It is not secret that I have a preference for high quality – great performance gear and when it comes to footwear I always want to have the best possible shoes. This is the case for my first pair of climbing shoes, the La Sportiva Tarantula.
Prior of deciding which climbing shoes I wanted to use for my climbing, I have searched on various brands, but once again, I ended up buying a product from La Sportiva.
The very first thing I always look at is how easy it is to get the shoe on – some are remarkably difficult and time consuming but the La Sportiva Tarantula slips on easily thanks to its laces free design. The way the fastening system works is very clever too thanks to a well thought out adjustment method which features opposite side locking straps that can move up and down as well as to tighten and loosen.
See more La Sportiva reviews here:
- La Sportiva Bushido Trail Running Shoes
- La Sportiva Spantik Mountaineering Boots
- La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTX Mountaineering Boots
- La Sportiva Trango Extreme Evo Light GTX Mountaineering Boots
Design & Materials
The La Sportiva Tarantula is an entry-level climbing shoe that’s slightly more aggressive than regular beginner shoes. Aside from the usual rigid sole and flat profile, the La Sportiva Tarantula features a last with a low asymmetry for better performance generally and also technical precision. New climbers may find this a little unusual at first, but once their feet adjust this shoe will let them progress much faster than a non-asymmetric beginner shoe.
As for comfort and wear, the La Sportiva Tarantula features an unlined upper that, once broken in, will provide maximum comfort and a custom fit, as well as a highly adjustable opposing-strap closure system that makes the shoes easy and quick to take on and off between climbs. The sole is La Sportiva’s own Frixion RS rubber that’s designed to be extra durable so as to not wear out before your climbing level has improved enough to necessitate buying a new shoe. Its stiff sole provides maximum foot support for feet unused to climbing shoes, and it will excel on vertical climbing.
The La Sportiva Tarantula is made of leather upper and mounded very well around my feet. The leather is unlined so it can get a bit hot inside the shoe after extended wearing but nothing at all unmanageable. La Sportiva’s FriXion rubber soles worked very well against the rock too with very little slip in the sole which is alarmingly sticky. The front hook isn’t very long however, which means that slightly more technically difficult routes might be challenging in the La Sportiva Tarantula Climbing shoe.
Performance & Functioning
The shoe comes with La Sportiva’s proprietary FriXion ® RS rubber. FriXion ® rubber will not have the grip of other rubber options like the Vibram XS edge or the Stealth C4. There tends to be always a trade-off between durability and performance and at the lower price point we shouldn’t expect the high-end rubber that is in the more elite performance shoes.
A feature that I particularly like, is the Velcro closure system that allows super-quick ons and offs. This is very important feature for me because I don’t want to be bothered from time consuming ons and offs.
In addition, this velcro system, makes it easy to “lock” the shoe on your foot in the desirable position and therefore to have better feeling while climbing.
The Tarantula is a climbing shoe that delivers comfort and versatility. It is a great all-round climbing shoe for climbers who are getting into the sport and for adventuring onto traditional classic routes. In my opinion this is a great entry show for beginners, but for more experienced climbers, there are many other better choices. Though, for the price tag, you get a great value for money