La Sportiva Tarantulace Review – Climbed & Tested

La Sportiva Tarantulace featured image

When it comes to your gear as a climber, you know that quality matters. La Sportiva climbing shoes are some of the most reputable and best-quality shoes you can buy.

Today we’ll look at one of my favorite models: The La Sportiva Tarantulace.

This shoe has been tested by some of the world’s most famous climbers (as well as little old me), and it will give you the performance edge you need on your next climb.

Let’s get into the La Sportiva Tarantulace review…

La Sportiva Tarantulace Review – A Complete Climbing Shoe Review

The La Sportiva Tarantulace is an affordable shoe gunning for new climbers and those with a smaller budget. Its versatility will also speak to many experienced climbers. Even though it’s not designed as aggressively or specifically as some other shoes, its good performance in all types of settings – whether you’re climbing indoors at a gym, on boulders outside, or taking cracked routes at your local crag – makes up for that drawback.

Plus, this show is known to fit most feet well.

The Tarantulace is a comfortable climbing shoe used for multiple climbs. It is beneficial for beginners looking to learn the ropes of rock climbing. I have personally used this shoe indoors at the gym and outdoors on various routes and boulder problems.

Trad climbing, crack climbing, and slab are my top three preferences when outdoors. I have used this shoe once for outdoor bouldering, but it wasn’t the best fit because the design can’t handle more technical aspects of bouldering like heel hooks or overhangs; I prefer something like the La Sportiva Skwama for these sorts of things.

Although I have other climbing shoes, the Tarantulace is always with me and still going strong after 2 years. Of course, they are beginning to show some wear, as climbing shoes do, even if I have too pretty good care of them over the years.

The Toe Box

The toe box on these shoes is more comfortable than most other shoes, often the tightest and least comfortable of a climbing shoe. Because of this feature, I usually don’t have to take my shoes off in between climbs to give them a rest.

The only downside is that comfort comes at the expense of technical terrain and bouldering performance. Still, if you’re looking for a casual shoe, perhaps you’re a beginner, or you want a shoe that you can slap on when you’re warming up with easier routes and problems, this is perfectly made for you.

The Tarantulace is not made for toe hooks and pockets. They perform better when smearing, on slabs, or in cracks due to the leather build.

With these shoes, you can climb anything; however, don’t anticipate being successful with very difficult moves.

The Heel

The tensioned heel rand provides a secure and snug fit, while the generous amount of rubber on the outside of the heel prevents movement and gives you a good level of grip.

If you’re looking for beginner climbing shoes that are comfortable and versatile, the Tarantulace is an excellent option. Although it doesn’t have the same level of performance as some other shoes, it’s still possible to heel hook and crush problems in these shoes.

A more aggressive performance shoe will usually outperform other shoes when heel hooking, but the Tarantulace does exceptionally well on vertical or slab climbs. I’ve used them on overhangs at bouldering gyms and even outdoors for heel hooks, although nowadays, I typically opt for a much more suited shoe such as the La Sportiva Solution.

The Rubber

La Sportiva Tarantulace Review close up image

The Tarantulace comes with 5mm of La Sportiva’s FriXion® RS rubber, also found on one of their cheaper shoes. The thicker, more durable rubber decreases sensitivity but makes the shoe stiffer– both good features for beginners. With this quality soling, edging becomes much easier to master–a key skill for beginner climbers.

The FriXion RS rubber provides adequate friction on rock and plastic, making it ideal for smearing.

The Tarantulace can give you the confidence to climb without fear of slipping. If you do slip, it’s rarely because of a problem with the rubber – it’s usually either because the surface or hold shouldn’t have been trusted in the first place or…you put your foot in the wrong place!

The shoes’ rubber quality is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. I’ve used them in both settings with no issues. Additionally, the rubber feels like it will last a while when climbing efficiently.

I have noticed some newer climbers complain about holes appearing at the toe, but this only happens to those who often drag their feet on the gym wall while climbing. If you’re careful to maintain proper footwork, your shoes should last much longer.

How They Fit

La Sportiva Tarantulace in action

With these shoes, even novice climbers can hit higher grades they may not have been able to reach before. They’re affordable and versatile enough to be used for any type of climbing yet comfortable enough to wear all day long.

I’ve been wearing them for two years now with no issues – even when I’m at the gym and can’t take them off for extended periods of time.

If you’re familiar with La Sportiva shoes, you know they usually run larger than other brands. Even so, their sizing is pretty reliable from one style to the next. So if you have a pair of La Sportivas that fit well, you can use that as a guide when shopping for new styles.

Remember that all leather shoes will stretch out over time. With that in mind, it’s crucial to pick the right size when you first buy the shoe. I wasn’t mindful of this fact, and as a result, the first pair I bought was too large for me. Consequently, I had to return them and go down a further size.

The shoes are made from leather, meaning they’re much more breathable than shoes made with synthetic materials. Over time and with heavy use, they started to absorb odor; however, this only happened after years of wear in warm weather conditions—so it’s not an issue for me.

Value For Money

The Tarantulace is a great beginner climbing shoe because it is versatile and affordable. The thick rubber on the heel and soles make them durable and less sensitive, which is perfect for beginners who are just starting to learn how to climb. Additionally, the leather construction makes them more breathable than other synthetic shoes, which is a plus for climbers who often wear their shoes for long periods of time.

I’ve been wearing my Tarantulace for two years now and they still look almost new. This is despite heavy use in both indoor and outdoor bouldering settings. In terms of value for money, I believe it’s hard to go wrong with La Sportiva Tarantulace. They’re a great choice for climbers who want an affordable and reliable shoe for their first pair.

In conclusion, the La Sportiva Tarantulace is an excellent choice for beginner climbers because of its versatility, affordability, and durability. With this shoe on your feet, you can confidently tackle routes that were out of reach before and enjoy more successful climbs without fear of slipping.

Its rubber sole gives you the grip and friction you need to climb with confidence, and its leather construction makes it more breathable than other synthetic shoes.

La Sportiva Tarantula vs Tarantulace

Overall, the two versions of the shoe are quite similar. The biggest difference is that the Tarantulace features a leather upper for extra breathability, which makes it a better choice for climbers who tend to wear their shoes for long periods of time.

The Tarantula also has thicker rubber on its toe and heel, making it more durable and easier to use for beginner climbers. It has a slightly stiffer sole, which gives more support when climbing hard routes or edging on small holds.

And the obvious difference is that the Tarantulace are laced climbing shoes while the Tarantula is velcro.

For me, the Tarantulace is my go-to shoe because of its versatility and comfortable fit. They are also quite affordable compared to other models in the market so you won’t have to break the bank.

The Verdict

The Tarantulace is frequently recognized as one of the top entry-level climbing shoes for several reasons: they’re comfortable, durable, and most importantly, affordable. As someone who is new to the sport of rock climbing, these qualities are precisely what you should look for in a shoe.

The Tarantulace shoes are a cost-effective way to start rock climbing. They work well for beginners who haven’t developed their preferred style of climbing yet. As you become more experienced, these shoes will still be usable until you’re ready to get a better pair that fits your skill level and budget.

With proper care, your shoes can last for years. This is enough time for you to get into the sport and decide whether or not you want to upgrade to a more specialized and expensive shoe.

Although I don’t use them as frequently now, they were very helpful to me when I was more active. Now that I have other shoes for different purposes, I don’t need these as much.

The Tarantulace is a versatile shoe that works well for beginner and experienced climbers alike. If you’re looking for an affordable, all-purpose shoe, the Tarantulace is perfect for you!

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