I am very new to indoor rock climbing, I want to climb barefoot, I heard some people advise against it,
Anybody here has any experience or can give any suggestions on barefoot indoor rock climbing?


You definitely can do it, and it is fine where you have clean, dry climbing surfaces. I have had no problems doing it on occasion in the summer when I have not had my rock boots, but I wouldn't want to do it.

I don't know how practical it is to train this way though, as if you decide to climb outdoors it will not be as useful as having learnt the skills with proper rock boots.

Rock boots require a slightly different technique, but are much grippier and you remove the risk of catching a toe on something!

  • 2
    It's worth adding that many gyms don't allow going barefoot, both for sanitation (which is silly; climber hands are at least as gross) and safety reasons. It's always good to check with the staff first to avoid a possible climbing faux pas. Apr 13 '12 at 23:57
  • @BHSPitMonkey at least it is more likely to have athlete's foot at the foot... ^^ simply because wearing shoes and socks all days gives the better climate to breed some fungi. Jul 20 '20 at 15:10

its way easier in the gym to go bare foot. Shoes just make you unaware of how your body should move. Especially roofs it is easier and the big to can toe hook a lot of holds your shoes cant. High feet that require the foot to claw are way easier bare foot. I would say 80 percent of climbs are easier bare foot and the other twenty are better with one shoe and one bare foot. The same is true for outdoor climbing. shoes have made peoples feet weak and they have lost touch with what there feet can do on climbs.

  • 1
    some gyms have rules against it, I guess to keeps things "clean" and less smelly, your feet can get sweaty and bloody ...
    – Ali
    Feb 10 '14 at 2:58
  • 2
    Surely someone at the very top level of the sport would have done this? At a world cup event 1% can make a big difference so I would expect the professionals to have tried this. Yet at any event I see they wear shoes (occasionally bringing a spare pair for different types of problems).
    – Christy
    Nov 6 '19 at 15:34

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