La Sportiva TC Pro ReviewMarch 24, 2014
- Comfortable for long multi-pitch routes, especially in Yosemite.
- Outstanding performance on edging and most crack-climbing.
- Protects ankles in off-widths.
- Designed by Tommy Caldwell for granite free-climbing performance.
- Performs poorly in finger-sized cracks, particularly splitter .75” cracks.
The La Sportiva TC Pro sets the standard for high-end trad free-climbing. With a mid-stiff sole, high-top protection for your ankles and a slightly down-turned toe, the TC Pro is one of the best shoes on the market for multi-pitch climbing, hand cracks, wide cracks and face-climbing. However, it struggles on straight-in finger cracks.
The La Sportiva TC Pro is an incredible edging shoe, even by high-end sport climbing standards. But it also performs well as a crack-climbing shoe, which makes it unique in this category. This lace-up boot is an absolute go-to shoe for Yosemite, Squamish and any type of varied trad-climbing destination such as Eldo or City of Rocks. For areas with straight-in jamming, such as Indian Creek, the TC Pro comes up short on all cracks under 1 inch (i.e., green Camalots and smaller).
The La Sportiva TC Pro has a semi-stiff sole making it an ideal all-day supportive shoe. I tested this shoe on routes in the Dolomites up to 2,500 feet long, and I actually wished it was a tiny bit stiffer for all that climbing. That said, the TC Pro inspires as much confidence on dime edges as any high-end sport-climbing shoe that I’ve worn.
The semi-stiff sole in the TC Pro actually works more than adequately on smears up to 5.12. That little bit of softness built into the last is designed to add more functionality on slippery granite smears.
Though this is hardly a shoe for tiny pockets, the precisely shaped pointy toe box allows you to fit your big toe in many pockets and treat them like edges.
The TC Pro isn’t meant to be a toe-hooking shoe, so I didn’t rate it on that performance standard. For heel-hooking, the TC Pro was solid.
The TC Pro excels at hand-sized and larger cracks. It can get by on finger cracks so long as there are plenty of edges on the face to use. But when it comes to the nefarious finger to ring-lock sized cracks, with straight-in jamming, the TC Pro is the last thing you’ll want to be wearing. Leave the TC Pro in your bag if the route is all thin .75” cracks; bring it for everything else.
This shoe offers outstanding all-day comfort that can be tailored to any size you desire. The TC Pro can be sized one size bigger, and can be worn with socks for colder weather or alpine routes. Or it can be downsized for ultimate performance on short, sub-three-pitch routes. Ideally, you’d own two pairs for each scenario (we all can dream).
I’ve not only worn these on thousands of feet of vertical edging and crack-climbing routes, I’ve also done half-mile descents through scree while wearing these shoes. And they are still going strong thanks to a solid 4mm sole of Vibram rubber.