Whether you are new to climbing or a seasoned ‘cragsman’ you’ll know never to underestimate the importance of good quality climbing shoes.

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Often climbing shoes Ireland based climbers know come in varying grades with features that are designed for different terrains and rock faces. The type of shoe that will suit you best depends heavily on your experience, abilities and your route. But it may also boil down to personal taste and what feels right for you.

Here are some of the differing types of climbing shoes Ireland based climbers may choose for their next climb?

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Flat lasted shoes

Also known as comfort shoes or ‘beginner’ shoes (even though it isn’t just beginners who favour them), the flat lasted shoe is a great all rounder. It is designed with comfort in mind and can be worn throughout the day for hiking and climbing alike. With a relatively flat camber, the foot will automatically be in a natural and relaxed position. However they still boast the sticky rubber sole designed to help scale and grip the rock faces.

Intermediate shoes

An intermediate shoe is technical enough for more challenging routes but non-specific enough to be able to take on a vast range of climbing opportunities. The downturned shape and thinner, stickier sole gives climbers a greater sensitivity to the shape and crevices of the rock but they are still fairly comfortable too. These type of climbing shoes Ireland based climbers find tend to be marketed as an ‘upgrade’ for climbers who are working towards more complex routes.

Performance shoes

Performance shoes do what they say – help seasoned climbers to perform. They have a notable downturn with tension in the heel and are designed to be paired with an asymmetric last. Together these will manipulate the foot into a bended, almost claw-like shape that is ideal for a leg to foot power transfer. As you can imagine this isn’t the most comfortable position for walking between climbs so many climbers will remove them for this.

Laces, velcro or slip on?

Now you know the three main grades of shoe, it’s important to think about the closure system. Laces are easy to replace and offer customisable tightness. Velcro is a good choice for transition and quick changes. And slip ons work by providing the perfect vacuum fit to your foot which makes them incredibly comfortable and malleable.