May 9, 2021

La Sportiva Cobra Eco Review

by Bernice

The La Sportiva Cobra Eco climbing shoe is perfect for all levels of climbers. Additionally, this footwear is eco-friendly. If you are looking for a shoe that performs incredibly without sacrificing comfort, this is the way to go. Our review of the La Sportiva Cobra Eco climbing shoes will reveal one truth: it is an eco-friendly and well-performing shoe.

La Sportiva Cobra has been in the market for some time now, and many climbers love it. Recently, La Sportiva launched the "Eco" Cobra version, made using 85 % recycled materials. This includes the webbing, outsole, as well as upper. This is followed by water-based adhesives and metal-free tanning, which adds to its being environmental-friendly. 

So, how does this shoe fair in the current climbing shoe market, and are there any issues with this eco-friendly La Sportiva Cobra version? Continue reading to find out!

What we like:

  • The level of comfort that these climbing shoes offer is impressive.
  • Their sensitivity is rather incredible, making it ideal for mounting on small footholds.
  • You don't require a break-in period which adds to the comfort.

What we don't like:

  • The upper is made of soft material, which does not offer much protection during crack climbing.
  • As a result, plenty of buyers say that after some time, the shoe overstretches.

La Sportiva Cobra Eco Feature Highlights

A re-edition of the classic La Sportiva Cobra, the Cobra Eco is the ideal slipper for use on all types of rock and has the perfect blend of sensitivity and edging performance.

La Sportiva Cobra Eco Toe (1)

Feature Toe Box

The toe box is slim and pointed and is utterly opposed to different competitors in the same level, which feature an unduly rounded toe. If you have narrow feet, these pointy slipper-style climbing shoes will be perfect for you. 

On the other hand, our testers found that the pointy toe does not blend well with the rest of the climbing shoe. It is tremendously soft, rendering all the tension in the sole considerably irrelevant and annulling potential benefits from the tapered toe.

That being said, there were no significant problems with the toe box, such as reduced comfort, which some climbers had mentioned. Nevertheless, some have described this climbing shoe as a downturned slipper climbing shoe which typically means they are comfortable. 

However, they do sacrifice a bit of performance, specifically on overhanging terrain. While this climbing shoe toe hooks quite impressively, it was not precisely designed for this purpose. 

La Sportiva Cobra Eco Heel (1)

Feature Heel

As mentioned above, this climbing shoe is good at toe hooking, but it was not explicitly designed for it. This is also the case with technical heel hooking. You can try out different sizes to ensure enough heel tension for the shoe to stay on when hooking.

Although, this will significantly undermine comfort, which is mostly what the Cobra Eco is built for. After using it, we would not recommend this climbing shoe for heel hooking while bouldering, but it works pretty decently when it comes to indoor use. 

A similar climbing shoe is the LS Python, which has Velcro straps, which are handy if you prefer an adjustable fit but need a more aggressive and technical shoe. 

La Sportiva Cobra Eco Rubber (1)

Feature Rubber

The previous La Sportiva Cobra used the Vibram XS Grip2 rubber compound, which is a good choice for a climbing shoe designed to perform well in friction-based climbing. But, the Cobra Eco climbing shoe is specifically built to be eco-friendly, which is why they have used the FriXion Eco compound. 

So, what exactly is the Eco rubber? It is a rubber compound developed by the La Sportiva Company from the remains of their regular FriXion rubber and re-creates it rather than throw it away. 

While most people might think that this rubber compound is not as good as other rubber compounds, this climbing shoe grips really well and performs exceptionally on medium-textured surfaces such as hard sandstone and grit and indoor volumes as well. 

To get the most from this rubber compound, you need to size them appropriately. When sized a bit higher to be somewhat baggy, they will be extremely comfy. Nevertheless, this will reduce their effectiveness as they will slip out as you climb. 

Regardless of being relatively soft and requiring to be better molded to increase efficiency, they are durable enough to last a long time if you use them carefully. Like most climbing shoes from La Sportiva, the Cobra Eco can be utilized in numerous settings without destroying the sole.

Feature Comfort and Fit

The Cobra Eco is a slipper climbing shoe, meaning that you will definitely get the most from it if you downsize marginally. It would be better if you downsized them by one size from your average shoe size. 

This climbing shoe is quite versatile since, when aggressively sized, it provides excellent performance on outdoor friction climbing and hard bouldering. On the other hand, when sized a bit higher, it is comfortable and is an ideal climbing shoe that can be utilized for trad and cragging for a long time. 

Typically, La Sportiva climbing shoes are usually accommodating for different feet, which is the same case with the Cobra Eco. The extra simplicity of this slipper-style climbing shoe renders it suitable for most foot types. However, a few climbers find it uncomfortable, and the toe box excessively pointy. 

When sizing most La Sportiva climbing shoes, most people prefer to downsize, though once you size them up for comfort, you can wear them the whole day.

Cobra Eco: The Ideal Climbing Shoes for Speed Competitions

Cobra Eco is the eco-friendly version of the world famous classic slipper climbing shoe, made using eco-friendly materials to reduce environmental impact to a minimum. The materials used to make this climbing shoe derive almost entirely (85%) from recycled materials (sole, lacing, elastic for the instep) and low impact materials. Thanks to its exception qualities of flexibility for use on all type of rock and surface, Cobra Eco is the ideal shoe for Speed competitions.

The Verdict

The Cobra Eco climbing shoe is a versatile shoe that combines a relatively aggressive build with a versatile design. We were really impressed with the level of comfort it offers. Additionally, the performance was also good. We wore them through numerous routes, and they were convenient. 

Moreover, they are constructed using environmentally friendly materials, which is an appreciated bonus. While they are pretty expensive, the La Sportiva Cobra Eco climbing shoes do an excellent job of keeping what made the initial Cobra version great, though in an eco-friendly way. 

These climbing shoes are for climbers who are looking for comfortable climbing shoes. Also, if you're not on a tight budget, these guys are the way to go. They offer impressive sensitivity, and they are so comfy they do not require breaking-in. Besides, they do have a sticky outsole. 

However, these climbing shoes might turn out to be a tough sell when it comes to stretching. Nevertheless, overall, the La Sportiva Cobra Eco climbing shoes offer a lot to climbers, from novices to professional level climbers, which is why you should try them out.  

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About the author 


Bernice often jokes that she is better at climbing than walking. With avid parents of climbing, her first encounter with the high vertical rock walls was at the age of one. Her favorite style of climbing is bouldering.

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