La Sportiva TC Pro Review – by Steve Levin
Long trad climbs are the real deal. Hundreds of feet off the deck, up among the soaring birds, the world takes on a different dimension—one where all the skills in the climber’s arsenal come into play. It’s also a place to bring gear that one has used and become accustomed to. Any climber will tell you that the most important thing to bring along after your head (i.e. your thinking tool) is good footwear, meaning broken in footwear: shoes that fit and work the way you want them to. My feet are nothing out of the ordinary, but like all climbers I’m fussy about my footwear. I want a shoe that will do it all: cracks, face, friction, and most importantly on a long climb, a shoe that is comfortable.
So it was a bit of a surprise when I launched up the first pitch of a 1,500 ft. climb in Colorado’s Black Canyon wearing a brand-spanking new pair of La Sportiva TC Pros. Six pitches up our route, I realized I hadn’t taken my shoes off, or for that matter, even loosened the laces. They fit perfectly. And they were climbing beautifully! My feet felt secure on both sloping pegmatite smears and granite edges; solid while jammed into hundred-foot-long hand and finger cracks; and my ankles were well-protected in the squeeze chimney sections, thanks to the high-top design of the uppers. These were the perfect shoe for this kind of climbing, and indeed, they were designed for it. By the time we reached the rim, I was a total convert. Like all La Sportiva footwear I’ve worn, I expect these to last a long, long time, and be with me up many more long, long climbs.
Have fun and be safe out there! Steve L.
CMS Rock Climbing Guide