Need some vegan climbing shoes? I’ve done all the hard research so you don’t have to.
When my last pair of shoes fell apart I had that awful moment of realisation that I was going to have to dig around the internet to find out which climbing shoes are vegan. Let’s be honest – it’s not fun and can be a drag when you just want to get out and climb.
Then I realised there must be other vegan climbers out there thinking the exact same thing. So I decided to take one for the team. I emailed every climbing shoe maker I could think of and asked them for details about their vegan shoes.
I’m still waiting for replies from a few companies (not naming names) but it’s such a good list I had to share it now. If the other companies get back to me I’ll add then on, so keep checking back in.
You only have to have a quick scroll to realise that brands are really waking up to veganism – there are loads of options out there.
Climbing shoes can be a real pain if you get the wrong pair, so I’d suggest narrowing your choice down to a few pairs and then getting out there and trying them on IRL (that’s in real life, mum).
There’s shoes on here for every aspect of climbing – you’ll really be spoiled for choice. So here it is, Pig Out’s list of vegan climbing shoes so you can climb with a clear conscious. I hope it makes your next shoe choice really hard.
If you’re looking for style then you’re in the right place. So iLL is the place where fashion meets climbing. But don’t be fooled into thinking these shoes are all looks and no substance, they’re high fashion and feature rubber that was originally developed for US Navy Seals. All these So iLL shoes are vegan, so pick a pair and get ’em on your feet:
The Street LV
Styled on classic footwear, this low volume version of The Street is perfect for those with narrow feet. Soft and aggressive, they work as hard as you do on the wall and on the rock.
All black, all style, all street. It’s got a super thin midsole so you can feel everything that’s going on under your feet. This is a soft, aggressive shoe that’ll keep you looking good all day long.
Essentially the same shoe as The Street but with a touch of something extra. That ‘something extra’ being a huge helping of gold. Definitely a shoe for those who like to let their feet shine.
This is the shoe for those people who like the specification of The Street but can’t resist a splash of pink. Seriously, just look at ’em. Who doesn’t like metallic rose gold?
One strap closure and a toe box on the stiff side, this is So iLL’s most aggressive shoe. More rubber on the toe and more heel tension mean these are the shoes to get stuff done in. Nature is your playground in these shoes.
These slick numbers feature three point closure to really make sure they stick to your feet and stay in place wherever you’ve got your feet.
The Runner LV
This low volume shoes offers a tighter fit for people with narrow feet. Styled on retro running shoes, you’ll be running up the holds with the downturned toe. Plus, look at those colours.
Laces! This flat toe all-rounder has an aggressive heel and medium-stiff midsoles. It’s got a welded, no sew upper so you don’t have to worry about it falling apart. And the tongue is banded on each side. It’s not just a pretty face.
We live in Sheffield, which is home to the legendary Climbing Works, The Foundry, and is right next door to the Peak District, which boasts some of the best outdoor bouldering in the world. That means people here know a thing or two about climbing, and a lot of them wear Five Ten. Both us pigs wear Five Ten, and we love ’em. The balance between comfort and tech is spot on.
The lightest climbing shoes in existence (apparently) weighing in at just 10 ounces per pair. Plus it’s the only climbing shoe to feature Stealth® Mi6™ rubber. It’s good on overhangs and really comes into its own on glassy, polished rocks and holds.
This shoe belongs in the gym and on competition walls. The incredibly thin 2.5mm Stealth® HF™ rubber means you can feel every little thing going on under your feet. And the extended toe rand makes it the perfect shoe for a good toe hook.
Redeveloped and better than ever, Five Ten build the Quantum from Stealth® C4™ rubber up. The stiff midsole and synthetic upper means they’re comfy for ages so you can really lay siege to those tricky problems and beat ’em before your boots beat you.
Sensitive, stiff and balanced, this is the Ryan Gosling of the climbing shoe world. Some people have called it the ultimate bouldering shoe. That’s a big shout, but then one shoe has to be the best, so maybe it’s this one.
The wide toe box and nicely padded tongue means you can keep the Blackwing on your feet all day and enjoy a proper climbing session, and when you’ve had enough the velcro means the shoe is off your feet in seconds. The highly downturned toe means max performance.
All the performance of the Blackwing, but a narrower fit and a lower volume. And it comes in pink, which as pigs, we like very much.
This shoe is the talk of all my climbing buddies and it’s easy to see why. Not only does it look great, but it’s midsole is even stiffer than ever. The heel rand has the most tension out of any anasazi shoes and the Stealth® C4™ rubber makes it one of the greatest edging shoes on the market. The Blanco means business.
Does this icon need an introduction? Nope, and yet here we go anyway. Five Ten’s most popular all rounder has a stiff sole, high heel tension and some of the stickiest rubber I’ve ever felt. You can smear on anything in a pair of these. A lot of my friends climb in them, and buy pair after pair.
I’ve had a pair of these for just shy of a year and I bloody love them. They’re super stiff and have an asymmetrical toe so you can use even the smallest edges confidently. The laces give you a huge amount of control, so you can tighten right up if you’re heel hooking or slacken off if you’re out multi-pitching for the day. I’ve conquered many problems in these shoes, indoors and outdoors – I’ll be buying another pair.
Anasazi LV Women’s
This shoe retains all the winning features of the Anasazi VSC, but has a finely tuned heel cup, narrower fit and overall lower volume to make it perfect for smaller feet. The velcro fastening and split tongue make it a breeze to get on and off your feet, so you can treat yourself to a rest in between climbs.
Here’s a mellow shoe with plenty of traction. It’s got a tight heel cup and the synthetic upper won’t stretch so you can stay nice and precise with this shoe on your feet. Laces mean you can strap them on while the padded tongue keeps the comfort levels in check. The Stonelands lace also has a moisture-wicking terrycloth lining – which (after a quick Google) sounds like it sucks the sweat out of your foot and then out of the shoe. Very techy.
This is the only womens’ shoe in the Five Ten line up to feature Stealth® Onyxx™ rubber, so it’s no surprise they excel at edging and sticking to even the smallest cracks. This trad shoe combines a relaxed heel with a lined perforated upper to keep your foot temperatures down so it can keep going for as long as you can.
Anyone who knows the first thing about climbing should know the name Evolv. From humble beginnings in South California, Evolv is know known the world over and their shoes are worn and loved by professionals and amateurs alike.
This aggressive shoe has a sweet downturned toe for those little edges and steep terrain. The heel cup means you can get real precise with those heel hooks, and its wide toe box is perfect for those wide-footed climbers.
All the tech of the Shaman, but with a lower volume and narrower fit plus a slightly softer midsole make this a serious shoe. It’s dual hook and loop closure system means you get a real tight fit but can whip them on and off when you need to.
The newly designed Shaman takes this shoe to the next level. Already a classic in the Chris Sharma Signature Series, the new offering boasts an improved fit and even more rubber around the toe to make those toe hooks stick like glue.
This shoe is a right all rounder. Great on bad footholds thanks to its asymmetric design, this shoe packs in the power without sacrificing style or comfort.
Check out the neat single buckle, cinch-pull strap set up on the Kira. It means you can get this shoe to fit just the way you want. It’s a solid option for those looking for a techy, all round shoe.
Kronos was the god of time (bonus knowledge)! This shoe will make sure you have a great time on the rock or on the wall. Much like the Kira, it’s a great all round, flat lasted shoe.
This is Evolv’s all time best seller, so it must be doing something right. The double velcro strap provides comfort for hours – this shoe will feel like a slipper once you wear it in.
I don’t know much about this shoe, apart from the fact it’s vegan. It’s suppose to be a great option for anyone looking for an entry-level women’s shoe.
The first kid’s shoe on this list. This little number feels like a proper rock shoe for those kids looking to dial up their climbing. The size adjusting heel strap is great for growing feet so you don’t have to keep splashing out on new shoes.
Ocún website is one of the best for helping you figure out which type of shoe will best suit you. All the vegan shoes are clearly labelled, and the info and spec provided about each shoe is crazy detailed – composition, foot type, toe time, weight, terrain, passform – Ocún have really made it easy to find your perfect shoe.
This shoe features a pretty radical arch and slight asymmetry to give a balance between firmness and sensitivity. Good if you’re multi-pitching or going to the wall, not too suited to bouldering.
This slightly downturned ladies shoe has a medium-hard toebox and a similar midsole to make sure you can smash pretty much any problem climbing can throw at you. This shoe really excels indoors, but is a good allrounder.
This good-looking shoe ticks a lot of boxes. Good for wide feet, good for those with a cube toe type and good on all terrain. Boom. It features a straight profile and a relaxed heel to stay comfy all day.
Pretty much the same shoe as the LU, but with velcro for those who think a couple of minutes tying laces is too much like hard work.
This is the shoe for you if you’re new to climbing and want something comfy. The heel is super comfortable and there’s almost no asymmetry. It’s a beginner shoe, for sure, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t take a beating.
This is the shoe for you if you’re new to climbing and want something comfy AND don’t like laces.
Any indoor climbing walls reading this? Need to buy rental shoes in bulk. Check this shoe, aptly named Rental QC. Ocún have made a shoe that’s designed to fit well and stores well. The shoe’s sizing is easily visible so you can do your job quicker. Less slacking means more climbing.
Got a vegan kid who climbs seriously hard? Here’s the shoe for them. It’s great indoors, or out on the boulders and can really kick kids climbing up a grade or two while taking care of their delicate, growing feet.
Even the smallest vegans can climb.
This huge company is loved by many climbers and avid fans of other outdoor sports. Sadly, a lot of their shoes are made using leather, which means a vegan’s choice is limited to the entry level, gym-orientated model.
This colourful number is the first shoe made from a fully breathable and washable fabric. Perfect for someone like me whose shoes stink. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’y put any shoes in the washing machine, but the Oxygym will certain fair a bit better. It’s a great beginner shoe which has certainly been designed for comfort.
Same as the OxyGym Woman, but with a wider fit and available in bigger sizes.
Red Chili’s inception story involves a lot of red wine. Check it out on their website, because I’m here to talk shoes. And, as vegans, we’ve got 2 choices from the Red Chili line.
Another allrounder, the Durango VCR lets you tick off problems indoors and outdoors with ease. It’s recently been revamped to include wider, more supportive straps to keep the shoe right where it needs to be on your foot. It’s got a broad toe and a medium last so it’s great for a wide range of foot types while still providing that precision climbers crave.
The new colours of the Durango Lace really turn the style up on this shoe. Much like the Durango VCR, it’s great in all environments and is the perfect little powerhouse for when you need that little bit more. Laces mean you can get it fitting just how you like it.
And that’s all the companies that replied to my emails.
As ever, let us know if we’ve missed anything off the list and we’ll add it on.
If you want to get involved in Pig Out in any way, head here.
See you on the rock.