Better climbing with this form-fitting shoe
September 4, 2008
“Beefy” was all my friend Jamie had to say about my old climbing shoes. At the time, I had no idea what she meant.
But as I broke the shoes in, I began to realize that “beefy” wasn’t a good thing. They were bulky, with almost too much rubber on the sole, and I couldn’t feel what I was doing with my feet. It felt like I was wearing bowling shoes to climb rock.
So, when the time came to look for my next pair of climbing shoes, I wanted something form-fitting, but that wouldn’t squeeze my feet too tightly. I found all that and more in the La Sportiva Mythos.
This shoe is lightweight and snug so I can feel the rock, yet it provides enough support for edging. The profile is small enough to allow great wedging in cracks. It is unlined in order to stretch to the exact shape of your foot. I can just barely cram my foot into a size 34, but the shoes have begun to mold to my foot like gloves; they’re almost comfortable enough to wear all day long.
The $120 Mythos is very snug, but it doesn’t tear into the tops of my toes. Maybe some climbers want that grip, but for me it is too excruciating to even remotely enjoy a climb. On my first route in the new shoes I could actually feel the rock, and I didn’t have all that “beefy” rubber separating me from the tiny holds that suspended me 30 feet above the ground.
The shoes do not make the climber, but I feel the snug fit of these shoes has improved my climbing performance.