Top 6 Intermediate Climbing Shoes for 2024


Are you ready to take your climbing to the next level? In this blog post, I’ll be sharing the top 6 intermediate climbing shoes to help you elevate your performance on the rocks. Whether you’re tackling challenging boulders or pushing your limits on sport routes, having the right pair of climbing shoes can make all the difference. Join me as we explore the features and benefits of these top-rated shoes, designed to support your progression as a climber.

Elevating Your Climb: Why Intermediate Shoes Matter

Climbing is a dynamic and exhilarating sport that requires the right equipment to elevate your performance. As I transitioned from beginner to intermediate climbing, I realized the significance of investing in the proper gear, particularly intermediate climbing shoes. These shoes play a crucial role in enhancing stability, precision, and overall climbing experience.

The Transition from Beginner to Intermediate

As climbers progress from being beginners to intermediates, their techniques and climbing styles evolve. This transition demands a shift from the entry-level shoes to more advanced and specialized footwear. Intermediate climbers require shoes that offer a balance between comfort and performance, enabling them to tackle more challenging routes with confidence.

Features of Intermediate Climbing Shoes

Intermediate climbing shoes are designed to provide a blend of support and sensitivity. They feature a moderately downturned shape, allowing for improved precision on small holds while maintaining a level of comfort for longer climbs. The rubber compound used in these shoes offers enhanced friction for better grip on various rock surfaces, contributing to increased confidence and control.

intermediate climbing shoes

Photo by Martin

La Sportiva Katana Lace

Intermediate Climbing Shoes

I recently had the opportunity to test out the La Sportiva Katana Lace climbing shoes, and I was impressed by their performance in terms of precision and comfort.

Precision and Comfort

The Katana Lace features a slightly downturned toe and subtle asymmetry, allowing for precise foot placements on small edges and pockets. This design enables climbers to confidently tackle challenging routes without sacrificing comfort. The shoe’s ability to maintain a high level of comfort while providing exceptional precision sets it apart as a versatile choice for intermediate climbers seeking reliability and performance.

Versatility on Various Surfaces

Whether scaling steep single or multi-pitch routes, tackling slabs, or maneuvering through thin cracks, the La Sportiva Katana Lace demonstrates remarkable versatility. The shoe’s construction allows it to excel on a variety of rock types and angles, making it an ideal choice for climbers looking for a reliable, all-day performance option. The ability to transition seamlessly between different climbing terrains adds to the shoe’s overall appeal and makes it a valuable addition to any intermediate climber’s gear collection.

Scarpa Vapor V

Scarpa Vapor V

When it comes to climbing, finding the right balance between sensitivity and support is crucial for a successful climb. The Scarpa Vapor V strikes the perfect balance, offering a high level of sensitivity while providing the necessary support for challenging climbs. This makes it an excellent choice for intermediate climbers looking to elevate their performance.

The Balance of Sensitivity and Support

Scarpa Vapor V is designed to provide climbers with a heightened sense of the rock, allowing them to feel even the smallest of holds. The shoe molds to the foot, offering a glove-like fit that enhances sensitivity and allows for precise foot placements. At the same time, the shoe’s construction ensures ample support, giving climbers the confidence to tackle more demanding routes without compromising on comfort.

How the Bi-Tension Rand Enhances Performance

One standout feature of the Scarpa Vapor V is its Bi-Tension rand, which plays a pivotal role in enhancing performance. This rand connects to the toe power and arch area, allowing for maximum power transmission to the toe of the shoe. This translates to improved edging performance and increased precision during climbs, giving climbers the edge they need to push their limits and improve their technique.

These design elements, combined with the shoe’s overall construction, make the Scarpa Vapor V a top choice for intermediate climbers seeking a versatile and high-performing shoe for their climbing endeavors.

Tenaya Masai

When it comes to mastering technical climbing, the Tenaya Masai offers unparalleled performance. Designed for climbers seeking precision on small edges, rounded holds, and cracks, these shoes provide an ideal balance of features. The highly sensitive nature of the shoe allows for a closer connection with the rock, providing essential feedback about the shape and characteristics of footholds.

The SXR Dynamics technology in the Tenaya Masai ensures a dynamic response, enhancing the shoe’s ability to adapt to different rock shapes while maintaining precision and comfort. This advanced technology allows for seamless adjustment to a wide range of foot widths, ensuring a personalized and comfortable fit for climbers of varying foot shapes.

Five Ten Anasazi VCS

The Five Ten Anasazi VCS excels in edging performance, offering reliable support and precision on small footholds. Whether navigating gritty crystals in Joshua Tree or dealing with slick rock, the shoe provides a secure grip, enhancing the climber’s stability and confidence on challenging terrain. The shoe’s design encourages climbers to adapt their technique to optimize performance, making it a valuable choice for those seeking to improve their edging skills.

Stealth Rubber and Its Grip Advantage

The Five Ten Anasazi VCS incorporates Stealth Rubber, renowned for its exceptional grip and traction. This advanced rubber compound enhances the shoe’s ability to adhere to various surfaces, providing climbers with the confidence to tackle challenging routes. The superior grip offered by the Stealth Rubber allows for precise foot placements, ensuring a secure connection with the rock and reinforcing the climber’s control and stability.

Butora Acro

I want to dive into the Butora Acro climbing shoe, which I’ve found to be a top pick for intermediate climbers like me. Let’s explore the features that make it stand out.

The Aggressive Fit for Advanced Moves

The Butora Acro offers an aggressive downturn that provides excellent precision on small holds and edges. When tackling overhangs or challenging routes, I appreciate the sensitivity and responsiveness of these shoes. The asymmetrical shape supports powerful toe hooks and heel hooks, allowing me to confidently attempt more advanced climbing maneuvers.

Wide and Narrow Fit Options

Finding the right fit is crucial for maximizing performance and comfort during climbs. With the Butora Acro, I appreciate the availability of both wide and narrow versions. This ensures that climbers with different foot shapes can find a secure and snug fit that suits their individual preferences. The ability to customize the fit adds to the overall appeal of these versatile climbing shoes.

Evolv Shaman

When it comes to finding the right climbing shoe, the Evolv Shaman stands out as a top choice for intermediate climbers seeking both precision and power. This modern cambered shoe is designed to excel on overhanging gymnastic and steep routes, making it a versatile option for climbers who tackle various types of terrain. The vegan synthetic upper is not only durable but also crafted on an aggressively profiled last, ensuring that the shoe maintains a consistent power position without excessive stretching over time.

The Design for Hooking and Toe Power

The Shaman features a tensioned heel rand that offers robust support for bearing down on small edges, while providing just enough flexibility to conquer off-vertical angles. This design allows climbers to confidently tackle challenging routes with precise footwork, making it an ideal choice for those looking to elevate their climbing performance.

Customizable Fit with Love Bump and Knuckle Box

The Shaman incorporates a love bump plastic midsole, which strategically places the toes into a crimped power position for enhanced performance. Additionally, the knuckle box feature creates ample room, preventing discomfort from toe smashing against the toe rand. These innovative elements work in unison to eliminate dead space under the toes, delivering a comfortable and powerful sensation from the moment climbers put on the shoes.

For climbers seeking a customizable fit, the Evolv Shaman provides a combination of features that prioritize both comfort and performance, making it a reliable choice for conquering challenging climbs.

Stay tuned for more in-depth reviews of other top intermediate climbing shoes.


In conclusion, finding the right intermediate climbing shoes is crucial for enhancing your climbing experience. With the right balance of comfort, support, and performance, these shoes can take your climbing to the next level. Whether you prioritize precision edging, aggressive downturn, or all-day comfort, there are options available to suit your specific needs. Take the time to consider factors such as fit, material, and closure system to ensure that your next pair of climbing shoes propels you towards your goals. Happy climbing!

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