After 15-plus years of service, the legendary La Sportiva Testarossa has gotten a thoughtful update. While staying true to its roots, a few minor tweaks have improved fit and function without sacrificing the aggressive downturn and soft sole that has made this shoe a long-time favorite.
The new Testarossa is constructed on the same last as the older version so overall, the fit, feel, and sizing of the shoe is unchanged. The asymmetrical and highly downturned shape still slays it on steep, precise climbing.
But still, some things have changed â€¦
Unpacking the new La Sportiva Testarossa
The most obvious change is a darker color scheme that feels appropriate in these dark days. But underneath this facade are some changes to be happy about, including a notable upgrade in the new heel cup. Itâ€™s stiffer, has more rubber, and most importantly heel hooks really wellâ€”dare I say, even better than the original. The improved heel also kept more tension in the entire shoe so I didnâ€™t have to downsize as much to get a â€śperformance fit.â€ť
The heel is still low volume but sports a lot more versatility. I used to reserve the Testarossa for techy crags like Ten Sleep or the Fins, but now they feel much more versatile and capable in a variety of overhanging terrain and bouldering.
More Sensitivity and Precision
The sole boasts 3.5mm (.5mm thinner than the original) VibramÂ® XS Grip2 rubber. This is some of the thinnest rubber in La Sportivaâ€™s line-up, which gave these shoes a very soft and sensitive feel on the rock. Love that 3.5 mil.
Another new feature is a more pronounced bump under the toes that sucks the shoe up under my foot. I like this bump, I feel like it gave me more control and power when I really pressed into crap foot holdsâ€”smears and edges. The shoe felt very secure around my forefoot without having to wrench down the laces.
After months of use the only damage to these is normal wear on the rubber. The uppers and lace holes are bomber. At nearly $200 itâ€™s nice to have a shoe that lasts well beyond burning through the rand, with plenty of life left for a resole, if you’re into that kinda thing.
Overall, Iâ€™m pleased with the new Testarossa, itâ€™s a welcome and much-improved update to the classic. More power to the toe, more function in the heel, and a longer shelf life thanks to better materials. Yes, more of everything.