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Anyone use Sportiva Pythons?
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By Daniel Kuzio
From Plainfield, VT
Jan 31, 2013

I'm looking into getting pythons for my sport climbing and bouldering shoe. Does anyone here use them and have insight? I'm mostly wondering how they'll perform outside as that's where I climb most, I do spend some time in the gym though.


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By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Jan 31, 2013

I love them. They fit my feet really well, so that is a big part of it. Very sensitive. Great for pulling in with your toes on steep ground. Amazing for heel hooking and toe hooking; the single velcro strap keeps the heel on for heel hooking--a big improvement over a basic slipper. Very soft, and designed with steep rock in mind. As such, they aren't the best general, all-around sort of shoe; they are not a good choice for sustained vertical edging. I would not choose these as my only shoe. If you have multiple pairs of shoes, though, these are a great steep rock specialist. They pair well with something like a Miura; Miuras for vert routes, Pythons for steep.

They stretch a lot, so buy them really really tight.


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By mozeman
Feb 15, 2013

I'll add an opposing view,

I have/have owned venoms, cobras, testarossas, solutions, katana lace ups, muira vs, and muira lace up and the least favorite of all of them all was my pythons! They just seemed super flimsy and awful for any type of climbing that isn't overhung.....dont get me wrong, they are pretty good for steep routes with big feet. but personally I did not like them and felt as if I couldn't edge worth a crap in them.


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By AdamB
From Charlotte, NC
Feb 15, 2013
Black Boulder Problem, sent after a generous skin donation

I have them for an outdoor shoe and I love them. counter to mozeman, i feel as though they edge great, I like the overall fit better than the Solutions and i feel like the heel hook better than the Solutions as well. They perform well for me on overhung terrain, I feel like they grab really well. I haven't experienced any stretch yet, but they do run fairly small, my Solutions are a 44.5, my Pythons are a 43 or a 43.5. For context, I've only used them in the gym to break them in, they're my prmary outdoor bouldering shoe right now and I climb in the V8-V9 neighborhood. Hope that helps.


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By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Feb 15, 2013

I'm note sure mozeman's opinion is all that counter to mine...

mozeman wrote:
awful for any type of climbing that isn't overhung


True, though "awful" may be an overstatement. Not slab shoes.

mozeman wrote:
they are pretty good for steep routes with big feet.


True. Steeper the better. They work great for roof climbing with heel/toe hooks, etcs.

mozeman wrote:
personally I did not like them and felt as if I couldn't edge worth a crap in them.


Again, true. Not a shoe for vertical edging, and I don't use pythons for such an application. Similarly, my vertical edging shoes (Miuras, Testarossas) are terrible for roof boulder problems with toe hooks. The Pythons are specialized shoes, and perform very well in the right applications. They perform terribly in the wrong applications. They are definately a shoe to use as a part of a quiver, not as a go-to, stand alone shoe.

Personally, I use mine for steep bouldering, anything with a lot of heel hooking, steep sport climbs, and the gym (they work well on plastic). For Shelf Road style climbing, i am definately going to choose something different. If I were using them for the situations you describe (not vertical, edging), I would hate them too. For a pocketed roof, though...


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By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Feb 15, 2013

Caveat; just looked at OP's profile; he is a relative beginner. Get a different shoe for now, since you'll be spending most of your climbing time on angles (i.e. around vertical) where the Python isn't really in its element. Miuras or Katanas (lace or velcro for either) might be good choices for the climbing around VT, if you are looking for something high-performance.


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By Daniel Kuzio
From Plainfield, VT
Feb 16, 2013

Thanks everyone. I've tried a bunch of shoes on in the shop and it turns out that the python doesn't fit my foot that well anyway. Moira's fit better. Now just need to demo a couple pairs to see how they climb!


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By AdamB
From Charlotte, NC
Feb 16, 2013
Black Boulder Problem, sent after a generous skin donation

+1 for he Katana suggestion, those things are effin' incredible.


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By 1Eric Rhicard
Feb 16, 2013
It is a good sized roof. Photo: Jimbo

I use mine on any angle except real slab. Steep, vertical, slightly and steeply overhung. They are the softest shoes I have ever worn and they don't edge that well. Mine fit tight and they do not seem to be getting that loose with forty short routes or so.


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