La Sportiva Tradmaster

rated 1.5 of 5 stars (3)

The Tradmaster has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best climbing shoes for 2020.

photo: La Sportiva Tradmaster climbing shoe


Price Historic Range: $34.95-$110.00
Reviewers Paid: $110.00


3 reviews
5-star:   0
4-star:   0
3-star:   0
2-star:   1
1-star:   2

I've used this shoe on roughly 3000 ft of trad climbing in Eldorado Canyon and on California Granite. The shoe is very comfortable, with a nicely padded heel and tongue. It is a stiff shoe, but not overly so. The shoe performs well in cracks and on moderate face climbing, but not so well on thin face climbing and friction.

I noticed right away that the rubber on this shoe did not seem to perform as well as the rubber on my La Sportiva Barracuda's, and a little research at the company web site confirmed what I suspected. La Sportiva uses a different rubber, their FriXon compound, on this shoe. This appears to be the same rubber that they use on their approach shoes,my La Sportiva Exum Ridges are labeled with the FriXon Logo, for example.

Pros: Comfortable, good in cracks, burly.

Cons: Rubber is not up to the standards of the other La Sportiva models (you will notice a difference), the shoe is not very sensitive, but should last a long time.

Use: Cracks, moderate face climbs
Break-in Period: About 3 days of climbing
Price Paid: $110

Weak shoe - one 90 ft Vedauwoo pitch put ~ 1.5 mm razor blade like slices in the rubber and the little edging I did on the route was starting to take chunks of rubber off the toe. Maybe it was a bad batch of rubber but I'd avoid the friXion rubber in the future for the tried and true XSV that Sportiva still uses on their other shoes.

Aside: the toe of the Tradmaster isn't as pointy as the "equivalent" Focus model of a few years prior, and is probably too blunt for most intermediate to advanced climbers.

Price Paid: $110 US

Great all round and comfortable shoe -- or so I thought.

First pair blew out the seam and toe rand in eight weeks (12 outings!)

Replacement pair did same, except after ONE DAY of climbing!!!

I'm done with Sportiva shoes.

Price Paid: discount

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