Best Shoes for Rope Climbs

7 Best Shoes for Rope Climbs 2021

When you’re looking for the best shoes rope climbs, consider shoes that are equipped with rope-climbing technology. Typical with rope climbing is an outsole which is grippy and equipped with aggressive lugs on the lateral and medial areas.

This construction helps in biting on the rope when climbing up or down the rope. Such shoes also come with rubber-like overlays on the sides of the upper unit to guard against excessive abrasion.

Below are some of the most recommended rope climbing shoes.

Also Read: Best Gloves for Rope Climbs

Reviews: 7 Best Shoes for Rope Climbs 2021

1. Inov-8 Rope-Tec F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer 

This sneaker ticks all boxes in terms of its cross-functional performance, comfort, style and durability. If you’re looking for the best shoes for rope climbs, then you’re good to go with F-Lite 260 Knit.

Inov-8 Rope-Tec F-Lite 260 Knit Trainer

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Rope biting is made possible by the Rope-Tec technology which is featured on the lateral and medial midfoot. Extending from the outsole to the upper unit through the midsole, Rope-Tec technology delivers exceptional grip on the rope. Plus it offers resistance to abrasion and tearing.

The sneaker uses powerflow technology for the midsole to provide heightened impact resilience. Backed by the power insole and DFB shank, the midsole delivers exceptional propulsion for explosive workouts such as plyometrics.

The underside of the sneaker employs a sticky rubber to offer multi-directional grip on the gym floor and outdoor training surfaces. The platform also makes use of Meta-Flex grooves to promote unrestricted foot biomechanics.

As the name depicts, the sneaker comes with a knitted fabric which allows ample foot movements during burpees.

Presence TPU overlays on the midfoot and heel results in heightened stability during lateral movements.

The toe area comes with a synthetic overlay which works with the rubber toe bumper to guard your toes during box jumps.

  • Adequate responsiveness for plyometrics
  • Equipped with rope-climbing technology
  • Overall flexibility
  • Excellent traction
  • Good style
  • Durable sneaker
  • Pricey

2. Nike Metcon 5 Versatile Cross Trainer

With its rubber side panels, Metcon 5 delivers excellent grip during rope climbs. The panels also extend to cover a large portion of the midfoot area to guard the mesh fabric from wear and tear.

Nike Metcon 5 Versatile Cross Trainer

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The midsole comes as a low profile dual-density compound which guarantees exceptional stability during weightlifting. Designed as a drop-in platform, the midsole allows the insertion of wedge-like inserts to change the height of heel area. This allows unhindered ankle movements during squats.

With the wide and flat outsole, the sneaker ensures that your feet are securely grounded to avoid injuries during heavy lifting. Two rubber compounds are utilized on the outsole to give you secure grip and offer abrasion resistance.

The outsole also wraps the toe-box to provide an impact bumper. This keeps your toes safe during box jumps and burpees.

The foot chamber is built with mesh and Haptic chain-link. This construction results in a sturdy coverage which keeps your feet secure and effectively supported. It is backed by the Flywire cables to keep your feet steady during side-to-side movements.

The rearfoot comes with a synthetic leather whose purpose is to enhance heel stability and lock-down.

  • Firm cushioning for weightlifting
  • Comes with rope grip technology
  • Overall durability
  • Durable and breathable upper
  • Might require break-in

Related: Best Shoes for Calisthenics

3. Inov-8 Multi-Function F-Lite 290 Trainer

The most admirable thing with the F-Lite 290 is its versatility in cross training. You can use it in weight training, high-impact cardio, plyometrics and most of gym workouts. If you’re looking for the best shoes for rope climbs, then this is a decent option.

Inov-8 Multi-Function F-Lite 290 Trainer

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The label ‘Rope-Tec’ on the lateral side of the sole unit indicates that the sneaker can be used in rope climbing workouts. Both the medial and lateral sides are designed to bite on the climbing rope so that you don’t slide easily. This construction serves as a guard against wear and tear.

The outsole also exhibits excellent traction on typical surfaces whether dry or wet.

Also utilized on the outsole is the DFB and Meta-Flex groove technologies both of which are responsible for unrestricted foot biomechanics.

The use for Exteroflow as the primary midsole cushioning results in a firm yet responsive underfoot sensation. This makes it good for weight training and workouts that yield high impacts.

Besides, the heel area comes with Powerheel reinforcement to enhance your stability during heavy lifting.

The foot compartment utilizes various technologies which strike an excellent balance of support, flexibility, breathability and durability.

First is the structured mesh fabric which is strategically-placed to keep your feet aerated. The midfoot overlays provides the ideal support for lateral movements while the one on the toe box offers impact protection. The network of overlays also contributes to the sneaker’s structure while protecting the mesh fabric from ripping off.

What’s more, presence of a TPU heel-counter and a synthetic rearfoot wrapping results in heightened foot stability and underpinning.

  • Firm and responsive midsole
  • Excellent versatility
  • Overall flexibility
  • Durable build
  • Breathable construction
  • Secure surface grip and rope bite
  • Heavy trainer

4. Nike Metcon 4 Cross-Fit Sneaker

With the fourth iteration of Metcon series, you can train across various cross training workouts even the most rigorous. It’s built for weightlifting, rope climbing, plyometrics, and body weight training among other workouts.

Nike Metcon 4 Cross-Fit Sneaker

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With the low-profile midsole, the underfoot platform keeps your feet close to the surface to allow steady footing. Backed by the dense cushioning, the platform guarantees the ideal stability for heavy lifting. However, the platform also delivers sufficient cushioning to keep you comfortable during workouts.

Also responsible for firm footing is the flat rubber outsole. Backed by the multi-directional patterns, the sneaker delivers accurate grip on the gym floor and other typical training surfaces. The patterned outsole rubber wraps both sides of the midfoot area to provide a means for rope grip.

What’s more, the outsole also forms a toe-box bumper to keep your toes safe during burpees or box jumps.

With the two layers of mesh fabric, the foot compartment is intended to offer a soft and non-irritating foot wrap. The façade also provides spaces for dissipating heat and letting air into the foot compartment.

The high-wear areas are effectively protected from wear and tear by the tri-star rubber patterns. The patterns also add the sneaker’s aesthetics.

The heel area comes with a TPU reinforcement which aids heel support and lock-down.

  • Excellent versatility
  • Firm cushioning for heavy lifts
  • Good grip on floors
  • Accurate rope bite
  • Durable build
  • Runs narrow

5. Inov-8 Versatile Trainer F-Lite 235(v3)

A key update featured on F-Lite 235 v3 sneaker is the use of graphene on the sole unit. Infused into the rubber outsole, this compound is intended to enhance the platforms resistance to abrasion and heighten grip.

Inov-8 Versatile Trainer F-Lite 235(v3)

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With the heightened grip, there’s guaranteed traction on the gym floor. Since the rubber also wraps the both sides to the midfoot area, the sneaker also delivers good grip on ropes. In addition, it guards the upper unit from hazards.

Also used on the outsole is the DFB and Meta-Flex grooves, both of which are responsible for smooth and effortless transitions.

What sets F-Lite 235 v3 sneaker apart from typical cross training shoes is its responsive yet stable midsole. It’s built using Powerflow+ foam compound which delivers a firm and springy underfoot sensation. This makes it ideal for weightlifting and explosive workouts like box jumps.

The upper fabric and overlays are designed to wrap your feet in a supportive and non-restricting manner. The mesh construction also ensures that your feet do not become wet or excessively hot. Plus there’s a soft interior to minimize chaffing.

The network of overlays offers protection to the mesh fabric while enhancing the façade’s structure.

  • Firm and well-cushioned midsole
  • Adequate flexibility
  • Ample breathability
  • Versatile
  • Durable sneaker
  • Not good for heavy lifts

6. Reebok (Flexweave) CrossFit Nano 8 Trainer

The updated version of Nano 8 now utilizes Flexweave technology which delivers heightened flexibility, support and sturdiness. It designed with two layers of fabrics, with the inner later forming a cleatie which offers a sock-like fit.

Reebok (Flexweave) CrossFit Nano 8 Trainer

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Backed by the strategically-placed overlays, the outer layer delivers adequate support while remaining durable. Plus there’s a sturdy TPU heel counter which lessens heel movements especially during side-to-side movements.

The underfoot platform is crafted to offer adequate responsiveness for plyometrics and remain firm enough during weightlifting. Backed by the Ortholite footbed, the dense midsole also provides adequate protection from excessive impact during jumping workouts.

The mark RopePro on the lateral side indicates that the sneaker can be used during rope climbing workouts. Placed on either side of the midfoot, this construction allows you to climb up and down the rope with good control.

With the rubber underside, the sneaker delivers heightened resistance to abrasion and other hazards. Backed by the aggressive patterns, the outsole also guarantees accurate traction on soft and hard gym floors.

The use of Meta-Split technology on the forefoot area results in heightened flexibility which enables your metatarsals to move with less restriction.

  • Underfoot comfort and support
  • Durable cross-fit sneaker
  • Versatile trainer
  • Ideal for rope climbs
  • Breathable upper
  • Removable insert
  • Might experience heel slippage

7. Reebok Her Speed TR Women’s Cross Trainer

Designed as a women’s only sneaker, the Speed Her TR delivers excellent performance in rope-climbing, weightlifting among other cross training.

Reebok Her Speed TR Women's Cross Trainer

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It comes with a low profile underfoot platform which keeps your feet near the surface for enhanced stability during weightlifting. Running throughout the midsole is the Imeva foam cushioning which responsible for underfoot comfort and impact protection. Plus your comfort is heightened by the removable insole.

The bottom of the sneaker is wrapped a tri-density rubber compound which delivers heightened traction and abrasion resistance. It’s designed with varied types of gripping patterns to offer accurate traction for forefoot, midfoot heel.

Presence of Meta-Split technology on the forefoot area results in unrestricted foot movements during burpees.

If your workouts also involve rope-climbing, you will benefit from the rope-biting patterns utilized on both sides of the midfoot zone. It’s meant to provide grip and minimize abrasion during rope climbs.

With the woven and cleatie-like upper construction, the sneaker offers a secure and sock-like foot wrap. The design is also intended to allow unrestricted foot movements and keep your feet aerated.

Printed overlays are utilized on the eyelets and collar to make the silhouette more durable. Plus there’s toe-box overlay to guard your toes during workouts such as burpees and box jumps.

  • Stable underfoot platform for weightlifting
  • Reliable rope grip
  • Lightweight
  • Durable construction
  • Excellent surface traction
  • Not for high-impact training

How to Choose the Best Shoes for Rope Climbs

Not every crossfit shoes is meant for rope climbing. A typical sneaker for rope climbs is meant to give you grip on the rope so that you gather energy to reach to the top.

So, what are the qualities of a good sneaker for rope climbs?

1. Rope Technology

Most crossfit sneakers are designed to tackle various types of workouts. You know that the sneaker is meant for rope climbs is you see rope technology around the medial and lateral sides.

For example, Inov uses the label Rope-Tec while Reebok uses RopePro on its shoes to indicate they’re ideal for rope climbing.

2. Abrasion-Resistant Upper

There’ll be intense friction between the rope and the upper part of the shoe when making J wraps and S wraps. Therefore, the fabric ought to be sturdy enough to withstand abrasion during rope climbs.

3. Lateral Support

Your feet tend to roll/bend excessively when gripping and wrapping on the rope. So, upper part of the sneaker should wrap the midfoot and heel area to minimize excessive foot movement. This is meant to lessen strain on the foot especially on the heels.

4. Breathability

Rope climbing will leave your feet hot and sweaty. That’s why you should opt for breathable shoes to keep your feet cool and dry.

Benefits of Rope Climbing

If rope climbing is one of your favourite workout, you’ll agree that it is very effective in enhancing your core and upper body strength. Incorporating rope climbing to your fitness program provides you with an opportunity to enhance your overall strength.

Whether you’re an athlete or just a fitness enthusiast, rope climbing is an excellent workout for you.

Here’re 4 benefits of rope climbing of incorporating rope climbing workouts to your fitness routine.

Increases Arm and Shoulder Strength

If you’re inexperienced in rope climbing, you’ll likely be struggling to get to the top of the rope. The reason for this is that your hands and shoulders aren’t strong enough to pull your bodyweight to the top.

However, as your hands and shoulders become stronger with rope climbing, you’ll find it less challenging to reach the top.

Your hands and shoulders can become even stronger by wearing a weighted vest. However, you should only attempt weighted rope climbing after you have become experienced with bodyweight rope climbing.

Core Strength

The core muscles play the greatest role in enhancing your balance, stability and posture during physical activity. They’re typically the muscles around the pelvis, abdomen, hips, lats and lower back.

If you’re an athlete, a stronger core allows you to generate the necessary power for optimal performance. Plus it enhances your endurance while reducing the risk of strain-related injuries.

When incorporated with aerobics and other studio workouts rope climbing can help you attain a well-rounded fitness.

Enhances Your Ability to Grip

You are entirely relying on the hand grip and strength to climb up and down the rope. Since your hands are withstanding your bodyweight and rope friction, they develop greater grip strength.

Enhancing your grip strength is a plus since you might need it during deadlifts, Olympic lifting, pull-ups or chin-ups.

Boosts your Confidence

Simply speaking, rope climbing isn’t as risky as it may seem. It’s actually the height that scares you during your first encounters. By gradually increasing the height and developing grip strength, you end up gaining confidence to reach the top of the rope.

Such confidence is what you need to optimize your performance in athletics and other sports.

Safety Tips for Rope Climbing

In case you accidentally miss a grip and fall down, you’re likely to sustain injuries. The impact of fall will of course depend on the height and the responsiveness of the surface below. Though it’s rare to miss a grip, it’s good to be on the safe side.

Here are some things you can do to enhance your safety during rope climbing.

  • Start with a height you’re comfortable with and build your strength and confidence to climb to the top of the rope.
  • Wear rope climbing shoes. The best shoes for rope climbs are designed to help you lock your feet on the rope. This allows you to have a break on the rope as you go up or down the rope.
  • Use climbing crash pads. Climbing crash pads are meant to avoid a direct crash with the floor in case you miss a grip and fall.
  • To enhance grip and minimize rope burns, apply liquid chalk on your palms.
  • Avoid wearing baggy clothes.


The best shoes for rope climbs should be typically designed to offer the ideal grip when ascending or descending on the rope. The design should also guard the fabrics on the upper part of the shoe from abrasion or ripping off.

If you already own some cross training shoes, check whether they are designed for rope climbing. If they’re not labelled so, then you can choose from the above options.

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