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Climbing Shoes

La Sportiva Speedster

If you dipped your barefeet into a bucket of liquid rubber (yes, this has been tried) then went climbing you'd get roughly the same sensation as you would wearing La Sportiva's new slipper the Speedster -- the softest shoe I've ever worn.

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Speedster

$132 | www.lasportivausa.com | 5-stars

If you dipped your barefeet into a bucket of liquid rubber (yes, this has been tried) then went climbing you’d get roughly the same sensation as you would wearing La Sportiva’s new slipper the Speedster—the softest shoe I’ve ever worn and one of the very few that you can actually bend with your foot. What you wouldn’t get with a simple rubber coating, however, is the Speedster’s trick foot compression system of stretched rubber and elastic that generates a powerful climbing platform despite its softness. To keep it simple, the Speedster vacuums to your foot, squeezing it in all the right places, eliminating dead spots and giving you dime-edging capabilities.

The Speedster, like all super-soft shoes, shines on overhanging rock. Its cupped and pliable sole actually allows you to “grab.” (I put grab in quotes because a lot of shoes have been noted as having this ability, but, really, almost none of them are soft enough for you to flex with your foot.) Think of the Speedster as surgical gloves for your feet and you get the idea. Steep-rock sport climbers will marvel at the slipper’s seeming nothingness then be floored by how authoritative it climbs. That’s a tough combo to get right.

Fit the Speedster as tight as possible. I can just barely force my foot into mine, but once I’m in, the slipper is comfortable.

—DR

  • 4 Super thin yet precise sole.
  • 4Unlined—expect about a half size of stretch.
  • 4Vaccum packs your feet.
  • 4Excels on overhanging rock where you need to grab with your feet.
  • 4Available in sizes 32 to 45.