La Sportiva Zenit Rock Review

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Offering exceptional comfort, security, and a grippy fit, the La Sportiva Zenit is a versatile choice for entry-level and intermediate climbers, excelling in both indoor and outdoor environments.

Fit and Comfort8
Heel and Toe Hooking7
Indoor Performance9
Outdoor Performance9

Our Verdict

La Sportiva Zenit climbing shoes are top-performing footwear that perfectly balances comfort and functionality. Its semi-downturned shape, durable construction, and breathable knit fabric make it an ideal choice for both entry-level and intermediate climbers looking to push their skills to new heights.

While some climbers may find it expensive or too slippery on the heel, its versatility in edge work and surface traction more than compensates for these minor drawbacks.

  • Great grip and traction on various terrains.
  • Semi-downturned shape for precision and sensitivity.
  • Comfortable fit out of the box.
  • Supportive yet sensitive design.
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor climbing.
  • Breathable upper for cooler, dry feet.
  • Excels on moderate routes.
  • Excellent durability.
  • Semi-downturned shape might be uncomfortable for beginners.
  • May lack support for those preferring a flatter sole.
  • More expensive than some entry-level options.
  • Not ideal for beginners who climb indoors.
  • Reported to run slightly small in size.
  • Less focus on comfort features.
  • Some users found the blue rubber heel slippery.

La Sportiva Zenit Rock Climbing Shoe Overview

La Sportiva Zenit Rock Climbing Shoe Overview- review

La Sportiva Zenit climbing shoes are well-made and versatile for both indoor and outdoor climbs, offering exceptional comfort, traction, and durability.

Design And Features

The La Sportiva Zenit Rock Climbing Shoe showcases an impressive design that incorporates both style and functionality, making it a top choice for rock climbers. The shoe’s semi-downturned shape offers excellent footing security while maintaining high comfort during long climbing sessions.

To ensure a secure fit without sacrificing ease of use, the Zenit features a dual Velcro closure system. This allows for quick adjustments on the go without having to worry about laces coming undone mid-climb.

Comfort And Fit

La Sportiva Zenit Rock Climbing Shoes are designed to deliver exceptional comfort and security, making this a popular choice for climbers of all levels. With its semi-downturned shape, this versatile footwear is suitable for climbing both easy and moderate routes.

The dual Zenit’s Velcro closure system provides an easily adjustable, secure fit while adding convenience when slipping them on or off between climbs. It has a sufficiently rigid sole unit for enhanced support during climbs, and the innovative knit fabric upper ensures breathability to keep your feet fresh throughout the climb.

Performance: Smearing And Edging

La Sportiva Zenit climbing shoes provide exceptional edge work and smearing capabilities, making it a top pick for those who climb routes requiring these techniques. The rigid sole allows the climber to feel secure on even the smallest footholds while also providing ample support for longer climbs.

Although experienced climbers appreciate the high level of precision that the La Sportiva Zenit offers in smearing and edging, beginners may find this shoeless forgiving, and more challenging to use than other models.


La Sportiva Zenit climbing shoes have excellent durability. They are designed to last, even with frequent use and intense wear and tear. The rubber sole provides excellent traction, so you can climb for hours without worrying about your shoes wearing down. If you’re climbing indoors, you can expect these shoes to last even longer!

Advantages and Limitations Of La Sportiva Zenit

Advantages and Limitations Of La Sportiva Zenit- climbing shoe review

The La Sportiva Zenit has its advantages as a durable and comfortable climbing shoe suitable for experienced climbers, but it may have some limitations for beginners.

Advantages For Experienced Climbers

The La Sportiva Zenit climbing shoe offers a range of advantages for experienced climbers. Here are some of the benefits that make it stand out:

  • Excellent grip and traction on various terrains, making it ideal for technical climbs and edging
  • Semi-downturned shape allows for greater precision and sensitivity when tackling challenging routes
  • Comfortable fit  straight out of the box, thanks to its plush footbed and leather lining
  • Supportive yet sensitive: supportive where it counts while still providing high sensitivity and feedback to the climber.
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor climbing: Its grippy sole and durable construction is perfect for indoor gym routes and outdoor rock faces.
  • Breathable upper, which keeps feet cool and dry during intense climbs, making it more comfortable over long periods
  • Perfect for moderate routes: While not designed for extreme climbs, the Zenit excels on moderate routes requiring precise edging and smearing skills.

Overall, the La Sportiva Zenit climbing shoe is an excellent choice for experienced climbers seeking comfort, sensitivity, support, and versatility in their footwear.

Limitations For Beginners

If you’re new to climbing, the La Sportiva Zenit might not be your best choice. Here are some limitations beginners should keep in mind:

  • Semi-downturned shape may take some getting used to and could be uncomfortable for beginners who haven’t built up foot strength
  • May not provide enough support for those who prefer a flatter sole.
  • It is relatively expensive compared to other entry-level options, so if you’re just starting out, investing in such a high-end model might not make sense.
  • Finally, while the Zenit is a versatile shoe that can handle both indoor and outdoor climbing, beginners who climb indoors may want to consider specialized shoes designed specifically for gym use.

Comparison to Other Climbing Shoes

Comparing La Sportiva Zenit with other popular climbing shoes in the market, such as the TC PRO, Cobra, and Katana Lace, can help you make an informed decision based on your specific climbing needs and preferences. Here’s a quick comparison of these four climbing shoes:

La Sportiva Zenit
Katana Lace
Climbing Shoe
Climbing Shoe
La Sportiva Zenit
Katana Lace
Best For
Best For
Beginners to Intermediate Climbers
Advanced Climbers
Intermediate Climbers
All Skill Levels
Semi-downturned shape, breathable knit fabric, dual Velcro closure, rigid sole unit
Neutral shape, Vibram XS Edge rubber, leather upper, high ankle support, lace-up system
Neutral shape, Vibram XS Edge rubber, leather upper, high ankle support, lace-up system
Neutral to semi-downturned shape, leather and synthetic upper, Vibram XS Edge rubber, lace-up system

These climbing shoes offer unique features and advantages catering to different skill levels and climbing styles. It is essential to consider your priorities and preferences, such as sensitivity, grip, comfort, and price, when choosing the right shoe for your climbing needs.

ClimbingJunkie has plenty of other rock climbing shoe reviews to help you make an informed purchase. Read our other rock climbing shoe reviews here.

Customer Reviews And Recommendations

Customer Reviews And Recommendations- climbing shoe review

Experienced climbers rave about Zenit’s comfortable fit and excellent traction, with some reviewers stating that it has become their go-to shoe for both indoor and outdoor climbs.

Reviews From Experienced Climbers

Experienced climbers have tested the La Sportiva Zenit climbing shoe, and overall, it has received positive reviews. Many climbers appreciate its grippy and precise fit, which allows for excellent edge work and surface traction on various terrains.

Climbers have also noted that the Zenit is comfortable straight out of the box with exceptional footing security. Its sufficiently rigid sole unit works well for easy-to-moderate routes.

While many climbers praise Zenit’s design and performance features, some reviewers found its blue rubber heel too slippery during climbs or considered it an expensive option compared to other climbing shoes in its class.

Personal Recommendations For Different Levels Of Climbers

If you’re wondering whether the La Sportiva Zenit climbing shoe is suitable for your level of expertise, here are our personal recommendations:

For beginners:

  • The Zenit is an excellent choice for novice climbers as it provides exceptional comfort and support
  • It has a medium-stiff sole unit, making it easier to stand on smaller footholds
  • With its grippy fit, this shoe is great for developing confidence in foot placement

For intermediate climbers:

  • If you’re an Intermediate climber looking to improve your edge work, the Zenit should be your go-to shoe
  • Its a semi – downturned shape allows for better precision and sensitivity on edges while still being comfortable to wear
  • The moderate downturn also adds power and tension to each movement.

For experienced climbers:

  • Experienced climbers prefer the Zenit for both indoor and outdoor climbing
  • The breathable design makes it ideal for long days outdoors
  • It has enough stiffness and sensitivity for intricate maneuvers.
  • The premium leather lining in the footbed adds a luxurious feel to every climb.

Whatever level of climbing experience you have, the La Sportiva Zenit offers excellent comfort and performance capabilities.

Video Review


1. How do these shoes perform on different types of rock surfaces?

La Sportiva Zenit climbing shoes are great for both indoor and outdoor climbing, with their sticky rubber soles providing excellent grip on everything from rough sandstone to smooth granite faces.

2. What level of climber would benefit most from using the La Sportiva Zenit?

Advanced climbers who need precise control over their movements will find these shoes particularly useful, but they can also be helpful for intermediate climbers who want to improve their technique and push themselves to new heights.

3. Are there any drawbacks or downsides to using the La Sportiva Zenit?

Some users have reported that these shoes run slightly small in size compared to other models, so it’s important to try them on before making a purchase. Additionally, they may not be as comfortable as more casual climbing shoe styles due to their focus on performance over comfort features like extra cushioning or padding.

La Sportiva Zenit: Versatile and Durable Climbing Shoes for All Levels

La Sportiva Zenit Rock Climbing Shoes is an impressive option for climbers seeking a shoe that strikes a balance between comfort and performance. This versatile climbing shoe caters to both entry-level and intermediate climbers as it excels in edge work, surface traction and provides excellent footing security. Its breathable knit fabric upper and premium leather-lined footbed ensures your feet stay fresh. 

Although priced higher than some of the other options, the durable construction and versatility of the Zenit makes it worth the increased cost, and they are definitely worth considering when you’re looking for your next pair of rock climbing shoes.

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