Why are Climbing Shoes Curved

Why are Climbing Shoes Curved? (Explained)

Do you know those peculiar shoe rock climbers wear? They’re called climbing shoes. But have you ever wondered why they have that distinct curved shape? Well, let me shed some light on this interesting feature.

I vividly recall my first rock climbing experience, struggling to understand why the shoes weren’t flat like regular footwear. I felt a bit baffled, but it piqued my curiosity, and I was determined to find out the reason behind it.

After thorough research into climbing shoes and speaking with seasoned climbers, I finally unearthed the secret behind their curved design. To unveil this fascinating mystery, I invite you to read the entire article, where I share my discoveries in detail.

Why climbing shoes are curved?

Why are Climbing Shoes Curved

In climbing, we perform two major functions Edging and hooking. Climbing depends on these two things because the mountains do not have an even or a straight part. 

So, these two steps help us to climb and make us safe. 

  • Edging
  • Hooking
  • Stability
  • Force adjustment
  • Muscle support

1. Edging

In edging, we find an unbreakable corner and try to fit our feet in it. At this time, we need this curve the most. In edging, we use our toes and apply force on them. 

The curve helps our feet to apply stable pressure on our toes. Because of this, we stabilize our feet on the rock. When the shoe is already curved, it helps you to position yourself for a long time without collapsing.

2. Hooking

In hooking, we usually hook up our heels. The main purpose of the curve is to hook up our heal. It helps climb the roof and trees etc. The main purpose of hooking is, that it allows you to shift your center of gravity when it needs to be shifted. 

The center of gravity is the thing that supports us and makes us stable. This an also the main reason why climbing shoes have a curve in them.

3. Stability

The curve helps to support our feet. Naturally, almost we all have a curve in our feet. The shoe curve helps our feet to stabilize on the wall or anything we are climbing. 

Stability is the most important thing in climbing because unstable feet can lead us to slip and injury. So, this curve is very important.

4. Force Adjustment

The curve helps us to adjust the force, we are applying on the feet. The curve helps to move the force from the mid to the toes of the feet. 

The force on the toes helps us to stabilize ourselves. Usually, when we want to apply force on anything with our hands, we curved our hands first and then we apply force on the things. So, that is why we need curves in our shoes.

5. Muscle support

The curve also gives support to our feet muscles because when we are climbing, our whole-body weight is on our feet and our feet need support at this time. 

So, the curve in our climbing shoes is very important. If we wear flat shoes, the pressure of our body can damage the muscle and veins of our feet.

Is it bad too?

The curve is a bad thing when your feet are completely flat. The flat feet feel extreme pain in curved shoes. The flat feet require a flat sole to stabilize on any surface. 

Curved shoes can be painful for a person who has flat feet. So, flat feet people should not wear curved shoes.

If you are climbing on a straight wall; curved shoes can also be a bad choice for you. It can be painful there. The straight wall needs your whole feet for support. 

So, the pressure of your feet should be on the whole foot. The curve is only helpful when you edging. Because edging needs to shift the whole-body pressure on the toes and heels.

So, you should do some research before buying your shoes and before using those shoes for climbing. A bad decision can be harmful and costly for you. 

Is there any other shoe that can be used for climbing?

If you are doing normal mountain climbing or even mountain climbing, you can wear other sports shoes too. 

Other support shoes also have all the basic requirements like cushioning, weight, comfort, fitness, etc. So, these shoes can be used for climbing. 

If it is not curved, it is totally fine with that because we do not need a curve on a flat surface. 

On a flat surface, the curve is only needed if you have curved feet, otherwise, it is good to use other sports shoes. 

Following are the sports in which shoes can be used for flat surface climbing:

Brands that have the best-curved climbing shoes.

Following are the brands which have the best-curved climbing shoes. These brands are the best because their shoes are very comfortable, durable, and designed for a specific purpose. 

They use quality raw materials to make their product. So, they are a little costly but much more reliable and comfortable. 

So, the following are the brands:

  • La Sportiva Solution
  • La sportive Otaki
  • Butora Acro
  • Scarpa Drago
  • Autora Butora Acro

La Sportiva is the first company to introduce curved shoes for climbing. Still, it is believed as the best-curved shoe in the world. 

People still prefer to buy this brand of shoe due to its durability and brand image. You can buy these shoes from their retail store and their manufacturing site. 

These are also available on Amazon.


In the end, the curve is very important for climbing even if you can say it is a lifesaver. The curve helps you to distribute your body pressure on your feet and adjust your point of gravity while climbing.

So, it is compulsory to wear these shoes while climbing. It is also bad to wear on straight walls and also bad for flat feet. So, choose wisely when buying climbing shoes for yourself.

Can you use approach shoes for cycling?