What Rock Climbing Shoes do Professional Climbers Wear?

“What climbing shoes should I buy?” is the most common question new climbers ask, often followed by “What shoes do pro climbers wear?“. There are a tonne of articles and an infinite amount of opinions out there – today we’ll be focusing solely on what climbing shoes the pros use and what types of climbs they use those shoes on.

While it’s great to have one pair of all-rounders that can take on many types of routes, it’s common for people to have a couple or more pairs to use in different situations. Also a lot of professional climbers will be sponsored by a brand and exclusively use their shoes. It has also been said that some climbers will climb a route in one pair and then switch to a sponsor’s pair for the winning shots…

Remember: No pair of shoes is going to turn you into Ondra. This article is just an exercise in seeing what works for different people. It also saves you the experience of googling feet in a public café and trying to explain what you are doing. So, here are the shoes that today’s top boulderers and professional climbers use.

What rock climbing shoes does X wear?

Read our full article on Alex Honnold’s climbing shoes. Alex Honnold often wears La Sportiva TC Pros, the Tommy Caldwell signature shoes. In the “Free Solo” documentary, Honnold climbed the Freerider on El Cap in TC Pros. He also wears the La Sportiva Miura, a popular shoe with a slight downturn that does good as a mix between comfort on long routes and performance, a good all in one, as well as Solutions.

Tommy Caldwell has his own signature shoes, the La Sportiva TC Pros which he designed for all-day performance on long routes. The TC Pros were the shoes he wore on the Dawn Wall. With Vibram XS Edge rubber, a flat toe box, and a little padding above the toes and around the ankle these are great for tiny edges and cracks. He also uses La Sportiva Solutions when training at home and when bouldering.

Tomoa Narasaki – the winner of the Combined and Bouldering events of the IFSC Climbing World Championships 2019 used to be sponsored by Five Ten and wear their Hiangles. He is now sponsored by Unparalleled Climbing and used their shoes in Hachioji 2019. In Lead and Bouldering Tomoa Narasaki used the Unparallel Regulus climbing shoes. They are a very stiff, downturned, and aggressive shoe for steep and challenging bouldering and sport climbing. In Speed climbing, Tomoa used the Unparallel Up Mocc. You can get these in the EU/UK from EpicTV and the US EpicTV site also sells them.

A word on Unparallel shoes – When the Five Ten brand got bought by Adidas, the designs didn’t. Also known as UP, this new company was formed by Five Ten engineers who took a lot of the old styles from Five Ten and fixed small issues with them. The new shoes are very similar in design to the old Five Ten ones with small improvements. The Regulus seem to be an updated version of the Hiangle with a less stretchy/baggy toe box.

Ashima Shiraishi has her own shoe, the Evolv Ashima – an aggressive laced style with a snug heel and a sensitive sole made in a smaller size for children/smaller feet. She also used to wear a few different pairs of custom made shoes as a younger climber, crushing at the age of 8.

Sasha DiGiulian is sponsored by La Sportiva and has worn the pink Women’s La Sportiva Solutions often as well as the Futura Women’s, a “No-Edge” design rock shoe.

Adam Ondra has worn a large amount of different shoes. At times he used the “No-Edge” technology of La Sportiva Speedsters(now replaced with the new Futuras which use the fast lace style of Solutions). Previously he wore Five Ten shoes, doing “Dreamcatcher” in the Anasazi VCS and Moccasyms, and has of course worn Solutions.

Very commonly Adam Ondra will use La Sportiva Miuras, taking down some some of his hardest routes in these – including the world’s first 9c “Silence” in a prototype pair called the Miura XX. There was a limited release of the Miura XX with his signature as well as changes that actually help – like modified lacing that runs around the heel and extra rubber on the midsole that keeps the downturn.

In competitions he has used Pythons and at one point Ondra wore a La Sportiva Miura VS on his right foot and a La Sportiva Futura on his left while climbing Terranova in the video below at 1:34.

…at one point Ondra wore a La Sportiva Miura VS on his right foot and a La Sportiva Futura on his left….

Current Men’s Speed Climbing World Record Holder Reza Alipour wears the La Sportiva Cobra. A minimal down-turned shoe that slips on and off. It is designed to be light and streamlined – built perfectly for indoor walls and the plastic holds used in Speed Climbing or gym climbing.

Pamela Shanti Pack aka the “Offwidth Oddysey” wears TC Pros for their high tops and padding, as well as the stiffness that helps support the fight up big off-width chimneys.

Carlo Traversi wore Five Ten Verdon shoes on the recent Eiger ascent with Sasha DiGiulian which are great for edging and comfort. He also wears the Quantum.

Alex Puccio has worn the Five Ten Dragon in competition and in bouldering, as well as being a very big fan of the Scarpa Instinct VS and Instinct VSR. The Instinct range are very popular as indoor competition shoes with a very aggressive profile.

Chris Sharma worked with Evolv on the Shaman – and an updated Shaman 2 release – a great edging and hooking shoe with a very sticky rubber, as well as the Pontas. Sharma is now sponsored by Tenaya and seems to be working with them on a new line of shoes. Chris was also the climbing stuntman for the remake of the Point Break movie wearing Evolv Nexxos. Just in case you wanted to know.

Shauna Coxsey has worn Five Ten Blackwings but worked with Five Ten on the Anasazi Pro, a version of the Anasazis that were her first shoe and the Anasazi LV (low volume) which she often wore. The Pros have a Stealth Mi6 toe cap as well as the Stealth C4 on the bottom.

Jonathan Siegrist uses the La Sportiva Testarossa lace ups as his favourite shoe, Skwama as a softer shoe for better surface area contact, and the Otaki for edging and precise footwork. He has also used the TC Pro and Solutions.

Nina Caprez sent To Bolt Or Not To Be in Vapor XS Women’s and has worn the Women’s Vapor V.

Jimmy Webb – Sponsored by Five Ten, Jimmy used to use the Team 5.10 as well as the Five Ten Arrowhead. For deep water solo he has used the Five Ten Hiangle.

Emily Harrington wears the Women’s Miura VS for their versatility for edges and slabs.

YiLing Song the previous Women’s Speed Climbing World Record holder also wears the same La Sportiva Cobra‘s that many speed climbers wear. They are lightweight, aggressive and tuned to indoors walls and plastic holds.

Nonaka Miho is sponsored by Tenaya and wears their Oasi shoes.

Daniel Woods has used the Elvolv Agro alot, as well as at climbing national championships and said they are his favourite heel on a shoe ever. They are an aggressive and down turned shoes great for hooking on to edges, with a very well designed and tight heel.

He also contributed with Paul Robinson to the design of the Evolv X1 and the upcoming Phantom – though for a long time Daniel Woods wore exclusively Solutions.

Margot Hayes is sponsored by La Sportiva and often wears the Women’s Solutions.

Paul Robinson as well as helping with the design of the Evolv X1 and Phantom, he is known to wear Evolv Shamans.

Nalle Hukkataival pretty much exclusively uses Solutions and these were the shoes he used on the 9a / V17 “Burden of Dreams”.

Sierra Blair Coyle also wears Solutions in the Women’s version, as well as the ClimbX E-Motion Slipper.

Beth Rodden loves to wear Miuras and has been wearing it for 20 years, since it’s release! She actually wears the normal ones, not the Women’s specific version. She also wears Solutions.

Molly Thompson-Smith has worn the Scarpa Drago and Mago shoe as well as rocking Uggs.

Where to Buy Pro Rock Climber shoes

Solutions – $180 at Backcountry$180 at REI$135 at Amazon

Women’s Solutions – $180 at Backcountry$180 at REI$180 at Amazon

TC Pros – $190 at Backcountry$180 at REI$173 at Amazon

Evolv Ashima – $90 at Backcountry$120 at Amazon

Miura Lace – $165 at Backcountry$165 at REI$124 at Amazon

Miura VS – $185 at Backcountry$185 at REI$118 at Amazon

Adam Ondra Miura XX Special Edition – $120 at Backcountry$185 at Amazon

Miura VS Women’s – $175 at Backcountry $185 at REI$151 at Amazon

Futura – $185 at Backcountry$185 at REI$90 at Amazon

Futura Women’s – $185 at Backcountry$185 at REI$167 at Amazon

Anasazi VCS – $165 at Backcountry$165 at Amazon

Anasazi Moccasym – $125 at Backcountry$125 at REI$125 at Amazon

Pythons – $136 at Amazon

Five Ten Verdon VCS – $165 at Backcountry$165 at Amazon

Five Ten Quantum – $185 at Backcountry$185 at Amazon

Instinct VS – $185 at Backcountry$185 at REI$175 at Amazon

Instinct VSR – $185 at Backcountry$175 at Amazon

Shaman – $120 at Backcountry $160 at REI$154 at Amazon

Anasazi Pro Women’s – $170 at Backcountry$170 at REI$170 at Amazon

Anasazi LV Women’s – $165 at Backcountry$165 at Amazon

Testarossa – $135 at Backcountry$144 at REI$108 at Amazon

Skwama – $170 at Backcountry$170 at REI$149 at Amazon

Otaki – $180 at Backcountry$180 at REI$158 at Amazon

Vapor V Women’s – $124 at Backcountry$100 at REI$110 at Amazon

Team 5.10 – $175 at Backcountry$175 at Amazon

Hiangle – $150 at REI$165 at Amazon

Oasi – $124 at Backcountry$124 at Amazon

Evolv Agro – $124 at Backcountry$162 at Amazon

X1 – $105 at Backcountry$80 at REI$140 at Amazon

Drago – $200 at Backcountry$150 at Amazon

Mago – $195 at Backcountry

So that concludes our exhaustive list of rock climbing shoes that professional climbers wear. For more pro rock climbing shoes information, keep up to date on our shoe information and reviews. We ahve a full article on choosing your first beginner climbing shoe here – best beginner climbing shoes 2019. We’ve also published a really in depth article on the best beginner climbing harness for 2019.

If you are looking to boulder outside soon read our complete guide to buying a bouldering pad or our best beginner bouldering pads for 2019 articles.

If you have a question on what shoes other professional boulderers or rock climbers wear, get in touch on social media and ask us – we’ll do a bit of scouting and find out! FacebookInstagramTwitter

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