Hands-on Gear Review

La Sportiva Speedster Review

La Sportiva Speedster
By: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief  ⋅  Mar 22, 2011
Price:  $132 List
Pros:  Super-sensative, great smearing, precise toe placements.
Cons:  Expensive, not comfortable.
Manufacturer:   La Sportiva

Our Verdict

Discontinued Product
The Speedster has been discontinued and the La Sportiva Futura has replaced it. The Futura uses the rounded edge of the Speedster and the Fast Lacing System from the Solution. Check out our full Climbing Shoe Review to see all of the shoes we've tested or read on to find out what we thought about the Speedster.

In the last five years it seems as though you see climbing slippers less and less. Perhaps it's because there are so many amazing Velcro shoes that go on and off fast while giving performance similar to a lace-up. Or maybe it's just because there have not been enough new innovative slipper designs? Now comes the La Sportiva Speedster, the first slipper in a while to turn heads. It has a very innovative design both in the shape and the way the rubber wraps around the toe. It is very specialized. If you love steep bouldering inside and out, or just love slippers, these are worth a look. That said, at $131 they are really expensive for such a specialized shoe. We feel as though the $99 Five Ten Anasazi Moccasym gives you much more versatility. We like the Moccasym for long routes as well as in the gym. The Speedster is really just for short climbs and bouldering. If we were watching our wallets we would lean more toward a budget shoe for thrashing in the gym and then pay just a bit more and get an ultra high performance shoe like the La Sportiva Miura VS or La Sportiva Solution.


Our Analysis and Test Results

Share:

Likes


This is maybe the most sensitive and aggressive slipper ever made. It has thin 3mm rubber (most shoes use 3.5mm or 4mm) as well as an incredibly precise fit. If you fit them right, there is no dead space. When we compared them to the Five Ten Team 5.10, we noticed how precise the Speedster is with small and large footholds. The toe really gets in pockets and smears those far-away holds with confidence. If is one of the few slippers with which you can heel hook or toe hook confidently.

When you first put one on it is hard to believe your foot will make it in. There is such a small opening that your toes really get crunched up. But once all the toes are lined up right it is remarkable how much the shoe is one with your foot. Part of this is due to the rounded edge or "non edge." You realize that the typical climbing shoe, even if it fits tight, has some dead space where your foot meets the hard 90-degree edge of a typical climbing shoe. By comparison, the Speedster has no edge and instead just wraps around your foot. This wrap is part of what makes it so good at toe hooking. Another unique feature is the fact the rubber wraps around the front of the toe: there is no typical meeting of the rand and sole that you find on 99 percent of other climbing shoes.

Dislikes


These are hard to fit. Yes, all aggressive-shaped shoes are hard to fit. But these even more so. At first they seem too small. But then they loosen up a bit and if you got them too big you loose all the precision. When I first put these on they hurt the arch of my foot and I could only wear them for short bursts. Then, over time, they felt much better. That said, they are not a shoe to wear for a long time if you fit them precisely.

These look very difficult to resole because you can't just throw a piece of rubber on the bottom and keep the same design. No slipper is that easy to resole and keep the same sensitive feel. But because this shoe has such thin rubber and is so expensive, it seems like an particularly big limitation to the shoe. We have not worn out our pair, but it seems that if you wore them all the time in the gym they would wear out fast.

Value


These are expensive and with their resole ability in question they are not the best long term value. These are for people who can afford or need to have a lot of different shoes in their quiver.

Best Appliction


These might be the best gym shoe out there. That said, they are so expensive that we wouldn't want to trash them in the gym. We would save them for steep boulder problems with big holds.

Chris McNamara

You Might Also Like

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: May 13, 2011
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 50%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Climber

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   May 13, 2011 - 04:35pm
portlandclimber · Climber

Fit them tight, then climb harder than you have before. these shoes are worth a grade at least. very thin rubber, but because there's no edge to wear down they last for ages- ive had 8 months of gym only climbing out of them. the wear is distributed over a larger space than usual. heel and toe hooks are bomber also.

buy them and be better at climbing.



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


Have you used this product?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...