2020 Comp Climbing Shoe Review: La Sportiva Theory

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MSRP: $190

MSRP: $190

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Comp-Specific Features

Unlined midsole for mild stiffness—for edging and jibs; combination of No-Edge (as with the Futura) and regular edge technology for versatility on small holds and volumes; variable-thickness Vibram XS-Grip 2 sole; low-volume heel for sensitivity on hooks.

The Low-down

The first of La Sportiva’s three comp shoes was the Solution Comp (it won our 2020 Editors’ Choice award), followed by the Theory and the Cobra 4.99. The Theory is softer than the Solution Comp for more of a bouldering focus. It also has volume-friendly features like Sportiva’s No-Edge technology, a rounded underfoot edge that, here, wraps up into two semi-circles of rand on the posterior toebox; a variable-thickness half-sole (1.9–4mm) that thins down behind the toebox, where you typically don’t stand, to encourage forefoot flex; a low-volume heel with a swath of stiffer yellow rubber to foster stable hooking; and a big, boomerang-shaped toecap for dynamic scums. With gyms still closed, I tested these bad boys on rock and my home wall. They have been steep-rock and bouldering beasts, with a glove-like fit and beveled edge that delivers mega feedback, plus one of the best heels on the market (über-glommy, no slippage).

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See the rest of our 2020 Comp Climbing Shoe Review.