A climbing slipper manafactured by La Sportiva. A slipper is distinct from a climbing shoe or a climbing boot in that it has no laces.

It is usually held on the foot due to an elasticaed band on the top rand of the slipper. The vipers are orange in colour and are quite asymmetric. The asymmetry in theory forces the foot into a position conducive to climbing by making the foot curl in a prehensile fashion. In practice it actually works.

These boots are mostly made from rubber, they streach a lot. I take a european shoe size of 45 (US 10), the pair of vipers that I bought are a size of 40 1/2 (US 7).

The person selling them to me told me "If you can't get into the pair and then somehow you manage to get into them thats proabaly the size you want, they streach a lot".

I took him at his word. The next day I was unable to get into them but then I spent half an hour massaging them to loosen up the rubber. I put them on and had a shower in them to help them strech.

For two days I shoved my old boots inside my new ones to aid the streching process and this morning I had my second shower with them on.

The streching is working. At first it was very difficult for me to remove the boots but now they come off with considerably less effort. They are no longer causing blistering on my toes from their tight grip.

Soon I may even be able to climb in them

Climbing can be quite fetishistic at times.

One correction about the writeup above... Vipers are blue, the La Sportiva Cobra is orange. The main difference between the two slippers is that the Vipers have no midsole, it's just rubber on the bottom there. The Cobra has a minor midsole in it, a plastic sheet in between the leather on the inside of the shoe and the rubber on the outside. This has the effect of stiffening the shoe and aiding in climbing on small edges and the like. And yes, the whole comment about if you manage to get your feet in them, they're the right size is completely true.

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