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La Sportiva Mythos Review


Climbing Shoes

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Price:   Varies from $112 - $140 online  —  Compare at 5 sellers
Pros:  Comfortable, can wear all day, great in crack
Cons:  Not the best at edging, can be tricky to size just right
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   La Sportiva

Overview

The Mythos are one of the oldest climbing shoes out there and still one of the best selling. They stand out for just how soft and comfortable they are. The soft unlined leather is cozy the first day you put it on and stretches as the temps increase and your feet swell. The unique lacing system helps keep this snug but overall this is not to be confused with a high performance edging shoe like the La Sportiva Miura or Five Ten Anasazi VCS. It is much better as an all day cragging shoe or just a shoe for someone who values all-day comfort over micro-edging. If you are looking for for an all-day trad shoe with more edging performance, consider the La Sportiva TC Pro.

RELATED: Our complete review of climbing shoes - men's

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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
Chris McNamara
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Sunday
April 18, 2010

Performance Comparison



Likes


This is probably the most comfortable shoe on the market. If you want to stand in a shoe all day, this is it. Anyone who has foot issues (such as bone spurs or injuries) should try these. This shoe also excels at cracks as the "flat foot" position and narrow toe help you wiggle you toes in (as opposed to more aggressive-shaped shoes that bunch your toes up). These have a great shape for smearing but it seems like the stickier Vibram XS Grip rubber would be more appropriate that the XS Edge rubber these use.

Dislikes


I have had a little trouble sizing mine just because they stretch so much and have a different toe position than most other shoes. I really recommend climbing around on them a lot and erring on the side of too small. They don't edge all that well and over time, they tend to get a little sloppy. If you break a lace, relacing them is a major project.

Value


The price is a little on the expensive side but people who buy this shoe tend to love it and use them forever.

Other Versions


La Sportiva Mythos - Women's
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  • Cost - $140
  • Women's version
  • Great for women with narrow feet

Click to enlarge
La Sportiva Katana Lace
  • Cost - $165
  • Editors' Choice Award Winner!
  • Lace up version of the Katana
  • Laces allow for greater adjustability

La Sportiva Nago - Men's
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  • Cost - $100
  • Edges well and is quite comfortable
  • One of our favorite shoes in its price range
Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: December 1, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (4.1)

86% of 14 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
15 Total Ratings
5 star: 40%  (6)
4 star: 27%  (4)
3 star: 33%  (5)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 16 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Dec 1, 2016 - 05:08pm
La-riv · Climber · UT
This shoe is extremely comfortable but I found that the leather stretches over time and therfore leads to a looser fit. If you are looking for a really comfortable shoe which has better sensitivity in my opinion try the TC Pro

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jun 23, 2016 - 08:03am
Bent_gate · Climber · India
I see how dated the last reviews are, and I wonder why this gem of a shoe isn't getting enough love. I live and climb around Bangalore, India. I boulder, sport climb and trad climb to a smaller extent. Other shoes I currently own include TC Pro, Solutions, and Tenaya Masai. I have owned and climbed in 5.10 Coyotes, La Sportiva Mambas, and a bunch of other shoes whose names I don't recall now.

These are brilliant shoes for slabs and crack climbing, without doubt. They edge pretty decently. If you complain about their edging quality, say versus TC Pro or Solutions, they certainly lack that edge, but I wouldn't entirely blame them on the shoes alone. I have been consistently climbing 5.11 slabs (which means pretty thin edges), and overhanging routes in these. I can boulder upto V3-V4 lines in the Mythos. But admittedly, I have to swap to TC Pro or Solutions for anything harder or projects.

Since, I live in India, my major problem is getting shoes resoled, and these are easy shoes to resole with a local cobbler, provided I have the rubber.

These are durable as hell. The leather quality is fantastic. Relacing is a project as the main article points out. You need 165 cms or longer laces to be able to relace. Accessory cord of 2mm may work, but threading through entire length of the shoe can be a bit of a work. Having said that, the laces are quite durable, and you may not have to relace often, atleast as often as resoling the shoe.

Sizing: This is the big catch. I am street size 9.5 US. I wear size 41 in TC Pro and Solutions for performance, and 41.5 for comfort. In Mythos, size 40 is what works.

At $140, they may still seem steep, but I think these will last atleast four-five years with multiple resoles, and are well worth the price tag.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Nov 1, 2014 - 12:01am
I have been using Mythos for almost 10 years. I buy one two pairs every year and have the shoes resoled once or twice. I have noticed that the quality of the shoes have degraded significantly. The leather tends to be thin and fragile at places, the stitches do not last. Sometimes there are also defects of the rubber. I returned a couple of pairs recently. My friend had similar issues with the Mythos, her last pair lasted only three weeks - a large tear appeared on the side of the shoes where the leather was paper thin. Mythos are great crack shoes by the design but I would not recommend them until La Sportiva addresses the quality issues.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Oct 31, 2014 - 06:38pm
Your comment on the rubber is spot-on in my opinion. The women's shoe does have the XS Grip rubber. I bought the men's version at the gym because REI didn't have any women's shoes the night before I left for Indian Creek. In the subsequent 6 months, I took 2 falls on terrain well within my abilities. Both times my foot popped off a smear that I expected to hold. Maybe I'm making excuses and maybe I'm just trained on the stickier rubber on the women's shoe (which I've climbed in for years). In any case, I replaced the men's shoes with women's a month ago and was pretty happy with that decision above a 50 foot factor 2 fall on easy slab.

Without the women's version, I would recommend these for sure. But after this experience, I'm likely to recommend the women's version to all climbers. The leather stretches and the fit is forgiving, so the narrower fit should not be an issue for most people. In my case, the men's shoe did not feel too wide.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jul 8, 2014 - 03:14pm
dpgraham · Climber · Dallas
These are the comfiest shoes ever. Be aware they stretch a full size because of the leather. But the intense lacing system goes around your heel so you can adjust as the shoe stretches but still maintain the extreme comfort.
With that comfort though there are cons like edging, and using edges, and anything with an edge.
The price on these isn't really great either.
On the flip side, this shoe smears very well, only shoe better at smearing is moccasym. But I think crack climbing with mythos doesn't hurt as much as the moccasym since there is a little more there to protect your feet (with that the laces get chewed up in cracks). This shoe isn't designed for heel hook, toes hooks but it can totally be done.
I recently resoled, on my own (looks like crap), with stealth c4 and can't wait to try on slab.

I'd say all together a great shoe but if you're looking for something as an all a rounder, maybe something that can edge a little better. I think there are shoes out there that smear almost as well but can still edge. for that reason 3 stars.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Feb 4, 2011 - 11:30pm
Hummerchine · Climber · East Wenatchee, WA
These are probably the best rock shoe that has ever been made! They fit every foot size; only problem is, you have to buy them REALLY small and suffer until they stretch out to custom fit your foot. After 30+ years of avid climbing and MANY pairs of these shoes, I've switched to Katana's, and now the Miura VS, which is my current favorite. Everything considered the Mythos is hard to beat, but I now like to buy a shoe that fits my foot immediately without the initial suffering…

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Feb 4, 2011 - 09:47am
locker · Climber · CO
Once you get them rip that rubber off those babies, slap some FiveTen C4 rubber on them and you're "GOOD ta GO!!!"…

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Sep 6, 2010 - 01:53pm
guyman · Climber · Moorpark, CA.
If the shoe fits, wear it.

Wow, I have used only Mythos for the last decade.

I have sort of wide feet, with high arches.

The lace system is very adjustable and takes some thinking about it to customize to your feet.

I buy em very snug because they do stretch out. For special hi-performance I buy a pair about 1/2 to one size smaller than my normal ones. I will bust these out for hard/thin edging, 5.12 ish is my max on slabs.

They do everything else very well except off-width….. your ankles will get bloody.

I do recommend these, if they fit your feet.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Aug 24, 2010 - 04:46pm
fiddler · Climber · North Reading, MA
These are superb shoes, though not the highest-performance. They fit like gloves, smear well, are decent in cracks, and are absolutely painless on my particular feet. The fancy lacing system seems to help mold the shoe around the foot. The trade-off is that they have very little lateral stiffness, and so are less than optimum for small edges. At one full size down from my street shoes (euro 42 vs. US 10) I can climb in them all day, and could comfortably wear 'em as bedroom slippers. Unless you're climbing edgy 5.12 and up they're the true all-day all-around shoe. They stretch a lot at first (half a size or more), then seem to stabilize. And they resole well, so the initial cost becomes less annoying with time.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Aug 23, 2010 - 07:22pm
 
H · Climber · there and back again
Finally,
A product I am familiar with. Thanks Chris.

Over the years I have had an opportunity to try many shoes. And this is my shoe of choice. They fit my feet perfectly and I can wear them all day. the only drawback I can say is if you ever have to replace the laces its a pain.
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   Aug 23, 2010 - 07:00pm
ExtraBlue · Climber · the ford VT
The real question is why La Sportiva even bothers making other shoes. This is it. Size tight for climbing and after 5 years wears socks with them and use em as techy approach shoes.
-1/2 a point that they dont come in purple anymore

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Aug 23, 2010 - 04:45pm
Brokedownclimber · Climber · Douglas, WY
This a very comfortable climbing shoe for me, as it fits my foot very well; I have very narrow feet.

The upside on perfomance, is it smears and frictions very well and is suited for climbing thin cracks, since the toe is somewhat pointed.

The downside is the shoe doesn't have a midsole without much lateral stiffness, and tiny edges are a bit problematic. It is also a low cut shoe without ankle protection in wide cracks--anything wider than fist will be painful or bloody unless you tape your ankles.

Overall, I think it is a great general purpose shoe, capable of being worn all day.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Aug 23, 2010 - 04:32pm
 
caughtinside · Climber · Davis, CA
For narrow feet. Didn't fit my fat dogs.
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   Jun 28, 2010 - 03:07pm
karodrinker · Climber · San Jose, CA
Had these for the last few months. Bought large enough to wear socks with. Great for pure cracks and long routes, crappy for hard edging/bouldering (probably because of large size/ sloppy fit).

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jun 28, 2010 - 11:34am
Mark Hudon · Climber · Hood River, OR
My go to shoe!

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jun 22, 2010 - 01:30pm
ps · Climber
A great shoe, for cracks and for sport.

I like the shape of the toe of this shoe for my feet. My second toe is longer than my big toe, so it matches the shape of this shoe since the tip of the shoe is more centered, unlike most curved sport shoes that have the tip centered over to the big toe side.

Reinforcement: These shoes stretch a lot. You have been warned.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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