So, you’ve have decided, laces are the choice for you.
Who needs the struggle of the slip-on or a fight with Velcro?
Now the only thing remains is which pair to get. With so much choice out there, I have narrowed it down to 5 pairs that I wouldn’t recommend overlooking.
First up is the Scarpa Helix, which is a great midrange shoe.
Its flashed out in hyper blue with a suede upper and a Vibram XS Edge rubber.
At 3.5mm rubber it’s on the thinner side of shoes, but this helps add sensitivity making it perfect for sportier climbs with an incline.
A lot of climbers agree this is one of the more comfortable shoes out there.
The only downside of the shoe is due to the thin rubber, this might lead to you replacing them sooner than you would have liked.
There is good news however, you can get the helix’s resoled, which is a great way to keep your favorite pair of shoes around.
The Miura is more in the upper range of shoes, If you are after performance, this might be the one for you.
With a 4mm rubber and an aggressive form, it’s great for when you need to give a sport climb 100%
Like the helix, it uses Vibram XS edge rubber to give maximum stick on the tiniest of holds.
With a Leather upper and a dentex inner, these shoes are one of the comfiest downturned pairs you can climb in.
With such great performance, it’s not hard to see why these are a crowd favorite.
I actually had a hard to finding anyone with a bad thing to say about the Miura’s, other than the sizing of the shoe is a little on the larger side, So keep that in mind when buying a pair.
The Evolv Spark’s are great for a first shoe, with a neutral sole and upper made of leather and air mesh.
With this combination, it makes it perfect for beginner feet that are not yet used to climbing shoes.
The Evolvs are rocking a 4.2mm TRAX high friction rubber this helps give beginners confidence to put their feet in those risky spots.
The great thing about the thicker rubber is that even if you suffer from back footwork they will still last a fair while.
The only downside to these shoes is like most climbing shoes the color leaks on to your feet, It means you leave every session looking half hulk.
The Sportiva Taranutulace is an amazing all-round shoe, with its sleek design and low asymmetry.
The Tarantulace also has a 5mm thick sole to make sure they last, the sole is made from sportivas friXion RS rubber which is designed to be hard-wearing but sticky for long life.
With a lipped rubber heel, you shouldn’t have any trouble with those pesky heel hooks.
The upper is made from unlined leather which means there will be a fair bit of stretch.
To top it off there is a quick pull lacing system to help you adjust the shoes to suit your foot.
Overall I would recommend these shoes to a confident beginner or a mid-level climber.
like the tarantulace the Katana is another great all-around shoe,
The difference being the Katana sports a moderate downturn which makes it lean more towards sportier climbs with an incline.
Its got a leather upper that’s pacific lined so for an aggressive shoe they are pretty comfy, however, the shoe does have a narrow profile which can turn off those with wider feet.
The Katanas Vibram XS edge rubber is on the thin side with 4mms but this will only add sensitivity.
It also has a breathable mesh tongue that will stop your feet overheating in the summer.
I feel Sportiva got this shoe right with a nice balance between performance and comfort.
They are perfect for any mid-level climber looking to invest in a sportier shoe for those harder climbs.