This is going to be my first stab at reviewing one of my favorite products of all time. It’s been something I’ve wanted to write about for some time, but usually I have something exciting (at least for me…maybe not for you) in climbing going on that I want to share with the world. Currently however, I am just training alongside my short-term coaching job in Victoria, BC. Unfortunately, at the moment, it’s quite rainy so adventuring out to Horne Lake isn’t yet in the schedule, but hopefully it will be within the next couple weekends.
In the meantime lets talk about my favorite, and one of the best made, rock shoe out there!
This was my first pair of LaSportiva’s ever. I was 17 or 18 years old and at the time was more attracted to the colors and the fact that they were aggressive more than anything. Nearly 10 years later, they are still my go-to shoe because they are functional, comfortable (to my poor toes that are used to wearing shoes 3 sizes too small), and fit perfectly.
This is an aggressive shoe that is certainly amazing on steep climbs that you may encounter at the gym, local bouldering area or sport crags. But they are also a great shoe for more vertical climbs as well due to their sensitivity. The shoes are made with a special technology called bi-lateral stretch, which allow for the best edging out there. The technology combines the use of two different materials to get the shoe to form perfectly to each individuals foot. The materials are leather, which stretches in the areas you want your shoe to stretch, and Lorica®, which is a stretch-less material so the shoe doesn’t become too soft once you break them in. The combination of materials certainly leads to the best fit on the market. I typically downsize my Testarossa by a half size compared to my Pythons and a full size compared to my Solutions.
I have a difficult time heel hooking in some shoes because the rubber on the back is too thin or the heel itself is just too big. But I do not run into this problem with the Testarossa’s. Instead, the rubber is perfectly thin and the heel fit isn’t too deep therefore this lends the Testarossa to be a perfect shoe for technical heel hooks. When I know I will need to send my project using heel hooks (which is often because heel hooks for me are like knee bars to others) I make sure to grab a pair on my way out of the door.
One of my absolute favorites about the Testarossa is that the shoe is wonderful out-of-the-box. There’s no need to break them in for good performance like many shoes. Literally, you put them on, get on the wall and they feel great; not too stiff and awkward. I can pull out a fresh pair 2 days before a big competition and wear them without any hesitation during the event. This is one of many reasons why they are my go-to shoe.
The Testarossa’s run about $175 USD, which is pretty high in the spectrum of rock shoes, but you will not be disappointed. I know many people who prefer to have both a bouldering shoe and and sport shoe, but I’m here to tell you that the Testarossa will be the shoe that knocks out two birds with one stone. And therefore in the long run will probably save you some bucks.
I have used the Testarossa for all of my hardest sends in bouldering and sport climbing as well as in all of my National Championships and World Cups.
Fingerhut, Joe’s Valley, V10 (unedited) April 2013 (of course wearing Testarossas! ) Video by: Dan Michels
I hope this review is useful to all of you! Best of luck!