Rock Shoes: La Sportiva Venom
£70.00 | Slipper | size reviewed 8.5 (foot size 10) | weight 525g | high asymmetry
Slippers generally have to be so tight in order to stop them slipping, that they are uncomfortable. This is especially so with badly shaped / made models. Considering the shoes on test were a size 8.5 (for a size 10 foot) this proves the point. With Velcros and laces you can synch things up and keep the boot nice and tight. With a slipper you have to rely on the materials of the upper striking the right balance between non stretchy leather / synthetic and an elasticated area through which you slide your foot. On some models we have tried in the past it can be frustratingly difficult to get your foot through the opening and into the shoe itself, not too dissimilar to putting on a plastic or ski boot. The Venom fortunately doesn’t suffer from any such problem. It features a sturdy third pull loop, in addition to its two offset loops on either side of the heel, in the centre of the elasticated section to enable you to really open things up easily. Once your foot is inside however, the fit is a very specific. The asymmetric shape ends in a particularly pointy and downward canting toe, very good in pockets and on steep ground and delicate overhanging climbing, but not so good when smearing. The webbed rubber which covers the toe box helps keep things rigid, which in turn leads to a shoe that performs well on edges and in pockets, whilst increasing the amount of rubber when toe hooking. Un-lined leather upper. Designed primarily for bouldering.
This review was carried out as part of a massive comparative review of 25 pairs of Performance Rock Shoes. We think that this could be the biggest review of such shoes ever undertaken. You can read the whole review here.