Sizing climbing shoes correctly is difficult. And I mean mad difficult. No matter how you go about it, you’ll eventually end up asking yourself these three questions when considering climbing shoes. How do they fit, how should I size them, and how much do they stretch? Because as we all know, no two climbing shoes are exactly the same. A shoe from one brand will often fit drastically different than a shoe of another brand. Most of this confusion can be blamed on the last of a climbing shoe. Different shoe manufacturers use different lasts, which heavily determines the size and shape of the toe box, heel, and footbed. How annoying, right? So, to help in your quest to find the perfect shoe, I made this handy sizing guide on how to size the 30 most popular climbing shoes. Hope it helps!

How to Size the Most Popular Climbing Shoes


How to Size the Most Popular Climbing Shoes - Climbing Shoe Sizing Guide - Infographic by Athlete Audit


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Tips to Remember:

  • The recommended sizing suggestions are based off of street shoe size and are not 100% perfect. However, they’re a good kick in the right direction if you size according to the width of your feet. As always, try shoes in-store for the most accurate fit. OR, you can order a few pairs of similar size online if free returns are available.
  • Size accordingly. If you want the utmost performance, size towards the low end. If you favor comfort more, size towards the high end.
  • Women’s versions of climbing shoes have a lower volume (especially in the heel cup) to fit those with smaller feet. And dudes, don’t be afraid to purchase women’s shoes if they fit you better.
  • The women’s version of the Evolv Defy are the Evolv Elektra, the Five Ten Anasazi VCS the Five Ten Anasazi LV, and the Mad Rock Lotus is almost identical to the Mad Rock Shark.
  • La Sportiva’s shoes consistently run a good deal larger, which is why it’s recommended to downsize on all of them.
  • Scarpa and Evolv’s climbing shoes tend to have a wider fit for those with larger feet. Thank goodness!
  • The recommended sizing suggestions take into account how much the shoes will stretch. If a pair of shoes do stretch a good deal, it’s okay if your shoes are reasonably painful at first. They will eventually mold to the shape of your foot.
  • Signs of a perfect fit include no extra space in the toes, no deadspace in the heels, no hot spots, and adequate room to accommodate the width of your feet.
  • You can downsize shoes with laces a bit more than slippers or velcro shoes since the laces allow you to adjust the volume as you see fit.
  • Learn the ins and outs of choosing climbing shoes correctly. You’ll want to consider the type of climbing you’ll be doing, the closure system, the materials used, the shape of the shoe, the rubber, and more.


Sizing Suggestions Based On: