Olympic climber Brooke Raboutou washes the dishes in her favorite shoes

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The climber, and new Olympian, shares details of her favorite La Sportiva climbing shoes for different disciplines.

Brooke Raboutou was part of the Olympic debut of climbing. She finished fifth in the bouldering event and the overall women’s climbing competition.

On her feet in Tokyo, like most of her home in Boulder, Colorado, Raboutou wore La Sportiva climbing shoes. And while her competitive climbing is done on indoor walls, she is also comfortable in her shoes on the rock.

Discover the La Sportiva climbing shoes for womenDiscover La Sportiva men’s climbing shoes

(Jess Talley, Stronger than 11 / La Sportiva)

Who is Brooke Raboutou?

Brooke Raboutou comes from a climbing family. This doesn’t mean that rock climbing is hereditary, but she has been guided in her climbing since she started at the age of 2. Her house is dotted with outlets, which gives a new twist to the concept of a family hangout.

Her mother, Robyn Erbesfield Raboutou, is an accomplished climber in her own right. She won the World Cup overall from 1992 to 1995 and coaches Brooke and Colin Duffy, another Olympic climber. His father, Didier Raboutou, was also a champion.

Her recent training revolved around the combined activities that make up Olympic indoor climbing, but Brooke is no stranger to rock. During the pandemic, when gyms were closed, Raboutou found growth with his family and friends in Rocky Mountain National Park. On an outing, it tackles two climbs in V14, Jade and two-ton skeleton.

At 20, we will certainly hear his name for a while.

And although she is young, she has a lot of experience on walls and shoes. We therefore asked Raboutou for his opinion on climbing shoes. We know climbers are special about their shoes, and we think you might find some insight into their preferences.

About these shoes

GearJunkie: What are you looking for in competitive climbing shoes?

Raboutou: The most important thing is that I trust my shoes. I like that my climbing shoes are stiff enough that I can stand on small edges. And I like them tight, so I don’t have to worry about my heel slipping when I hook the heel.

Assuming you are using different style shoes for lead, bouldering, and speed climbing, can you tell us which models you use for each, and which ones straddle the disciplines?

I use the Woman Solution for bouldering and lead climbing. For speed climbing I use the Cobra 4:99.

Have you changed your La Sportiva style over the years?

Yes, I have been through many different styles and types of La Sportiva [shoes] over the years, because I’ve been wearing them since I was just 2 years old! Some of my past favorites were the Testarossa and Futura.

Velcro or laces?

Velcro, but I like both.

How many pairs do you have to compete?

I usually have a pair that I train with, then I keep a pair that I have broken in a bit but that is still stiff enough for competition.

What is your ideal break-in period to get them to that perfect place?

Since I like stiffer shoes, I honestly like my shoes straight out of the box. For competitions I tend to wear them for about three sessions before saving them for competition.

How long do your soles / rubber last given how much you climb at home / in a gym? Do you use rotating shoes?

It’s hard to say how long they last as I rotate my shoes a lot, but I run through them quite quickly as I prefer them at the newer stage.

What is your favorite climbing / equipment store?

I love to walk Mountaineering Neptune.

What is the difference between the size of your climbing shoes and regular shoes?

I wear a European size 35 in climbing shoes and 37 or 37.5 in city shoes.

Discover the La Sportiva climbing shoes for womenDiscover La Sportiva men’s climbing shoes

La Sportiva Brooke Raboutou Olympic climbing wall
(Jess Talley, Stronger than 11 / La Sportiva)

This article is sponsored by La Sportiva. See more La Sportiva climbing shoes and other shoes in line.


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