Climbing Up the Walls

I broke down and bought new climbing shoes on Friday. I’ve had one pair of La Sportiva shoes since I started climbing in the summer of 1995. Of course, the rand has worn out a few times so I’ve had them resoled by Chief Sweet Feet at local climbing gym. I’ve been very happy with the comfort and performance of the shoes, but over the years the leather has deteriorated to the point where layers are splitting off. The shape of my feet tends to limit what shoes will work for me; the toe next to my large toe is fairly long and my heel tends to feel loose in many of the shoes I’ve tried on. So it wasn’t much of a surprise when I walked out of my local REI with a pair of La Sportiva Mythos shoes.The Mythos have gotten favorable reviews. They are *very* similar to my old pair, though I think they are quite a bit more expensive than the old ones originally cost. However, if the shoes last just as long as the old pair, I think it’ll be worth it.They have very similar rand coverage, feel just as comfortable and are annoyingly similar in the fact that they are dyed a decidely feminine purple color (the old pair is white with light-purple laces and tongues). I was really hoping to get a pair that was at the very least gender-neutral in color, but I prefer performance over looks. I’m not sure what La Sportiva was thinking when they chose the colors for this higher-end model of shoe. Comfortable with my masculinity and hardly the slave to fashion, I went with them anyway.One feature I wish they had was C4 Stealth rubber compound that FiveTen shoes use. The Vibram XSV rubber isn’t quite as sticky, but I’ll have to make do until the shoes need to be resoled.

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