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Price when purchased (2010): ca. £90
Price now (October 2014): £70 - £100
Arguably one of the best-selling climbing shoes of all times the La Sportiva Mythos has truly made an impact in the climbing shoe world. The innovative All-round lace system, which is also used in the popular Boulder X allows the wearer to adjust the shoe in minute detail. Since the lace runs around the Achilles the shoe can get away with not providing a great deal of inbuilt tension through the heel. The reinforced heel combined with the lacing makes this a very comfortable heel-hook capable shoe. With a high quality leather upper and stretch-holes in the rubber rand this shoe will fit and adapt to most feet easily. Designed to be worn all day this shoe is an excellent choice for any climber not wishing to take off their shoes every 5 minutes, but not wanting to compromise on technical ability.
My Mythos' have largely been used indoors aside from the few times I tested them on real rock. While this was not a decision based on the shoe itself in hindsight I believe it would have made some routes outdoors a lot easier and more enjoyable than they were. After 5 years of climbing in these shoes and many hours standing and walking in climbing centers the shoes have started to show signs of decay. Especially the typically sensitive front of the shoe now sports a hole where the sole has separated from the upper. While this is not a unique problem to this shoe but a common problem with climbing shoes I feel the damage has occurred a lot later than I would have expected given the heavy usage.
The rubber on the Mythos is a good middle ground. Not as soft as many technical shoes, but also not as hard as a beginner's shoe. This means the sole provides very good traction while not wearing out too quickly. As with any other climbing shoe the edges are the first casualty of use and on this model I noticed them wear down after just over a year. However, due to the lacing system, the actual precision of the shoe only degrades slightly since the shoe sits very snug on your foot.
My next pair of all-round climbing shoes will almost certainly be another pair of these shoes. The level of comfort these shoes provide coupled with a great technical capability and build quality has impressed me. Considering the fairly tame price tag compared to some of the other great shoes on the market and their durability this has become my preferred choice of shoe. My only slight problem with the shoe is the lacing being too complicated to quickly adjust other than tightening up the final section. Therefore not quite 5 peaks, but 4.5 peaks instead.