Published on: 09/21/2022The Simond Rock+ is a value-packed entry-level climbing shoe with good grip.
Despite a very affordable price tag, the Rock Simond+ features a Vibram rubber outsole that impressed with its durability and stickiness on natural rock and artificial walls. Their sturdy, no-frills build allows them to last for a while and should be enough to support your practice until you’re ready for a higher-performance model.
The Rock Plus’ main downside is its thick and warm upper that doesn’t allow the foot to breathe optimally during your climb, but it’s not a huge deal breaker.
Overall, we recommend the Simond Rock+ to new climbers on a budget looking for a reliable and comfortable first shoe for sport climbing and bouldering in the gym or outside.
- Good overall comfort
- Suitable for wide feet
- Outstanding grip for its price
- Very affordable yet sturdy
- Warm and not very breathable
- Decathlon is not the most ethical manufacturer
Simond Rock climbing shoes by Decathlon are almost impossible to miss at the crag or gym.
Indeed, the Simond Rock+ is the quintessential beginner’s climbing shoe. It’s pretty much the level right after renting shoes: you know you want to pursue rock climbing but are worried about shedding too much money right off the bat for your first pair (especially if you do roped-climbing and need to get belay gear as well).
However, while Decathlon’s climbing shoes are cheap, they’re not the only brand offering a decent and affordable entry-level model. So, the most crucial question is: how good are they when you weigh comfort, performance, and durability against their affordable price? That’s what we’re going to find out in this complete review.
Although the large sports equipment company Decathlon now owns it, Simond is a 150-year-old company based in the Chamonix Valley in France. They manufacture some of their climbing gear there (e.g., ice axes). However, Simond shoes seem to be made in China like the other Decathlon products. It’s an interesting brand for affordable climbing, approach, and hiking boots.
Men’s vs. women’s model
The Simon Rock+ is unisex, so no specific men’s and women’s models exist. The shape is unique, and you must pick the correct size.
The shoe fits true to size, meaning you can pick the same size as your standard shoe size.
As a beginner shoe with a neutral profile (there’s no downturn) and very little asymmetry between the left and right foot, the Simond Rock+ is as comfortable as it gets.
These climbing shoes are also reasonably spacious with a relatively high volume, making them suitable for most foot shapes and climbers with wide feet.
The upper of the shoe is comfortably padded, as well as the tongue. The Simond Rock+ comfortably wraps around your foot with a snug fit. Of course, it can vary from one climber to another, but we didn’t notice any particular painful or hot spots while wearing them.
However, the synthetic upper materials are pretty thick, so the shoe feels warm, especially in the summer. It’s not ideal for wearing socks (for crack climbing, for example). Also, odors tend to develop quickly, so you must take good care of them to prevent a stink.
Decathlon (Simond) didn’t skimp on the outsole rubber on its Rock+ shoes: it uses the excellent Vibram XS Grip. The result is decent performance when trying to get traction on the wall and volumes at the gym or natural rock outside.
The Simond Rock+ is moderately rigid, as you would expect from a shoe for beginners. As such, it delivers a bit of sensitivity while allowing you to stand on small edges. However, it’s not the shoe for highly technical footwork, as higher-grade routes and problems require.
As an entry-level rock climbing shoe, this Simond doesn’t come with a lot of rubber on the top of the foot for toe hooking. Also, its moderate rigidity makes it more challenging to feel the holds on overhangs for toe hooks.
Fortunately, the sticky and sturdy Vibram rubber is quite helpful to place and adjust your foot for heel hooks.
These climbing shoes don’t come with extra protection and support for jamming in cracks. It’s not impossible, but other climbing shoes more specialized for trad climbing do a much better job.
Best Uses for Simond Rock shoes
As mentioned earlier, the Simond Rock+ is one of the most popular shoes at the gym. Indoor climbing is right up its alley, thanks to the effective rubber sole that sticks perfectly on artificial walls.
Climbing sport routes is perfectly suitable for the Simond Rock. As lightweight and comfortable shoes with effective grip, they are very helpful to work on your sends, indoor and outdoor.
It can be a good pick for warming up on easy routes for intermediate and advanced climbers before putting on a downturned model for the harder ones.
The Simond Rock is not a high-performance shoe to tackle your hardest problems in the gym or outdoors. However, it’s a good model for new boulderers up to an intermediate level (up to 6A). Beyond that, performance shoes will go a long way to progress further.
Until then, the Simond Rock+ does a great job. As mentioned, the grip is quite decent, and the semi-rigid construction allows for some sensitivity to work on your drills. Also, the wide fit and foam padding in the midsole make it comfortable to keep the shoes on at rest (even though you shouldn’t).
Last but not least, these shoes are pretty sturdy and can take a good beating like the one from sloppy footwork at the beginning of most budding climbing journeys.
Trad and Crack Climbing
The Rock+ by Simond is not quite a trad shoe. It doesn’t feature enough protection for jamming your feet comfortably in cracks. However, its neutral profile, and higher volume make it comfortable enough for all-day climbing.
With its optimal overall comfort, grippy Vibram sole, and decent durability, the Simond Rock+ has become one of the best value and most popular beginner climbing shoes on the market.
Their neutral profile is sufficient to tackle most easy to intermediate routes. Their biggest drawback is the lack of breathability, which requires good care to prevent them from becoming stinky.
For the anecdote, my 13-year-old nephew is pushing 7A on sport climbing routes and keep wearing these shoes because his parents don’t want to get him a high-performance model yet. However, he sizes down by three sizes, which is something most people shouldn’t do.
|Weight||7.2 oz/204 g|
|Sole thickness||3 mm|
|Activities||Indoor, Outdoor, Bouldering, Sport|
|Outsole||Vibram XS GRIP|
Reference: Simond‘s official website
This shoe runs true to size so that you can pick a pair in your street shoe size. However, you could try to downsize if you’re an experienced climber looking to get more performance out of these shoes.
Surprisingly, from our experience, the Simond’s sole may be a bit more sturdy than the Tarantula. However, the Tarantula is more comfortable overall with better breathability. Both shoes are relatively high volume.
The first uses laces, while the second has a velcro closure.