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Climbing Shoes

La Sportiva Venom

The Venom loves bouldering and hisses with pleasure when the angle gets steep.

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La Sportiva Venom, $115

  • Steep rock: 5 Star
  • Face climbing: 3 Star
  • Long routes: 1 Star
  • Upper: Leather, unlined
  • Sole: 3.5mm Vibram XSV

The Venom loves bouldering and hisses with pleasure when the angle gets steep. Similar to La Sportiva’s Testarossa, the aggressive down-turned last gives big-toe focus and precision, and the sharp toe sniffs out small holds. The sole is plenty sensitive, but the addition of a thin midsole gives it a significant edge over many of its steep-rock competitors. A stretchy rubber mesh atop the forefoot accesses a host of hitherto unusable foot-scum options. This shoe runs large; anticipate wearing it several sizes smaller than your street shoes.

+ Best steep-rock shoe. Rages on gym routes, bouldering and the steepest sport climbs.

– Urghh—available in venomous black-yellow-green.