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La Sportiva Finale - Women's Review

For an introductory shoe, the Finale provides sticky rubber sole and a comfortable, leather design.
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Price:  $99 List | $89.99 at Amazon
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Relatively inexpensive, sticky rubber soles, comfortable
Cons:  Less durable than other Sportiva models
Manufacturer:   La Sportiva
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 29, 2017
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 12
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Sensitivity - 25% 7
  • Edging - 15% 8
  • Cracks - 15% 7
  • Pockets - 15% 5
  • Ease of Use - 5% 6

The Skinny

The La Sportiva Finale is La Sportiva's introductory climbing shoe. These shoes are unlined and made up of a leather and microfiber upper. They are designed to focus on comfort above all else since new climbers will undoubtedly be turned off by tight-fitting uncomfortable shoes right off the bat. That said, the Finale still totes some of the best features that La Sportiva has to offer. They lack the craftsmanship of the more expensive Sportiva shoes, but still have the same sticky rubber soles, which is a plus. Overall, we were slightly let down by the Finale, though the shoes do have their place as a relatively inexpensive beginner shoe.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The La Sportiva Finale is marketed as a beginner shoe for those just getting into climbing. This contender is comfortable, soft, and versatile. This versatility makes them a decent introductory shoe, as you can use them on a variety of climbing styles before settling on something more specific.

Performance Comparison


The Finale are a beginner shoe  with exceptional rubber  making them a good option for the all-around climber.
The Finale are a beginner shoe, with exceptional rubber, making them a good option for the all-around climber.

Comfort


This metric is where the Finale shines, as they are designed to be worn for long periods of time, whether in the gym or outdoors on long moderate routes. The Finale was the most comfortable lace-up shoe we tested this time around and closely compares to the La Sportiva Tarantulace regarding fit and comfort. Both models are designed to be an introductory shoe. The Finale does seem to fit better on a narrower foot, so those with wider feet may not feel the same level of comfort that the Finale is meant to achieve.

Working our way up some slabs in the Sportiva Finale.
Working our way up some slabs in the Sportiva Finale.

Sensitivity


The shape of the toe box and sole make the Finale a decent shoe for small footholds, but the shoe overall lacks the precision of more shaped shoes. We did find that the Vibram XS Edge 5mm rubber was as sticky and trustworthy as the other Sportiva shoes in this review, such as the Sportiva Kataki. We did note that out of the box, the rubber was less crisp than the other new shoes in this review, and made them seem less sensitive overall.

Edging


The Finale performed surprisingly well as an edging shoe. Though they are not stiff at all, they hold their own on small edges and holds. Similar to the Miura, the Finale has a tensioned heel rand and a Powerhinge that provides support underfoot, improving edging performance. It was one of the top performers in this metric and was bested only by the Editors' Choice award-winning Kataki.

The Finale perform best on vertical terrain with small footholds  much like their more expensive and advanced cousin the Miura.
The Finale perform best on vertical terrain with small footholds, much like their more expensive and advanced cousin the Miura.

Cracks


As a crack climbing shoe, the Finale performs fairly well thanks to their flat sole and soft midsole. The leather and microfiber upper provides padding and will take the brunt of the wear when jamming these shoes into cracks. The shape is similar, though even less aggressive than our Top Pick for Crack Climbing, the Anasazi LV. Overall, the Finale is a decent option for moderate trad climbing.

Jammed into cracks  the Finale are soft and flexible enough to feel comfortable.
Jammed into cracks, the Finale are soft and flexible enough to feel comfortable.

Pockets


Pockets may not be the Finale's forte, since the shoe is not designed to aggressively toe into pockets or small holds, per say. The toe box is fairly symmetrical, and lacking the talon-like shape of shoes like the Mad Rock Lotus, the La Sportiva Sportiva Solution, and the La Sportiva Kataki. This makes the Finale less of a precision tool than these aggressive models, though each of those models costs substantially more.

Ease of Use


For a lace-up shoe, the Finale is a high scorer in the ease of use department. The laces are easy to undo and do not get stuck in the leather eyelets (which occasionally happens with the La Sportiva Miura). Another positive feature of the Finale is the fact that it is straightforward to loosen the laces all the way down into the toe box, making them adjustable and easy to get on and off.

Trusting our feet in the Finale was a little scary  but the XS Edge rubber soles are confidence inspiring.
Trusting our feet in the Finale was a little scary, but the XS Edge rubber soles are confidence inspiring.

Best Applications


These are a beginner shoe through and through. They are inexpensive, comfortable, and designed to work well for a wide range of climbing styles. They can edge, jam into cracks, and you can wear them for hours without pain and they are easy to put on and take off.

Value


For $99, the Finale is one of the least expensive shoes in this review. Only the La Sportiva Tarantulace — Women's are less expensive, sold for $80 online. Both of these shoes are good options for an introductory shoe, though we feel that the Vibram XS Edge rubber of the Finale is stickier and better overall than the FriXion RS rubber that is on the soles of the Tarantulaces.

Though they are not downturned or aggressively shaped  the Finale make a fairly good shoe for vertical to slightly overhung terrain.
Though they are not downturned or aggressively shaped, the Finale make a fairly good shoe for vertical to slightly overhung terrain.

Conclusion


The La Sportiva Finale is most notable for their all-day comfort and ease of use. These are designed for climbers who are looking for a comfortable shoe above all else. That said, the sticky rubber soles make the Finale a shoe that will still stick to small holds and edges. The extra few dollars separate the Finale from the La Sportiva Tarantulace make the Finale a slightly more durable and well-constructed option.


Jane Jackson