Gear Review: La Sportiva Tarantulace Women’s Climbing Shoe
Like any other sport, climbing requires a special kind of shoe to help perform the activity. A pair that allows the climber to grip holds or rock with their feet and hopefully not slip while moving. Plus, be fitted so that there is minimal friction between the shoe and the foot.
For climbing shoes in general, there are two models of shoes made, leather and synthetic. Both kinds have rubber soles for stickiness. They can come with either laces or Velcro straps.
The Sportiva Tarantulace is an unlined, leather lace-up shoe that I wear when I’m climbing. What I like about the Tarantulace is how well they fit my feet. One wants to have a snug fit but not too tight. From what I have heard from other climbers is an indication that a pair is tight enough is if the toes curl a little when wearing the shoes. As I mentioned earlier, the less friction the feet have on the shoe the better.
One reason I went for the Tarantulace is because the shoelaces let me adjust how tight they should be. I have tried a few climbing shoes with the Velcro straps and I didn’t like them as much. They just weren’t a good fit.
Another reason I wanted the Tarantulace is because they were reviewed as good starter shoes for climbing. They are labeled as low asymmetry shoes which means they have a slight downturn and point in the toes. One can though walk around in them comfortably before and after climbing. These shoes can also be worn in a climbing gym or climbing outdoors. However, these are not for everyday use.
Getting the Right Fit
I will say this, I waited a while until I bought my climbing shoes. Because as one’s foot technique gets better, they might shrink in shoe size. That’s happen to me. I started with a size 6 and now wear a 4.5. Yes, I have small feet. As a precaution, if you are thinking about buying climbing shoes, wait on them until you know what size you’ll need.
When researching climbing shoes, the thing to keep in mind is what fits well with your feet? Try on multiple pairs to see what works. Every brand and model is a little different. Just like regular shoes. Leather climbing shoes will stretch over time with use whereas synthetics won’t. I have seen some of that with mine. On the flip side, I have found that the synthetics are stiffer than the leather shoes.
Trying the New Shoes Out
After buying shoes, it will take time to get used to them. It’s due to the stiffness and how tight they feel on the feet. The first couple of times I climbed in mine I had to take them off shortly afterwards because they hurt my feet. I’ve been told this is normal until they are broken in. So take it easy during the first few climbs with them on.
Overall, I would recommend the Tarantulace to anyone who is thinking about getting a starter pair for climbing. I really liked the look of them. They fit well on my feet and the rubber soles have a good grip on holds. I haven’t tried them outside yet but hope to in the near future. I will update the review once I do so.