Climbing is probably the best sport ever for those people who do not want to use animal products at all. Because of the particularities in the construction of climbing shoes and the vegan trend that has swallowed a big part of various businesses, it is a lot more convenient for big factories and companies to use 100% synthetic materials, a true heaven for every vegan, is it not?
Whilst it is a perfect situation for both vegan climbers and animals, it also means that you have got a wide selection to choose from. No matter if you are a pro or just a beginner, there are a lot of vegan options that will completely fulfill your requirements.
At the first sight, you can think that is it utterly easy to choose a pair of vegan climbing shoes, but it is not as simple as it seems. The possibility of choosing a slightly different material or model that will not fit is very high, that is why our team has elaborated a small and comprehensive buying guide that will help you along the way.
On top of that, we have chosen the 10 best pairs of vegan climbing shoes for you to choose the best fit and style. Remember to use the tips and advice we gave when you pick the best pair.
As mentioned in the introduction above, there are a lot of vegan options but, unfortunately, animal-made climbing shoes have not disappeared from the market.
What is vegan in terms of shoes?
It is not a surprise for us that animal-based, or, simpler put, leather climbing shoes are a common thing on the market today. Although you have a lot of vegan options, you can still not be able to differentiate the vegan and non-vegan materials. Usually, it is more than leather that makes a pair of shoe non-vegan.
Firstly, look at the composition of the glue used in manufacturing the climbing shoes you chose. Even though synthetic glue is much better than animal based one, many companies, for unknown reasons, still use glues and dyes based on animal products.
The upper and the shoe lining can also contain pieces of practically invisible leather. You should be very careful about those parts and, if you are not completely sure about their provenience, you can ask the shop assistant or contact the company directly.
How to find a pair of vegan climbing shoes?
It is obvious that, in the first place, you should look for vegan-friendly labels and certifications. If you find one of those, you can be 100% sure that the pair of shoes you are going to buy is going to be vegan and even recyclable.
If you cannot find an official certification for the pair you want, it does not mean that it is not vegan. If the manufacturer affirms that the pair is made of 100% synthetic materials it also means that the pair is completely vegan, and you do not have any reason to worry.
Synthetic leather is also vegan by the way, do not reject a pair of good climbing shoes just for the word” leather”, read attentively.
That is a very good question. Not, as a matter of fact, not all synthetic climbing shoes are vegan. There are a lot of parts that cannot be confirmed vegan or simply are not vegan. Having a 100% vegan product is expensive and time-consuming, therefore, a lot of brands cannot promise you a vegan product.
There is, of course, a solution to this problem too. You should contact the brand and double-check the information they give you. All the products in this article have been checked by our team so, they are clean.
What pair of climbing shoes should you choose?
Types of climbing shoes
If you do not have any experience in this field, you will definitely get overwhelmed by the crazy variety of different shoes for different types of climbing. I have studied the basics of climbing for some time and managed to outline some styles you should choose from.
The neutral climbing shoes are best suited for beginners. Their sole is more often flat and wide, it gives you more comfort so you can adapt to those conditions.
The moderate climbing shoes are the compromise between the neutral and aggressive ones. Their sole is turned down moderately and the heel tension is at an average level.
The aggressive climbing shoes are made for professionals and advanced climbers that could use a little more heel tension and down-turned shape.
What are the best shoes for you?
In order to find the best option for you, you should ask yourself some questions and answer honestly. If you are going you ask the right questions, you can match your requirements with the products information and define the best pair of vegan climbing shoes for you.
Start with the priorities. Do you need a comfortable model, or do you need the high performance? Do you want to pay a lot of money for a professional model, or you do not?
Using this type of question, you will find the right choice for you.
Now, you must be very careful and pay attention to all our tips because it is very important for you to not mess up this part. The size of your climbing shoes is the most important parameter that will define the future comfort, performance, and quantity of injuries that you will get.
You need to choose the right fit if you want to go for more comfort and less performance. Otherwise, you should choose a slightly smaller pair, that will boost your performance. However, the possibility of getting injured will increase significantly.
Under no circumstances do not choose a bigger pair of climbing shoes because it is extremely dangerous for you. They can slip off in the most important part of your road and you will just fall down.
What should you choose if you are a beginner?
Unfortunately, there is no such category as climbing shoes for beginners. However, there are some products that will satisfy your need better than the other ones. As a beginner, I can strongly affirm that you are ought to choose comfort over productivity. I have tried a pair of professional climbing shoes, there is no way in hell I could have climbed a wall in those. Another great tip for you is to stick with neutral climbing shoes as I have described earlier. This type of shoe has less heel tension and stiffer soles.
Questions you might ask
Can I wear a women’s pair if I am a man? Of course, you can. If you find women’s climbing shoes more comfortable for you, it is in your best interest to purchase and wear that pair.
Can you stretch climbing shoes if they are too small? It will be very difficult and typically will not give you any benefits, but you could try warming them up somehow and wear them at home after that. The materials should soften and get more comfortable and stretchable.
What about the discounts? As with other products, online shops are willing to offer higher discounts for vegan climbing shoes than the offline ones, therefore, you should try to catch some of them by monitoring their websites daily.
What if I got the wrong size? In that case, I have bad news for you. Typically, you will not be able to return the pair, that is why you should be very careful with the size of the climbing shoes you are buying, you do not want to lose money and get a useless object.
Designed for optimal performance, Tenaya Mundaka will allow you to climb more efficiently and safely than other models. The uppers made of microfiber, in tandem with a Velcro closure system, will provide you with a comfortable and issueless way up. Wearing these will make you feel a lot more confident and blend in with nature.
The sole, made of Vibram XS Grip rubber, can make you feel the rocks a lot better than before. The sole is 3.5 mm thick, therefore, it can adapt to the form of the rock, making the climbing process easier for you. The Tenaya shoes are extremely flexible and comfortable, an outstanding choice for both pro climbers and amateur ones.
The company, established in 2013, has developed one of the best models of vegan climbing shoes on the market. Phantom is both comfortable and good for high performance, a rare combination in the climbing industry. On top of that, it is completely vegan and cruelty-free. Beginning with the Trax Sas system that enables the best friction and maximum durability, this pair of shoes is filled with various innovations.
The biggest perk of this model is the Variable Thickness Rand system. It is a technology that makes the sole thicker in places of high pressure and thinner in places where the pressure is significantly lower. That way, the company is able to use less rubber and protect nature along the way. The Compression Closure System is another piece of technology that makes your life easier. It is a 6-point single-pull closure that makes the shoe fit perfectly in seconds.
This model is a little simpler than the Phantom, but this does not mean that is not as delightful. The most important and, for me, the crucial part is the fact that this model is completely vegan-friendly and has some recyclable materials that will decompose entirely after some years.
The Trax SAS outsole provides maximum durability and the best abrasion you can find on the market. Zenist is constructed with a Downturned Asymmetric Profile that enables the climber to use all his abilities and forces. Although it might seem that this model is heavy and bulky, it is not. The synthetic upper, made of Synthratex VX, is designed to lower the weight of the entire construction, therefore, the total mass of this pair can give you the sensation of being barefoot, this is how lightweight is it.
Although I said earlier that there are no pairs of climbing shoes that can be categorized as a starter, this pair is the best choice for a beginner. The flat sole will provide the comfort a beginner seeks, while the rubber sole and the Cowdura Polyester upper will still bring in the professional side of a true climbing shoe.
For the best fit you can get, the Anasazi model is enabled with a lace closure that can be adjusted to almost every pair of feet existing. The only downside of this method is that, if you will get the size wrong, you will not be able to use those shoes anymore. For support and maximum security, the model is equipped with a form-fit heel and a stiff midsole that should be able to support your heel and the entire foot.
Good for beginners
Combines the beginner shape with professional materials
Evolv Shaman is a purely professional model that will enable advanced climbers to use all their strengths and forget about the downsides of climbing. The Shaman model is the anchor of the Chris Sharma Signature Series, a thing that ensures the customers of the quality and durability of this product.
The microfiber used to manufacture the upper is specially designed for better breathability for your feet not to sweat and get hot. Another perk that might get you into Shaman is the toe rubber that enables the climber to hook their toes on some rock and climb more efficiently. The front strap is added for better medial side toe scumming and more security when climbing.
The well-known Italian brand La Sportiva has developed an outstanding model of climbing shoes for intermediate climbers that plan to climb indoors exclusively. Of course, the quality of materials permits you to use this model in the wild nature as well as in a fancy Gym. However, if you want your shoes to last longer, it is recommended to use them indoors.
The 3-Layer WashTex external fabric will keep your shoe clean and hygienic while enabling perfect breathability and comfort for your feet. The closure is patented and very effective in different types of situations, on top of that, it allows a personalized fit.
The patented concave sole made especially for those who want to climb the biggest mountains and climbing walls, extremely durable and aggressive. Syn Flex technology implemented in the construction of the upper enables a snug fit and next-to-skin comfort. You will not even feel the presence of the Mad Rock Shark 2.0, that level of comfort it is equipped with.
AES midsole is exceptionally soft and comfortable. A curious fact about this midsole is that, in order to increase the sensitivity without compromising the performance, it was engineered to be stiffer on the edges and softer in the middle. The molded edge heel provides the best fit you can get as well as the best heel-hooking performances.
Not only is Tenaya Tarifa completely vegan and cruelty-free, but it is also unisex so all men and women can try to use it without any prejudices. Founded in 1997 by Jose Luis Garcia Gallego, Tenaya is currently the biggest brand in the climbing industry. Pros like Chris Sharma, Alex Megos, and Ramon Julian have been seen wearing Tenayas and winning championships in them.
Tenaya Tarifa has an aggressive yet comfortable design, qualities that the climbing world has never seen together. The performed upper provides the best breathability on the market while the tongue makes the shoe fit like a glove. To sum up, Tenaya Tarifa is the best choice for those who want an aggressive style of climbing at the highest level of comfort.
Black Diamond Equipment is a pair of climbing shoes for intermediates. The flat sole, best for neutral styles of climbing, gives you the amount of comfort and softness that will not hurt your unprepared feet and joints. As well as the sole, the midsole is soft and comfortable for added sensitivity when climbing. This is made especially for those who have a problem feeling the rock and the wall.
The adjustability is provided by the two Velcro straps, the best choice in case you do not want to bother yourself with the laces or other such parameters. The sole measures 4.3 mm and has a pretty durable construction that will serve a longer period of time giving you the constant performance you have always wanted.
Another delightful pair of climbing shoes from the Spanish company Tenaya. Oasi is a pair of vegan climbing shoes destined for professionals and semi-professionals that embraced an aggressive style of climbing indoors as well as outdoors. The design and construction methods have resulted in a model of perfect precision and comfort in all kinds of extreme situations.
The best routes for Oasi are vertical or overhanging walls due to their aggressively curved shape and the angle of the toe-box. This kind of design also enables the heel to sit lower. A parameter that adds comfort and control. Tenayas are built exclusively with synthetic materials, therefore, you should be very careful when you choose the size, it will not stretch a bit.
The best of its kind at aggressive climbing
Keeps you safe in the most extreme situations
Even though the animal-based climbing shoe market has not died in the past 5 years, it will not last long in the future. Vegan climbing shoes are utterly better than their animal-based competitors and that is a fact. In this article, you will find the best vegan climbing shoes and a short but very informative buying guide that will help you in your future acquisitions.
Do not forget about the importance of the size and materials used to manufacture the shoes you are about to buy. If you are not a vegan and are just passing by, think about the advantages of each pair.
The founder of this site and the man whose idea was used to write the first article on it. Before establishing topveganchoice.com, Brandon was an activist and a regular participant of many legal meetings that pleaded against cruelty and inhumanity in many businesses