There are currently more vegan climbing shoes available than ever before. This is thanks mostly to the fact that there are more and more requests for vegan climbing shoes. Every time you ask a retailer or call a brands customer service line, this querey is being heard by the brands. Given the rise in veganism with each generation, climbing brands expect this demand to increase going forward as well.

Some companies are able to make shoes that are vegan (or to make vegan alternatives) while other brands have been unable able to create a vegan equivalent product. These brands have different values that they are unwilling to compromise for the sake of an all-vegan product.

In this post, whenever we say vegan, we mean the product is 100% vegan and is free of all animal-based materials, including glues and dyes.

Below is a list of vegan shoes compiled in March 2023. We will work to update this blogpost, but suggest going to WeighMyRack and filtering on Vegan shoes for the most up to date place to see every vegan climbing shoe.

What are all the vegan climbing shoes?

Today there are nearly 100 vegan climbing shoe options. Evolv certainly has the most vegan options of any brand. Though Mad Rock, Ocún, Tenaya, and Unparallel also have substantial vegan offerings.

*Note: Black Diamond used to have a Momentum shoe called the Momentum Vegan. This model name has been retired and the entire Momentum line is vegan. We confirmed this with multiple Black Diamond employees.


La Sportiva

The Oxygym was also vegan but is now retired.

How do we know these shoes are vegan?

We asked each of the brands directly, chatting to shoe designers, product managers, brand managers, and also tested calling customer service. We double checked what the brand representative said along with their websites and with their marketing and sales materials. If there was an inconsistency in the data we asked for more information and if we did not get more information that product is not listed here.

What is the best vegan shoe?

The one that fits your foot and climbing style will be the best vegan shoe.

Have you ever looked at other peoples feet and seen some have big toes or short toes? Some folks have feet more resembling those of a Hobbit while others are more akin to a ballet dancer (and most somewhere in between). These endless foot shapes will fit into each shoe dramatically differently thanks to the shape of the shoe mold (officially called a “last”).

In addition there are so many different styles of climbing. The gym wall, or rock wall, all have different angles, the holds are big or small, or there are no holds and only volumes, or the route could be a crack. Different shoes will excel at these various styles of climbing – and whatever style you do most, or need some extra help with, should be what leads you to the best shoe that is built for that purpose.

Too many articles on the internet claim there is “the best” overall shoe – and this is absurd unless the author is diving into specifics, like – ‘the best crack shoe in terms of comfort and durability for people with a wide forefoot and narrow heel’.

So, figure out what style of climbing you’d like your shoe to excel at based on its features and then find a shoe in that category that fits your specific foot anatomy for the best results.

Why there aren’t more vegan shoes?

Most companies cited the necessity of some leather. Although microsuede alternatives have been improving significantly in the last decade, they are closer, but not yet an equal alternative to all the characteristics of leather.

Many companies use leather somewhat minimally, in the footbed or a small piece of the footbed or shoe lining. In these cases the leather is there, mostly, to ensure the shoe would not blow out by adding durability and stability. The other reason is that leather is soft and feels very smooth against the foot. Over time leather molds to your specific foot shape and contours to your foot almost like a shoe hug. This is also why many climbers claim a resoled pair of shoes climbs and fits best – there is no break in period, the shoe is perfectly conformed to your foot, and has brand new rubber.

Of course, other shoes are made almost entirely out of leather, or have a leather upper.

The brands also take your feedback seriously. If you want more vegan options, keep asking your retailer and the brand customer services lines for them. Let your voice be heard.

Are vegan shoes more environmental friendly?

The jury is out as there are so many variables.  It depends on the synthetic material that is used (how it is created, where it is made, etc) and also where and how the vegan leather is sourced and how far it is transported. For example, the laws in some European countries are stronger/stiffer than some other countries when it comes to the tanning process. Often it is more environmentally friendly if you are sourcing from the same country or region, which can have a significant impact on the environment regardless of the material makeup.

Brands that do not have vegan shoes

  • Alpidex
  • Butora

Note: Butora used to have a number of vegan climbing shoes, but now they have zero. Previously all Butora’s footbeds were made of hemp. The hemp liner worked great against bacteria and keeping the shoes smelling better. Alas, hemp is just not as soft and comfortable as leather, so due to customer feedback, Butora has transitioned back to leather footbeds.

  • EB
  • Lavan
  • Lowa
  • Rock Empire (it’s possible their two models could be vegan as the upper is synthetic but we have not confirmed the entire shoe is vegan).
  • Snake
  • Tringau

In Summary

If you would like more vegan shoe options, ask. Ask the retailers, ask brand representatives at festivals or at shoe demos, ask the customer service lines. This is the #1 reason there are so many vegan shoes today.

If you are looking for the best vegan shoe, decide where you’d like it to perform (what types of holds, and the angle(s) of the wall), and find a shoe that fits your foot best with no gaps/spaces/farting noises and no particularly painful pressure points. <- This is more important for synthetic shoes, which will have significantly less stretch and break-in.

Our Best Advice for Climbing Shoes

Go to shoe demos (at the gym or climbing festivals) and try on ALL THE SHOES. Including the high and low volume versions of the same model. Ideally, try climbing the same routes in each pair so you can get a sense of how they fit and perform differently. Note how they fit: are there pressure points or any gaps between your foot and the sides / top / bottom of the shoe? Pick what fits snugly and feels right to you.

If there’s a spot on a shoe that’s nagging you or any part of your foot slips in the shoe, keep trying on shoes. After trying on a ton of shoes, at one point you may wonder, “is this shoe perfect?!” because you can’t find anything wrong with the fit – at this point trust your intuition. And, for future reference, write all this info down on your phone: whether the shoe model fit or not, and what sizes are good/bad.

Want to See All The Climbing Shoes (over 400)?

At WeighMyRack, we list every climbing shoe and give you filters for volume, closure, material, last shape (downturn / asymmetry), and more. You can also filter by on sale items with discounts > 20%.

Alison Dennis

Alison Dennis

Alison (she/her) runs WeighMyRack from her 17' travel trailer. She is currently touring the US and would love if you contacted her to meet up to talk about climbing, climbing gear, or if you have any fun and/or ridiculous adventure in mind.

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