Do You Wear Socks With Rock Climbing Shoes?

If you have recently started climbing or you have been juggling at it for a while now, then you have probably seen someone or the other wearing socks along with their rock climbing shoes. According to a few climbers wearing socks with climbing shoes is a fashion disaster and is similar to people wearing socks inside sandals.

But there are some climbers that will tell you otherwise. We are here to answer your question – do you wear socks with rock climbing shoes? It does sound boring, but believe us, you will be surprised to read about the effects of socks.

Most of the time, people don’t wear socks with their climbing shoes because they kind of look dorky. It gives the impression that you are a newbie. But that isn’t the case necessarily. A lot of experienced climbers prefer using socks with their shoes.

So, if you try to go climbing with socks, you will be suggested not to wear them. It happens to most climbers. You might be confused like all climbers are. I mean, it makes sense to use socks as they stop our feet from stinking.

Didn’t all our moms scream at us for not wearing shoes at one point or the other? So why do people not wear socks with shoes? Should we wear them or not? Let’s get to the bottom of this.

Do You Wear Socks With Rock Climbing Shoes? If Yes Should You?

Yes, socks can be worn with rock climbing shoes. But you will see that no one wears them. There is a minority group of people who wear socks. Yes, they look ugly with the beautiful rock-climbing shoes.

But that shouldn’t matter as socks will improve your climbing experience because we all know that climbing shoes can be a tad bit uncomfortable. Wearing socks with your shoes will not only make the climbing more comfortable but also a lot more cleaner.

In the earlier days, tons and tons of people used to wear socks. Mostly every single climber. And rightly so, because socks can protect your feet from sharp objects, stitching, seam tape that might get inside your shoes.

You probably are thinking that will wearing socks affect the sensitivity on your feet? The question is very legitimate because you might know that the tight fit of your shoes really affects how you perform on the crag. One might wonder that you will get more feel without wearing socks. But if you think ahead and you buy your shoes only half a size larger, then the socks will fit perfectly with the shoes, and you can get comfortable without having to compromise on anything. The grip will remain the same.

Although when it comes to shoes like La Sportiva Finale, it might be a little difficult to wear socks as those shoes fit your feet like gloves. But for most other rock climbing shoes, socks will perfectly.

Here are some reasons why you should wear socks inside your climbing shoes

Sure, there will be times when you are wearing socks with your shoes, and other climbers will openly tease you and call you names like dork or newbie. But that shouldn’t stop you at all. Let’s look at both cases.

According to some people, socks will only make your feet slip inside your shoes or may cause your shoes to become too tight. But of course, that changes when they have to rent shoes at a gym. So, if you think socks are uncool and you shouldn’t wear them, change that perception, especially when you have to rent shoes at a gym. You don’t want to make fashion a cause for fungal infection.

According to us, the only setback to wearing socks with shoes is that they look hideous. But if you can move past that, we suggest you definitely wear socks inside your climbing shoes.

Socks offer some extra cushioning

Do You Wear Socks With Rock Climbing Shoes

It hardly matters whether you are an amateur climber or have been climbing for years. There comes a time in every climber’s life when your feet start hurting way too much to move. Rock climbing shoes don’t offer a ton of cushioning to help you have foot sensitivity so that you can feel all the edges, cracks, and rocks, etc. correctly.

Wearing socks will change your world. Socks will give you excess comfort without having to compromise on the grip. You will be able to feel the cracks, edges, rocks just as per usual, and with more comfort. This basically means you will be able to climb more and focus more on climbing instead of diverting your mind to the pain.

Adding socks with your shoes will remove the possibility of getting any kind of foot pain.

Socks are good for personal hygiene

As we said, all our moms persistently told every one of us not to go outside to play without wearing socks. This is because we all know the smell that is created with the mixture of sweat, dirt, and humidity. The smell is like someone released hundreds of rotten eggs into your feet. You can avoid this smell by doing just one thing- wear. Socks.

This smell is really hard to remove as it permanently settles in the shoes. Even though a deodorant can be used to minimize the smell, it never really goes away. There is a reason why sweat smells bad. The bacteria that break down the sweat causes the stench.

When you are wearing shoes without socks, you are putting your feet directly in contact with the grossness. If you understand how gross that might be, you will start wearing socks with your rock climbing shoes.

Socks give extra comfort

Socks can give that extra cushioning and will make your climb more comfortable. You should try it, and you will automatically forget and learn to ignore what other climbers are teasing you about. Teasing is better than going through the agonizing pain.

Instead of going through all the pain, just wear socks to get more comfort and cushioning. You will not feel the normal burning sensation you get after rock climbing if you wear socks. Your feet will be safe from all the seam tape, stitching, and other sharp pieces inside the shoes if you are wearing socks.

So, once you start wearing socks with your climbing shoes, trust me, you are not going to look back. Slipping into your climbing shoes won’t be uncomfortable anymore. Plus, the rotten cheese and eggs smell won’t bother you or people around you anymore.

It is a different feeling

For climbers who sport some rock boots, they sometimes find the slippage extremely great. Several experienced climbers have the same opinion, but you can experience that yourself. The rock boots, according to them, are a lot more rigid than the boots used by beginners. The slippage is a lot more in them.

A lot of the other climbers say that it doesn’t depend only on that, but it also depends on where you are climbing. Socks can’t be favored when the experienced climbers are edging. But when it comes to cracks, socks seem to be very helpful in keeping your feet safe and away from the pain. Also, you can save your feet from stinking. We can’t emphasize that enough!

If you are going to climb without socks, then there is a solution to curb the stench. You can use some rock-climbing chalk inside the shoes to help curb the stinkiness. Although the smell will still be there, the chalk will help to reduce the sweat that rubs on your feet and creates the monstrous stinky bacteria. Of course, just wearing socks will save you from the whole trouble.

Get a bigger size of shoes to get a perfect fit

We have discovered why climbing with socks makes a better climbing experience. But we also know that climbing shoes are so that that you cannot possibly fit anything else inside it. So, it is better to buy a pair of shoes half a size bigger than what you usually wear to get the comfort that you desire.

When you are trying on the shoes, make sure you try them on along with a pair of socks so that you are sure that the fit will be perfect. If you already have a pair of shoes, then save them for when you want to climb without using socks.

When you are climbing, fashion doesn’t really come into the picture. Your goal should be to perform well and reach new heights, quite literally. The only thing that should matter is the comfort while climbing.


As we discussed, in the early days when rock climbing had just begun, people always used to wear socks. The proof lies within the hundreds of pictures available. But somewhere along the line, that perception changes, and the concept of wearing socks with your rock-climbing shoes became obsolete.

From what we have discussed, socks can add a great level of comfort and extra cushioning without having to compromise on the sensitivity. Because of this extra comfort, you will be able to focus much more on the climb and can have more endurance than you normally would.

Climbing is a fun sport. Let it be about the experience and not about the pain. If your feet will hurt less, your feet will thank you and will reward you by having more endurance.

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