La Sportiva Tarantula Beginner Rock Climbing Shoe

Editor rating

4.5/5 on February 14, 2017

User's rating

96 reviews

Rock climbing walls are becoming a lot more commonplace these days in gyms and college campuses all across America, and if you’ve ever get the chance to play on one, you will quickly see why, as they are a lot of fun. In gyms or climbing centers indoor rock climbing is an excellent way to stay in shape through the cold winter months and a fresh way to meet new people.

I have a gym membership, and recently I started getting kind of bored with my regular exercise routine and decided to give the climbing wall a try. I’ll tell you right now, it’s a lot of fun and really addicting, and I believe that this might just become my new favorite activity. However, to put the right foot forward, you have to take the first step and get a pair of shoes specially designed for the sport. We chose a pair of La Sportiva Tarantula Beginner’s Rock Climbing Shoes. First things first, though: here is a rundown of the very appealing features of this pair of rock-climbing shoes:

  • Rounded edge
  • Adjustable hook-and-loop closure
  • Designed for all around climbing
  • Unlined upper
  • Fits comfortably with low asymmetry

Breakdown of the Features

If you are just starting out, then your shoes are going to be your first investment, and you don’t want to be cramming your foot into something terribly uncomfortable. If you are keeping things simple than you won’t need an extra snug lace-up shoe to make everything as tight as possible. Also, it helps to get used to a relaxed climbing shoe before going head first into climbing, so your feet have a chance to get used to things. These shoes are made for all terrains, so you should be able to take them anywhere once you get them broken in.

You’ll also want to order a half size (or in some cases a whole size) down from your regular street shoes. Keep in mind, these rock-climbing shoes are designed to help your foot grip the sides of walls, and you don’t want your foot to wiggling around or slipping inside of it. So, when you try them on make sure they are snug. This will also help with sensitivity, and make it easier to detect ridges and bumps through the shoe and improve your climbing capabilities. The unlined upper allows for more flexibility, along with the general design of the product. Those who want climbing for more than just rock-climbing will find solace in the design of this shoe – especially beginners who are having trouble finding that shoe.

First Impression of the Product

My first Impression of these shoes was very positive, and like the name suggests they will allow you to climb all over the place like the spider you’ve always dreamed of being. I was most surprised at how comfortable these shoes are. I have recently picked up rock climbing at my gym on the indoor climbing wall and hope to be good enough come this summer to take my skills to the Red River Gorge, in Daniel Boone National Park in Kentucky for some low-level bouldering. There are a wide variety of climbing difficulties there, and it’s such a beautiful place that I want to be able to take some adventures off the beaten path, so to speak. Rock climbing, whether indoor or outdoor, is a great way to keep fit and it challenges both the mind and the body. If you’ve heard of La Sportiva, you already know that they are one of the most trusted brands in the industry. In knowing this, I plan on putting them to real test come May when I take them out into the real world and see how they hold up. We have to say that so far, they have been doing a bang up job.

The Advantages of the Product

There are several advantages this shoe provides its wearer that will be vital for learning how to climb safely. Again, its rounded edge helps create traction and grip the sides of walls, which you will want in both indoor and outdoor climbing. I would say they also come on and off easily and has a flat sole and round toe, so your toes don’t get super squished up in the front. I can where these things at the gym for about two hours, and the only things that get sore are my muscles.

The aforementioned pair of shoes is designed for all around terrain, which is a great way to get started. I think it’s best to start with a shoe that is a little good at everything rather than really great at one thing. The last real benefit of going with these as opposed to the competition is the price. You definitely won’t have to pull out your savings for these ones, and they are of high quality.

The Disadvantages of the Product

I don’t think this would be a good choice for anything more complicated than a climbing wall or some light bouldering out in the wilds of nature. They are a really good set of shoes for what I’ve been doing with them so far, but I’m sure if I were 50 feet above the ground I would want something a little tighter than the closure really allows this shoe to get and a little harder for my foot to slip out of it.  Also, since it is advertised as an all-terrain shoe that means that it’s not specifically designed to be particularly useful in specific situations, like pulling your feet out of cracks for example. Again, I have only used it on the inside course and haven’t taken it out into the world yet, but I would be interested to see how they perform in different positions. Overall, for their intended purpose, the performance is pretty good, and the disadvantages don’t directly relate to their purpose.

What’s in the Box?

Unfortunately, there aren’t any fancy accessories that come along with this pair of shoes. It doesn’t need laces, so I can’t imagine what else you would want it to come with, though! It’s a great set of shoes, and you get what you pay for both in performance and accessories for this product.

The Final Verdict

Overall, I think this is a great beginner’s rock climbing shoe. If you have some particularly rocky or intense climbs in mind, you might want to get something a little more aggressive than this and probably with laces. But, if you are just a beginner and you are simply looking for some shoes you can kick around in the gym then these La Sportiva Tarantula Beginner’s Rock Climbing Shoes will get you started on off on the right foot.