Downturned, asymmetric and a supple midsole.
A good car won’t fix a bad driver, but it’ll certainly make it harder for the bad driver to mess up. Likewise, the La Sportiva Testarossas will arguably improve your footwork. Their Goldilock construction makes them top-notch at edging, while still managing a soft, responsive feel. They’re branded as best on steep routes and hard bouldering, but I’d argue they’ll be your go-to pair for hard sport climbing on any route that requires precision, with a few exceptions.
The shoe’s real star power is the rand, midsole and toe-box design. The patented figure-8 slingshot (a split mid-shoe, rand-tension system that maximizes toe power) allows you to stand on the thinnest of edges. The midsole, which I’d rate at a three on a scale of 10 in stiffness, is still soft enough to offer feedback. Surprisingly, that softness also makes the shoes decent for smearing as well. And the toe box itself is made with a 3D Hytrel anatomical insert, which also serves to increase toe power by driving forces to the front of the shoe.
Originally released in 2003, the La Sportiva Testarossa 2.0 offers an updated heel cup, with more rubber coverage and a new design to better distribute pressure. The updates are a big improvement for those with narrow heels. The new heel sticks and will get the job done, although it’s still a bit shallow for my liking.
The shoe is constructed with 3.5 mm Vibram XS Grip 2 rubber and the upper is a combination of Lorica, a non-stretch synthetic, and leather. The shoe won’t give much in terms of stretch. After wearing them on a variety of terrain, from steep, glossy Rifle classics to vertical, pockety Shelf Road nail-biters, the rubber has worn evenly, although there’s still plenty of mileage left.
In exchange for a precise fit via the laces that go all the way to the toe, this shoe is lacking in the toe-rubber department. They will not be great for aggressive or comp-style toe-hooking. And despite the fact that they perform excellently on crimpy slab routes, they are not ideal for slab routes that are, say, over 100 feet. The aggressive construction will leave your feet begging to be released on long, lower-angle climbs.
At $200, these shoes are not cheap. But the performance you’ll get out of them will speak for itself. Fit true to size, but I’d recommend sizing a full number down from your other La Sportiva shoes.
La Sportiva Testarossa 2.0
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