The Best Low Downturn Rock Climbing Shoes

Low downturn shoes can also be called comfort climbing shoes, or neutral shoes. These shoes have sticky rubber just like the rest but are flat so that your toes can rest in a natural, uncurled position. If you size them on the larger side, they are comfortable for longer periods of time. Low downturn models are often best for beginners because they are less painful and can more easily introduce people to the prospect of balancing on tiny edges with just your toes. Also, the flat design of shoes such as the Five Ten Moccasym or the Evolv Addict makes these shoes ideal for crack climbing. When you stick your foot in a crack and twist, if your toes are curled it can be excruciating. The neutral fit allows your foot to twist and jam into cracks of different sizes comfortably, or at least as comfortably as foot-jamming can be.

The other best use of a low downturn shoe is for long or full-day multi-pitch climbs when you will be wearing your shoes for long periods of time. Stuffing your feet into tight, aggressive footwear for hours on end is not a fun experience, so by choosing a more neutral shoe, you can happily keep climbing all day. Check out our review to see which low downturn shoes scored the highest.

Review Year
Best in Class
Overall Rating
Price
Name Overall Rating Ratings The Good The Bad Price
La Sportiva TC Pro
92
Best in Class
2015
Edging 10
Smearing 8
Sensitivity 7
Cracks 8
Rubber 9
Value 10

Comfortable for long multi-pitch routes, especially in Yosemite.

Outstanding performance on edging and most crack-climbing.

Protects ankles in off-widths.

Designed by Tommy Caldwell for granite free-climbing performance.

Performs poorly in finger-sized cracks, particularly splitter .75” cracks.

MSRP
$180.00
BEST DEAL
$148.00
Scarpa Techno X
89
Edging 10
Smearing 7
Sensitivity 7
Cracks 6
Rubber 10
Value 9

Laces don’t interfere in crack climbing

Fantastic edging performance

Doesn’t stretch due to comfortable micro-suede synthetic leather

Really comfortable

Not enough arch support

Not great at heel hooking

MSRP
$145.00
BEST DEAL
$108.47
Five Ten Pink Anasazi Lace-up
88
Edging 10
Smearing 6
Sensitivity 9
Cracks 7
Rubber 8
Value 8

Comfortable, flat-lasted shoe for all types of face climbing

Lower volume heel is more comfortable than other Five Ten shoes

Laces provide a precision fit

Can’t ask for a better, stickier edging shoe

Shoe’s tongue moves around a bit

Laces are hard to tie and untie

MSRP
$150.00
BEST DEAL
$164.95
Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym
88
Edging 7
Smearing 7
Sensitivity 7
Cracks 7
Rubber 10
Value 10

One of the most comfortable climbing shoes on the market

Easy on, easy off

Wide range of climbing applications

Suitable for climbers of all abilities

Stretches a lot

Stretches a lot Heel could be lower volume

MSRP
$115.00
BEST DEAL
$124.95
La Sportiva Jeckyl VS
88
Edging 5
Smearing 7
Sensitivity 9
Cracks 7
Rubber 10
Value 10

Fantastic crack climbing slipper, especially for desert routes

Great value

Suction cup fit: no dead space

Easy on, easy off

Not great at edging

Unlined leather stretches slightly

MSRP
$120.00
BEST DEAL
$120.00
Millet Hybrid
86
Edging 10
Smearing 6
Sensitivity 7
Cracks 8
Rubber 7
Value 8

Pointy, supportive, and hyper-precise toe: best-in-class accuracy

Narrow shoe that also accommodates high-volume feet

“Crash Pad” heel great for bouldering landings

Toe-hooking patch and high rand nice for bouldering and cracks

Surprisingly good smearing for a stiff shoe

A hair too flat-lasted and rigid for grabbing on the super-steeps

Some biting around the Achilles tendon due to heel-area collar stiffness

Reduced sensitivity in heel for technical hooks

Upper strap can bite into feet

MSRP
$120.00
BEST DEAL
$269.95
Evolv Addict
84
Edging 7
Smearing 5
Sensitivity 7
Cracks 7
Rubber 9
Value 9

Easy on, easy off

Wide range of climbing applications

Suitable for climbers of all abilities

Stretches a lot

Rubber could be stickier

Heel could be lower volume

Hot spot in heel

MSRP
$99.00
BEST DEAL
$98.95
Five Ten Anasazi Guide
84
Edging 9
Smearing 8
Sensitivity 4
Cracks 7
Rubber 7
Value 9

Stiff, supportive flat last

Laces help to dial in fit

Great edging shoe

Struggles on finger cracks

Could have better arch support

MSRP
$145.00
BEST DEAL
$101.46
Five Ten Anasazi VCS
84
Edging 9
Smearing 8
Sensitivity 4
Cracks 7
Rubber 8
Value 8

Superior edging

Comfortable

Maintains shape

Feels clunky at first

Upper wears quickly

MSRP
$160.00
BEST DEAL
$122.93
La Sportiva Katana
84
Edging 9
Smearing 6
Sensitivity 5
Cracks 7
Rubber 8
Value 9

Dominates tiny footholds

Toe box retains shape

A true all-arounder

Very narrow fit

Insensitive

Clunky on overhangs

MSRP
$150.00
BEST DEAL
$98.60
Tenaya Ra
83
Edging 7
Smearing 5
Sensitivity 8
Cracks 6
Rubber 9
Value 8

Precise, supportive, pointy toebox

Comfy uppers and split tongue

Stable edging and outside-edging platform

Bomber, highly adjustable double Velcro closure

Light but well built: minimal stretch and will resole well

Toebox “buckled” up after use, diminishing reliability on smears

4mm sole felt thick out of the gates

MSRP
$140.00
BEST DEAL
$133.98
Five Ten Stonelands VCS
78
Edging 4
Smearing 9
Sensitivity 6
Cracks 5
Rubber 8
Value 6

Very comfortable fit

Super-sticky Stealth C4 rubber; killer smearing

Reduced heel-cuff pinching with wide or swollen feet

Fierce outside edging/drop-knee accuracy

Good blend of performance and comfort

Flat last is perhaps a hair too flat—a mild downcamber or downturn would help with steeper terrain

Last can become somewhat amorphous after break-in, the downside of comfort

Soft shoe—toebox tended to buck up, especially on small edges

MSRP
$140.00
BEST DEAL
$235.91
Five Ten Rogue VCS
76
Edging 4
Smearing 6
Sensitivity 9
Cracks 8
Rubber 1
Value 8

Extremely comfortable

No dead space

Velcro does a great job of cinching shoe around foot, dialing in the fit

Split-grain leather upper not durable

Tongue slides around and bunches up

MSRP
$99.00
BEST DEAL
$99.95
Lowa Falco Lace
76
Edging 8
Smearing 3
Sensitivity 7
Cracks 7
Rubber 4
Value 7

Good balance of softness and support

Opens wide for easy on, easy off

Fits narrow to medium wide feet

Kept my foot cool and comfortable

Rubber not very sticky

Hot spot on outer edge of foot

MSRP
$140.00
BEST DEAL
N/A
La Sportiva TC Pro

The La Sportiva TC Pro sets the standard for high-end trad free-climbing. With a mid-stiff sole, high-top protection for your ankles and a slightly down-turned toe, the TC Pro is one of the best shoes on the market for multi-pitch climbing, hand cracks, wide cracks and face-climbing. However, it struggles on straight-in finger cracks.

Read the Full Review Shop Now at Outdoorplay

Scarpa Techno X

The Scarpa Techno X does it all really well, and at a really high level. For a flat-lasted shoe, the Techno X is a really powerful edger, but deftly transitions to a crack climbing shoe that I’d recommend for both the desert as well as slippery granite like Yosemite. This is a shoe that should have a place in your bag whether you’re climb 5.9 or 5.12, single-pitch trad or multi-pitch adventure. 

Read the Full Review Shop Now at Backcountry.com

Five Ten Pink Anasazi Lace-up

The Five Ten Pink Anasazi Lace-up excels at a certain type of technical face/crack climbing, but they are also solidly all-purpose, and will have a place in the gym or at the sport crag. I can’t recommend them for bouldering because of how long it takes to actually take the shoe on and off. A fussy lacing system makes getting your foot into, and out of, the shoe needlessly complicated.

Read the Full Review Shop Now at Moosejaw

Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym

The Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym is a classic – a basic, soft slipper that has withstood the test of time, and performs best on crack climbs and smears. Because they are so soft, they are less exceptional at edging, and they are too rounded in the nose for smaller pockets.

Read the Full Review Shop Now at CampSaver.com

La Sportiva Jeckyl VS

As far as desert crack-climbing slippers go, the new Jeckyl VS might have just set the new performance standard. I consider it to be in the same category as the Five Ten Moccasym and the Evolv Addict, yet I find to be much more comfortable and better performing than either. Outside of climbing desert splitters, however, the Jeckyl VS struggles to edge. Therefore, it might not be the first choice for sport, gym and bouldering.

Read the Full Review Shop Now at Amazon.com

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