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Maia B.

Maia B.

Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on February 1, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large

First, sizing:

I'm a girl with a relatively wide forefoot and small heel, but with very tapered toes.

I saw in several places to size them 1/2 size down from the Solutions. I did so and found that at first the Futura was insanely painful due to being narrow---but that it was just the length I needed to snug my heel all the way into the cup while just lightly curling my big toe. I then took a hot shower with the shoes on to stretch them horizontally, which got me about 1/3 size stretch. Now they are quite comfortable without being sloppy, and I think they will stretch a little more yet.

If you don't size them tight enough, as other reviewers have said, you'll lose a lot of performance. You need to pick the size that has NO extra space along the line from big toe to heel. Unless you have very very wide feet, the shoe will stretch in width (seriously, try the hot shower) to accommodate you.

Second, climbing in them:

I read a lot of conflicting reports about these shoes before I bought them, which is one reason why I wanted to share my experience.

If you like barefoot-like sensitive shoes and feeling the holds under your feet (I do), and you maybe tend to use your foot/calf muscles to grip your shoe onto a hold, the Futuras are a game changer. You have to focus on the corner of your big toe instead of your forefoot, and you have to be somewhat precise in placing your feet; but your reward will be feeling incredibly secure and connected to the rock, since you'll be able to feel that you're putting your weight directly on the hold and even on which feature of the hold, instead of on a rubber edge cantilevered on the hold. Plus the midsole does you one better than barefoot and connects the power of your whole foot to the toe (rather than relying on your toe muscle alone). For me, the No Edge definitely worked as advertised right out of the box, and I'm completely sold.

If you prefer an edging shoe with a lot more support and/or your style is more to press a sharp edge or a stiff toe harder onto a hold to gain more security, the Futuras will probably not suit you. (But that doesn't mean you can't benefit from learning to climb Futura-style.)

The shoes excel at vertical and overhanging climbing especially on weird footholds that edging shoes roll off of. I would find them suboptimal for climbs with a lot of narrow cracks or tiny pockets that you want to shove a sharp edge or pointy toe into. They are also too aggressively downturned to be good slab shoes. I also would never use these for crack climbing shoes.... I found that they toe and heel hooked well, though not as well as the Solutions, but that I enjoyed the increased sensitivity.

Overall, I think the biggest issue I have with the Futuras is that they might cost me a lot of money: they're so amazing I just want to climb everything in them and wear them out faster while letting all the other expensive shoes I own gather dust...

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on January 28, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: XS

I'm writing this review off of initial impressions, mostly to help folks with sizing and features.

I got an XS, and I would describe the fit as similar to the Patagonia slim fit in the same size (maybe a tad smaller), but with slightly longer sleeves. The hood is really roomy and will fit over all but the largest helmets. The jacket feels soft and reasonably light to wear and lights up immediately reflecting your body heat---this thing is warm! My only criticism is I wish the jacket was a little longer at the hem, I have a long torso and raising my arms up lifts the jacket more than I'd like. But I'd call the length adequate, just not ample.

Other features I really liked:
-- The cuffs on the sleeves are really awesome, they have a stretchy triangle built into the cuff that softly and automatically snugs the cuff against your wrist. This is the kind of cuff that would go under a powder skirt on a mitt or glove.
-- There is a velcro tab on the collar for securing the hood; you roll it up and velcro it down using the hood velcro adjuster.
-- The front pockets are huge!
-- Comes with a stuff sack, but it's a separate piece (does not stuff into its own pocket).

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on December 17, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I'm going to be honest . I bought these shoes to climb granite cracks.

Out of the box, they were an excellent fit. The last definitely has a wider toebox and maybe a slightly narrower heel compared to La Sportiva's other offerings. I went for a comfort size, which guaranteed that my toes laid flat in the toebox, and meant that I did not experience a painful break-in period.

The stiff soles make the shoe a powerful edging shoe, which is handy for when you are face climbing around a crack. I can wear them for long periods comfortably, and the soles also help reduce foot fatigue on edges. The heels are adequate, but not as specialized as something like the Solution. They are not a particularly adept smearing shoe.

The killer feature, however, is the toe. The sharp toe, moderate asymmetry, and slight downturn of the Katana let you power your toe right into finger cracks and even push into smeary seams with great effectiveness. I was amazed and delighted at just how much rubber I could get into thin cracks and how secure I felt.

Minus the smearing, these shoes are comfortable, versatile, and capable. Love 'em!

Sizing info:
Street size ~39.5 with wide forefoot, narrow heel
La Sportiva Katana Lace (comfort fit) 40, (performance fit) 39.5
La Sportiva Solution 38.5
La Sportiva Futura 38
Tenaya Oasi 38.5
Tenaya Inti 40.75
Five Ten Anasazi LV 40

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on December 17, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large

I bought these shoes after I acquired a pair of Katana Laces, and discovered that La Sportiva's last must be a copy of my foot.

I typically climb in very soft, sensitive shoes, but I wanted to add an aggressive edging shoe to my quiver. The Solution seems to really strike a great balance between being a powerful, precise edging shoe both for the vertical and the steeps, but not being so stiff as to completely lose feeling with the rock (see: the old Scarpa Feroces with the plastic insert!). I never owned the previous design but I find the heel cup on the current design to be quite excellent, with that coveted suction-cup fit.

I found that the correct size for me (no dead space in toe or heel) was almost painfully tight across the toes, but stretched out probably 1/4 size over two weeks of climbing with them, plus a shower with them that turned all my toenails yellow.

For sizing info:
Street size ~39.5 with wide forefoot, narrow heel
La Sportiva Solution 38.5
La Sportiva Futura 38
La Sportiva Katana Lace 39.5 (aggressive fit) or 40 (comfort fit)
Tenaya Oasi 38.5

Also...not sure why folks are saying this shoe runs small! If you have to DOWNsize the shoe size from your street size...then your nominal "street size" was too large!

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on September 23, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small

I started with my street shoe size in these (39.5) and tried every size up to the maximum size of 41. They have all been cut very narrow but more importantly too small (in length) for my feet, which are slightly wide in the forefoot and low volume in the heel. These shoes do not really stretch because even though parts of the upper are suede, all of the orange parts are rubber. So, if they hurt after you wear them on the couch for fifteen minutes, you have the wrong size. Be judicious when trying them on to make sure you size them right. Your toes are meant to lay flat, and these shoes are meant to be pretty comfortable.

Despite the pain of wearing a too-small size, these shoes were killer for edging and in cracks. The orange toe rubber makes them a beast for locking your toes in. I really wish Scarpa made larger sizes because they would be my go-to granite shoe.

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on August 18, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small

I usually wear a 2-4 in pants (waist size ~28-29in), but based on reviews I ordered a 6 in these, which turned out to be spot on. Definitely check the size chart on the Black Diamond website Women's Creek Pants product page, it's specific to these pants and you'll be able to accurately judge your size based on your measurements.

These pants are super nice and flattering if you have an athletic lower half; they don't look too "techy" and are definitely a great crag-to-town piece. The fabric feels really good on the skin but is also very durable and will protect your legs; it has a little bit of stretch but not a ton. They breathe ok but not great (I tested them climbing on a 90 degree humid day). The pockets and belt loops are all thoughtfully designed as well.

I got the blue, which is kind of a slate blue in person; it's a nice, understated, but not boring color.

I have "alpine thighs" and a "bubble butt" and I found that though these pants provided a great fit on my legs, they had a big gap at my lower back and wouldn't stay on. I had them taken in at the back and now they fit great.

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on June 17, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I was tired of dragging my friend's rope across roots and sticks while cragging, and since he refused to buy a rope bag, I got him this tarp.

The tarp does a great job at its basic feature, which is keeping your rope off the ground and letting you move it around easily while being light and simple.

Pros:
Colored tie-in loops for the ends
Straps let you cinch up your rope burrito
Super light and minimal
Cheap but does a great job!

Cons:
Straps could be better: they could be spaced wider to capture bulky ropes better, and the buckles are not very smooth
The "proper burrito roll-up technique" seems inobvious---I can't seem to get it on the first try.

For the price, this thing does an awesome job.

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on May 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

It bites anything, feels bomber, and bundles up well to stash on your harness, since it's a "hollow" weave with a bar tack instead of a bulky fisherman's knot. I got the 13.5" as a rappel back-up, which is a hair long if you do three wraps and attach it to your leg loop. Even if you think the heat resistance is superfluous, this little guy bites better and handles better than any bit of string you might buy off a spool. My only criticism is that after a little bit of use it'll look filthy from sliding along your filthy ropes....maybe that's an additional anti-theft feature!

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on May 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Mine was blue and white and not ninja black, so I have no issues with color.

I got the 7mm x 50ft and cut it in half with a hot knife. Sterling's 7mm is rated to be a little stronger than other brands, which is why I chose it. It handles well, knots well, and unties easily. No complaints here!

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on April 26, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've had the 130 lumen Spot for a little over a year now.

I don't particularly abuse this headlamp, but I'll toss it in the head of my pack with my other stuff. Even in lock mode, it will unlock itself and turn on, and run the battery down. I can't comment on the real battery life because of this issue. It has a bunch of useful modes, but only one button, so you have to memorize a bunch of different tap patterns to figure out how to switch between them. The seldom-used ones still slip my mind most of the time.

Otherwise it's quite bright and sufficiently comfortable and versatile. I use it for hiking and climbing.

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on July 11, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small

I've gone through three (resoled) pairs of these.

These have been my "quiver of one" shoe for the gym and the outdoors. They stick like no other. They're soft enough to be sensitive; they have enough of a power toe to give performance; and yet they can still edge some. They're comfortable enough (for me at least) to wear for a couple pitches, but don't sacrifice performance. Cracks were no problem either. They're pretty good at everything.

Major cons were (1) durability: the rubber on these shoes seems to just evaporate right off, and is prone to separating at the edge where the sole meets the toe; and (2) specificity: for any given type of climbing (steep, small edges, etc.) you can probably find a better shoe...but you'd be hard-pressed to find one as versatile.

I took close to my street size (roughly 9-9.5, took 9.5) in these and it was a hair snug, but the correct size for me.

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Maia B.

Maia B.wrote a review of on October 6, 2012

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

...but I feel like I've outgrown it fast. They seem decent outdoors, and the XS rubber feels really sticky to me on granite--I love smearing with these outdoors. However, they really have been hampering me from hitting tiny edges in the gym, and I find myself slipping off footholds far too often with these.

They've been very durable and comfortable beginner shoes, but after a few months of climbing (basically once I hit 5.10b indoors) I feel like I've outgrown them.

I wish I had gotten half a size smaller, they definitely stretched over the months I've been wearing them, which is another issue with performance.

Overall I'd definitely buy them again as a first shoe and I'll still use them outdoors, but I'm looking for something a little stickier (like Stealth C4 rubber) for the gym.

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