My friends and I agree, there aren’t enough guides or knowledge out there when it comes to the best women’s climbing shoes. Actually, that goes for women’s climbing gear in general, but this article focuses on the shoes!
With the fit of climbing shoes being SO important, it makes sense that ladies would want something that is designed for our unique foot shape, especially how narrow the average women’s foot is compared to a guy!
In this article I’ll list out the four favorite shoes that myself and the girls from the gym picked out, then in the buyers guide I talk about what we looked for and judged each shoe on!
Best Women’s Climbing Shoes
Between my friends and I we tried out 13 pairs of climbing shoes, almost all of which were made specifically for women. We did have a few unisex models we threw in because one of the girls in our group really liked them.
If you’re in a hurry, the four winners are listed in the table above. If you have more time, or want more details, you can find full reviews down below!
La Sportiva Miura VS Women’s Climbing Shoe
Our Rating: 4.8/5 Stars
Our top pick, and a shoe I can’t live without, is the La Sportiva Miura Women’s Climbing Shoes! These shoes designed for overhanging sport routes, bouldering, gym climbing and technical face climbing.
The part of the shoe that sets these apart is the midsole, the P3 with 1.1mm LaspoFlex provides a perfect blend of power and sensitivity. It’s one of the few shoes I’ve ever worn that breaths well without loosing it’s shape and stiffness, thanks to the OutDry technology.
The last is WPD 75 which helps achieve a performance fit with high asymmetry between the heel and ball of the foot for optimal balance when standing on small footholds or at steep angles on small edges. This last is designed with the women’s foot in mind, and it shows!
My only complaint about these shoes is that the lace up version isn’t as comfortable as the Velcro strap model. The lace up model created a weird pinch spot on the outside of the foot that doesn’t occur with the straps.
- Vibram XS Grip 2 Soles are super Sticky
- Midsole is specifically designed for a women’s foot
- Performance shaped aggressive last
- Lightest shoe we found
- Great fit with the velcro straps
- Lace up model had a weird pinch point on the outside of the shoe.
Black Diamond Women’s Momentum Lace Climbing Shoe
Our Rating: 4.5/5
The Black Diamond Women’s Momentum Lace Climbing Shoe is our pick for the best budget climbing shoe for women! This shoe was the first shoe designed to fit and perform for an all-female fit.
The women’s specific last offers more aggressive edging and smearing than men’s shoes, as well as a more sensitive feel on the rock. Featuring 4.3 mm of NeoFriction rubber on the entire sole, this shoe has excellent durability for those who prefer to wear one pair of shoes on multi-pitch climbs.
Lace entry and adjustable heel and toe dragger loops allow you to adjust the shoe for a personal fit as well, adding the the already comfortable fit of this shoe.
Advanced climbers may not like the relatively flat last on this shoe and will want to go with the aggressive shape of our other picks, but this is a perfect beginner or budget option!
Flat, Asymmetric last specifically for women
- Flat, Asymmetric last specifically for women
- Great Edging and smearing shoe
- Lace Up System is well designed and results in a snug fit
- Amazing Value for this Shoe
- Not for Advanced Climbers, last is not Aggressive
Evolv Kira Women’s Climbing Shoe
Our Rating: 4.75/5
Our Runner up for best women’s climbing shoe is the Evolv Kira. This shoe allows you to enjoy a more comfortable fit and increased stability on the wall. This was actually the runner up in our vote for most comfortable shoe as well (see winner below).
The synthetic upper with a VTR rand provides a snug but comfortable fit that is perfect for climbers with narrow feet. Multifunctional ribs on the heel provide extra protection from pain, while 4.2 mm of TRAX rubber ensures grip for bouldering, vertical climbing and limitless performance on the wall.
A low profile and asymmetrical shape and straightforward climbing performance combine with a women’s specific design for more comfortable fit and perfect heel pocket for more secure heel placement.
This is a great all around shoe. Not as aggressive as the Miura, but not as flat as the Momentum. If you’re looking for a women’s specific design and all around performance, the Evolv Kira Women’s Climbing Shoe is your answer.
- Great All Around Shoe
- Heel pocket was the best fit of any of the shoes we tried
- Synthetic, breathable upper
- Trax Rubber at 4.2mm was sticking but solid
- Runs narrow, even for a women’s shoe
Scarpa Women’s Vapor Climbing Shoe
Our Rating: 4.7/5
The Scarpa Women’s Vapor Climbing shoe are made with microsuede upper which is less stretchy than leather. The lower profile of the midsole allows more power to be applied directly to the toe. This combination also made the Vapor the most comfortable shoe on our list, and it wasn’t close.
The Vibram XS Edge provides incredible grip and durability, while the full length outsole allows the upper of the shoe to remain soft and flexible. I personally prefer the Grip 2 rubber, but the Edge does tend to last longer.
The Scarpa Women’s Vapor Climbing Shoe has all-day cushioning thanks to its padded tongue, single piece synthetic upper and full length outsole.
While the Vibram XS Edge rubber does tend to be found on lower end shoes, it is the only drawback we found with the Vapor. Overall, this was a very popular shoe with our group of girls and was hands down the most comfortable!
Super Comfortable Shoe
- Super Comfortable Shoe
- Single piece upper reduces stretch even on long days
- Low Profile and medium last for stability and comfort
- Scarpa name brand and value
- Vibram XS Edge Rubber Sole
Women’s Climbing Shoe Buying Guide
Until about 10 years ago, a women’s climbing shoe didn’t even exist, or at least were a tiny percentage of the overall climbing shoe market. Fast forward to today and you can find a great selection of women’s climbing shoes for every type of climbing and every style.
Obviously the color schemes on the women’s shoes are going to be different than their male counterparts, but what meaningful difference are there?
Women’s Specific Fit
The main difference in women’s and men’s climbing shoes is that they are designed for a smaller foot. Women typically have narrower heels, longer toes and less arch support than men do. So what does this mean to you? It means you’ll want to be careful when shopping.
The last of the shoe is extremely important. Women’s lasts are more narrow throughout the foot but especially in the heel. By buying a women’s specific shoe, you’ll get a last designed for a women’s foot and likely a better overall fit.
An aggressive, or advanced shoe will have a shoe shape that resembles a banana. This gives the climber the ability to use more difficult toe and heel footing positions, but will be much harder on the foot generally.
A flatter shoe gives the climber more support and tends to be more comfortable, but leaves something to be desired in the performance category.
Bouldering shoes also tend to be more aggressive than multi-pitch shoes, although not always by any means.
The Final Pitch
There you have it, the four of the best women’s climbing shoes on the market today, tested by myself and several of my closest friends! We are confident that one of these shoes will fit most ladies in both fit and climbing style!
With the buyers guide we also talked about the differences between men’s vs. women’s shoes as well! You are now equipped to find the perfect shoe to tackle your next climbing route or problem!
Our resident climbing gym and bouldering expert, Melissa uses climbing to destress and relax when away from her tech job in the Berkeley, CA area.
Melissa picked up climbing while in college at CU Boulder and has never looked back. Melissa writes all of our content on female climbing gear and much of our bouldering articles!