Intermediate Climbing Shoes are some of the most under reviewed and most overlooked type of rock climbing shoes on the market today.
If you consider yourself an intermediate climber you have probably been climbing for at least a year and have gone through your first beginner’s rock climbing shoes. Your foot should have developed more strength and your footwork should be getting better.
This is a great point in your climbing career to upgrade to a more aggressive and better-performing shoe.
The main qualities you should look for in an intermediate rock climbing shoe are the following:
Getting a proper balance of these 3 main features will ensure you get the best intermediate climbing shoe!
Comfort becomes less important as your climbing level increases. That being said, you don’t want your shoes to be unbearably painful. Getting the correct fit will help increase your technical footwork ability without hurting your toes or causing chronic injury. Most shoes will stretch a bit during the first couple of uses so consider this when choosing your size.
Performace will include both the shape/design of the shoe and the rubber on the sole. Intermediate shoes need to be more aggressive than beginner climbing shoes but not overly aggressive. The rubber will also need to be upgraded to ensure you stick more footholds. One thing to consider is that better performing shoes often don’t last a long as starter shoes because of the softer (aka stickier) rubber that is used.
Price is important to some and less important to others. If you are on a budget you might just have to shop around and try to find a sale or wait for the right time of year to buy. If you are less concerned about price you will still want to get yourself a high-value shoe. That means that the quality level of the shoe must be proportionate to the cost. Just because a shoe cost a lot of money doesn’t make it good.
5 Best Rock Climbing Shoes for Intermediate Climbers
Note: all ranking are out of five (5) flames
The La Sportiva Katanas are a great introduction to a performance climbing shoe. The Katanas have the ever popular Vibram XS Edge and a great overall construction.
They are probably the most comfortable shoe on the list, they allow your foot to get used to a downturned shoe without making you feel like a ballerina. At a price that won’t break the bank you really can’t go wrong with these shoes!
Essentially tied with the Katanas the Five Ten Anasazi’s are one of the best shoes in their price range. They offer the industry-leading Stealth Rubber soles and synthetic upper.
While not overly aggressive these shoes offer great performance on everything from slabs to hard roof pulls. This sturdy design has been a go to for climber for many years and that won’t change anytime soon.
The Scarpa Vapor Vs are some of the most underrated climbing shoes. They offer a bit more downturn than the previously mentioned shoes but still retain a fair amount of comfort.
With the Vibram XS Edge rubber and Power Band Closure, these are a perfect segway into more advance bouldering shoes. They are not particularly cheap but they will last long enough to make them worth it.
Tenaya is a brand that many climbers do not know about but they make some killer shoes. The Iati is one of the best shoes in their lineup and it perfect for all the boulderers out there.
The edge is super crisp and the toe is nasty sharp and precise. If you are looking to take it to the next level made sure to get a pair today!
La Sportiva is arguably the best climbing shoe manufacturer and there intermediate climbing shoes are top notch as well. The Skwama will make you climb stronger with their P3 Patent System, Vibram sole, and Elite level design.
The Skwama is the best women’s intermediate climbing shoes as they come in a unisex design. Perfect for all the lady crusher out there!
These shoes can be had at a steal so don’t miss out on this offer!
You really can’t go wrong with a pair of La Sportiva’s and the Skwamas are no exception!
Let us know in the comments below what you liked and didn’t like. If you have suggests for more shoes to review feel free to let us know.
As always don’t forget to keep training.