Friday, June 22, 2012

Gear Review: La Sportiva Ganda

      There have been many great accomplishments in design and function over the centuries. Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, Bugatti created the luxurious 1001hp Veyron and then La Sportiva created the Ganda. This shoe will simply leave you speechless and smiling. La Sportiva made a bold claim when they said this shoe would allow you to carry a 30 pound pack on the approach then also have the ability to climb 5.12! I was skeptical until I put them on. WOW!!! I didn't climb 5.12 in them (  Honnold certainly could) but I did easily lead gently overhanging 10c trad in them! Throughout the hike in and the climb there wasn't a moment where I felt the shoe had any notion of a short coming in either discipline. On the hike it was supportive and gripped the mud well and on the climb it edged and smeared better than a lot of climbing shoes on market. It really is the best of both worlds. Simply put... the Ganda is a climbing shoe that you can hike in.
     These shoes are not magical nor divine, they are just engineered to perfection with every detail accounted for. Slip lasted in the forefoot and board lasted in the back, the Ganda is built around a 3D sculpted anatomical PU Lite mid-sole that molds to your foot over the life of the shoe. The upper is a combination of leather, Vibram rubber, and synthetic leather giving you comfort where you need it yet durability and friction in the areas of the shoe that take abuse. $250 dollars may sound steep for an approach shoe but you are really getting an approach shoe and climbing shoe in the same package (the Ganda's are designed to be repeatedly resoled). That's $125 a pair if you do the math, not a bad deal if you ask me!
     These shoes can make every climbers experience more efficient and enjoyable but the demographic that truly benefits from this amazing design is the professional guiding community. I work at a gear shop and moonlight as a guide and I honestly think that behind the Gri-Gri, the Ganda is the second most important tool in a guide's arsenal. The Ganda eliminates the need for a second shoe and they are sleek and professional in appearance. La Sportiva never fails to amaze me with their attention to detail and ground breaking designs. The Ganda is just one more piece of evidence in the testament to this company's passion for innovation.

     " I choose the Ganda because of its comfort and versatility. From guiding clients on North Carolinian slab to running them up the Grand Teton, the Gandas edge and smear perfectly. They are so comfortable, when I get back to the car after a long day in the mountains, that I routinely forget to change into my sandals!" - Karsten Delap- AMGA Rock Guide- La Sportiva Athlete

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