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Whispers of Confidence

    This past season in Hueco Tanks, Texas I fell in love with the breathtaking highball Whispers of Mortality (V10) on East Mountain. The problem starts with four steep and powerful compression moves to a sinker pocket at the lip, followed by a rose move that transitions to a terrifying face with big pulls between thin, technical edges. The landing is flat, but the fall is big. I decided to hold off on the top out until the send to add a little spice. When I entered the no fall zone from the start, with sweaty fingers and heart racing, I felt absolutely confident standing on the dime-sized edges wearing my La Sportiva Testarosas.

    Check out the Testarossas in action in this video of Whispers of Mortality edited by Jason Kehl and featured online at Dead Point Magazine :

    My Testes are nice but a bit big

      This is a solid shoe great downturn. I can stand on a pebble. THese are basically the lace up version of the Solution. Great for wide feet, but be prepared, the heel for heel hooking is not amazing, it sort of crushes in on itself, and this shoe stretches a lot. I got these 2 and a half sizes down from my normal size and after wearing they stretch to be just a little too big. So I would suggest to get them anywhere from 2 and a half to 3 and a half sizes down depending on your tolerance for pain.

      To each his own, but I have to politely disagree with some of these comments about this shoe. This shoe is known by all to be a very tight fitting, narrow, performance shoe. Sportiva has told me it was designed to have a narrower fit in the toe box and does NOT fit wide feet very well. Sportiva has 3 shoes that are all built on the same last: Testarossa, Solution, and the Miura VS. The Testarossa has the narrowest toe box, the Solution is in the middle, and the Miura VS the largest. Although compared to other shoe brands, all of them are still considered more on the narrow side. Also, the heel is one of the best heels on any shoe I've ever tried. A shoe doesn't necessarily have a good or bad heel, it all depends on your foot and heel and whether or not your foot fits that shoe. So to say this shoe is not good for heel hooking is a misinformed comment. I can heel hook better with these shoes better than all other shoes (with the Solution being just as good or a tad better). And as far as stretching a lot, that is relevant. This shoe does allow some room in the toe box to stretch up a little, but not a lot. Shoes have tons of rubber and rubber doesn't really stretch. So the length will always be the same, it is only the toe box height that will stretch some to allow the shoe to "mold" to your toes better than a cheaper shoe. And as far as sizing, that is also a personal preference but saying to size these down 2.5-3 is probably too much. 1.5-2.5 from your street shoe at the most is super tight, so I can't imagine wanting to make your toes break while wearing your climbing shoes. In addition sizing down that far puts too much strain on the shoe and it's stitching and seams can wear out much faster. Anyways, thats just my two cents. Hope that helps people who are considering this shoe or any of the other Sportivas I mentioned.

      If they fit a wide foot and are lose in the heel then they are probably way too big. Also, shoe size is only relavant between shoes of a similar design from the same company. For instance a eu 42 (us 9) evolve tallon fits about the same as a 39.5 (7) testarosa. Some companies size their shoes diferently. If you got your "normal" 5.10 dragon size in the testarosa, then you will probably be able to wear those testarosas OVER the 5.10s. If a shoe doesn't fit right (don't overestamate break in) exchange the size or model. As others have said, it won't be your last shoe. Once you have worn through a pair or two then you will start to get a good idea of the ideal size.

      My Testes are nice but a bit big

        This is a solid shoe great downturn. I can stand on a pebble. THese are basically the lace up version of the Solution. Great for wide feet, but be prepared, the heel for heel hooking is not amazing, it sort of crushes in on itself, and this shoe stretches a lot. I got these 2 and a half sizes down from my normal size and after wearing they stretch to be just a little too big. So I would suggest to get them anywhere from 2 and a half to 3 and a half sizes down depending on your tolerance for pain.

        In Love With My 'Rossa's

        • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

        Climbing shoes are (more than anything) all about personal fit. That said, I own 5 pairs of shoes and this is far and away my fav. I've been reading other reviews about pain and agony, but the break-in pain borne for these babies was minimal compared to my Scarpa Booster/Stix. And those shoes, incredible climbing tools they may be, have remained painful to wear while my rossa's feel super comfy now and fit like a glove. I bought them on the recommendations of two friends from different climbing circles who had the same experience. They have become my all around shoe. They are almost as precise and powerful as my Booster's, but I climb hard 5.12 and still feel like it's a rare occasion when that extra bit is really necessary. The comfort level I get in these shoes allows me to climb multi-pitch sport/trad, tech slab, and even crack (I'm not the only one, see Alex Honnold's vids in Indian Creek) all the while getting agro quality performance and precision. For sizing comparison: I wear 41.5 in Testarossa's, 10.5, in street shoes, 10 in Anasazi Velcro's, 42.5/43 in Scarpa Vision/Booster/Stix. Size 'em right, and these shoes will make happen the impossible: Big smiles at the sight of Lace-ups.

        Testies baby

          There's a reason these shoes are lovingly refered to as the testies. I have never been much of a lace up fan, but the lacing system on these shoes is so easily tied that it is not much of an issue at all- especially since these shoes are so aggressive that you will not want to chill around in them. The focused toe box, same as on the solutions, push La Sportiva over the other shoe companies in my opinion. Simply put, these are the best shoes on the market.

          Great Shoe!

            Size 10 street shoe, I bought a size 39.5. They stretch a lot as they go on your foot, although the fit hasn't changed much in the two months I've owned them.

            Extemely comfortable for how much you can crank them down, great performance fit, plenty of room for your toes to knuckle up comfortably. However the loops on the heel's stitches are not covered and can get bothersome.

            I would recommend these shoes to anyone climbing steep 5.11+

            Great Investment

              Best shoe I have owned. Heel is a little soft for some hooks, but allows for a larger contact area. I wear a 42 in the solutions, and a 41.5 in the test. I use them for Bouldering and short single pitch routes. No complaints so far. They've sent V5 and 5.10c with no problems.


                This shoe is my favourite I've bought thus far in my climbing. It can stick on any edge because of the glorious definition in the toe, and the curve to the sole of the shoe is perfect for placing your weight just so. It's true that the shoe isn't the most comfortable one out there, but the way that my climbing has improved because the attention this shoe brings to my feet - I wouldn't trade it for the extra ounce of comfort. A bit high on the price, but definitely worth it.


                  I wear a 42 Birkenstock, so I first bought these in a 41.5. Brutal! I had to return them because they were too painful, and I finally settled on a 43.

                  At this size, they are comfortable, and I can wear them tied up for an hour before I have to let my feet out. The comfort comes at the expense of having a perfectly fitting heel, so if you plan on heel hooking a lot, you might want to buy these shoes painfully small. Also, as the heel isn't completely covered in rubber, the shoes don't make for the most secure heel hooks, but they get the job done.

                  The extremely down-turned shoe takes a little getting used to, but it works great for most moves. For me, there was a learning curve with toe-hooking, because of the shape of the shoe. In a few uses, I acclimated to the shape.

                  These shoes are designed for overhanging boulder routes, and that is where they shine. Getting a toe on a tiny hold in a cave is a breeze with these shoes, which saves time and energy. One can put a big percentage of body weight on poor holds without slipping.

                  As a bonus, they don't smell.

                  Extreme yet very comfortable

                    Haven't had them for very long but they are already fitting like a glove. Really comfy for such an aggressive shoe, which especially amazing considering i downsized as aggressively as i could bear (Sportiva trango boot size is Euro 45 - got them in 43). I have a fairly high arch and they fit me so perfectly that removing them after a good climb is like peeling skin off my feet ;). the perfect rock shoe, miles better than my Katanas, Chilly Spirit velcro, Miuras and all those unpleasant synthetic Evolves and 5.10s! super sensitive and yet hard enough for some mighty edging and toe hooking. The heel is great too and the laces enable me to achieve a perfect fit depending on nature and level of the route/problem. the only rock shoe worth getting!

                    Adding to the sizing comparison/confusion

                      I am a solid 38.5 in wmn's Sportiva Katanas (my staple, all purpose shoe) & Miuras (my harder trad shoe). I am a 38.0 in Sportiva Solutions. Not that comparing boot sizes help for rock shoe sizing, but for what it's worth I am a 40.0 in Sportiva Nepal extremes & 39.5 in Sportiva Baturas. I wear US wms 8.5 in street shoes. I tried on Testarossa's for the first time last week & found myself in a 39.0. I believe they run *slightly* smaller than Sportiva Katanas/Miuras/Mythos. The Testarossa's are really aggro shoes that that perform really well on sport routes (or make you climb/look really good in the gym). At this price, I'd prolly "save" them for harder gym/sport routes & use my resoled Katanas for easier/moderate climbs.

                      The Testarossas are an extremely aggressive shoe. I sized them the same as I size all other aggressive La Sportiva Shoes, 39.5. In the beginning they were extremely tight and definitely were a lot less comfortable to break in than the Miura VS, but the fact is that they're engineered to stretch in certain spots of the shoe. I recommend for people to get the same size as they would in the Katanas or Miuras, but to expect a bit of pain while breaking in.

                      Once they're broken in, though, it makes for an incredible shoe. It breaks in to fit the foot very well, and leaves no dead space in the heel or the toe box. The laces let you really fine-tune the fit as well. The most aggressive and best performing shoe, in my opinion. Worth the crazy price.

                      oooooo feels soooo nice

                        well if you search around the net anywhere you going to get great reviews of this shoe, its extremely aggressive so they do feel a bit uncomfortable at first, my shoe size varies a lot because my foot is much wider so i tend to wear a size 10 in all my street shoes, but i went with 9 1/2 with these (42 1/2) and i think all they need is a little break in time and they are gonna feel great. and i just want to thank myself, i do a lot of shopping online and i order these shoes a tad on the small size, i went out and gave them a try and i knew i just couldnt climb in them, backcountry's 100% guarantee completely took care of me and i will continue to shop with them :)


                          I normally wear a women's 6.5, so I ordered a 36.5 which is supposed to be around a size smaller than what I normally wear, but the shoes were still too big. I would reccommend getting at least a full size smaller, and probably 1.5 sizes smaller.

                          awesome shoe, very technical

                            i love this shoe! it is amazing,it has an extremely down turned toe. they fit real well, very COMFORTABLE. 1.5 - 2 sizes down from your street size gets the perfect fit depending on how tight you want them. they're great for heel hooking and toeing down on the tiniest of rocks. this shoe has 2 different prices on the market 130 and 150 dollars so be sure to buy from the right place. Buy this shoe, you'll love it

                            Totally stoked on this shoe

                              I wasn't exactly sure what was meant by the whole anatomical-foot-bed / weight-transfer thing when I bought the Testarossa shoe, but, boy, am I ever now. I was climbing in some three-year-old Mythos (talk about an impressive statement about the quality of a La Sportiva shoe), and I found that I was having to adjust my climbing to factor in the probability of my foot slipping on micro-edges. No longer, boy. The Testarossas have stuck every itsy-bitsy hold I've tried them on. As it's winter and all of my favorite crags are colder than, well, they're cold, I've only used this shoe indoors. I'm more than a little certain that I'll only be more stoked about my sweet new shoes when I take 'em outside. Oh, I have wide feet, and they're breaking in just fine (my feet and the shoes, both). They're great; I love 'em.

                              Best shoe!

                                This is the best pair of shoes one can possibly have. Best for bouldering and sport climbing. Great toe-in, heel. It is tricky to toehook, though you get used to it. Great rubber, takes a day to break in.

                                Unanswered Question

                                How does the size of testarossa's compare...

                                How does the size of testarossa's compare to solutions. I've heard that they run about a half size bigger

                                How would these compare to the Dragon,...

                                How would these compare to the Dragon, Team, or Solution in terms of down turn and sensitivity? I'm kind of pushing more towards these because of the stretch, but I'm open to ideas.

                                Best Answer

                                I have the dragon, solution, and testarosa and have used the team. None of these really stretch much, but do mold to the shape of your foot well. The dragon is good if you have a med-wide foot. I don't, so I'm not a fan. The teams and solutions have a more med-narow, low volume fit. The testarosas will fit a med to narow depending on the way they are laced and fit more diverse shapes and volumes. All three have great heels. They all fit an average heel well. The testarosa has the least rubber, but it is right where you need it and has the most sensative heel. The solution has a very stiff heel cup that has a big ball of sticky rubber. It is the best for hooking and heel protection (missing the crash pad), but least sensative and takes getting used to. The team heel is close to the testarosa, but a little more protective and less sensative. The testarosa is easiest on and off, but a little slower with the laces, the other two are tuff to pull on, especialy when dry (they aren't too bad with a little sweat in them) or new. The testarosa is the most powerful edger, but the solution is very close. The team is very soft and sensative, so better for smearing, but not as good for power edging. They are all excelent in the steeps, but the testarosa and solution are also good on faces and slabs (think short slabs with dificult footwork and dime edges (long hauls and downturned shoes don't go well together). The solution and testarosa are two of the most comfy down turned shoes ever. The team, due to the softness need to be fit very snug, but aren't bad either, especialy for bouldering and steep sport where you get to take them off often. The solutions are the best for toe hooking. The teams have lots of toe rubber and hook well too. The Testarosas only have a stratigicaly placed bit of rubber over the big toe, but thanks to that and the shape, they hold their own in that category. Bottom line: I love the testarosa for red points, bouldering and precision footwork at any angle, the solution for heel/toe hooking, pulling and heel protection, the team for sensativity in steep climbing, and I might like the dragon if I had a wide foot.

                                Unanswered Question

                                How do rossas compare size wise. I'm a 38...

                                How do rossas compare size wise. I'm a 38 venom, 38.5 muira vs and 39 speedster. any help much appreciated

                                Hey there! I'm wearing a 41.5 Solution and...

                                Hey there! I'm wearing a 41.5 Solution and it feels too big now it's been used for about 5 months. I've tried a new 40.5 Solution once and it felt bearable. Will it be a smart choice to go for a 40.5 Testarossa. I LOVE my pair of Solution, but this is my first shoe & I'd really like to try out some additional options. Since Testarossa seem very much alike... Please advice. Thank You In Advance

                                I had the issue of having Solutions that felt great for a month and then a bit too big, but when I tried to size down a half size, I couldn't fit my toes into Solutions, and Testarossas were the key. The Testarossas can be thought of as the same shoe with a bit more edge (not a lot), but essentially the same shoe in a lace up, which gives a bit of give in the toe box that lets you fit in your toes in a bit tighter and in a different way. The Solution size, should really be a good fit for Testarossas, but you might be able to try another half size down and fit well, in an even more aggressive fit, just because of the nature of laces and the extra leather vs toe rubber on Solutions.

                                im a beginner climber would you recomend...

                                im a beginner climber would you recomend this shoe to me? and if not what is a good sportiva shoe that will get the job done?

                                They have thick rubber so as long as you don't drag your toe along the wall when you climb they should last. You can but the problem is you wont be use to the downturn so your feet will kill you especially during the break in period. If I were you I would get the Miura lace up

                                i wear an 11 street shoe what size should...

                                i wear an 11 street shoe what size should i get in these?

                                I wear a 40 in miura lace ups and would...

                                I wear a 40 in miura lace ups and would like to know what size this would translate to in the testarossas. Additionally, what is the stretch like in these shoes. My thought was the I would purchase the testarossas in a 39.5. Any thoughts? Thank you in advance.

                                Does anyone knows what size should I get...

                                Does anyone knows what size should I get in this shoes if I wear 8.5 in Five Ten (Anasazi)??

                                What are the differences in fit and...

                                What are the differences in fit and performance of the Testarossas vs Miura lace-ups? Recently tried on a pair of the Miura lace-ups in a 42 and loved them. Starting to climb some overhanging routes and looking for a pair of boots to complement my stand-by anasazi velcros... Any suggestions?

                                The Testarossas are way more aggressive because of the last, the fit and the lacing. This shoe is a much tighter performance fit than Miuras and is considerably more downturned than the Miura...considerably! Think (5.10) Dragon/Anasazi (Scarpa) Mago/ Feroce (Evolv) Predator/Pontas comparisons. Hope this helps.

                                Tried these on and really liked them. My...

                                Tried these on and really liked them. My anasazi velcros blew out recently and looking to replace them. How do these shoes perform on steep and overhanging routes? Are they agressive enough?

                                These are a very aggressive shoe, with a very down-turned toe for excellent performance on steep and overhanging routes. This shoe is probably best for bouldering and sport climbing, as it wouldn't be comfortable enough (for me) to be an all day affair. Of course, the level of aggressive vs. comfortable also depends on how the shoe is sized.

                                I want buy Testarossa La sportiva, but it...

                                I want buy Testarossa La sportiva, but it is my first shop (rock climbing shoes) but i want it. My street shoes are 7.5 (US) 6.5 (UK) 40.5 (EU) ...... and my feet (just my feet) (251 mm) whitout shoes or socks. WHAT NUMBER in testarossa you think i need to sport climbing ????? thanks for you help.

                                i tried these on today and really loved...

                                i tried these on today and really loved the way they they feel. the guy at the gym said they won't stretch at all but i've read some reviews that say they do. i want to make sure i get the right size so can anyone tell me if they actually will stretch or not and approx. how much? thanks!

                                I've been wearing a pair of men's climbing...

                                I've been wearing a pair of men's climbing shoes but I'm not a guy. Would woman's shoes really make a difference? The shoes I have work fine for me. Is there something I'm missing? I've been looking online for shoes I like and the La Sportiva Testarossa Climbing Shoe has cought my eye althought they're men's shoes. Should I be looking for women's shoes?

                                Best Answer

                                It's actually best not to think of them as women's and men's shoes- More accurately, they're just 'low volume' and 'high volume' shoes. Women would generally tend to have lower volume feet, so a men's shoe may have too much space in them; so if you're having to do up your laces really tight to get your shoe tight, or have empty space round the heel, you might be better making the change! That being said, if men's shoes fit you fine, then you're not missing out on anything!

                                what is the coefficient of friction for...

                                what is the coefficient of friction for these shoes?