7 Budget-Friendly Rock Climbing Shoes

Key Points

  • You don't have to break the bank for good rock climbing shoes.

  • Many climbing shoes brands like Black Diamond, Scarpa, and Evolv sell budget-friendly rock climbing shoes.

  • Each brand has its pros and cons. Determine the features you want before purchasing a pair of climbing shoes.

There's nothing wrong with ballin' on a budget. In 2023, inflation is high, and filling up the gas tank requires a mortgage. Forget the economy. If you're a climber, you still want to climb.

Fortunately, high-quality, budget-friendly rock climbing shoes are out there. Cheap doesn't always mean shoddy craftsmanship. There are affordable climbing footwear options from reputable climbing gear companies.

Rock climbing footwear must be durable, easy to use, versatile, comfortable, and flexible. If you find climbing shoes under $100, all the better. It's not necessary to blow your fun money on climbing shoes — so don't!

Here are some of the best value climbing shoes available.

1. Black Diamond Momentum Climbing Shoes

Black Diamond Momentum Climbing Shoes are a top choice for climbers doing long sessions at the gym or out on the crag. They're a solid pair of budget-friendly shoes, coming in between $65 and $75.

They provide peak comfort with their breathable suede upper and stretchy material that molds to your feet, giving you a custom fit.

The lace-up model allows for easy adjustment, which is inevitably needed when climbing. It's common for your feet to swell up like a belly after Thanksgiving dinner, so it's nice to know these climbing shoes adapt to your feet.

Beginning and intermediate climbers still learning the basics need not worry about foot placements. The excellent grip of the rubber soles makes it easy to get your appendages wedged in a hold.

Some folks claim the shoe runs a bit tight, so go up a half-size from your normal shoe size. This is a tiny problem for such a massive deal.

Black Diamond Momentum Climbing Shoes

Photo source: Amazon.com

2. La Sportiva TarantuLace Climbing Shoe

La Sportiva TarantuLace Climbing Shoes ring in at $89 and pack in all the requirements of a solid pair of climbing shoes. These are excellent climbing shoes for beginners.

Climbing puts your body in previously unimaginable situations. These shoes allow you to perform such stunts with grace. They're asymmetrically shaped with a downturn in the toe to make perching atop narrow holds easy.

These are also durable climbing shoes. The rubber heel rand and sticky soles increase longevity and give you potent edging abilities. They're great for novices and experts alike. Give them the proper TLC and they last for years.

Difficulties only arise in the honeymoon phase. There's a long break-in period, sizing is tricky, and the toe box might be a bit too tight for those with wider feet.

Looking at the balance sheet, they're still great climbing shoes for the price.

La Sportiva TarantuLace Climbing Shoe

Photo source: Amazon.com

3. Butora Acro Climbing Shoes

Butora Acro Climbing Shoes are prime for climbers needing durable footwear built for bouldering. Human feet come in many shapes, and these shoes are for every type of climber's foot, whether narrow or wide.

They're on the pricier end of the affordable climbing footwear range at $124 to $184. Well worth the price if you want nifty features like a toe box design that distributes weight from the midsole to the big toe, making it easier to get momentum and keep it.

The toe box also boasts ample rubber for seamless toe hooks, though that's a lot more insulation. Your toes are going to get sweaty pretty darn quickly.

The price point may not be realistic for green climbers still seeing if the sport is for them. If that's you, start with some climbing shoes under $100.

Butora Acro Climbing Shoes

Photo source: Amazon.com

4. Evolv Defy Climbing Shoes

Evolv Defy Climbing Shoes are comfortable climbing footwear. They're a solid choice for rookies improving their footwork and not accustomed to the peculiar shape of climbing shoes.

Prices go from $89 to $109. Lots of factors make them great climbing shoes for beginners. They break in quickly, facilitate easy heel-hooking, don't make your feet hurt after hours of climbing, and come in every size for men, women, and kids.

The fit is too loose for some climbers, and the toe box makes it difficult to pull off extreme edging. Despite the downsides, Evolv Defy Climbing Shoes are a great choice for climbers on a tight budget.

Evolv Defy Climbing Shoes

Photo source: Amazon.com

5. Mad Rock Flash 2.0 Climbing Shoes

Mad Rock Flash 2.0 Climbing Shoes are some excellent rock climbing footwear that doesn't require you to sell a kidney to afford them.

Priced at under $80, they are some of the best-value climbing shoes with their durable build and easy-to-use design, which makes putting them on easy.

Climbing requires boldness, and that is easy to muster with these shoes' Shock Gel heels. These rubber soles give extra cushioning in case of falls. That doesn't mean they give you superhuman abilities like Spider-Man, but they do make falling while bouldering more graceful. Well, as graceful as a fall can be.

An irksome con is the rubber on the toe area starts to peel after a few months. Given their cheapness, it's not a huge loss. Despite this, they're still a solid choice for budget-watching and beginner climbers.

Mad Rock Flash 2.0 Climbing Shoes

Photo source: Amazon.com

6. Scarpa Origin Climbing Shoes

Origin Climbing Shoes come from the top-class climbing shoe brand Scarpa. They run between $115 and $120, the higher end of budget-friendliness, but well worth the cost for a company like Scarpa.

Breathable leather upper, easy-to-use Velcro closure, and a plush, pillowy interior make these shoes an affordable choice for those pinching pennies.

Other climbing gear companies need to take notes. Scarpa makes these shoes for both indoor and outdoor climbing. Every aspect of the shoes creates long-term comfort and versatility.

Comfort is important; traction is equally so. These shoes provide stickiness for normal footholds. If you're upgrading to more complex moves, tread with caution.

The rubber sole sometimes slips, so they're not recommended for riskier stunts. If you're just beginning, then don't worry. For the price of these shoes, the good far outweighs the bad.

Scarpa Origin Climbing Shoes

Photo source: Amazon.com

7. Five Ten Rogue VCS Climbing Shoes

Five Ten Rogue VCS Climbing Shoes pack a lot of pros for only $100. The Stealth Rubber gives you stickiness for complex holds, and the perforated upper part provides lots of ventilation. If you're looking for comfortable climbing footwear, you've found it.

Smearing, edging, and hooks are easier with these climbing shoes. The fit feels secure and snug.

The rubber sole might be too thin for frequent climbers. A year of consistent climbing is enough to wear them down. That's a minor issue considering the price.

If you wear the rubber out on these shoes, then you're probably ready to upgrade to more expensive pro-level climbing shoes.

Five Ten Rogue VCS Climbing Shoes

Photo source: Amazon.com

Getting Good Climbing Shoes Is Prudent

Scrambles Amongst the Alps author Edward Whymper says, "Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are naught without prudence and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end."

Whymper's right. Climbing not only requires strength and courage but also builds them. While the benefits of climbing are abundant, follow Whymper's advice and add a healthy dose of prudence.

Nothing is more prudent than getting a high-quality pair of durable climbing shoes. High quality doesn't mean absurdly expensive. Budget-friendly shoes are aplenty.

Many climbing shoe brands sell cheap footwear. Do the financially prudent thing and get yourself a pair. Your feet and your bank account will thank you.

Head to MyOutdoorGear for more insight on all things related to the outdoors.

Was this article helpful?

My Outdoor Gear is the go-to source for in-depth outdoor gear reviews. Join us as we review some of the best outdoor gear items on the market.