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Climbing Shoes For Wide Feet: Design And Fit Considerations

Profile image Adam M.
May 13
Climbing Shoes
Wide feet, wide possibilities: learn how to choose the ideal climbing shoe fit for wide feet, wide toe box benefits, and compare soft vs. stiff climbing shoes.
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For climbers with wide feet, finding the right pair of climbing shoes can be quite a challenge. To try to make things a little bit easier, let's go through some design and fit considerations for climbers with wide feet. We will also go over the advantages of a wide toe box, the differences between soft and stiff climbing shoes, and tips on how to find the right fitting climbing shoes for your feet.

Article Contents

Best Climbing Shoes For Wide Feet

TOP PERFORMANCE MEETS COMFORT!
The Mad Rock Drone HV climbing shoes are a perfect combination of performance and comfort. Their wide toe box is perfect for those with wide feet, who are looking to still have a performance shoe for hard climbing.

  • Wide toe box for climbers with wide feet
  • Molded midsole for increased support and power
  • Downturned toe profile
  • 3D molded heel for locking your heel into place
  • Vegan friendly
  • Versatile - a great choice for short and long routes
  • Has a black colored version
  • Has a low volume version for climbers with narrower feet
  • Affordable compared to competitors

Read our full review of the Mad Rock Drone HV.

Understanding Your Foot Shape and Size

Before buying climbing shoes, it's important to understand the shape of your feet and their size. Everyone's feet are unique, and a shoe that fits one person may not fit another. Wide feet typically have a wider forefoot, a higher instep, and a larger volume overall. Knowing your foot shape and size will help you narrow down your options and find a shoe that will fit comfortably.

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Importance of Trying on Climbing Shoes in Person

While online shopping is convenient, trying on climbing shoes in person is crucial, especially for climbers with wide feet. Climbing shoes are designed to fit snugly, and a shoe that fits too tightly or too loosely can affect your performance and comfort and can even lead to injury, or to you just giving up on the sport. By trying on shoes in person, you can test the fit and make sure the shoes are comfortable, snug but not too tight, and provide the support you need.

If you are set on ordering online, maybe due to lower prices or whatever your reasons may be, try to find a store that has the shoes you want and that will let you try them on before you order them online, just be sure to ask them before. This will help ensure that the size you order is the correct one and can prevent a lot of headaches, such as returning the shoes or reselling them to other climbers at a lower price.

Tips for Finding the Right Fit for Wide Feet

Here are some tips to help you find the right fit for climbing shoes if you have wide feet:

  1. Look for shoes with a wider toe box that can accommodate your foot shape.
  2. Choose a shoe with a more symmetrical shape that will fit your foot better.
  3. Consider shoes with a higher volume to accommodate your foot's size.
  4. Try on shoes in the afternoon or evening when your feet are at their largest.
  5. Wear climbing socks when trying on shoes to simulate the fit when climbing.

Wide Toe Box Climbing Shoes For Wide Feet

One of the most important design considerations for climbers with wide feet is the toe box. Shoes with a wide toe box can accommodate a wider forefoot and provide better comfort and performance. Here are some advantages of a wide toe box for climbers with wide feet:

  1. More room for your toes and feet means less compressed toes and feet and fewer cramps and pain.
  2. Reduced pressure and discomfort on the forefoot.
  3. Better overall comfort and support during climbs.

Top Features to Look for in Wide Toe Box Climbing Shoes

When shopping for climbing shoes with a wide toe box, here are some key features to look for:

  1. A wider last or base shape to accommodate a wider forefoot.
  2. A more symmetrical design for a better fit.
  3. Materials that will stretch and mold to your foot shape for a better fit over time.
  4. Adequate support and cushioning for comfortable and safe climbing.

Some of the top brands and models of climbing shoes with a wide toe box include:

  1. Mad Rock Drone HV/Black HV
  2. Scarpa VELOCE
  3. SCARPA INSTINCT VS
  4. La Sportiva SKWAMA / Skwama Vegan
  5. Evolv Shaman 2

Soft vs. Stiff Climbing Shoes

Climbing shoes come in two main types: soft and stiff. For climbers with wide feet, soft shoes may be a better choice, as they can mold to your foot shape and provide better overall comfort. However, stiff shoes can also be a good option for climbers with wide feet, as they provide more support for weaker feet and for those with flat feet, which is quite common in people with wide feet. Here are some pros and cons of each type for climbers with wide feet:

Soft Climbing Shoes:

Pros: More comfortable for longer climbs, better for larger holds and smearing, forgiving for beginners.
Cons: Less precise on small holds, may not provide enough support for some climbers.

Stiff Climbing Shoes:

Pros: More support and precision for technical climbs, better for edging and small holds.
Cons: Less comfortable for longer climbs, may require more technical skill.

How to Choose Between Soft and Stiff Climbing Shoes for Wide Feet

When choosing between soft and stiff climbing shoes for wide feet, it's important to consider your personal preferences and the types of climbs you'll be doing. If you prioritize comfort and longer climbs, soft shoes may be a better choice. If you prioritize precision and technical climbs, stiff shoes may be a better choice. Depending on your personal preference and the type of climbing and route, the opposite may also be true. In the end, the best shoes for you will depend on your individual needs, preferences, foot shape, and desired comfort level.

To learn more about how to know which climbing shoes are right for you and how to choose the right pair, head over to our guide on choosing the right climbing shoes for a more in-depth explanation, guide, and tips.

Related Articles
Mad rock Drone HV Review - The Best Vegan Friendly Climbing Shoes?

Conclusion:

Finding the right climbing shoe for wide feet is essential for comfort and performance on the wall. Understanding your foot shape and size, trying on shoes in person, and considering the design features of climbing shoes can help you find the perfect fit. Whether you opt for a shoe with a wide toe box or choose between soft and stiff designs, the right shoe will provide the support and comfort you need for a successful climb.

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