Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Barracuda
Manufacturer La Sportiva
Page By rhyang
Page Type Feb 11, 2007 / Mar 14, 2007
Object ID 2569
Hits 7235

Product Description

Blurb from La Sportiva USA's website :

A performance lace up Katana for powerful edging, secure jamming and magic toe hooking. Asymmetrical lacing system provides a smooth, snug, out of the way closure. Vibram® Web Rubber on the front creates a protective, powerful, sticky toe box and offers amazing friction for toe hooks. The slingshot heel band is connected to the Powerhinge and a .8 mm Laspoflex midsole to provide optimal edging power. Slip them on, cinch the laces and feel the power! [...]

COLOR: White/Blue
UPPER: Leather/Vibram® Web Rubber
LINING: Pacific (forefoot)/Dentex (back)
SOLE: 4mm Vibram® XSV
MIDSOLE: .08mm full length Laspoflex
WEIGHT: 16 oz.

The more recent model from La Sportiva Italy :

Designed as an answer to the requirements of the last developments of climbing. Smooth sliding, particularly snug, asymmetrical lacing. The exclusive Web Rubber covering on the front protects the lacing while jamming, offers good friction for toe hooks and is an ideal compromise among comfort, technicity and inalterability in the long run. Tongue in elastic and breathable material. The 0,8 mm midsole allows optimal edging support.

Upper: Suede leather + Web Rubber on the front, slip lasted
Colour: White/Blue
Lining: Dentex in the back, Pacific in the front
Last: PD 55
Fit: Medium
Midsole: Laspoflex 0,8 mm, complete
Sole: Vibram® formula XSGrip 4 mm
Sizes: 33 - 46, including half sizes
Weight: Gr. 450 per pair

Manufacturer's picture



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rhyang - Feb 11, 2007 8:43 pm - Voted 4/5

Initial impressions
I have the more recent model of these, with Vibram XS-Grip rubber instead of the XSV. I haven't had them for very long, just a couple of months, and only climbed in the gym with them (crappy winter weather ya know :), so this is not going to be much of a review - more a list of initial impressions.

My feet measure 9.5 US and are fairly wide in the forefoot, and narrow in the heel. These shoes in 40.5 seem to fit me pretty tightly, but of course there are gradations to how tightly climbing shoes fit. It is beyond snug, and somewhat into the area of pain. I have been told that these stretch a bit after a while, though not much. I still take them off after 2-3 laps in the gym.

I have Morton's toe, such that my second toe is a bit longer than the big toe. The Barracuda's are asymmetrical - made for people whose big toes are the longest. So when wearing these shoes my second toe is somewhat bent.

For reference, my first climbing shoes were Cliffs, mostly for gym climbing. Most of my outdoor climbing (toproping, following, and leading) has been in Mythos (the old purple models). Both of these shoes fit me comfortably but snugly in size 42. I have had both resoled with 5-10 Stealth C4 rubber, which I found noticeably stickier, though arguably softer and less durable than Vibram XSV. The process of resoling also seems to make these unlined shoes a bit larger, something I didn't perceive at first.

So far in the gym I notice that the Barracudas edge and frontpoint quite a bit better than my Mythos. That could simply be because my Mythos are sized more comfortably and don't have the slight downturned toe of the Barracudas.

For me, the real test will be outside, particularly smearing on Sierra granite. I realize that the web rubber over the toe is made for thin-crack climbing, and that's something else I'd like to look at (I've never toe-hooked in my life, but supposedly that's another use for it :) I'm also curious to see how much they stretch after a resole.

Update (4-Mar-2007): First weekend climbing outside with them at Tollhouse Rock - wow !

Strengths: I was very impressed at how well these smear on Tollhouse granite micro-edges. Sensitivity is even more excellent than with my mythos.

Weaknesses: owwwww. I suppose any shoes which are two sizes too small are simply going to hurt :) Surprisingly my toes don't hurt as much - it's mainly my arches and heels. After two pitches I have to unlace them.

So far they hurt a lot, but they also feel a lot more secure.

Next test: crack climbing ...

Dow Williams - May 7, 2007 10:38 am - Voted 4/5

I come from the old school where if your feet hurt all day, you won't be as good of a climber, particulary in cracks. So I always order shoes to size typically. I found my other La Sportiva climbing shoes to fit to size, but actually found these quite large, same exact size ordered as I wear in the La Sportiva Miura. So I sent them back and got a size smaller. I really like them so far. Not quite as technical as the Miura's in my opinion, but very sticky, hard and good for layering in cracks. I read the '05 review in Climbing and it is pretty much dead on, you can goggle the review. They concur with me on fit, "if you're looking to use the Barracuda primarily for thin cracks, size em’ up a bit so that your toes are flat, not curled."

asaking11 - Oct 13, 2009 8:15 pm - Voted 4/5

Alright shoe
This shoe is good for short sport face climbs, but for longer routes, or crack climbs these shoes kind of bite it.

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