If you are a climber looking for the best intermediate climbing shoes in 2021, you will certainly agree that the best shoes are both stylish and affordable. But there is more to consider when looking for the best shoe for you. It’s important for climbers to pick shoes that can meet their climbing needs. It can be stressful trying to figure out the best shoes to buy. The good news is that you can always find climbing shoes with the shape you want, the best materials, and the aesthetics of your choice.

The Top 10 Intermediate Climbing Shoes In 2021

1. SCARPA Men’s Vapor V

Though this climbing shoe type can be useful for both intermediate and advanced climbers, they are best used for intermediate climbing. These shoes come in attractive colors and with a microfiber upper and Bi-Tension active rand, protecting the shoe from damage within a short period. 

Though the cost might be on the high side, the price is fair enough for anyone who needs the best quality in his or her possession. The price depends on your size and color preferences. This shoe is perfect for you if you have always been concerned about getting a shoe that will make your wider forefoot and heel feel comfortable as you make your way up to the mountain peak.

Pros

  • Very secure
  • Brings a feeling of comfort
  • Enhances great performance

Cons

  • Doesn’t have similar sensitivity with softer shoes
  • Has buckles that cause discomfort in wider cracks

Takeaway

Selecting Scarpa Vapor V is one of the best shoes you can choose, especially if you have a narrow foot. This shoe type is available for both men and women. So, when you check on any online store, pay attention to the features that differentiate men’s from women’s shoes.

2. La Sportiva TC Pro Climbing Shoes

There is a reason why we pay particular attention to how shoes are made. Quality shoes are essential for rock climbers in terms of safety and comfort. We want the best quality for the lowest price in rock climbing shoe. We can enjoy the quality and pay less. But we can only find this kind of shoe by being well-informed about the shoes on the market. One of these choices is La Sportiva TC PRO. It is 100% synthetic, and it has a Vibram sole with an excellent design that can make climbing very smooth. Its flat fit feature for toes makes it comfortable to use for crack climbing. In addition to this, air flows easily because of the ventilated tongue and lateral rand perforations. 

Pros

  • Comfortable to wear
  • Excellent cracking ability
  • It is great for climbing without using footholds
  • Outstanding crack ability

Cons

  • Tendency to slip when on overhangs
  • Not as durable
  • There may be a break-in period in the rubber
  • Being unisex might make it uncomfortable for some climbers

Takeaway

You may be curious to know the price of this climbing shoe. Well, it is common knowledge that quality is expensive. For la Sportive TC PRO, this is not the case. You can get the shoe for a low price that is within your budget. All you need to do is select your size and place your order on any online store that sells it. 

3. Five Ten Men’s Anasazi VCS

This climbing shoe type is top rated as a high-performance climbing shoe. This is interesting and reasonable when you imagine the interest of Five Ten, the brand that produces the Anasazi. This brand is known to produce high-friction footwear and various other types of footwear that one needs to rock climb. 

This should give you a clue about the features of these climbing shoes. The shoes have C4 rubber outsoles that make them incredibly stiff to withstand long routes and difficult climbs. Are you going slab climbing? Well, they are very suitable for this type of activity.

Also, they are made with synthetic Cordura textile.

Pros

  • Suitable for difficult climbs
  • Can withstand long routes
  • Very suitable for slab climbing
  • Can be resoled

Cons

  • Its Velcro can cause pain
  • Not suitable for edging

Takeaway

These are excellent, cheap rock climbing shoes you can always look out for whenever you shop for your next rock climbing session. They are recommended to beginners as well as intermediate climbers. One thing that makes these shoes appealing to me is the fact that the shoes can be resoled. So, when a sole gets damaged, you can get a new one and still keep your shoes. 

4. Tenaya Masai Unisex Rock Climbing Shoes

Tenaya Masai is a purely synthetic unisex rock-climbing shoe. They are not gender-sensitive. Whether you are a man or woman, you will find them very useful when you want to climb routes with small edges that have vertical, as well as routes with a moderate overhang. Their full-lace closure system has the ability to adapt to different foot widths. If you are looking for performance and durability, this shoe is one of the very best. Plus, it is extremely comfortable.

Pros

  • Soft and lightweight upper
  • Flexible and sensitive sole
  • Very fashionable
  • Good for high performance

Cons

  • The heel may begin to stretch at some point
  • Not a good choice for bouldering
  • The sole may wear out quickly

Takeaway

Since these shoes are made to endure tough routes and climb them well, they deliver unique edging power. Though the quality of the shoes is great for the money required to purchase them, its unisex quality might require that you check whether your feet fit well in unisex footwear. 

5. Mad Rock Remora Climbing Shoes

These climbing shoes are named Mad Rock Remora for a reason. They appear traditional and have features like power upper and Synflex materials that give them a precise and consistent fit. They are made like slippers and don’t require to be laced up. Once you slip on the shoe, then you are “good to go!” The toe section of these shoes creates some dead space because of their volume. Therefore, they may be more suitable for climbers with wider feet or moderate to high volume feet.

Pros

  • Very comfortable and sensitive after break-in
  • High sole friction
  • Very suitable for edging
  • A very good pick for boulder and long routes
  • Great durability

Cons

  • Suitable for climbers with wider feet
  • No ability to withstand serious heel hook
  • Some dead space

Takeaway

Considering the nature of the toe section, someone with normal to lower volume feet might find wearing them uncomfortable. But then, their durability and comfortability for wider feet or high-volume feet still make them a good choice to consider when picking intermediate rock climbing shoes.

6. La Sportiva Katana Lace Climbing Shoes

These shoes are synthetic with a Vibram sole. A good thing about these climbing shoes is their ability to be useful for different types of climbing. They provide excellent performance in the gym and on boulders and crags. They are perfect for steep pitches and are sensitive with great precision. These shoes are among the many high-quality shoes for climbers who have a low budget, especially when you want something aggressive. 

Do you know why they are well-rated? Well, I am going to tell you. They are durable because of Sportiva’s P3 rand system. What this system does is keep your shoes in shape even when you using them often. The sole is not so stiff as that of most top rock-climbing shoes for intermediate climbers. Besides, Sportiva’s Katana Lace is water-repellant and uses breathable fabric for the upper part of the footwear.

Pros

  • Durable design
  • Suitable for excellent edging experience
  • Great fit
  • Strong lace
  • Sensitive climbing experience

Cons

  • Seems expensive for some climbers
  • Doesn’t have the best features to enhance comfortable toe placement

Takeaway

I feel Sportiva Katana Lace might look cheap or expensive depending on the pocket of the climber interested in buying them. However, you should always know those good things come with a price. When you are fortunate to get something excellent at a relatively low price, don’t hesitate to get it for yourself.

7. Boreal Diabolo Climbing Shoes

When discussing shoes with excellent surface grip, many advanced climbers would recommend Boreal Diabolo to intermediate climbers. It comes with a soft mid-sole. Wearing them brings you a kind of comfort that can enhance your sports performance. They have an excellent level of precision and are well-rated to achieve great edging. Though they are very attractive shoes and are currently well-rated and recommended to intermediate climbers, they might not be the best choice for someone with a strict budget. 

Pros

  • Come with a soft mid-sole
  • Great comfortability to enhance performance
  • Suitable for fantastic edging
  • Has an excellent level of precision

Cons

  • Not affordable for a climber with a strict budget

Takeaway

The price is quite demanding. So, this may be one of the reasons why some climbers would rather check on other climbing shoes that fit better with their budget. Nevertheless, these shoes are excellent tools to climb demanding routes with confidence.

8. Red Chili Voltage Climbing Shoes

Sometimes, we are skeptical about buying things because we don’t know much about the design and features. But one thing is always clear. Making great shoes take a lot of time. Design takes meticulous planning. 

The exquisite design is evident in the Red Chili Voltage. These shoes have a non–slip Vibram XS-Grip sole. If you want to go the extra mile to improve your competence, you will find the asymmetric rand and aggressive downturn perfect for climbing. You might be thinking about the price. Well, the high price to pay is a suitable trade-off for the top-notch features of this climbing shoe.

Pros

  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Excellent edging ability
  • Contains versatile rubber

Cons

  • Not suitable for great smearing

Takeaway

These shoes have a comfortable wide and high-performance fit with great heels. Climbers who love attractive colors will love these shoes. Plus, they have excellent features, and they are extraordinarily comfortable. But the shoes may not be a good fit in terms of multi-pit trad climbing.

9. La Sportiva Men’s Miura VS

What makes Sportiva Mura VS popular is how impressive it performs when you’re climbing in varied terrain. In addition to this, they have stiff and aggressive qualities that make them perch on tiny edges. As an intermediate climber, I bet you may love to use them for vertical granite trad routes, steep boulders, and technical sport climbs. 

These shoes have a sole for men’s shoe type made with 4mm Vibram XS Edge and a very stern rubber blend that makes it durable and stiff. To balance the equation and make provision for women intermediate climbers, women Sportiva Miura VS has a rubber that is not as durable as men’s because it is softer. 

Pros

  • The ability to retain its downturned shape after consistent wear
  • Great at rocking tiny edges
  • Excellent efficiency for slabs and heel-holds
  • Can withstand overhang challenges

Cons

  • Friction at the ending of the rubber-toe cap
  • The rubber at the end of the Velcro may wear out within a short period

Takeaway

While these shoes are not tremendously sensitive and flexible, they are great for hooking and smearing on your climbs. Sportiva Miura for men and women has excellent qualities. Nonetheless, some male climbers prefer the softer and stickier sole of Sportiva Miura VS for women. At the same time, some women also prefer the Sportiva Miura VS made for men because they offer their feet the solid feel of edging.

10. SCARPA Maestro ECO Climbing Shoes

This type of climbing shoe comes in different types for both men and women climbers. These shoes have a Vibram XS Edge of 4mm on the sole. Climbers enjoy excellent grip and a firm hold on small edges while climbing. The design of the Scarpa Maestro Mid Eco is also superb.

This is why some people say the shoe comes from a brand that is known for quality products. These shoes have a soft, supple, and hard-wearing leather upper. They stand up to consistent stress, and they are extraordinarily durable. To give climbers comfort, the designers created the shoes conscious of the need to protect climbers’ feet, particularly when they are on varied tracks and traditional climbing routes. 

Pros

  • Very comfortable for climbing
  • Medium fitness for versatility
  • Easily adjustable

Cons

  • Many climbers may not find them affordable
  • Not a great choice for bouldering

Takeaway

Since many people have shared their opinions on how flat shoes are suitable for trad climbing, picking the Scarpa Maestro Mid Eco for high climbing performance wouldn’t be a bad idea. It remains one of the best shoe designs to give comfort and protection to climbers’ feet. And the shoes allow for excellent precision as well. One thing is certain. You will enjoy comfort when you are facing an uncomfortable situation.

Factors that can guide you in buying the best intermediate climbing shoes

We need to carefully consider how much money we want to spend on new climbing shoes. This guide will inform you of critical factors to consider when you are looking to buy the best intermediate climbing shoes in 2021. I have six tips I think will save you from the stress of decision making. I have written these tips in the form of questions for you to answer:

1. What is your climber profile?

One thing is certain when you visit an online store to check for reviews on different climbing shoes. The reviewers are very likely to embellish the shoes’ features and advantages to catch your interest. When this happens, you rarely find time to answer this question: “What is my climber profile?” Are you a route climber, or are you more into bouldering? Do you need to get the best bouldering shoes for intermediate climbing? Are you an intermediate climber? Are you looking forward to trying out the expert climbing shoe type?

The answer you give will determine the climbing shoes that fit your profile. Remember, it takes time and effort for a designer to build a shoe. 

2. Do you need aggressive or less aggressive shoes?

How are the shoes’ arches going to look as you are climbing? If you need support while still learning how to climb, it is easy to stand on your toes using a shoe with a flat sole. So, you should always refer to your climber profile when you want to decide here. 

3. Which kind of rubber should your shoes have?

Check out the stiffness of the rubber your climbing shoe needs to have. Do you need to look for extra details to achieve this? Hell no! All you need to do is simply check the stiffness of the rubber and imagine how it will impact your rock climbing. When the rubber is very stiff, your feet will enjoy support when pressing on small edges, while soft rubber can be very useful when friction is required.

So, the takeaway here is that you should always evaluate your climbing experience to determine whether a shoe with stiff or soft rubber is what you need.

4. Why not try different shoes before making a final decision?

You should try different pairs of shoes. You should know their features and the ones that are best for your climbing experience. Internet reviews are good and very insightful. That is true. But you should also know that your experience also counts. So I would recommend that you try about four pairs of shoes that promise the kind of comfort you need.

5. What shoe size should you choose?

The right shoe size is a very underrated consideration. Beginners always make the mistake of thinking that climbing shoe size is the same as that of shoes you wear on the street. Well, everybody should know from now on that this is not true. This makes it very difficult for some climbers to make the right choice of shoe size. But I have a solution here. An ideal shoe for a climber positions his or her toes in a slightly bent position, where they can’t move while you keep climbing.

6. Do you understand the logic of asymmetry?

This refers to how well your shoes curve when someone views them from above. The curve’s level determines how much your weight will be accentuated on your big toe. With your weight resting on your big toe, you enjoy precision in the movement of your foot. You should be very careful here. Choose shoes that will give you precision and comfort.

Now that you have this information at hand, the next thing I will recommend is for you to visit that store and make your order based on the information you have gathered here. I am sure you will not have any regrets. 

FAQ 

1. I have tried two different types of climbing shoes, and they have both jammed my toes. I want the one that will give me a climbing experience that would be fun. Which do you recommend?

Well, since you have already purchased two different types and found out they are not suitable for you, I will recommend that you should try the next shoes you will be buying in person and not rely on tips from experts. You should ensure that you are slightly bent comfortably to enhance your performance when you climb.

2. Can a beginner practice with an intermediate climber shoe?

There is a reason why it is called an intermediate climber shoe. So, I will recommend that you try climbing shoes for beginners. However, when you have mastered that level and prepared to move on to become an intermediate climber, you can go for intermediate climbers’ shoes to have a new experience.

3. How can I choose the best climbing shoe?

To choose the best climber shoe, you need to be certain about what you want. Where do you want to climb? How do you want to climb? What is your shoe size? Can you cope with stiff or soft rubber? How about the arched level? When you can answer these questions, you will make the right choice.

4. Do I need to visit a store in person to get the right shoes?

If you are just trying out new footwear, it is advisable to go to the store to try on the shoes. You can check whether they make you feel comfortable enough to climb. But if you have a favorite shoe type, you can order on any preferred online store.

Conclusion

Choosing the best intermediate climbing shoes in 2021 is not complicated when you have the right information to guide you. Once you understand the nature of your feet and your climbing route, the choice becomes easy. This is why a self-assessment is very important in choosing the best intermediate climbing shoes for 2021.