So about a year and a half ago I received a pair of La Sportiva Pythons from the crew at Outward Ventures. At first glance you will see a soft slipper type shoe that is apparently designed primarily for smearing, however this shoe can do much more than just smear well, the La Sportiva Python is still my favourite shoe to climb in because it has everything you need from a shoe and is absolutely astonishing as an all rounder shoe.
The first thing I was interested to see was if the heel would be solid and not slip off during a tense heel hook (as most soft slippers do), this shoe sorts that problem out with a single velcro straps which creates an epic amount of adjustment for people with different shaped feet. I have fairly wide feet so this strap makes this shoe the best fitting on me, no shoe has ever come close to fitting as comfortably and snug as the Pythons do.
The rubber on the heel is much softer than the rubber on the La Sportiva Solution’s which allows it to grip onto anything, whereas the Solution’s struggle because they are not sensitive enough, and that is what I love about the Pythons. You can feel absolutely everything throughout the whole shoe so instead of just plonking your heel onto something and hoping that it stays like you do with the Solutions, you can actually feel what is good and what is not – which is great when you are a beginner and are unsure of how to ‘heel hook’ well.
When you pull the Python on there is massive suction which is another awesome feature, this suction just gives you that extra bit of security when it comes to heel hooking.
The sole of the shoe has extremely sticky Vibram rubber which is considered the best all round climbing rubber. The Pythons sole is the softest La Sportiva have made, but still this shoe’s rubber lasted longer than a year even with constant climbing.
The Pythons were originally designed for competition gym climbing but I have found that these shoes are great for all climbing styles: slab, roof, sport, hard trad you name it! This shoe has pleased me with everything I thrown at them, which is why they will always be the greatest shoe that I have climbed with and I am looking forward to completing all my future projects with them.
My sponsors are La Sportiva and Wild Country Imported by Outward Ventures
La Sportiva Python review