Taruntulace shoes

Original Post
rockclimber56 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 0

I was wondering on what some opinions are on the la sportiva taruntulace

Henry Holub · · Altus, Ok · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 525

I had a pair for a short period of time. They were tight but very comfortable initally but stretched a little more, and more quickly, than I expected. The frixion rubber is not terrible, but not as sticky as the xs edge (not that the xs edge is the pinnacle of stickiness- it's just sportiva's "next in line"). I found them to be ok at edging, ok at smearing, and ok at crack climbing, and amazing at being comfortable. However, they were too imprecise to be great at edging, not sticky enough to be great at smearing, and too bulky to be great at crack climbing. I probably enjoyed them most the handful of times I had them at the gym. They were plenty comfortable to spend all day in meaning I could just bounce from route to route without any pain. Ultimately, I get the idea that it is intended to be a shoe that gets new climbers in the door. It was a great place to start. In hindsight, I wish I'd started with something better, or at least better suited to me and the climbing I do.

You didn't state that you were shopping, but if you are looking to buy something along those lines and in that price range, I'd recommend the nago from sportiva. They're $70 at Sierra Trading Post which is about what you'll find the tarantulace for, and are, IMO, a better shoe. As always, YMMV

Jack C. · · Calgary, AB · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 325

I'm accustomed to wearing very tight shoes for maximum performance (admittedly the Tarantulaces shouldn't be put in the "performance" category but let's just ignore that.). I wear a size 11 shoe in any street shoe brand and got the nines in the Tarantulaces, a size that almost always is correct for me in non-downturned climbing shoes. With the Tarantulaces I felt like I was wearing a tube sock stretched out by Fat Bastard. They aren't bad shoes (or great ones) but watch your sizing.

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

I will confidently say they were the worst shoe I ever owned. I bought them because they were cheap and thats what I got, a cheap climbing shoe. I bet you are considering them for the same reason.

Henry Holub · · Altus, Ok · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 525

I'll Echo Jack on Sizing. I downsized a full size from my street shoe size and should have gone down more. I think this is a La Sportiva thing, not just a tarantualce thing.

BigB · · Red Rock, NV · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 340

Instead of the tarantulace.. maybe try the jekyl vs.

Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1,430

They fit my feet fairly well, but I'm not a fan of the rubber. I found it slipping on stuff that I could confidently trust with almost any other kind of rubber- C4, XS Grip, etc. I do have a pair that have been resoled with C4 and like them much better. They seem fairly durable- the laced version. If you do any kind of crack climbing, avoid the velcro version. The straps are cheap as hell and will wear through to the buckle rendering them useless in no time.

Generally speaking I'll echo what others have said- not a spectacular shoe. Comfort (assuming they fit your foot well) is probably their greatest attribute. Other than that, price. They do nothing performance wise exceptionally well.

Muscrat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 3,610

Bought a pair, wore them twice. First time i thought it was just a bad day, second....bad shoes. Just don't buy them. I am a Sportiva fan, use tc pro, futura, solutions. Spend the $$ get the right shoe...the left one too.

Mike Orth · · Loveland, CO · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 25

I'll start of with the fact that I'm a newbie, just started climbing in July. The Taruntulace is what I got as my first (and so far only shoes) and I love them. I would agree that they're not performance, but I think they are a very good beginner shoe. They are comfortable, and they've worn very well for me (been to the gym at 1-3 times per week since I bought them and outdoors about 10 times in addition) and the soles are still in good shape. One of my partners that started climbing at the same time got a pair of Jokers as his first shoes, and between the two mine have proven to be far superior in terms of grip and ability to use small holds.

I'm to the point where I'm starting to look for a more performance shoe, but I plan on keeping these as gym shoe.

Tom Sherman · · Bristol, RI · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 416

I have tarantula velcros. They're a great gym shoe for the money. They're also the first shoe where I can honestly say that I noticed a difference in performance of them. (That probably has more to say about how long I've been climbing though, not necessarily the shoes themselves...) They're definitely an entry model.

Beware any La Sportiva shoes that have Velcro, the durability isn't there. (I've had issue with the one Velcro shoe of theirs I own, and than have been told that it's a common problem)

Brassmonkey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 115

Horrible shoes. I bought a pair during a trip out to Yosemite when I injured my foot and needed a very comfortable pair of shoesto continue climbing. I almost died leading the first pitch of Snake Dyke when they would't stick to anything.

OK maybe a little exaggeration, I didn't almost die but I did start sliding and had to go full starfish on lead halfway through the first runout slab. They wouldn't stick to anything, it was like I had dress shoes on. The low end rubber on them is junk.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

I'm pretty sure the Tarantulace exists solely due to the fact that outdoor stores (REI, etc) sell them to beginners who don't know any better. There are tons of shoes in the same price range that are significantly better...I'd actually take a Red Chili bullshit over these. For about $100, you could pick up a pair of 5.10 Moccasyms that are miles beyond them.

Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 90

I've had them for a bit now. They've always been comfortable. The fit is great. They felt awesome for the first few weeks but lately I've noticed that they don't seem very grippy any more. I have definitely been climbing with a very insecure feeling about my stances. I thought maybe I needed to clean them or scuff them up. Maybe it was the certain polished cobbles I've been on. Or that the sandstone was a little dirty. Or this granite is greasy and worn out. Thanks for this thread, now I know what my problem is. What are the opinions on getting these resoled with better rubber? Is it worth it? I do like the fit.
Anyone want to trade?! Ha!

DaveBaker · · Durham, NC · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 88

Tarantulaces were my first shoe. I was just renting shoes when I went to the gym, and then heading outside it was cheaper and easier to just buy something rather than having to co-ordinate with store hours to rent and return.

They're cheap. They're comfortable. They don't grip worth a darn (I was always confused at how people could do what they did when I watched them smear). But they got the job done, and got me to a point where I'd both worn them out (lousy beginner footwork will destroy anything!) and was ready for something better.

The La Sportiva shoes just fit my feet well. After the tarantulace I switched to the Jeckyl (love them for the gym, but I can't wear them all day), Pythons (bad decision - they're great shoes, but not what I need) and now Mythos (great for outside, all day comfort).

I see folks climbing 5.12 in the gym in the tarantulaces which I find interesting. They're obviously cheap shoes, but even so they're not going to be the ONLY limiting factor in your climbing.

Even though they're cheap, crappy, beginner shoes, as a first shoe I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them if they fit you well. Having heard story after story of some over-enthusiastic climber guiding a newcomer into painful, too-tight shoes, these definitely do have their place. I think that having "good enough" for your first pair of shoes, and especially in having them feel comfortable and not painful, is more important than many other factors.

First pair? Go get 'em.
Second pair? Meh. Now you know better what you want, so spend the time and find it.


Jackson Nguyen · · Doraville · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 5

I'm also a new climber 4-5 months now & These are my first and current pair of shoes (in the process of finding a more aggressive shoe).
I would definitely recommend these as starter shoes, they're comfortable as hell& can wear them all day without taking them off. But once u start wearing them a lot, the soles start to get slippery. So if your just starting out I would get these to work mainly on technique and balance & after u get a feel for rck climbing, I would adjust to more of an aggressive shoe.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 478

Even for a new climber why not just start with good rubber? The nagos are plenty comfy and come with xs edge.

T-rack · · Merced, CA · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 185

Friend is always slipping up the rock with his.

Lardtazium · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0

Got them as my first pair of climbing shoes. They're comfy and better than tennis shoes but that's about all I can say. There'll be times when I fall off an edge or slip off a smear, or cant get my foot into a pocket, but I've never used better shoes so I don't know if it's bad technique or bad shoes. I can't compare them to anything since I've never used better or more aggressive shoes.

I can get on a pinky sized ledge with them and smear decently with the retail rubber. The toebox is also kinda big for me to where it's got some empty space in there but lengthwise the shoe is already feeling really tight.

But keep in mind I'm pretty new to this whole thing. People have said you can get Nagos on STP for 70. Throw in a 30% discount code and 1$ shipping and you're looking at 55 bucks for a better shoe.

Gene S · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 0

Good entry level shoe. I got em on sale at REI for around $50. Climbed for the first 6 months of my climbing career with them. Upgraded shoes and sold em for $25 on eBay. They stretched a lot!

Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 90

I feel like I'm slipping when walking around at the base of climbs! Crap. But I do like the fit of the shoe. I'm considering getting them resoled with c4. Any reason not to do this?

Henry Holub · · Altus, Ok · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 525
JoeGaribay wrote:I feel like I'm slipping when walking around at the base of climbs! Crap. But I do like the fit of the shoe. I'm considering getting them resoled with c4. Any reason not to do this?
I was at first tempted to reply that painting a turd doesn't change the fact that its a turd, but I would imagine those could be really comfortable and effective slab climbing shoes.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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