La Sportiva TarantuLace

8.7
8.7 score
[Editors rating (8.7)] = (TheGearHunt) score (8.7)/10


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Editor rating: 8.7 / 10
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La Sportiva TarantuLace Review Facts

Rock climbing has been known to have been participating in since around 200 BC. It was an important part of Victorian Mountaineering which was done in the Alps. Today mountain climbing is an extremely popular sport due to its strategic thinking requirements and its strength building. There are different types of climbing including free climbing which is purely based on physical strength and requires equipment used only for safety measures. There is an aid, which is a method where weights are used to assist the climber in their climb, and also for safety. There is also bouldering which is shorter routes that is done without a safety rope. There is also solo where the climber climbs freely, alone, without the assistance of a belay (a tension strung, safety rope used to help the climber from calling). Climbing requires strategy, especially when climbing on a natural wall as opposed to a man-made one. Another item required when climbing is a proper pair of climbing shoes. Climbing cannot be done simply with a pair of runners. Runners do not offer the right amount of traction that a pair of climbing shoes offer. They are also not flexible enough to bend in a way that can grip smaller objects with the ball and toes of the foot.

This article focuses specifically on the La Sportiva TarantuLace. This popular climbing shoe was bought and reviewed numerous times. We looked at consumer reviews to get an idea of what climbers thought of the product. We wanted to know the good and the bad, the pros and the cons of it. We also looked at the materials used to make the product, as well as the shoe’s overall construction. We used this material to determine the product quality, its durability and its performance in comparison to other similar products on the market today. This is our review of the La Sportiva TaratuLace. We hope that this single product review assists you in your next climbing shoe purchase.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • No break-in time required
  • Easily fits wider feet 
  • Comfortable and supportive 
  • Great entry-level shoe
Cons
  • Outsole durability concerns
  • Lacing system durability concerns 
BREATHABILITY

BREATHABILITY

This product offers a leather upper with synthetic overlays in order to provide a tighter fit and better durability. Leather is not as breathable as other materials on the market, however, those who wore this product did not find that their feet got too hot. The tongue of this product, as well, offers a lining that helps keep moisture out and away from the inside of the shoe. Those who wore this product did not find that moisture entered the shoe either. Overall, though the breathability is low, very little reviewers found that their feet overheated throughout their climbs.
COMFORT

COMFORT

This product offers an unlined leather upper which hugs tight to the foot and offers a better flexibility to some synthetic alternatives. There are some synthetic materials in order to add some structure throughout the upper which also adds some durability to it. The lacing system is a quick lace system and allows for not only efficiency but also a better, more precise fit. This allows those wearing this shoe to act quicker due to the natural 'step' offered by a closer (but still comfortable) fit. The lined tongue of this product helps keep feet dryer which aids in the shoes overall comfort but also its secure fit. The support in this product is a neutral support which is ideal for long routes and deeper cracks. The asymmetry in this product is low which means that it offers more precision and focused power. Though this is positive it also means that it is not as comfortable as a more symmetrical shoe. This type of design is more for serious climbers and those already on the wall, not necessarily those walking around on the flat ground. This may cause some awkward feeling throughout the shoe. The stiffness of this shoe is supportive. These shoes are on the softer side which offers better comfort, as well as better precision. It also decreases foot fatigue which will make the climb more comfortable during.
DURABILITY

DURABILITY

This shoe is offered in both leather and synthetic throughout its upper. Leather is a highly durable material that is also weather-proof. The synthetic throughout acts as a support system to further reinforce the leather and create a more stable product. The outsole is made of La Sportiva's FriXion RS rubber material which is supposed to be an incredibly sticky and long-lasting material. The closure is a quick pull lacing system which is held together with the supporting synthetic material across the upper. Those who bought this product did find some issues with the rubber. Some reviewers found that it didn't even take a month before the rubber broke and the liner was exposed. Most found that in other similar options it would take between 3 to 6 months for this to happen. This, of course, is an issue. Others found that the rubber of this product peeled right off very shortly after first purchase. This can also be dangerous because the rubber is the primary grip system when climbing. Any broken or peeled off rubber can decrease the effectiveness of the climb and cause some slippage. Some reviewers also found that the eyelets of this product broke relatively easily. The quick lacing system is partially responsible for this issue. This is discussed in more detail below.
Size

Size

Typically this type of product does need to fit closer to the foot because it needs to rely on the flexibility of the foot in order to grip better. The thinner the material is and the more flexible the shoe, the more movement can be performed with by the foot. Leather is a popular choice for this type of product as well because it is quite flexible and can wrap around the foot with more ease than a synthetic material typically can. The issue with leather, though, is that leather stretches out and can loosen up. More room can cause some slippage, this is why it's important to size down when buying this product because it will stretch to a more comfortable fit without losing the integrity or usefulness of the product. This shoe does fit a little wider which is great for those with wider feet but may require even further sizing down for more narrow feet. Those who did size down did find some pinching around the toes initially, however, it does loosen out over time. This option is probably better for new climbers and for those with wider feet. It is important to remember that sizing down is required with this type of product due to the fact that they stretch out over time.
OUTSOLE

OUTSOLE

The outsole is made of a very sticky FriXion RS rubber which is 5 mm thick. This product was made specifically for bouldering, indoor climbing and sport/toprope climbing. Having a sticky outsole allows those wearing these to grip on rocks better. Due to the supportive stiffness, this shoe is ideal for precision. The stiffness of the shoe comes from the sole and tensioning system. This product offers a very support outsole. Those who wore this product did praise the shoe for offering a high level of grip and stickiness. The issue with this product is that the outsole seems to break down fairly easily which decreases the longevity of the shoe. As mentioned earlier in this article, this type of product should last for between 3-6 months of serious climbing but this product doesn't seem to last a month. Though the breakdown of this product doesn't necessarily render the product useless. It does, however, cause some frustration with some climbers. It can be dangerous depending on how badly the product breaks down. Some said they could see the liner right away, others found the outsole would start peeling relatively easily. Both of which are not ideal.
PRICE

PRICE

This shoe is quite affordable which is positive considering the comfort available here. The primary issue with this product is that it does seem to have less durability than comparable options on the market. There were no durability concerns throughout the upper, however, there did seem to be a fair number of complaints about the lack of durability throughout the outsole. This also decreases longevity. The outsole is extremely important, it is the difference between a secure and stable climb and a slippery one. Those who wore these did praise how inexpensive the cost is, however, also complained about its overall durability. These may be better suited for those who climb less frequently. This is also ideal for those with growing feet and for those on a budget. Overall, it's not a bad shoe, it can just use some better rubber material for the outsole, unfortunately. Some also found some issues with the eyelets of this product, saying that after the second lace the eyelet broke. This would decrease the stability and support of the shoe over time. Again, a bit of an issue.
STABILITY

STABILITY

This product offers a quick pull lacing system and a lined tongue. This allows for a better and tighter fit to the foot. It also helps suit all foot types which includes unusual foot types. Those who wore this product found it both comfortable and supportive. The quick pull lacing system is both handy and secure. The issue with the lacing system is that there are some durability issues associated with them. As mentioned earlier in this article, the eyelets seem to break fairly easily which will greatly affect the stability of this product. The lacing system is a key factor to the product stability.
THE BOTTOM LINE

THE BOTTOM LINE

Overall, this shoe is probably better suited for beginner to intermediate climbers. This is a great entry level shoe. It offers a high level of stability throughout its upper between the leather, synthetic material, and the lacing system. It fits very close to the foot in order to offer a better level of flexibility and control with each foot placement. This is a more neutral fit which is ideal for longer routes and deeper cracks as opposed to a more aggressive shoe which is typically better for downturned and tensioned climbs. The symmetry is asymmetric which is ideal for precision and focused power. It doesn't necessarily make the shoe a comfortable one to walk around in but that isn't the purpose of this shoe. The stiffness is supportive which is ideal for more precision and also offers a softer feel to the shoe. It keeps the shoe closer to the foot and also more comfortable. Those who wore these liked the comfort and its stability, however, there were quite a few issues with the outsole. There seems to be a quick break, wear, and tear of this product. Peeling also seemed to be a bit of an issue. This, of course, starts to affect the tread of the product and therefore the grip which is a big issue. It seems that if they are used a little less then the tread lasts longer (obviously) and so this is why it might be better for those just starting out or for those who climb less often. They are really well priced which makes up a bit for the lack of quality throughout the outsole. They also are great for those with wider feet. Overall, this shoe is ok. It is great for new climbers, growing feet and for those on a budget.