Guide to Buying Rock Climbing Shoes for Women Including 5 Great Purchasing Options
Looking for a new pair of women's rock climbing shoes? Here's a purchasing guide to help you tell the difference between what will and what won't work for you when it comes to climbing gear for your feet.
Looking for a new pair of women's rock climbing shoes? Here's a purchasing guide to help you make your decisions of what will and what won't work for you when it comes to climbing gear for your feet. Since there's no universal "best pair" of climbing shoes, you'll need to take into consideration your specific goals and circumstances when it comes to buying rock climbing shoes.
When Buying Women's Rock Climbing Shoes: Identify Your Climbing Expectations
Because there are a million different surfaces, climates, and atmospheres to "rock climb" on and in, the best pair of rock climbing shoes for you really may be different than the best pair for your neighbor. Identify what you generally want to use the climbing shoes for and buy accordingly.
REI separates climbing shoes into four categories: all-day comfort, steep face, bouldering/gym climbing, and crack climbing. The site labels all-day comfort as the most versatile type of climbing shoe with a flat-toed fit, thick rubber sole, relaxed heel rand, heel cushioning, and a medium to stiff midsole. Steep face rock climbing shoes, on the other hand, are more specifically tailored to sport climbing and intermediate trad routes. The other two categories, bouldering/gym climbing and crack climbing, also have more specific niches to be used in than the all-day comfort type of shoe.
When Buying Women's Rock Climbing Shoes: Know Your Price Range and Fashion Sense
Obviously, an important aspect of buying a pair of rock climbing shoes is knowing your budget--and shopping accordingly. If you can't afford the kind of pair you'd be interested in, and know the types you can afford won't suit you, wait to buy something until you've saved up for a pair you'll actually use. If you settle now and spend half as much on a pair that's not right and you'll never really wear, you're just wasting your money. Similarly, don't be fooled by going after unattractive sale items that you'll end up never being seen in public with. Rock climbing shoes probably aren't ever that fashionable, but some pairs certainly are less attractive than others. And if that kind of thing influences you, make sure you factor that in to your ultimate purchase of rock climbing shoes.
When Buying Women's Rock Climbing Shoes: Consider Your Material Preferences
REI points out that rock climbing shoes are typically either leather or synthetic. While leather shoes may offer the easiest care, they're obviously not the most green of footwear known to man. If you prefer synthetic shoes based on moral grounds, then it really doesn't matter the convenience benefits of leather shoes. Decide what material you're comfortable with before trying to purchase something that you will regret later.
When Buying Women's Rock Climbing Shoes: Try Them On!
Shopping online can be incredibly effective when it comes to many products, but rock climbing shoes aren't necessarily in that category. Unless the company has an amazing return policy, you really should try to find a way to try on the pair of rock climbing shoes before making a purchase. Shoes can be extremely hard to fit anyway, let alone rock climbing shoes where every curve and touch can make a world of difference during your climbing adventures. Even if you ultimately buy something online because of available deals, I'd recommend finding a similar model of shoes in a local brick-and-mortar store to try on. Any amount of real-life interaction with the rock climbing shoe before your purchase can be beneficial.