September 26, 2021

La Sportiva Tarantulace Review: Sending Fundamentals

4 min read

The La Sportiva Tarantulace is one of La Sportiva’s climbing shoe designs that is built specifically for beginner-level climbers who are looking to build their knowledge and confidence at the crags. The RN45 asymmetric design for advanced performance on the rocks or climbing wall and semi-flexible sole to keep your foot comfortable and protected. It is available in black and poppy red, and flame red. 

La Sportiva Tarantulace Review

Main Features

Rubber Sole

The TarantuLace has a double-layered sole that combines 1.8mm of LaspoFlex rubber in the midsole and 5mm of Frixlio RS in the outer sole. 

The LaspoFlex is designed to give you comfort while also ensuring ideal sole flexibility. 

The main outer sole is made of a Durable Black FriXion RS rubber compound, which is designed for offering great grip and durability. It is stiff and hard-wearing, which ideal for beginning to mid-level climbers who are beginning to gain confidence on the rocks. The black FriXion RS is the stickiest of all FriXion rubbers, so climbers can trust their footing. The rubber runs up the heel rand to help climbers put their weight on microedges. 

The combination of the two rubbers helps to ensure a good grip and gives climbers confidence. It also means, however, that wearers will lose some of the sensitivity on the soles of their feet, which is why advanced climbers, who generally look for greater sensibility on their feet to feel the detailed textures and spaces on the crags beneath them, often stay away from this design. 

Lacing

The distinctive look of the laces is how this shoe got its name. The durable laces are strung through a synthetic overlay that lies on top of your foot rather than through traditional eyelets. This allows for minimum lace friction so you can adjust your lace as you wish. Together with a quick pull lacing harness, the lacing design allows for a snug and comfortable fit and lacing you won’t have to adjust as you train.  

Lined Tongue

Most of the TarantuLace shoe is made of unlined leather, which is comfortable, soft, and keeps your foot from slipping inside the shoe. However, your feed sweat while you climb, and this can become uncomfortable and cause your shoe to slip. 

To help manage the moisture that can cause your feet to feel uncomfortable or slip in climbing shoes, the La Sportiva TarantuLace climbing shoe has a lined shoe tongue. Even though the lined tongue is made of leather, it is breathable, comfortable, and soft. 

Comfort and Fit

The La Sportiva Tarantulace climbing shoe is made of unlined leather which is soft and very comfortable. The only lined part of the shoe is the tongue which helps to manage moisture and enhance the breathability of the shoe.

The RN45 shape is unique to the La Sportiva brand. It has low asymmetry to fit snugly around your big toe making it tolerable for beginners, while still delivering precision and power. 

The rubber sole combines 1.8mm of LaspoFlex rubber in the midsole and 5mm of Frixlio RS in the outer sole. Together, the rubbers offer support and grip, and a decent level of sensibility. Advanced climbers might find that the shoe is too stuff for their needs, but it can help beginner to middle-level climbers find their footing on their crags. 

This Climbing Shoe is Ideal For:

Beginning and mid-level climbers. The shape, support, grip, and fit all make this show ideal for climbers who are just starting out or who are looking to gain greater confidence on the rocks. 

More advanced climbers will likely be looking for a climbing shoe with greater flexibility and a more asymmetric shape, however, there are many advanced climbers who enjoy using the TarantuLace shoe for their longer climbs. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Accessible for different climbing levels: While it was designed for beginner to mid-level climbers, the quality and comfort of the fit makes this a diverse climbing show. 
  • Comfortable fit with the unlined leather to provide foot support. 
  • The lined tongue offers moisture control. 
  • Versatile for many terrains, including longer climbs.
  • Excellent grip, thanks to the Durable Black FriXion RS rubber sole.
  • Fits snugly thanks to the quick-pull harness.

Cons

  • Limited color options.
  • The ultra-grip rubber makes the sole slightly less sensitive than other designs.
  • Has a wider toe, which can make it difficult for climbers to squeeze their foot inside pockets.

Verdict

The La Sportiva TarantuLace Climbing Shoe is one of the highest performing shoes for beginning to middle-level climbers. Its asymmetric design and materials are well-combined to give new climbers the confidence to learn the fundamentals of good climbing form, like driving their weight and pushing hard on their big toes. It is no wonder it makes our list of best beginner rock climbing shoes.

The TarantuLace shoe is the perfect gateway shoe for climbers who climb at the gym or out in the open. As they gain confidence and practice, they will be prepared to take on higher performance shoes that are even more asymmetric and downturned.

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