La Sportiva Python

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Hi-yah! The Python’s kick ass. And by that I mean they do it like Bruce Lee used to do it before he was himself kicked in the ass by a bullet to the face. That is, so hard and fast the other person is in a deep swoon face down before he even saw it coming.

I managed to snake (pun alert!) my pair, one of only two in the country, off an unsuspecting Marvelox when the North Island rep, bless him, let slip they had a new sample shoe in the warehouse. My old mate, Seedy Bevan Hadler, had kept this gem close to his chest but after a little, and by that I mean daily abusive texts, friendly persuasion got a pair sent up. Unfortunately they only came in euro 38 which is a bit on the small side…ok considering my clown feet a LOT on the small side, and at first it was touch and go as to whether or not I could actually get them on. I didn’t even bother trying without plastic bags with these ones, and it took a few weeks before they stretched enough to wear without feeling the bones in my neck compress. What exactly are they? Think an unholy convolution between the Cobras (themselves a top notch all round shoe), and the wildly superfluous Solution. Think also the movie entitled ‘The Human Centipede’, and you’ll have a rough approximation of what’s going on here. Just minus the twisted shock value. They retain the Cobra’s distinctive orange leather and elastic which accounts for their generous stretch, with more rubber added to both the heel cup and top of the toe. In fact it’s the same toe-cap used on the Solution and Speedster. Added into the mid-sole is the permanent power platform prevalent in most LS shoes these days. The result? A wicked tight, precise slipper with good support throughout the foot, sticky xs2 rubber and a single Velcro strap cinching them in even tighter, which is the best bit if you are a chronic heel-hooker. After a short amount of time in the old Cobras, chunking a heel-hook would quite often result in the shoe flying off the offending hoof and shattering a poor spotter’s collarbone. The strap is also elasticised, which is a new concept. Good to get an even tightness across the forefoot, bad if you accidentally let go, as it tends to whip back faster than an angered cat’s claw and pierce the skin on the back of your hand. The edge is keen, the fit suitably glove-like, and the extra features round off what I reckon is a premium shoe, despite the fact its nothing more than a mixture between two existing models. Could La Spo not come up with anything new but wanted to release something anyway? Did they draw models out of a hat and combine the first two they got? Was it the result of a badly organised user-participation competition gone wrong? Whatever the reason, the result is not just a new thing for the sake of blatant consumerism, but a filthy good shoe which will stand up to all the others on the market. And the fact it’ll be way cheaper than others of its quality is a sure selling point too. Unsure if old Marvy will import these into the country, but I hope they do.

Pros: tight slipper without the downside of heel slippage and eventual sloppiness
Cons: ultra tight out of the box, toe-box edge takes ages to break in. Elastic in Velcro strap is vindictive and strikes without warning, and may be prone to failure over time.

5 Responses

  1. Django says:

    Bruce Lee was not killed by a bullet to the face. You are thinking of Brandon Lee, who died on set of The Crow when live bullets were mixed up with blanks.

  2. cjib says:

    I just got mine an there way sweet but have to take them on an off b/c there to small but i know if they will stretch i will have slippage like i did with my mad rocks (similar style & design). Any tips of stretching them so it feels like your foot is not in a vice an you can put weight on your foot when you climb?

  3. Loui says:

    i would recommend sizing them half a size down from solutions… i wear a 40 in the solutions and a 39.5 pythons. they form to your foot and stretch but they dont get loose ever. they are by far the best shoe i have ever owned. the solutions heel did not work for me, i had dead space and it was too big. the only shoe that has the perfect heel and is super sensitive. worth the money… and yes they are pretty cheap compared to other shoes. worth every penny.

  4. Beast Kong says:

    I approve this message. Went down a full size in my because I had no choice, and now they are broken in, they are perfect. Awesome pair of paddles.

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