a simple yet efficient design. Some people might not enjoy this, but the shoe does come with laces and not velcro, but for a shoe that can provide such a great level of comfortability and all-around great work on the wall should reconsider. La Sportiva Finale comes with a generous price tag of just $100 on Amazon.

All in all, this shoe has made a name of itself and with so many great features it's hard to disagree.


XS Edge sticky rubber outsole,

A good outsole can lead to a good grip when on the wall. This shoe has 5mm XS Edge sticky rubber outsole which is relatively high quality in the current market. You will get excellent grip and sensitivity on the wall as well as great durability of course.


The Finale features a powerhinge design that allows the shoe to only stretch in the back half of the sole. This effectively leaves the toes firmly in place on the surface of the wall. Allows for exceptional edging performance.

Unlined leather uppers, As we said earlier, The finale comes with an unlined leather upper. This leather upper will ensure your easy fit and comfort while climbing. It gives the shoe a more soft feel really hitting home the idea of quality you see throughout.

Personally, I have a friend who has used this shoe for at least six months now. I have never heard one complaint about any specific trait. The shoe truly dips it's toes in every category you could look for but it never nails one thing.


La Sportiva Finale is a great shoe for anyone starting out, it has a sensitive and durable rubber, it's lightweight, cheap, compact, leather, and it only comes with laces.

As you could expect from almost any beginner shoe the toe box is not as pointed as some, with a relatively symmetrical toe box, it doesn’t shine at pockets or overhangs. The front sole of the shoe is flat with no downturn. It’s decent for toe-hooks but there’s noticeably less rubber on the top of the shoe than other models that are meant for bouldering or aggressive sport climbing.

The shape of the toe box denies some ability to scale near-vertical surfaces. But at the same time, the toe box helps with smearing and crack climbing.

Like I talked about before in the Features section, the finale has a tensioned heel rand and solid heel cup provide good support, but while that support delivers some performance, the tension is rather light. The heel has a good amount of rubber around the heel giving a dependable grip.


La Sportiva's Finale is by far one of the most popular and well-versed shoes on the market. They are always available and have a very generous price point. You could find these at almost and climbing related store.

The shoe spreads it's abilities wide giving you an edge in almost any scenario, the only unfortunate detail is that it does not really have one strong point. This may work well for beginners however because it suits to almost any climbing style and allows it's owner to find their favorite type.

If you don't want to break the bank and explore the world of rock climbing with a very versatile shoe, La Sportiva Finale might be your go-to option.

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You may be on the lookout for a new pair of shoes. Whether you are just starting out and purchasing your first pair, or just getting an upgrade, I'll help you know when to upgrade or direct you where you need to go to find the perfect fit.

One thing that most climbers can agree on; is that borrowing or renting shoes is a TERRIBLE idea. They lack performance and stability, are worn out, and most of the time don't perfectly fit.

Your climbing shoes, no doubt, are the first thing you should upgrade from your arsenal. This is mainly because they are hands down the most important piece of equipment you will own, and on top of that, you don't need to share them.

If you are just getting into rock climbing, please, make your first purchase a quality pair of shoes.

How do I know when I need an upgrade?

The shoes you buy are completely dependent on multiple different factors, some being: foot shape, type of climbing, your experience as a climber, and some others. You can dive deeper into this here on our article "Top 5 Things to Ask Yourself Before You Buy a Pair of Rock Climbing Shoes". Anyway, these factors can lead you in many different directions, you need to find out for yourself what really works for you.

Scenario 1,

Beginning Climber

You may have been climbing for a few months and are starting to get sick of your smelly rental shoes. Right off the bat, I would say "Get rid of your rental shoes!". Where do I start and what works for my first pair of shoes? Generally, a climber's first pair of shoes will fall somewhere in the range of a neutral to a moderate downturn, meaning that the front section of the shoe naturally bends down slightly or is mostly flat.

The pros of these designs include: maximized or increased comfort as opposed to an aggressive downturn, better with smearing and slots (which will be found more commonly on beginner walls), and they typically have a moderate or stiff midsole to help with arch support when on the wall.

But these shoes also have their cons. They generally underperform on overhang routes and have a thicker less sticky rubber lacking some sensitivity on the wall.

As I have been through the beginner stage myself I would advise you to one, get out of your rentals ASAP and two, choose a moderate or neutral pair of shoes.

Scenario 2,

Intermediate Climber

You may have been climbing now for a year, or maybe two. You have gone through the struggles of finding your first pair and are ready for an upgrade. One of the most important things I can advise you to do is to take your prior experience and use it.

You know your favorite type of climbing, boulder, sport, or outdoor. You know your climbing style and preferred wall, dynamic, static, overhang or slab. My point is that you know how you feel on the wall and only you experience it. You can feel which aspects of your shoes need improving and which ones are just right.

Take all of this information into account when deciding which shoe is right for you.

If you intend on moving up to an aggressive pair of shoes please be aware that they will be slightly painful. Comfortability is the trade-off for performance on the wall. Don't be surprised when you want to take a break and sit down after your second route.

How do I know when I need an upgrade?

If you have stuck with a single pair of shoes for the past year or so you might have realized that your shoes are starting to look worn. This is your first sign that a new pair of shoes is imminent. There are options to get your shoes resoled, but most likely your first pair could definitely be improved on. I would not suggest resoling your first pair unless you know they are right for you. In that case, why are you even reading this article?

Another sign that your shoes need an upgrade is obviously their size. If it takes you more than a minute to squeeze your feet into your flat-soled shoes you need an upgrade hands down.

Are you able to comfortably walk in your shoes without feeling the need to roll on to your knees? No? New shoes?

Any time your shoes cause you discomfort or physical injury either on the wall or not its time for a new pair.

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Looking for a new pair of shoes? You may be surprised when you first check online, the overwhelming amount of different shoe types. Before you choose, you need to understand a few variables...

1. How long have you been climbing?

We know that some people may be buying their first pair of shoes. If this is the case you need to figure out some of the basics. You need to know what kind of shoe will make YOU grow as a climber. If you are only a few months in we would suggest that you keep your shoes on the down-low, don't go out and buy the shoes you see all the pros wear. Something nice, comfortable, and flats soled are generally good choices until you know what you want. If you are a rather experienced climber we would suggest something to match your specific style. Understanding yourself comes with experience, so go out and get climbing.

2. What kind of climbing are you doing?

Quite possibly the most important thing you need to know before purchasing your shoes obviously is based on how you use them. Many shoes are made specifically for a certain type of climbing, whether that be a sport, outdoor, or trad, knowing which type of climbing you will participate in, is crucial to your shoe's performance on the wall. Even a very general and broad filter as this will cut your options down to a fraction of what they were.

3. What is your foot shape?

While comfort may not be everyone's concern when looking for shoes, fitting into your shoes will greatly increase performance.

Take a look at this image.

We have two feet of the same person wearing separate shoes. As you may notice they have rather wide feet. The shoe on the left has a glaring issue. The space in the to of the shoe is not filled because of his foot shape, while the shoe on the right fits much better. On the wall, this will drastically change performance. They will be more likely to slip off the wall when supporting your weight on the very tip of the shoe and even may injure themselves in the process. It's important when deciding which shoe to buy if they have a suitable option for you.

4. What's your budget?

This may seem fairly obvious but you may not find the most suitable show for you if your budget is too low. We would say you could most likely find a quality shoe to meet your needs on Amazon or any other retailers with a budget of $120 or more. We get that you don’t want to spend $175 on your first pair of climbing shoes, but if you are looking for quality you may need to prepare to spend a bit more than you initially expected.

5. What do other people say?

Take a second and go online. If you are considering buying specific shoes find out what people with first-hand experience say, no one will know better than them. They often provide information that can be easily overlooked when shopping on the retailer's website where they are trying to make the shoe sound irresistible. Typically people will try to give their honest opinion when not forced to so try to stay away from sponsored articles or reviews. websites like our own provide you with reviews based on the response of other seasoned climbers, so if you are considering a specific shoe, make sure to check out our reviews page and see if we have reviewed it.

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