La Sportiva Mythos Review Facts
Though mountain climbing has been around for numerous years it has become a little more trendy as of late. It can sometimes be hard to know where to start when it comes to rock climbing though. Things to consider are where you are starting out. There are numerous gyms that offer climbing walls, the walls are typically artificial and offer handholds and footholds up the wall that natural walls do not offer. This is ideal for those starting out in order to assist build the muscles and get a better understanding of the grip that is required to climb natural walls. Indoor gym walls also range in intensity and therefore are a better starting point for new climbers. This way the climber can start easier and work their way up to more advanced rather than rolling the dice on a natural wall. They also have proper, in-house equipment to learn the robes on (forgiving the pun). There are three types of indoor climbs: bouldering, leading and top roping. They range in difficulty and equipment required. Equipment ranges but the most important piece of equipment required for all beginners is a proper climbing shoe. Climbing shoes are different because they offer a more natural feel with an aggressive tread for the purpose of gripping better. A running shoe wouldn't work on a wall because the toe tends to be a little too thick on a running shoe and the tread is meant to grip pavement, not a little crack or rock on a wall.
This article focuses on the La Sportiva Mythos. Sportiva is a very popular climbing shoe brand starting in Italy. We looked at this particular model as a result of its popularity and as a result high review count. We wanted to look at what others thought of the shoe, from beginners to professionals. We looked at the materials used and the construction of the climbing shoe in order to determine it's flexibility, grip, and durability. We also looked at the shoes overall quality and design. This is our single product review of the La Sportiva Mythos. We hope that this article assists you with your next climbing shoe purchase.
The outsole of this product offers slip-lasted construction in order to offer a little more stickiness
to the bottom of the shoe. This allows those using the shoe to grip better onto both natural and artificial rocks. The outsole is made of a 4 mm Vibram XS Edge material with 1.8 rands. Vibram is a popular material used in climbing shoes due to its superior grip capabilities and durability. Those who wore the shoe found that the softness of the outsole allowed for better grip and feel of the rocks. They felt a closer grip to the rocks so that they could accurately move across the wall which is positive.
The midsole of this shoe is a narrow to medium fit which means that it offers a different type of support and stability to wider shoes. This product is ideal for bouldering as a result. They are neutral which is better for beginners but not as highly regarded by more advanced climbers, unfortunately (due to the lack of aggressive last). The midsole is 1.1 mm thick and made of La Sportiva's Laspoflex material. Laspoflex is moderately stiff and ideal for bouldering and edging
(discussed in more detail below). The benefit to this type of material, as well, is that it is soft enough to allow smearing (the act of pressing the sole directly against the rock, using friction to move upwards). Those who wore this product found that even though they could feel the rocks better the thin outsole/midsole may have lost some of the support and stability as a result.
The upper of this product is made of leather. Leather is a natural material with a natural stretch
to it. This will wrap around the foot better and offer a little more comfort and control to the climber. The upper is unlined for the purpose of a closer feel. Those who used this climbing shoe were impressed by the lightweight nature and the close fit of the shoe saying it fit like a glove. Being able to grip a surface and feel it under your foot gives the climber an advantage and is essential when starting out so this is a positive trait for newer climbers. The closure system of this shoe is lace up. Reviewers were happy with the strength and durability of the lacing system. It is meant for performance which is positive. They are also regularly reviewed as being quite reliable throughout the upper.
This shoe is quite lightweight which is positive. The shoe itself weighs about 536 grams which is quite light. Again, because the shoe is unlined there is less material required in order to make the shoe. Though this may have broken down some of the structural integrity that some might like in climbing shoes it definitely helps the weight of the shoe. In addition to the lack of lining, this shoe offers a 4 mm outsole, 1.1 mm midsoles and 1.8 mm rands. Overall this is a fairly light shoe.
This shoe offers a neutral last which is great for those starting out because it doesn't go to aggressive throughout the arch of the shoe. This will give the wearer a more natural fit and will not be hard to walk on flat ground with. The neutral nature of the shoe makes them a little better for less aggressive climbs and better for longer routes and cracks. The shoe is also quite soft in design which climbers found to be quite comfortable and offered a more natural step. The tongue is also lined and is made of La Sportiva's Dri-Best material which keeps moisture out of the shoe while also offering support to the ankle. Reviewers regularly regarded this shoe has being quite comfortable and easy to wear which is positive.
The shoe itself looks like a classic climbing shoe. It is more natural in color- camel with black outsoles. They are soft and easy to walk in so they don't need to bend as much when on flat surfaces which may extend the life of the shoe over time. It is a softer material though so it may wear out quicker at critical points. Overall, though, this is an attractive shoe.
This shoe is made of suede leather which is a highly durable and high abrasion material. Leather is beneficial and often used in climbing shoes because it is both flexible and durable, two qualities that don't often go hand-in-hand. Suede has natural give to it without breaking down the structural integrity too much. This product doesn't have many complaints in regards to durability luckily. The shoe is constructed well and many said they lasted them a long time. Because this shoe is for beginners, the price tag
doesn't quite make sense (discussed more below) but the cost is justified by the shoe durability which is positive.
This shoe has a toe cover that is both sensitive and made of Vibram which is a durable material. It helps protect the wearers toe against potential harm when on the wall. This shoe is quite thin though which means that they can't really be worn anywhere but the climbing wall (small rocks will eventually break down the outsole and start to wear it out).
The outsoles of this product are offered in 4 mm Vibram
XS Edging. This shoe is better for beginners due to its softness and less aggressive last. It is ideal for bouldering, indoor climbing, trad climbing and, sports climbing. The neutral nature of the shoe is great for longer routes and cracks which means that it will grip better in those areas than it will for downturned and tensioned climbing. This type of shoe is ideal for edging which is positive. Those who tried out this shoe found that it was great for bouldering but less so for aggressive climbs.
As mentioned earlier in this article, this shoe is quite thin. Those who wore this product regularly praised it for how sensitive they are and how well they could feel the rock beneath their feet. This product, again, is unlined and therefore there is less between the rock and the foot. This product is great in regards to sensitivity.
This product is also great for cracks and pocket as a result of their thinness, outsole grip and less aggressive last. This product was meant for cracks which means they can be used on both gym walls and natural walls assuming that the wall is an easier one.
This product is exclusively meant for climbing walls (indoors and outdoors). The reason for this is that it takes a very specific shoe to climb walls, this type of design isn't ideal for anything but climbing. The lasts are meant for pointing feet and the outsoles are really meant to grip on either smooth (artificial) or natural rocks. For these reasons, this shoe should be exclusively used for climbing on rock walls.
This product isn't terribly priced but maybe a little expensive for what it is. Typically when starting out you want to pay a little less for the shoe just because it is being used for less aggressive use and therefore requires less
. Because this product is better reserved for those starting out, it is a little expensive, unfortunately. Those who tried out this shoe found that because it really is a beginners shoe it is a little overpriced. One benefit, though, is that it does work well for smearing but there are alternatives that do the same thing for less. This should be considered before buying this shoe.
It offers an unlined leather upper which means greater sensitivity
Suede uppers which means a tighter and more comfortable fit to the foot
Dri-Best tongue which supports the ankle and keeps feet dry
Thin midsoles which are ideal for edging, bouldering and also sensitivity
Vibram outsoles which are sticky and durable
Narrow to medium fit- so ideal for beginners
Neutral design for longer routes and cracks
Low asymmetry for more precision and, again, sensitivity
Less stiff for better control when moving across the wall
The bottom line is that this shoe is a decent one. There weren't many complaints about the construction of the shoe so much as just the price of it considering what it is. It is definitely better for beginners, offering less of an aggressive last and a thinner outsole/midsole. Those who wore this product were very impressed by how soft and comfortable they are which is positive. They stretch well across the uppers to fit closer to the foot but also great for those who may have some feet swelling mid-climb. The lacing system is meant for better performance at a beginning level. They are really highly regarded, with a good customer service team as well. They are Italian made which usually indicates better leathers and overall quality. They do require trying on as a result of their more narrow design and this should be considered before buying them online (they may require sizing up). They are an attractive shoe as well which is a benefit. Overall, great for beginners, less so for those looking for something more aggressive or are participating in overhangs and tensioned climbing. For beginners, we definitely think these shoes are with a try.