With its high top design and stiffer feel, you might assume the TC Pro is too much of a big wall specialist to be of much interest to the average UK climber; but that's where you'd be wrong. Rob Greenwood's preconceptions are well and truly smashed by this versatile and comfy Rolls Royce of a rock shoe.
Great shoe. Bought a pair in 2014 in the states, one resole later and their still going, good as new. Performs well on the grit, big mountain routes and the stiffness lends itself to limestone trad too
I'm a bit surprised this review hasn't mentioned this is the V2.0 - from a "shop test" the other day the shoe felt noticeably different from the V1.0 - much "pointier" toe shape and focused just right of the big toe.
They seem to be getting a bit of a pasting over on the the LaSportiva Website:
I have the old ones, which to be fair also suffered from peeling rubber on the uppers quite quickly, so it's handy having some shoegoo / seamgrip on a bigger trip.
@Simon I very much doubt these are going to be the "blanco killer", waay to stiff and insensitive. The V1.0 took about 1-2000m of granite before I got the "feel" for them. AKA - just belieeeeeve they're going to stick and they do. I found I had to totally change my climbing style from being a bit of a "front pointer" to more of an inside/outside edger. IMO not nearly precise enought for "toe-in" edging. Apparently the V2.0 was hoping to address this, but I've not tried them yet.
I didn’t realise the new version was so hated. I’ve been wearing the previous version since only last year and thought I’d found the perfect shoe . They’re my only pair of shoes and use them for everything. After years of painful toes and sizing down I sized them to my street shoe size realising I’ve never fallen off anything because my shoes are too big and I can wear them all day with socks no problem.
Looks like I’ll have to treat them gently and looking to resole as many times as I can get away with
I have 2 pairs that I've used for pretty much all my Trad in the last 2 years. A pair of the old ones that I use for big easy stuff and can wear socks with and a pair of the new model a full euro size smaller that I use for everything else.
Very happy with both pairs although I'd say the old model has shown signs of wear faster. They are very insensitive but that's obviously traded off with support and comfort.
I think all of the reviews there are other people who have the old model. It's weird when brands update shoes and change them a fair amount, but keep the same model name. There are always people who loved the old model, don't fit the new version, so then hate the new version. Probably there will be folk who didn't fit the v.1 but fit the v.2 great, but they may never try them if they think they are the same as the v.1!
Comments about the rubber can be taken with a grain of salt too - it's the same rubber as is used on loads of other models from various different manufacturers.
Yes, in the past I remember skinning an ankle in a gritstone offwidth and pondering why the EB/PA or Boreal ballet or whatever high cut climbing boots went out of fashion. I blame the Ninja slipper for that trend Grrrrrr Hoping the TC Pro will help restore the balance
I don't think availability is a genuine concern. At least three of the major online retailers stock them, and personally I've not had issues getting them in my size (and a size up for cold weather climbing with socks).
Since getting my first pair of TC Pros a few years ago I can't imagine climbing outdoors in anything else. It's a shoe you can genuinely be comfortable on all day, whilst still being technical enough, and with the added benefit of ankle protection. I do generally prefer long mountain multipitch days at a relatively low grades, so TCs make an ideal choice. Looking forward to seeing how the new version compares once I eventually wear through my current ones.
I have toe issues, and almost all shoes cause me severe pain after only short use. I've found the stiff flat sole of the TC Pro really useful, and now exclusively use TC Pros for everything. Sport, Bouldering, Trad. Doesn't matter, I wear them for it all.
Toe hooks suck with them, but that's pretty much where their limits end as far as I can tell and that's more than made up for by their supreme edging ability which I think generally comes in more useful than toe hooks for most routes.
I get a lot of comments about them, which basically amount to 'Why are you wearing those, this isn't [Insert form of climbing I am not doing at that specific moment]'..
And to that I say, whatever. They're comfy as hell, and can stand on b*llshit holds. What more do you want?
Also, I have found the ankle protection great. Use to smash the crap out of my ankles gym bouldering, slipping off volumes and such. I don't really understand why higher top climbing shoes aren't the norm..
I'm really annoyed they've come out with a new version, and there's lots of people saying they fit different.. It took me YEARS to find a shoe I liked, and didn't cause pain.
I have two pairs, but one has been resoled twice and has unfixable holes appearing.. I might need to snap up some second hand pairs and create a collection to resole before it's too late.
Why do companies insist on messing with a good thing? They should release the new version, and keep the old version too.. If the old version continues to outsell, then keep the old version.
I actually wonder why, with such a wide variety of foot shapes, manufacturers don't sell some of their flagship models (I.e. TCPro) in 2 different foot styles. I mean, they do often do ladies or LV versions, why not have a Greek foot and roman foot version or whatever the other option is...
I found the fit of the V1 OK but not amazing out of the box and slowly got used to it as they broke in. The new one fitted my foot slightly better out the box, but felt like they'd given it a more pointy toe, but also positioned the point slightly inboard towards the second toe. I'm still in 2 minds about getting a pair as I don't know how they will feel long term.
I've got a pair of 43.5 v1s never resolved and still with 50% rubber if that fits I could sell them.
I struggled to really trust my feet in them enough to climb at my hardest. Always felt like they might slip which is a really scary feeling on trad.
I also found P3 heel pinched my achilles too much to call them comfortable on a long day out. I’ve heard there is a way to slice into the P3 either side of the heel to release the tension a little bit without cutting it completely though.
I'd like to add some points to this based on my own recent experience with the TC Pro:
It's the comfiest high performing shoe I've ever owned, period. I've happily left it on for 10+ pitch routes (the latest being this weekend on Sännetuntschi in the Göscheneralp) and then all the way down whilst abseiling and felt like it could stay on for another 10 pitches quite happily. It's honestly incredible how comfortable it is and this is absolutely the standout quality for me because it manages to perform extremely well on granite and sandstone plus okish on square edged lime without any compromise on comfort.
It's absolutely piss poor on precise lime i.e. rounded water pockets, small triangular shaped footholds or other such common lime features. It has a tendency to skate off unexpectedly which leaves you overgripping when runout or onsighting and wishing you'd worn something more sensitive. The problem is the exact thing that makes it strong on granite etc; it doesn't conform to the foothold but simply stays stiff - perfect for a granite micro edge but rubbish on a slippy water pocket or lime smear. Comparing directly the Instinct Lace sized for relative comfort (1 size down) feels ridiculously better on this kind of terrain.
The crack comfort is superb in the main although classic pain terrain such as thin hands is still uncomfortable. That being said it's possible to really milk your feet in these shoes in a way that something like the Anasazi can't match. Especially on granite with big crystals this is a godsend.
I would say this shoe is an ideal choice for UK trad climbing on higher friction rock types where edging stability, comfort and jamming protection are priority. For rock types where precision and sensitivity are more important i.e. lime and slate etc I don't believe it's the best choice (although probably worth pointing out that Franco did the Meltdown extension in TC Pro IIRC).
For rock types where precision and sensitivity is a priority I would be looking more towards shoes like the Instinct Lace, Skwama, or Miura VS. The Miura especially is IMO one of the best limestone edging shoes on the market.
Hope this is a useful contribution to the discussion.
> I'm a bit surprised this review hasn't mentioned this is the V2.0 - from a "shop test" the other day the shoe felt noticeably different from the V1.0 - much "pointier" toe shape and focused just right of the big toe.
Sorry for the delayed reply, I've been away in the Alps over the last couple of weeks.
The main reason I shied away from focussing on the V1.0 vs. V2.0 differences is that I've only used the originals once whilst in Tasmania, when our bags failed to arrive and a local climber lend me a pair. As such, I didn't feel like I'd used them thoroughly enough to comment on any like-for-like differences and framed my review soley focussing on the V2.0 as a result of this. Due to their historic lack of availability in the UK, coupled with the fact that almost everything I've read about them has been US focussed, I thought I'd angle this review a little differently (rightly or wrongly).
> They seem to be getting a bit of a pasting over on the the LaSportiva Website:
It's always interesting when brands bring out a new version of an old shoe, because the update rarely pleases everyone. The Scarpa Boostic is a brilliant example of this, as I was a huge fan of the original, but pretty disappointed by its update; however, I know a fair few folk who never used the original, but have really liked the update. With the revised toe profile of the TC Pros I suspect that it'll please some and not others - much like the adjusted volume within the forefoot.
I've been tempted a few times by TC Pros, but can't bring myself to spend £140+ on a pair of shoes. Just last week I got a pair of Ocun Jett Crack, which are a similar boot, and only £85. Only had a chance to boulder indoors with them so far but felt very secure on a range of holds and hooks. Toe is a bit pointier than I'm used to, but I think I'll appreciate it when they're getting stuffed into cracks. Will give them a workout at Millstone soon!
> This review is so lacking its verging on embarrassing, to call this a review is quite frankly dishonest, it's an add just a straight up add.
If I thought they were crap I'd tell you they were crap, much like I've done with a whole load of other products. There's no obligation for me, or anyone else at UKC/UKH, to say nice things about products unless they're good - and in this case they were good.
If you've got any more constructive feedback feel free to fire away.
Yeah, there was an Unparallel demo at my local gym and I tried all of them on and all were painful the second I stepped onto the wall. Unclimbable, which is a shame as I thought they'd be my best bet as a replacement too.
I need to bite the bullet and just try the new TC Pros. Maybe I'm worrying about nothing.. Might just be some wishful thinking on my behalf though.
In reply to Alasdair Fulton:
Thanks for the offer of shoes, but those are a size down from what I usually wear and when I tried to downsize in the TC Pros it just didn't work out for me.
In reply to midgen:
>Just last week I got a pair of Ocun Jett Crack
Interesting. Ocun Jett lace were my shoes before I found the TC Pros. And they weren't as good in regards to comfort, but they were close. Might check them out. Bit disheartening when I look on their site and they have it listed as a good shoe for narrow, wide, and normal feet.. As well as all the different foot shapes.
> an ideal choice for UK trad climbing on higher friction rock types where edging stability, comfort and jamming protection are priority. For rock types where precision and sensitivity are more important i.e. lime and slate etc I don't believe it's the best choice
Spot on. i think you see a lot of pairs at Fair Head for those three reasons.
And I think you nailed it, how you differentiated between positive edges and smeary ones - why you can stand on little granite crystals (that you can't actually feel with your toes) and yet have foot slips on the lime.... and there was me, always blamed my technique
I found a specific style required for little holds, where you put your foot on, no feel, push down, trust, and stick... until sometime it doesn't... that would be something slippery and polished where I'd prefer something soft with XS Grip
> Spot on. i think you see a lot of pairs at Fair Head for those three reasons.
> And I think you nailed it, how you differentiated between positive edges and smeary ones - why you can stand on little granite crystals (that you can't actually feel with your toes) and yet have foot slips on the lime.... and there was me, always blamed my technique
> I found a specific style required for little holds, where you put your foot on, no feel, push down, trust, and stick... until sometime it doesn't... that would be something slippery and polished where I'd prefer something soft with XS Grip
> If you've got any more constructive feedback feel free to fire away.
I always enjoy UKC reviews and never understand the people who turn up in the comments with accusations of bias.
However one thing I think is often missing in UKC reviews is a comparison to the alternatives (groups test not withstanding). This review for example could have mentioned maybe the niad or unparallel up lace as other stiff comfortable all rounders? I appreciate reviewers can't have used every bit of gear from every manufacturer, but at least some pointers to some alternatives for the reader to go an have a further look at, and how they stack up in terms of price, would be beneficial I think.
> However one thing I think is often missing in UKC reviews is a comparison to the alternatives (groups test not withstanding). This review for example could have mentioned maybe the niad or unparallel up lace as other stiff comfortable all rounders? I appreciate reviewers can't have used every bit of gear from every manufacturer, but at least some pointers to some alternatives for the reader to go an have a further look at, and how they stack up in terms of price, would be beneficial I think.
I agree with you entirely regarding this being useful information to include, but as you've pointed out - it's really tricky.
Within Group Tests it's possible, but only due to a fairly monumental amount of effort. Within individual product reviews it's challenging because - much like you suggest - it requires the reviewer to have used the various alternatives that are available. Sometimes this is possible, other times it's not, which is why - in the name of consistency - we tend to focus on the product at hand within each individual product review.
That said, I've always seen the forums and threads that follow as a way to continue the conversation, answering any questions people might have. The vast majority of our reviewers are happy to provide more detail on the product they've reviewed and, where appropriate, answer questions regarding how it fares compared to others.
One of the problems we face when comparing other products is which products to compare it to, because whilst you've named two, there's probably a whole load more we could compare it to, and as a result of this is becomes hard to know quite where to draw the line.
In short: it's something we'd love to do, but really hard to do...
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