Published on July 18th, 2010 | by Greg0
Edging Along with La Sportiva Testarossa Climbing Shoes
When I first got these shoes, they felt so painful to wear that I called my climbing friend and asked if I should return them. “That’s how they should be,” they said. After going for a long time as a girl without wearing painful footwear, through increased athleticism I’ve finally broken down and upgraded to pair of uncomfortable shoes — the La Sportiva Testarossa — and I’m loving them.
La Sportiva worked hard on making the Testarossa an excellent edging shoe. It’s highly asymmetrical with a down-turned edge. La Sportiva gave it a combination of Lorica (does not stretch) and leather (does stretch) strategically placed along the shoe with a Vibram sole.
The front of the shoe has a very curved appearance, with a hard edge to allow you grip small footholds. I have a somewhat wide foot, but didn’t have any problems with any part of the shoe, only the rather drastic curving of my toes (that’s the “ow” part). Luckily the curve becomes a little less dramatic over time. While slipping these shoes off and on, I noticed the extra handy straps in the back, easily grabbable, to allow me to fit my heel into the shoe quite quickly.
Generally, people advise that climbing shoes should be bought .5-1.5 sizes smaller than normal shoes. I only went .5 below what I normally buy and after about 10 climbs, they still haven’t stretched out to where I can walk around without some discomfort. Because of the high arches, I would aim closer to one’s own shoe size.
Perhaps my only qualm with these shoes is that I would have preferred velcro over laces. Laces provide that extra bit of adjustable strapping that allows you to really wear it tight, but with these shoes I consistently wanted to take them off, so velcro would have been faster for that. Between the high arches and the fact that they still haven’t expanded enough to feel comfortable walking around in, I’m taking these babies off in between each climb and I expect you might want to as well. On the upside, my speed tying has become excellent.
The grip on these is great. They are meant for more serious climbers and high arches seem to be the preference of more outdoor than indoor climbers. However, they are just a great overall shoe. They’re sticky enough that I’ve been able to often just place them on the wall for balance. I am easily climbing a full letter higher because of these babies and I stay on the wall much more often. Basically, these shoes climb better than I do.
Available for $160 on Amazon.