If you have just started climbing and are looking for a great option in a climbing shoe to start out with, this guide will help you out a lot. In the beginning of your journey, some of the best climbing shoes are geared to aspects that allow you to try out a variety of climbs but also don’t force you to drop a load of cash.
One can’t give you everything you really need, so trying out a specific climbing shoe and then getting in depth information about the shoe can give more precise experience on what things your shoe is great at and where your shoe is lacking in different areas.
The Oxygym is a great beginner shoe and will get you started on your climbing adventure. Even if you are experienced, these are still really great climbing shoes that won’t break your bank but will still let you go on various climbs. In this article we have done La Sportiva Oxygym Review.
In Depth Guide of the La Sportiva Oxygym Review Climbing Shoe
La Sportiva Oxygym Climbing Shoe Score
- Sensitivity – 5 out of 10
- Comfort – 9 out of 10
- Durability – 6 out of 10
- Fit – 5 out of 10
How Well Does the La Sportiva Oxygym Climbing Shoe Actually Perform?
The Oxygym has La Sportiva’s own FriXion RS rubber. The rubber isn’t as quality as some other brands make, such as the Stealth C4 or even the Vibram XS. The grip is the main thing that both these other rubbers excel at, and the Oxygym unfortunately doesn’t compare with these other climbing shoe rubbers.
Cheap, But Lacks Overall Performance
The Oxygym ends up being really affordable, but this may not be the best feature as it is also indicative of the climbing shoe’s somewhat lower performance. The lower end rubber is the main component that affects a lot of the areas of performance, so it is a tough shoe to give high marks to.
Not the Best for Edging
The toe box on the Oxygym is pretty wide, which is great for comfort but not so much when you are trying to get a really good hold on smaller edges on the cliff face. You need as much pressure as you can get on the big area so all your feet strength can be focused on its stability.
If the toe box is too wide, a lot of the force will be spread out among each one of your toes. This again gives more comfort but doesn’t allow the kind of concentration of force needed for great edging skills.
Even the rubber used on the Oxygym doesn’t have nearly as much grip as some other rubbers from other brands, it still has really good durability.
However this durability somewhat takes away from the sensitivity in the climbing shoe. The rubber is thick and strong but doesn’t provide the kind of material needed for really being able to feel much smaller holds or for feeling those micro features on the rock face that allow you to get a hold where you normally wouldn’t.
For beginners this won’t necessarily be a problem because typically the types of climbs you want to go on will have larger holds. And also, even if you are on a tough climb, you will want to practice normal obvious ledges and easy surfaces rather than try to get a feel for really minute rock features that more expert climbers would go for.
Even though this climbing shoe doesn’t have the most grippy rubber, it still works pretty well for heel hooking. Some climbing shoes don’t extend their rubber material all the way up to the back of the heel, but the Oxygym does.
Though you won’t be able to get a better hold with your heel on the rock with the Oxygym with your heel than you would be able to with Vibram rubber or C4 rubber, the fact that the rubber extends onto a good portion of the heel is way better than some other climbing shoes.
This still may be more so suited for practicing in the gym however, where you can be pretty sure the surfaces will be ideal for a less sticky rubber. You can practice with these great in the gym, and then as your skill increases, start looking for another pair of climbing shoes with stickier rubber to take on your outdoor climbing adventure.
Ok for Pockets
There is a spoon like shape that the front of the shoe has. It slopes upwards creating a shape that will definitely fit better into a pocket than some other climbing shoes.
Is the La Sportiva Oxygym Climbing Shoe Comfortable?
Comfort for Beginners
Since this shoe is mainly built to be used by beginners, it’s definitely more comfortable than most climbing shoes. You’ll mostly want to use this shoe in a gym since it’s a pretty soft one, but if you are a beginner you’re going to be in the gym to start off with anyway.
Don’t Start Off With an Aggressive Shoe
You might be turned off at first if you are just starting out climbing and you buy a shoe that you are told has tons of support and will really help you out in tough spots. This is because that kind of shoe will be pretty uncomfortable, not very sensitive so you’ll feel like there is a mile of rubber between you and the rock, and your experience just won’t be enjoyable at first.
But if you go with a beginner shoe that is comfortable, lets your feet relax, and has a great fit, you’ll be more likely to try and increase your skill by more practice and eventually by leveling up your climbing shoe game.
The Oxygym is a great first climbers shoe because of its comfort level, but experienced climbers will still appreciate this aspect as well.
When the longest part of your climbing shoe (typically the end of the toe) lines up as closely as possible with the heel as possible, your climbing shoe has great asymmetry.
If you have higher asymmetry, the toe is off center and doesn’t give the best comfort possible, among other things.
You should be able to walk from climb to climb in this shoe because of the comfort level, unlike a lot of other climbing shoes where you’re definitely going to want to switch to your approach shoes so that your feet won’t be too worn out between climbs.
Not for Tougher Climbs
You won’t want to go on overhang climbs or use them when climbing up rock faces with lots of ripples and no real rock holds because you will definitely not be comfortable.
Gym climbing and traditional climbs with lots of solid footholds are going to be your friend when wearing the Oxygym as they will stay comfortable and won’t cause you too much pain.
If you are looking for a shoe to do tougher, more specialty climbs, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Does the La Sportiva Oxygym Climbing Shoe Have Good Fit?
Distributes Weight Well
The Oxygym has what’s called a ‘fast lacing system’ that allows you to get the shoe on and off really quickly, making your climb super efficient. It also gives the shoe a great quick fit with its two velcro straps so that you can immediately start climbing with a solid fit.
Laces VS Velcro
Laces are sometimes better at giving your foot the best kind of fit, as climbing shoes with laces can adjust themselves a little better than velcro. But the velcro straps will always be great for not having to fiddle with getting your shoe and instead let you get to your climb right away.
Size it Down
Since it is a softer shoe and made mostly for beginners to intermediates, you’re going to want as tight of a fit as possible with this shoe so you’ll need to size down a good bit to achieve this kind of snug feel.
This usually aids the fit and also the support that you get from the shoe by making sure the structure of the shoe stays as taut as possible so that when you are on the rock face or climbing gym footholds, you won’t be using just your foot muscles and leg muscles to hold you up, but a combination of muscle and shoe support.
Will Conform to Your Foot
Since the Oxygym has a leather upper, it should conform to the shape of your foot pretty well. With this shoe, you might feel it stretch a little too far initially, but after a while it will come back and hug your foot like it did in the beginning and probably better.
A Little Slippery in the Heel
This may be due to the velcro strap design of the shoe, but there seems to be a little bit of space in the heel of the shoe that may frustrate you when you are trying to get a good fit on this shoe.
You’ll be able to adjust the front of the shoe pretty well since the velcro straps feature a sort of loop style that tightens over a little more of the surface area of the shoe than other climbing shoes.
However, tightening the Oxygym so that the heel of the shoe fits perfectly against your foot may be a little bit of a problem.
Pros and Cons of the La Sportiva Oxygym Climbing Shoe
- Great fit
- Great value
- Not the best performance
How does the La Sportiva Oxygym Climbing Shoe Compare?
1. Oxygym Vs Silex
The Boreal Silex climbing shoe has better stickiness to the rubber that it is built out of. This is going to give you a lot more ability to hold on to different ledges and outcroppings on the rock, making your climb more stable and much safer.
But the Oxygym is still going to be more comfortable during your climb than the Silex. It is still going to be geared more towards beginners in the sport, but even more experienced climbers will appreciate the comfort that the Oxygym has to offer.
They have about the same durability, however, so you can expect to keep these shoes about the same length of time.
2. Oxygym Vs Helix
The Scarpa Helix climbing shoe is probably the most comparable shoe to the Oxygym, being that its durability, comfort, and stickiness are all pretty similar.
The only feature that the Oxygym excels over the Helix is its breathability. Since the Oxygym is a beginners shoe it’s pretty soft which adds to its breathability.
Also, the Helix might have a slight advantage on fit, but it’s too small to really be a game changer when you are comparing the two climbing shoes.
3. Oxygym VS Origin
The Scarpa origin is a good deal more durable than the Oxygym. This does have somewhat to do with how stiff and rigid the shoe is. Most rigid shoes have to be made out of pretty good material to give the climber enough support on their journey.
However, the stickiness of the rubber that the Oxygym is made out of is a lot better than the stickiness of the rubber of the Origin, which makes the Oxygym a better shoe for grabbing onto tricky holds that require the rubber to grip the rock.
The sizing of the Origin is admittedly a little bit better than the Oxgygym, but again only by a small margin so it’s not really worth mentioning.
4. Oxygym VS Tarantula
The La Sportiva Tarantula outpaces the Oxygym in pretty much all of the important areas. Comfort, stickiness, and durability.
It has about the same rating when it comes to breathability as does the Oxygym, however, which still makes it that much better of a shoe.
It’s also a much stiffer shoe so the fact that it stacks up in the comfort department with the Oxygym which is a beginner shoe says a lot. This is most likely a shoe you will want when you get more experience to be your go to high performance climbing shoe,
What’s the Verdict on La Sportiva Oxygym Climbing Shoe?
Honestly experienced climbers would be pleased to wear this shoe for gym climbs and even some middling traditional climbs when they don’t want to be bothered with the discomfort that sometimes comes along with higher end shoes and want to do very specific climbs for practice.
Beginners using this shoe will be able to do similar climbs in the gym and on traditional climbs and will be able to feel very comfortable and get lots of practice in as well.