Best Bouldering Shoes for Women of 2024

Are you looking to take your bouldering game to new heights? Your shoes are your best companions on the climbing journey. For women climbers, finding the perfect pair is key to tackling those tough routes with confidence and comfort. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, having the right bouldering shoes can make all the difference. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the top options out there, designed specifically with women in mind. From grip to fit to durability, we’ll break down what makes these shoes stand out, helping you make the best choice for your next climb.

1. Scarpa Instinct VS

Scarpa Instinct VS
Downturn: Moderate
Weight (pair): 14.2 oz.
Upper: Synthetic
Outsole: Vibram

The Scarpa Instinct VS is tailored for sport climbers and boulderers who crave precision and power. With a precise fit and durable synthetic uppers, these shoes boast grippy soles to help you conquer challenging routes. The modified heel cup caters to lower-volume feet, while the softer XS Grip 2 rubber enhances sensitivity and stickiness. Its curved, asymmetrical last and moderately downturned profile makes it versatile across various climbing styles, while the Bi-Tension system prioritizes sensitivity and subtle support, ensuring a high-level performance. The Instinct VS is a dependable choice whether you’re bouldering, sport climbing, or tackling technical face climbs.

Crafted with 7-panel synthetic microsuede uppers and featuring a floating leather power strap, the Instinct VS offers a snug fit and added power for your climbs. A rubber toe patch maximizes toe hooking power, while Flexan 1.0 mm midsoles provide precise support. The Vibram XS Grip 2 rubber, with varying thicknesses in the forefoot and heel, delivers a softer, more supple feel without compromising on durability. While the shoe’s synthetic microsuede construction minimizes stretching, an elastic patch ensures a close fit. With its combination of stiffness, moderate downturn, and thinner sole for increased sensitivity, the Scarpa Instinct VS Women’s stands out as a top performer in the realm of high-performance climbing footwear.

What I like: A true bouldering slipper offering exceptional support.

What I don’t: The stiffness of the Instinct VS is less forgiving compared to softer climbing shoes.

See the Scarpa Instinct VS

2. La Sportiva Tarantula Boulder

La Sportiva Tarantula Boulder
Downturn: Flat
Weight (pair): 14.4 oz.
Upper: Leather
Outsole: FriXion RS

The women’s La Sportiva Tarantula Boulder is designed for climbers who want to focus on complex moves without enduring foot pain. With increased sensitivity and a protective toe patch, these shoes enhance dynamic performance while ensuring a comfortable fit. The updated heel construction provides improved rubber coverage for enhanced heel-hooking performance, while integrated rubber toe caps and rand increase durability and toe-hooking capabilities. The dual hook-and-loop closure system allows for easy adjustments, and the presence of two heel pull tabs makes putting them on a breeze.

Featuring a half-sole construction, these shoes offer broad movement ability and sensitivity, essential for navigating bouldering challenges with precision. Additionally, this construction reduces waste during resoling, ensuring longevity and sustainability. Overall, the La Sportiva Tarantula Boulder shoes are an excellent choice for climbers seeking durability, sensitivity, and enhanced performance on the rock.

What I like: A budget-friendly option that does a great job.

What I don’t: Not a high-performance shoe.

See the La Sportiva Tarantula Boulder

3. La Sportiva Skwama

La Sportiva Skwama
Downturn: Aggressive
Weight (pair): 1 lb. 8 oz.
Upper: Leather/Microfiber
Outsole: Vibram

The La Sportiva Skwama blends comfort and performance seamlessly. They are a favorite among climbers tackling technical routes and boulder problems. With the convenience of hook-and-loop closures, they provide a snug fit akin to slippers, ensuring precise control during climbs. Thanks to their innovative split-sole construction, the shoes adapt to weight distribution, reducing-edge deformation and enhancing stability on challenging terrain. The patented S-Heel construction delivers exceptional maneuverability for heel hooks, while the sticky rubber toe patches and extra rubber over the forefeet facilitate secure toe hooks and scumming. Additionally, the P3 rand design minimizes stretch, maintaining the shoe’s shape and performance over time.

While the La Sportiva Skwama excels in steep sport climbing and bouldering scenarios, its soft construction presents drawbacks for certain types of climbing. Climbers tackling long pitches or relying heavily on vertical edges may find the lack of underfoot support disconcerting, potentially leading to discomfort and reduced confidence. Those accustomed to stiffer shoes might experience soreness after extended use in the Skwama. However, despite these limitations, for the intended purposes of steep terrain and dynamic movements, the Skwama remains a popular choice among climbers seeking agility and precision in their performance-driven footwear.

What I like: Offers exceptional control on technical routes and boulder problems.

What I don’t: The soft construction of the Skwama results in limited underfoot support.

See the La Sportiva Skwama

4. evolv Shaman LV

evolv Shaman LV
Downturn: Aggressive
Weight (pair): 1 lb. 4 oz.
Upper: Synthetic
Outsole: TRAX Rubber

The women’s evolv Shaman LV offers a winning combination of power and flexibility for tackling small features with ease. With a medium-stiff camber and convenient strap closures, these shoes excel at toe hooking and smearing while maintaining responsiveness. The downturned toe profile and injection-molded plastic concave midsole minimize dead space under the toes. It ensures continuous performance and powerful positioning. Thanks to Knuckle Box technology, there’s ample space above the toe knuckles for comfortable curling, while the 2-part split soles with tensioned rubber arches allow for independent front and back foot movement, enhancing maneuverability and responsiveness.

The 3-strap closure system ensures reliable compression and security in the forefoot and arch, while also locking in the heel for stability during climbs. An anatomically engineered heel fit, complete with plenty of rubber, facilitates powerful heel hooking without sacrificing comfort. Additionally, the split tongues maximize comfort and ease of wear, making these shoes a breeze to put on and take off. For those seeking a higher-volume fit with the same top-notch performance, the Shaman shoes offer an excellent alternative.

What I like: Excellent power and precision on small features.

What I don’t: Climbers with higher volume feet may find the fit restrictive.

See the evolv Shaman LV

5. La Sportiva Solution

La Sportiva Solution
Downturn: Aggressive
Weight (pair): 15.8 oz.
Upper: Leather
Outsole: Vibram

The La Sportiva Solution climbing shoes are a sleek and aggressive option for climbers tackling tough routes. With a minimal weight and drastic downturn, they’re ideal for overhanging sport routes, bouldering, gym climbing, and technical face climbing. The Vibram® XS Grip2™ outsoles provide excellent stickiness for confident hooks, grabs, edges, and smears, while the patented P3® Power Platforms retain the shoes’ downturned shape, ensuring consistent performance.

While the Solution offers a high-performance fit with its Lock Harness System® and molded 3D heel cups, some climbers may find the heel cup to be ill-fitting and clunky. Additionally, although the Fast Lacing System® allows for easy adjustments, the durability of the shoes may not meet the expectations of some climbers, especially considering the competitive market with newer, more refined options available. However, for those loyal to the Solution’s tried-and-tested design, it remains a reliable choice for precision-oriented climbing.

What I like: An iconic choice for both sport climbing and bouldering.

What I don’t: It’s not as good as others in a growingly tough competition.

See the La Sportiva Solution

6. Five Ten Hiangle

Five Ten Hiangle
Downturn: Aggressive
Weight (pair): 13 oz.
Upper: Synthetic
Outsole: Stealth C4 rubber

The Five Ten Hiangle is a medal-winning classic shoe. It offers versatility from the gym to outdoor crags. Their aggressive downturn shape ensures a secure fit, which is ideal for vertical or steep terrain. The shoe also offers enhanced rubber heel coverage for confident heel hooking. The unlined microfiber upper provides cruising comfort. It offers easy break-in and lasting support for high-precision footwork on any route.

While previous versions had issues with stretching and becoming floppy over time, the current iteration addresses this with an unlined synthetic microfiber upper, providing a snugger fit throughout the shoe’s lifespan. However, some climbers may still prefer the comfort of leather. Despite this, the Hiangle remains virtually unchanged. It maintains its status as a top choice for serious sport climbers and boulderers seeking unbeatable grip, unrivaled edging, and adaptability to any angle terrain.

What I like: Excels both indoors and outdoors.

What I don’t: Finding the Five Ten Hiangle may be challenging due to its popularity and potential scarcity in the market.

See the Five Ten Hiangle

7. La Sportiva Tarantulace

La Sportiva Tarantulace
Downturn: Flat
Weight (pair): 15.4 oz.
Upper: Leather/Microfiber
Outsole: FriXion RS rubber

The La Sportiva Tarantulace climbing shoes strike a balance between comfort and performance, making them ideal for both outdoor adventures and gym sessions. With unlined leather uppers and roomier toe boxes, these shoes ensure long-haul climbing days are pain-free, while the quick-pull lacing harness delivers a snug and supportive fit. The 2 mm FriXion® RS rubber heel rands and 5 mm outsoles offer excellent grip and durability, providing a stable platform for edging on small holds. Additionally, the lined tongues wick away sweat, keeping your feet dry and comfortable throughout your climb.

While the Tarantulace shoes excel in comfort and durability, they may lack the sensitivity and precision needed for steep or technical climbing. However, for beginner climbers or those seeking all-day comfort on moderate routes or extended gym sessions, these shoes are an excellent choice. Although they may not cater to the needs of advanced climbers or boulderers, La Sportiva offers the Tarantula Boulder for those seeking higher performance capabilities. Overall, the Tarantulace shoes offer a reliable option for climbers prioritizing comfort and versatility in their footwear.

What I like: A budget-friendly option for beginners.

What I don’t: The Tarantulace shoes may lack the sensitivity and precision required for steep or technical climbing.

See the La Sportiva Tarantulace

8. Black Diamond Momentum

Black Diamond Momentum
Downturn: Flat
Weight (pair): Not specified
Upper: Knit fabric
Outsole: Rubber

The Black Diamond Momentum is a comfortable and versatile option for both climbing and casual wear. With flexible and breathable knit uppers, these shoes ensure a snug fit whether you’re on the wall or the ground. The updated design features engineered knit uppers for enhanced breathability and comfort, while the soft microfiber linings minimize stretch for a consistent fit. Designed specifically for women, the flat and neutral lasts provide comfort for extended periods of wear. It allows you to transition seamlessly between climbing and walking. Additionally, the soft flex midsoles offer improved sensitivity and edging abilities without sacrificing comfort. This makes these shoes ideal for climbers of all skill levels.

Constructed with durability and performance in mind, the Black Diamond Momentum climbing shoes feature molded rubber outsoles with updated geometry for optimal traction and stability. The 4.3 mm rubber outsoles ensure long-lasting durability, while the lighter and softer toe rands improve overall fit and comfort. Two hook-and-loop straps allow for a customizable and secure fit, while hemp footbeds provide additional underfoot cushioning. What’s more, these shoes are entirely vegan and constructed with cruelty-free materials. This makes them a conscientious choice for environmentally-minded climbers. Overall, the Black Diamond Momentum offers a blend of comfort, performance, and sustainability, making it a reliable option for climbers seeking versatility and reliability in their footwear.

What I like: Flexible knit uppers and soft microfiber linings provide exceptional comfort.

What I don’t: The durability of the toe rands could be improved.

See the Black Diamond Momentum

9. La Sportiva Katana Lace

La Sportiva Katana Lace
Downturn: Aggressive
Weight (pair): 15.2 oz.
Upper: Leather/Microfiber
Outsole: Vibram

The La Sportiva Katana Lace offers a remarkable blend of comfort and performance. Despite their downturned shape, these shoes prioritize comfort. The slight downturned toes and subtle asymmetry enable precise footwork. With a tubular construction featuring P3 technology, these shoes provide both comfort and reliable performance. Additionally, the highly breathable tongues and moisture-managing linings contribute to a comfortable climbing experience, while the half-length outsole design supports climbers of all weights and sizes.

The 4 mm thick Vibram® XS Edge rubber outsoles offer excellent friction and stability. Furthermore, the narrow heel design increases precision in heel hooking, aided by an updated heel pattern with increased rubber coverage for improved grip. However, individuals with wider feet may find the Katana Lace’s narrower fit less accommodating, but for those seeking an all-around performer suitable for slabs, thin cracks, and steep routes, the Katana Lace stands out as a reliable choice.

What I like: Laces make them highly adjustable.

What I don’t: Designed with a narrower fit, which isn’t suitable for individuals with wider feet.

See the La Sportiva Katana Lace

10. La Sportiva TC Pro

La Sportiva TC Pro
Downturn: Flat
Weight (pair): 1 lb. 1.4 oz.
Upper: Leather/Microfiber
Outsole: Vibram

The La Sportiva TC Pro, refined with insights from climbing icons Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold, elevates your climbing experience to new heights. With a design meticulously crafted to enhance performance and comfort, these shoes are a game-changer for climbers of all levels. The flat-toed fit facilitates seamless maneuvering in narrow cracks, while the improved lacing system is reinforced with microfiber. It ensures durability during intense crack climbing sessions. Plus, the eco-conscious construction, featuring recycled PET laces and metal-free ECO leather uppers, demonstrates La Sportiva’s commitment to sustainability without compromising quality or functionality.

Not only do the TC Pro shoes excel in technical prowess, but they also pay homage to climbing history with embossed topo outlines commemorating Caldwell and Honnold’s legendary ascents. Enhanced features like breathable tongues, padded ankle support, and Vibram XS Edge™ rubber soles provide the necessary comfort and protection for long days on the wall. Whether you’re tackling El Capitan’s iconic routes or exploring new challenges, the La Sportiva TC Pro shoes are the ultimate companion for climbers seeking precision, durability, and eco-conscious design in their gear.

What I like: The flat-toed fit allows for easy insertion into thin cracks.

What I don’t: The TC Pro shoes come at a premium price.

See the La Sportiva TC Pro

Women’s Bouldering Shoes: Comparison Table

Scarpa Instinct VSModerate14.2 oz.SyntheticVibram
La Sportiva Tarantula BoulderFlat14.4 oz.LeatherFriXion RS
La Sportiva SkwamaAggressive1 lb. 8 oz.Leather/MicrofiberVibram
evolv Shaman LVAggressive1 lb. 4 oz.SyntheticTRAX Rubber
La Sportiva SolutionAggressive15.8 oz.LeatherVibram
Five Ten HiangleAggressive13 oz.SyntheticStealth C4 rubber
La Sportiva TarantulaceFlat15.4 oz.Leather/MicrofiberFriXion RS rubber
Black Diamond MomentumFlatNot specifiedKnit fabricRubber
La Sportiva Katana LaceAggressive15.2 oz.Leather/MicrofiberVibram
La Sportiva TC ProFlat1 lb. 1.4 oz.Leather/MicrofiberVibram

How to Choose Bouldering Shoes?

How to Choose Bouldering Shoes?

In the below section, we’ll break down everything you need to know about choosing bouldering shoes tailored specifically for women.

Understanding the Basics of Bouldering Shoes

Before delving into the specifics of women’s bouldering shoes, let’s first understand the basics of what makes a good bouldering shoe:

  1. Snug Fit: Bouldering shoes should fit snugly without any space between your foot and the shoe. This ensures maximum sensitivity and precision when climbing.
  2. Aggressive vs. Neutral: Bouldering shoes come in varying degrees of aggressiveness. Aggressive shoes have a downturned shape, which aids in toe precision and grip on overhanging terrain, while neutral shoes have a flatter profile.
  3. Rubber Soles: The rubber sole of the shoe is what provides grip on the rock surface. Look for shoes with high-quality rubber compounds for better performance.
  4. Closure System: Bouldering shoes typically feature either lace-up, velcro, or slip-on closures. Choose a closure system that offers a secure fit and is easy to adjust.
  5. Material and Breathability: The material of the shoe affects its durability and breathability. Leather shoes tend to stretch over time, while synthetic shoes maintain their shape but may be less breathable.

Consider Your Climbing Style

The type of climbing you plan to do will influence the style of bouldering shoe you should choose. If you’re primarily bouldering indoors on artificial walls, a more comfortable and less aggressive shoe may be suitable. However, if you’re tackling outdoor boulders with steep overhangs, a more aggressive shoe with a downturned shape will provide better performance.

Assess Your Skill Level

Beginners may find more comfort and versatility in a neutral or slightly downturned shoe that offers a balance of support and sensitivity. As you progress and your climbing technique improves, you can explore more aggressive shoe designs for challenging climbs that demand precise footwork.

Try Before You Buy

It’s essential to try on multiple pairs of bouldering shoes to find the perfect fit. Visit a local climbing gym or outdoor retailer that offers a wide selection of women’s climbing shoes. Take your time to walk around and test different models to assess comfort, fit, and performance.

Consider Foot Shape and Size

Women’s feet come in various shapes and sizes, so it’s essential to find a shoe that accommodates your specific foot shape. Some brands offer women-specific models designed with narrower heels and lower volume to provide a better fit for female climbers.

Factor in Comfort

While performance is crucial, don’t overlook comfort when choosing bouldering shoes. You’ll likely spend hours wearing them during climbing sessions, so opt for a pair that feels comfortable straight out of the box. Keep in mind that leather shoes may stretch slightly over time, while synthetic shoes tend to maintain their shape.

Think About Versatility

If you’re on a budget or prefer to invest in a single pair of shoes for various climbing styles, look for a versatile option that performs well on both vertical and overhanging terrain. Neutral shoes with moderate downturns strike a balance between comfort and performance, making them suitable for a wide range of climbing challenges.

Read Reviews and Seek Recommendations

Before making a purchase, take the time to read reviews from other female climbers and seek recommendations from experienced friends or climbing instructors. Their insights can provide valuable guidance in choosing the right bouldering shoes for your needs.

Budget Considerations

Bouldering shoes come in a range of price points, so consider your budget when making a decision. While higher-priced shoes often boast advanced features and premium materials, there are also budget-friendly options available that offer excellent performance for beginners and intermediate climbers.

Don’t Forget About Maintenance

Proper maintenance is essential for extending the lifespan of your bouldering shoes. Clean them regularly, allow them to air dry between climbs, and consider resoling when the rubber begins to wear down to maintain optimal performance.


In the world of climbing, finding the best shoes is like finding the perfect partner for your climbing adventures. It’s all about fit, comfort, and performance. Whether you’re a beginner exploring indoor walls or an experienced outdoor enthusiast tackling challenging routes, the right pair of bouldering shoes can make all the difference. Remember to consider factors like climbing style, skill level, fit, and budget when making your decision. By taking the time to try on different shoes and seeking recommendations, you’ll be well-equipped to find the perfect pair that enhances your climbing experience. So, lace up, strap in, and get ready to conquer those rocks with confidence and style!

Olivia Wade

Olivia Wade is the creative force behind Climb Daily. Born and raised in beautiful British Columbia, she brings her passion for photography, content creation, and outdoor exploration to the team. Learn more about Olivia Wade here.