• Rock Runners - Jonathan

I searched for the best overall beginner shoe on the market. All of these shoes are what you would want if you just started and are looking for the top shoe to increase your skill faster. These shoes are graded on comfort, affordability, and performance ability.

5: Black Diamond Momentum

New in 2019, these shoes came with a lot of hype, expecting this shoe to be, "One of the best low budget shoes on the market." The momentum did just that. At around $90, this shoe is perfect for a beginner budget. It is a comfort oriented, flat shoe, expected for someone just starting out. This shoe is known to be incredibly breathable, despite it not being made from leather. It can do pretty well on all types of walls, but not exceptional. This shoe also has to fit well to perform well. These set backs rank the shoe at 5, but Black Diamond should be able to excel at making higher quality shoes in the future.

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4: Mad Rock Flash 2018

This is regarded as the best beginner bouldering shoe. While this shoe does sacrifice some comfort, it gives it back in performance. It is slightly more aggressive than the momentum, giving the tow more power for those boulder routes. This shoe is also a great price. At around $75, it is even cheaper than the black diamond momentums. While it is not suggested you wear this shoe on a top rope route, it will do if this is your only shoe.

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3: La Sportiva Tarantulace

Within in my past review for these shoes, I have already stated the excellence this shoe brings for the price. At around $95, it is still in budget for most beginner climbers. It is one of the most comfortable shoes out there. This shoe molds to your foot very well, making it comfortable for hours of climbing. The Tarantulace is an all around performer. This shoe may not shine in any specific category, but it can do it all. For a lot of climbers, they did not like the lace system this shoe originally had, but the more updated version (shown on the left) comes with velcro, a much more suitable choice for climbers.

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2: Mad Rock Drifter

The Mad Rock Drifter is also a strong all around shoe. This is shoe is one the most sensitive beginner shoes, which is great for getting the feel of the rock. It is priced at around $75, definitely on the cheaper side. But this shoe does not perform that way. Despite it not being quite as comfy as the Tarantulace, it does perform slightly better at pretty much everything, giving it the number two spot on the list.

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1: La Sportiva Finale

This shoe is by far the simplest design: a leather shoe with a simple lace closure system. But this simple structure is what allows this shoe to become so successful. This shoe fits tighter than the Tarantulace, but still maintains the comfort. The leather is able to stretch to your foot more, keeping the shoe snug. It performs better than the Drifterand the Tarantulace listed before it and can excel at all boulder and top rope climbs. With this performance does come at a slightly higher price unfortunately. At around $110, it is the most expensive on the list and possibly slightly above a beginner climbers price point. But if you can afford these shoes, they can do it all.

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Get your pair on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2WDWQXF

Since this is one of the newest shoes on the market, it is also one of the most complex. Its design resembles a perfect shoe for lead or sport climbing and a ceramic microfiber makes it thinner and more lightweight.

This shoe is definitely more expensive than most, but the performance is hard to beat. This shoe is also made for sport climbing, so bouldering may not perform as well. Despite this, with its new modernization and technology, this shoe may appear in the Olympics this year and in gyms all over the world.


This shoe has new additions that no shoe has as of right now. With ceramic microfibers to make it lighter, Alcontera, a synthetic suede like material, and a new tension rand, this shoe really has it all. This is definitely a shoe made for top performance and for the top rock climbers.

The shoe is made to widen out at the bottom, allowing people with wider feet to be able to use. The heel especially does this, to increase comfort by spreading the tension of the foot over a larger area.

The shoe is downturned and asymmetric, allowing you to stay on the tiniest of footholds. While this does come with a negative, very experienced climbers used to aggressive shoes will enjoy these.


This shoe is on a higher price range. The Boosters can run you up to $190. Despite there being many shoes at this price range (especially aggressive shoes), this is something to keep in mind.

The Booster is an aggressive shoe. It will hurt if you are not prepared for this ahead of time. This shoe is also going to feel really small and tight even with the widened sole.

This shoe is specialized. It is not an all around shoe. This means that while it will perform with the best shoes at sport climbing, it will not a bouldering or speed. If you are a massive fan of bouldering over rope climbing, I would not suggest getting these.

That is my overall impression of the shoe. We will have to watch and see if this shoe pops up in the Olympics (because I think it will). If you are tech savvy with shoes and are looking for the best at sport climbing, these are the shoe for you.

Get your pair on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2WDWQXF

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The stereotype around rock climbing shoes is, "The shoes need to be so tight that the toes should be almost curled all of the way."But in reality, this is simply not the case. But even still, when you ask a veteran climber, the answer is almost always: very tight.

The reason many climber say this involves the feeling when you are on top of a foothold. A tight shoe gives the foot a lot feeling when rock climbing, and many people love this. Many climbers (including me) think that this feeling helps with our rock climbing abilities.

But truly, you do not need a bone shattering hug on your foot to get this result. The common answer to this question is: make sure your toes are in a flat or very slightly curved comfortable position, and that your knuckles are not pressing against the top of the shoe. When in doubt, if the shoe is a real struggle to get on, then chances are the shoe is too tight. It should be at a snug point, not a tight point.

And that is really all to it. This process is truly based on how the shoe fits your foot and how comfortable your willing to go. If you want a deeper look into how an agressive shoe should feel compared to a neutral shoe, you can go to into "What Rock Climbing Shoes Should I Buy?" There are some aggressive shoes (like the Evolv Shaman's) where the shoe is not going to be comfortable even when it is fitting right. That is just a matter of preference.

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