Want some climbing shoes which will stay strong and true no matter how much you hammer them in your climbing sessions… and even stand up to the immense stresses of crack climbing without falling apart?
Short of encasing your feet in blocks of iron, the climbing shoes we’ll be looking at in this post are the best you can get if rugged durability is your main priority.
Whether you’re into climbing big walls, extended multi-pitch routes or crack climbing, there’s a good chance that you’ll destroy ordinary climbing shoes on a semi-regular basis if you’re not careful.
But who wants to be careful when climbing?
I’m not talking about all the safety stuff. That stuff is there so that you can climb freely, rather than worrying about your every move.
What you want is shoes that’ll let you climb those big, tough routes without making you feel like you’re a free soloer or something, where you have to maintain a pretty large safety margin to avoid injury.
However, that being said, these shoes are the shoes of choice for pros like Alex Honnold, Jonathan Siegrist, Tommy Caldwell and Pamela Pack when they’re doing any kind of trad climbing, crack climbing, or big walls like Yosemite.
Anyway, without further delay, let’s take a look at the most invincible shoes out there:
This work of art was developed in collaboration with Tommy Caldwell himself.
No wonder it’s his shoe of choice.
It was made exactly to his specifications. He wanted the ultimate shoe: one that’s designed to take on the Dawn Wall; a shoe that has mastery over granite.
It had to function at a very high level while still being comfortable. It also had to be robust enough to protect your feet through all the abuse big walls dish out. I never could have imagined it would turn out so well. It was a game changer for me.
As a result, these shoes offer a huge amount of protection while still being on a powerful enough platform for precise edging.
First of all, these shoes are mid-height, and so they cover and protect the malleolus, which is that sticky-out ankle bone that no-one really has a common name for.
This isn’t just useful for climbers who want to stuff their feet in cracks without also cracking their ankles. It’s also immensely useful for climbers who like to heel hook and toe hook on really rugged walls.
To top that off, these shoes actually have padding on top. They basically protect your feet all the way around without feeling bulky. Even the leather is just ridiculously thick, yet it still doesn’t feel too bulky.
I mean, sure, they’re not as slim as other shoes like the Solution which are more suited for bouldering or normal climbs, but they make a really good job of not feeling cumbersome despite the impenetrable defense they provide for your feet.
These shoes are so tough that they won’t even get disfigured after years of hard use. They use La Sportiva’s patented “P3 Permanent Power Platform,” which means that the materials don’t lose shape when force is applied to them repeatedly. They always just bounce back to the shape they were, as if they were brand new.
However, having said that, the shoes are a little stiff out of the box, but they loosen up over time. It’s not a dramatic increase, but don’t get too loose of a size, even if you’re not used to tight shoes, becasue that slight stretch might push them over that threshold. You know the one I mean: where the shoes are just loose enough to get bothersome, because you can feel them move slightly now and then.
I’d say just go for it. Get the ideal size you’re looking for. Don’t hold back. These shoes are way more comfortable than you’d expect, despite giving the impression of being a bit stiffer and clunkier than most climbing shoes… at least, at first…
These shoes just scream premium. Screamium…
You can easily wear them for extended periods of time without feeling like you need to take them off for a break.
And that’s just fantastic.
“How can someone wear a brand new pair of shoes for so long without taking them off?” your climbing friends will be thinking.
Even if you have a weird foot shape, the padded-ness of these shoes really work in its favor. They’ll fit themselves to your feet, filling in the gaps and easing off around the protruded parts of your feet, whether you have bony foot spurs like I do, or any other kind of unusual foot shape.
These shoes are tough enough to take resoling several times, which makes them a worthy long-term pick.
Stealth rubber is the go-to choice for resoling, but the resoling kits are sometimes unavailable.
Speaking of rubber, the TC Pro’s original Vibram XS Edge rubber isn’t as sticky as stealth rubber, but it does have the advantage of being much stiffer. That naturally makes it much better for edging, and the stiffness adds an extra degree of protection to your feet.
You’d be surprised how quickly you get used to a stiffer shoe. Not just in terms of comfort, but in terms of actually getting the feel for using these shoes.
You can click here to view the La Sportiva TC Pro on Amazon.