Who should buy the La Sportiva Tarantula

Engineered with beginners in mind, the Tarantula—with its set of remarkable qualities—makes problems a notch easier. Besides those green around the ears, the climbing shoe in question is also for:

  • Senders who mainly tackle routes filled with fist-sized edges.
  • Climbers who need extra grip while smearing, preferably on boulder-type ascents.
  • Indoor and outdoor scalers looking for a pair that lasts without asking for an arm and a leg. (Click here for our budget-friendly bunch.)

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Who should NOT buy it

The Tarantula might not be the best tool for scaling cracks. In pursuits involving fissures, try the more expensive La Sportiva Mythos. If you need something with increased sensitivity, opt for the less stiff Finale instead.

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A boon to freshman climbers

Many climbers highly recommend the Tarantula for beginners, thanks to its supportive engineering.

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The La Sportiva Tarantula's spider-like traction

This climbing shoe from La Sportiva grips like a king (especially on indoor surfaces), senders in droves say.

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Sneaker-like pampering

The La Sportiva Tarantula is immensely comfortable, according to professional reviewers.

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Tarantula: A tough companion

Footwear critics swear by its incredible longevity, particularly the lastingness of its 5-mm thick Vibram outsole.

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Fissures: The Tarantulace's weakness

The way it handles cracks is lackluster at best, according to a gear pundit. It's neither rigid nor randed enough for such pursuits.

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Not very responsive

An expert who has sent in the shoe multiple times is not too impressed with its middling sensitivity.

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Snug but not restrictive

The La Sportiva Tarantula (men’s and women’s) fits like a glove, say numerous route smashers.

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La Sportiva Tarantula: Your wallet's bestfriend

A trusted blogger who has purchased the Tarantula says that it is such an affordable rock climbing shoe. Case in point: The shoe in question can be bought for less than $100 a pair.

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La Sportiva Tarantula vs. Tarantulace

The Tarantula is one of La Sportiva’s high-quality neutral climbing pieces. As such, it often gets compared with other offerings from the same brand. In this head-to-head, the Tarantula finds its competitor in its lace-up sibling—the ingeniously named Tarantulace. As their given names suggest, they are quite similar in many ways. That said, there are areas in which they differ, and the points that follow will discuss them.

Upper. Although both kicks use genuine leather in their uppers, only the Tarantulace has a synthetic (leather) overlay. The closure system of the Tarantula consists of two adjustable Velcro straps, while the one seen in its rival is made up of combination eyelets and synthetic laces.

Asking price. The Tarantula and its competitor are two of the budget-friendliest climbing shoes from La Sportiva. That said, only one gets the “cheaper” title, and it is the Tarantulace. Indeed, it is less expensive than the Tarantula by about $10.

Weight. If a lightweight shoe is what you are after, neither of the two competing shoes will disappoint. However, weight purists might find the La Sportiva Tarantulace the more appealing product as it is lighter than the Tarantula by an average of 25 grams.

IN CONCLUSION: For on and off convenience, don the Tarantula. If you prefer a more dialed-in fit, opt for the Tarantulace.

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Facts / Specs

Weight: Men 10.2oz / Women 8.5oz
Construction: Slip lasted
Closure: Velcro
Fit: Comfort fit
Downturn: Neutral
Environment: Indoor, Outdoor
Last Shape: Asymmetric

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La Sportiva Tarantula video reviews

Teddy Dondanville
Teddy Dondanville

Teddy is a professionally trained Apprentice Rock Guide with the American Mountain Guides Association and a Wilderness First Responder with the National Outdoor Leadership School. Besides guiding outdoor rock climbing, Teddy also has years of experience in route setting and coaching climbing indoors. Through his guiding, route setting, and coaching, Teddy has experimented with climbing shoes for over a decade.