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Top 5 Vegan Climbing Shoes | Buying Guide

Climate consciousness and environmental ethics are symbiotically entwined with a climbing obsession, especially for those of us devoted to real rock with the environments and landscapes we climb in creating the kind of natural experience we crave. As it becomes increasingly important to consider our choices and our impact on the environment, you might be asking yourself, do companies make vegan climbing shoes?

The answer, as you might have guessed from the title, is yes they do! So, here are our top 5 options for vegan climbers or climate conscious climbers looking for an animal friendly alternative. There should be something in here for everyone, from first time climber right through to the seasoned outdoor crusher. But, if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to contact us. 

What makes a shoe Vegan?  Climbing shoes have, historically, been made from leather, using animal based glue to knit everything together. Nowadays, synthetic fabrics and non-animal glues are becoming far more popular, if not for their vegan status then for their benefits over leather in terms of minimising stretch and maintaining long term shape.

 1. Evolv Defy / Evolv Elektra

Purse friendly purchase

Velcro | Medium Stiff Last | Comfortable Fit

Evolv have long been the vegan shoe pioneers, producing high quality and animal free shoes way before it was ‘cool’ to do so. As such, Evolv’s vegan materials come with the guarentee of time tested quality. The Defy (Mens) and Elektra (Womens) are two superb Evolv models that aren’t just universally accessible for everyone’s ethics but for their climbing abilities too. 

Who For?  Ideal for newer climbers who want an affordable shoe that still offers plenty of support and comfort. Likewise for more advanced climbers who want a technically capable but comfortable all-day shoe.

Key Features:

  • Variable Thickness Rand -The thickness of the rubber and rand varies depending on the part of the shoe, ensuring heavy wear areas are protected whilst maintaining comfort across the rest of the shoe.

 

2. Scarpa Furia Air

Our Favourite Indoor Shoe

Velcro | Super Soft Last | Performance Fit

Arguably the lightest and most sensitive climbing shoe in the world, the animal friendly Furia Air is the ultimate indoor shoe. With an incredibly soft last, the Furia Air excels on indoor terrain where smearing sensitivity and hooking power is key but still packs a serious toe end punch for smaller edges and support and on longer boulders and routes.

Who For?  The advanced indoor climber looking for a shoe to deliver peak performance on modern, competition inspired boulder problems.

Key Features:

  • Alcantara Toe Insert -This luxury, synthetic leather found wrapping around the inside on the shoe’s big toe is carbon neutral, grips the skin like nothing else and also features a two-way stretch memory which holds its shape through the lifespan of the shoe.
  • Lightest Shoe Ever? -The Furia Air weighs in at just 150 grams.

 

3. Tenaya Masai

Our Favourite Outdoor Shoe

Laces | Stiff Last | Narrow Fit

The technical Tenaya Masai is a small edge beast with a supportive last that’s superbly suited to face climbing, trad climbing and dancing your way up a slab outside. With a laced closure system, the vegan friendly Masai is designed to give climbers an adjustable fit over the course of a day’s climbing action.

Who For?  The outdoor climber looking for a shoe to put the power down day long.

Key Features:

  • Midsole -The Masai sports a half-length midsole which gives it the stiff, supportive platform that makes it so good on small footholds.

4. EB Guardian

Bang For Your Buck

Velcro | Medium Stiff Last | Narrow Fit

Like Evolv, EB produce their entire range of climbing shoes without the use of any animal materials - pretty good, right? The classic EB Guardian features here as one of the best all-round shoes on the market. In its 3rd generation, the Guardian is a refined shoe with a semi stiff last that supports toe end power but affords just enough flexibility to make them a great indoor bouldering option too.

Who For?  The cost conscious climber looking for a great performance shoe. Best suited to the intermediate climber looking for a step up from their first pair of shoes. 

Key Features:

  • Dynamic Microfibre -One of EB’s main synthetic microfibres, the Dynamic is incredibly comfortable whilst providing great support across the top of the foot.
  • Daytona Rubber -Featuring a 5mm chunk of EB’s own sticky and durable Daytona rubber compound.

 

5. La Sportiva Skwama Vegan

Our Performance Choice

Velcro | Medium Stiff Last | Performance Fit

The La Sportiva Skwama Vegan is the animal-friendly reincarnation of La Sportiva's best-selling high-performance shoe, the Skwama. Just as cutting edge, the Skwama Vegan is the ultimate performance shoe, combining a stiff, midsole reinforced front end with unrivalled sensitivity through its split sole and Vibram XS Grip 2 rubber.

Who For? La Sportiva lovers with high performance, animal friendly climbing on the agenda. The perfect pick for climbers who want top performance, both indoors and out, in a vegan friendly package.

Key Features:

  • Microfibre and Microbase SkinLike ™️ Upper - All the benefits of leather in a breathable, synthetic alternative that ever has antibacterial and anti-odour properties.
  • Vibram XS Grip 2 Rubber - Vibram's newest and stickiest rubber.
  • P3 System - Ensures the shoe maintains its aggressive, downturned shape for the duration of the shoe's life.

So there you have it, a wide range of shoes to suit a wide range of budgets and feet! However, if you feel you still need a little more advice - don't hesitate to drop us an email at info@rockrun.co.uk or give us a call on 015395 64540 and we'll do our best to help you decide. 

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