How to buy Climbing Shoes

- Be excited to wear them

When it comes to fitting your first climbing shoe, comfort is one of the most important factors, second only to your anticipation to climb in them. The aim is to experience your Cinderalla moment as you slide your foot into that perfect shoe – not too big, not too small.

As a first-time climber, choosing the right shoe can feel a bit overwhelming. But all you need is a pair of shoes to get you through your first six months of climbing.

Starting climbing is a learning process, you’ll be grinding rubber on holds and scraping the rand (rubber on top of toe) up the wall. A quality pair of rock climbing shoes will get you through this “break in” period as you figure out how to climb. As you find yourself during this period, your upper body strength will improve as will your technique, leading to better use of your shoes.

But before you take the plunge on your first pair, consider the following guide to buying climbing shoes.

Don’t listen to intermediate or inexperienced climbers who are saying “shoes aren’t meant to be comfortable”, there will be a time to explore foot binding later in your rock climbing journey.

Things to look for


Flat sole

Hard-wearing rubber

Thinking “I can’t wait to climb in these”


Things to be mindful of

Too tight

Ultra sticky rubber (it wears down fast)

Some guy saying “Nah mate, it’s meant to hurt”

K2 Base Camp stocks the best climbing shoes for men and women and are the exclusive local stockists for a number of international brands including La Sportiva and Red Chili. Whether you're new to climbing, an experienced adventurer or a rope access pro, we’re here to help you find all the right gear for the outdoors.


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About K2 Base Camp

Queensland’s premiere outdoor and travel gear retailer for over 30 years. The K2 Team live, breathe, and know outdoor adventure inside out. 

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