So about a year and a half ago I received a pair of La Sportiva Pythons from the crew at Outward Ventures. At first glance you will see a soft slipper type shoe that is apparently designed primarily for smeering but instead this shoe can do much more than just smeer well, the La Sportiva Python is still my favorite shoe to climb in because it has everything you need from a shoe and is absolutely astonishing as an all rounder shoe.
The first thing I was interested in was if the heel would be solid and not slip off during a tense heel hook as most soft slippers do, this shoe sorts that problem out with a single velcro straps which creates an epic amount of adjustment for people with different shaped feet. I have fairly wide feet so this strap makes this shoe the best fitting on me, no shoe has ever come close to fitting as comfortably and snug as the Pythons do. The rubber on the heel is much softer than the rubber on the La Sportiva Solution which allows it to grip on anything whereas the Solutions struggle because they are not sensitive enough, that is what I love about the Pythons, you can feel absolutely everything throughout the whole shoe so instead of just plonking your heel onto something and hope it stays like you do with the Solutions you can actually feel what is good and what is not which is great when you are a beginner and are unsure of how to heel hook well. When you pull the Python on there is massive suction which is another awesome feature which just gives you that extra bit of security when it comes to heel hooking.
The sole of the shoe uses extremely sticky Vibram rubber which is considered the best all round climber rubber as the Five Ten rubber has very little durability. The Pythons sole is the softest that La Sportiva had made but still this shoe’s rubber lasted for longer than a year of constant climbing with them.
The Pythons were originally designed for competition gym climbing but I have found that these shoes are great for all climbing styles: slab, roof, sport, hard trad you name it! This shoe has pleased me with everything I used them for which is why they will always be the greatest shoe that I have climbed with and am looking forward to completing all the projects that come with them.
My sponsors are La Sportiva and Wild Country thanks to Outward Ventures