Do You Wear Socks With Rock Climbing Shoes [Know the Trend]

Written By Sunny

It is easier to get confused as there are so many thoughts on whether climbing the mountain wearing socks or going sockless is better for the adventure.


Worry not! I have your back for this query.

In this write-out, I will clear up your dilemma if you need to wear socks with your snug-fitted hiking shoes and if so what’re the reasons behind it.

So, stay tuned.

Can You Wear Socks With Rock Climbing Shoes?

Yes, you can indeed wear socks with your rock climbing shoes. Socks provide a layer of cushioning for your comfort during the hiking trip. Going commando in Rock Shoes is not a bad idea, and there won’t be much change in your performance with or without socks. So here, your preference matters most.

Additionally, with socks, your shoes won’t smell. It also provides friction with your shoes and ensures a tighter fit to prevent any sort of slip.

In the early ’70s, climbers used to wear socks with their E.B.s non-sticky rubber shoes.

Soon after, some Curious climbers started to enjoy their shoes barefoot and those who wear socks got branded as noobs. But If you feel like you need to wear socks, don’t let it dishearten you, go for it.

If you avoid socks with most of your footwear and even sandals, you need to know whether you can rock your Birkenstock looks without socks.

5 Reasons Why You Need Socks With Climbing Pairs

Wearing socks with your shoes is beneficial from so many perspectives. The same goes with your rock climbing pairs too. You should pick your socks very carefully as hiking socks are important for better performance.

Here are five reasons you need socks with rock climbing shoes:

Socks Make Climbing Shoes Comfortable

The most popular reason why people love to wear socks with their climbing shoes is comfort. The slight padding between the seams of the shoe and your foot makes your journey comfortable.

Several studies have shown that painfully tight climbing shoes do not improve climbing performance. If you don’t like to wear socks, try a thin pair like Multisport Ultralight and you are good to go.

If you climb through areas like the EI Cap, it’s wise to buy slightly larger shoes and wear socks for comfort.

Furthermore, when it comes to purchasing comfortable footwear, make sure you know if Crocs are comfy before placing your order.

Block Shoe Odor

Another advantage of pairing socks while rock climbing is to reduce shoe odor. If your feet sweat, it’s obvious after a day of heavy movements, your shoes will smell.

Moreover, when the rubber material of your climbing shoes becomes overworn, the smell it creates is very unpleasant and this is why climbers prefer wearing socks. It is inexpensive compared to other ways to remove odor.

Your socks will absorb the sweat and the best part, you can wash them with the rest of your laundry. Easy, convenient, and saves a ton of money.

Socks Ensure A Tighter Fit

Many climbers think that going sockless while rock climbing will cause slipping inside their shoes.  It’s not totally vague, but socks make your shoe fit a bit tighter, thus preventing slippage.

Another thing is your shoes can stretch and become a bit loose. In situations like this, you should wear socks and your shoes will fit you like before.

However, keep in mind that the thickness of your socks matters. You need to wear a thin pair of socks otherwise, your shoes will be too tight, and you don’t really want that.

Note:  Wear your rock climbing shoes without socks at the store, and then wear them with socks while mounting to prevent discomfort.

When you are wearing fitted shoes, this will prevent blisters as well. Because your foot will not rub against the inner seam of your sneakers and there will be no need to carry those medicated patches.

Socks Prevent Foot Slippage From Sweat

Sweating is a common scenario when mounting. And when you are moving, sweaty feet can cause slippage. This is most common if the shoe doesn’t fit your heel properly.

You can change into a new pair and still face the same situation. Wearing thin socks can solve this issue in a minute. It will absorb the sweat and give you a dry feeling after your climbing session.

Makes Taking Shoes Off And On Easier

Rock climbing shoes are made to hug your feet as closely as possible. And it’s important to move properly, but sometimes the snug-fitted shoes make it quite difficult to put them off and on.

This is where wearing socks come in handy.

Shocks are super flexible, thus making it easy to slip into your climbing footwear and vice versa. They also absorb sweat, and sweat-free feet make it easier to remove your shoes.

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wear Socks With Climbing Pairs

Along with several benefits of wearing socks, there are a few drawbacks. For a better climbing experience, you need to know them properly so that you can beat any obstacles.

Let’s see, the 3 reasons you shouldn’t pair socks with climbing shoes:

Socks Add Space Between Your Feet And The Wall

A major reason why you should not wear socks with your rock climbing shoes is that these pairs are designed to decrease the space between your foot and the climbing wall and reduce your sensitivity to footholds and rocks.

They also add space between your shoe and your foot and this can decline your foot sensitivity, which is very important while you are climbing.

My uncle loves rock climbing and every two to three months he enjoys such trips. According to him, without socks, he gets a snugger fit and confidence.

Decreases Friction Between Your Shoe And Foot

Sometimes we wear socks to reduce the rubbing of the shoe interior with our feet. But when you are rock climbing, you need that friction to reduce slipping inside your shoe and make your climb-up journey risk-free.

I own a La Sportiva Tarantulace, without socks this leather-made shoe gives me a snug fit. However, socks make the fit tighter, and I felt less friction between my feet and the shoe.

Another thing, my feet didn’t slip inside the shoe, though my best friend experienced the opposite.

Socks Change The Fit Of Your Footwear

As I mentioned above, with socks my rock climbing pairs were tighter, which proves they change the fit of your footwear.

Your shoes will feel different if you don’t use socks with the same thickness. If you wear thick socks, they might not fit you. So, in this case, it’s better not to pair any socks while mountaineering.

What Socks To Wear With Rock Climbing Shoes?

It’s clear that you can wear socks with your rock climbing pairs and also go barefoot. To ease your hiking process, socks are a lifesaver.

But you can’t wear just any socks, there are socks with specific qualities, and before buying you should know which socks will make your mounting easier.

Let’s find out what socks to wear with rock climbing shoes:

La Sportiva Climbing Socks

For Rock Climbing, La Sportiva Socks are the best option. The elasticated synthetic fiber makes these pairs super comfy and provides a secure fit.

These socks may look like a cheap Walmart multipack, but don’t be fooled by their simple appearance, there’s much that your eyes can’t see.

Another feature of Sportiva socks is the mesh-like upper that keeps them breathable, and the seams keep this sock from bouncing up, thus increasing your climbing ability.

Icebreaker Multisport Ultralight

If you do not want to try the LA Sportiva climbing socks, IceBreaker Multisport Ultralight will do the job for you.

These socks have a great fit and are made with a quality micro wool material. Though Multisport Ultralight doesn’t have those specially placed seams like climbing socks, the heel tab is an added bonus.

Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Midweight Socks

Another perfect sock that hikers swear by is the Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Midweight. These socks are super durable and maintain their comfort no matter how roughly you use them during your climbing sessions.

The first thing that attracted me was the lifetime guarantee. And though Darn Tough Socks are expensive, I never regretted this investment.

Pros And Cons Of Climbing Socks

With parks, there are also many disadvantages of climbing socks and so far from my explanation, you got that, you can wear climbing socks and also go without them. It’s all about your choice.

Now let’s see the pros and cons of mounting socks:

  • »Fills out bigger shoes.
  • »Provides hygiene.
  • »Protects from fungus and microbes.
  • »Reduces chafing.
  • »Eliminates bad odor.
  • »Helps to stretch and break in your shoes quickly.
  • »Works as a cushioning layer.
  • »Increases the risk of slipping.
  • »Reduces sensitivity.

For a better experience, you should know every detail about pairing socks with your mounting shoes, thus you will be confident and safe.

During climbing, you may encounter rough weather changes like rain, so to be safe, you should know if your rock climbing shoes can get wet.


How Tight Should Rock Climbing Shoes Be?

Your climbing shoes should be snugly fitted, but not too tight to cause Excessive pain around your toes. Make sure your toes are slightly compressed in the rubber toe box.

Do Rock Climbing Shoes Stretch?

Yes, Rock Climbing shoes stretch after the break-in period. And if it’s leather-made, they will be floppier after a few weeks of use.

Closing Statement

You can wear socks and also go sockless while rock climbing. Socks will provide comfort, reduce odor, and make putting on your shoes much easier.

On the contrary, pairing socks change the fit and stretches your shoe a bit. So, you can wear them and choose to avoid them according to your preference.

This is everything about socks and mounting shoes. Thanks for engaging.

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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