La Sportiva Rock Shoe Review

By Climbing ,

La Sportiva Flash, $120

Summary: The Flash is

a high-performance, unlined shoe built on a very anatomic last, which makes for quality toe-grabbing and toe-hooking on steep rock, where this shoe is in its element. Unlike many Velcro-strap slippers, the Flash features extra-long straps that you can trim according to your fit needs. The Achilles heel of the shoe is, well, its heel: The low height of the cup made it feel like the back of the shoe could pop off at any time, especially when heel-hooking.

Pros: Aggressive last. Trimmable Velcro straps.

Cons: Low heel.

Overall grade: B

La Sportiva: (303) 443-8710,

La Sportiva Testarossa, $160

Summary: The unlined Testarossa is this year’s steep-rock (20 degrees past vertical and beyond) champ. The down-turned, chiseled toe grabs at features with aplomb. The asymmetrical lacing system follows the anatomy of your foot better than straight-up laces, resulting in a fit that restores meaning to the cliché “glove-like.” On the downside, you’ll have to dig deep into your pockets to get all this performance.

Pros: Outstanding toe-grabbing. Anatomical lacing system.

Cons: Expensive.

Overall grade: A-

La Sportiva: (303) 443-8710,

La Sportiva Women’s Mythos, $138

Summary: La Sportiva has designed a women’s-specific

version of their classic Mythos by narrowing the width of the shoe and lowering the height of the heel cup. Like the original Mythos, the women’s version is an ace on thin cracks, pockets, and smears, though it falls short in the edging department. Despite the lowering of the heelcup, the Women’s Mythos heel hooks quite well, thanks to its around-the-heel lacing system. Just remember to size tightly, as this unlined shoe is prone to stretching.

Pros: All-around sport performance. Excels on thin cracks.

Cons: Very specific fit.

Overall grade: A-

La Sportiva: (303) 443-8710,

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