REVIEW: La Sportiva Tarantulace Women’s Climbing Shoes

Review of: Tarantulace
Women's Climbing Shoe:
La Sportiva

Reviewed by:
On November 10, 2018
Last modified:January 14, 2019


A super comfortable all-around women's climbing shoe for the climber looking for one shoe to do it all. The synthetic leather overlay lacing harness adds great support for entry to mid level climbers and the unlined leather is comfortable and soft. The aggressive rubber heel rand lets you stand in micro edges and the FriXion® RS rubber is hard wearing yet sticky for long life. This is great shoe for gym climbers and outdoor climbers that need a one-quiver shoe that does it all.


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I decided to buy these shoes after my co-worker convinced me to try out our local climbing gym. I had decided I wanted to continue going after a couple of trips, but didn’t want to have to pay for rental shoes every time that I went, so I ventured out to our local Pack Rat with my climbing friend to invest in a pair of good beginner climbing shoes. Obviously I knew enough about fit and sizing and with the help of my friend and the very helpful employee at Pack Rat, I decided on La Sportiva’s Women’s Tarantulace Climbing Shoes (thankfully both my feet are the same size!)


Functionality (5) 
I never had any issues with the shoes when it came to function. The Durable FriXion® RS rubber on the bottom of the shoes and the toe and heel was great, even as new shoes that I was breaking in, I didn’t have any issues or much discomfort. They were great on the wall as well as on all shapes and sizes of holds. The were comfortable and fit well on my long narrow feet. Even walking around in them didn’t bring much discomfortable either.


Design & Aesthetics (5) 
Due to the fact that I’m actually a Graphic Designer, the design of the shoe was actually very important to me (as sad and materialistic that might sound). I loved the appearance and color of these shoes. They were bright and welcoming and had a cool “bad-ass” female feel to them. I was super excited to be wearing them at the gym! Everyone told me to pick shoes that had velcro straps, but due to the fact that I have very narrow feet, I wanted control over the fit in certain areas of the bridge of my foot, so I wanted laces instead of velcro. The overall design of the shoe was perfect and I have no complaint. The two loops on the back of the shoe were my person favorite feature of the shoe. I could easily put a finger in each one to get the snug-fit shoe on my foot and it made it easy to use a carabiner and attach to my backpack or water bottle when carrying them.


Durability (2) 
The shoes did very well as far as durability use in the gym as far as wear and tear for climbing shoes. I was hitting the gym maybe 2-3 times a week (sometimes less) and climbing for 2-3 hours at a time. The shoes endured sweat, tons of chalk, jumping, standing, climbing, etc. Nothing a normal beginner climber wouldn’t be doing. Due to the climbing gym being about 45 minutes away from where I lived, I would keep my shoes in my car so I wouldn’t forget them. At one point they got put in my trunk for a hot week while I was moving apartments and when I took them back out, the glue that held the rubber sole to the shoe started coming apart drastically. I had maybe had these shoes for 3 months tops when this started happening. The shoes are still usable, however the soles are taking more wear and tear and separating more with frequent use which I wasn’t happy about.


Value (3) 
These shoes retail at $80.00 on the La Sportiva website which was the price that I paid in store as well. I wasn’t unhappy with the price of the shoe until after the glue separation happened on the sole. I was fine paying the price originally because I was going for comfort and design as a beginner as opposed to the cheapest thing that I could find. But, after the durability issue, I wish I had of just gone with the cheapest pair instead of now having to go out and buy a new pair soon.


Overall, I was fairly happy with the function of these shoes. They were super comfortable to wear while climbing and I liked having full-control over the comfort and fit of the shoe on my foot. However, with the sole coming apart just after 3-4 months of use, I definitely am going to look at different brands of shoes this time around.

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