Review of the La Sportiva Kubo
The Kubo is the latest shoe to be added to La Sportiva's collection of all-around climbing shoes built for performance and comfort. The Kubo will be the go-to shoe for climbers seeking all day versatility at a great price point. During the Fall of 2020, I was able to test the Kubo both outside and on my little homewall. I was impressed to say the least.
The Kubo is a slightly downturned shoe, meaning that it will be more comfortable than aggressive shoes like the Solution Comp or Theory, but will still put your feet into a stronger, more powerful position than neutral shoes, like the Tarantulace. The Kubo has an asymmetrical last, meaning that the longest point of the shoe is over the big toe to increase power on the inside edge of the shoe and give you a single point of contact on the rock. The Kubo also features 3/4 sole Vibram XS Grip 2 rubber, a rubber compound that improves upon the superior grip characteristics of the Vibram XS Grip and delivers outstanding precision of support and shape. The Kubo is also built on the P3 rand system, meaning that the shoe will retain its slightly downturn profile for the life of the shoe. The Kubo will be coming in two colorsways, namely Gojin-Neon for the men's version and (as pictured) Royal-Love Potion for the women's version.
Now that most of the technical specs are out of the way, lets get into my thoughts. The Kubo is a super comfortable shoe, so much so that I could wear the Kubo all day without feeling like I needed to take them off. The grip of the heel for heel hooks was phenomenal, due in part to the heel being integrated into the sole of the Kubo. The Kubo performed well when edging and smearing, both on the rock and on my wooden panels of my homewall. The Vibram XS Grip 2 on the Kubo is nice and sticky, so feet placements felt solid and secure.
I was unfortunately not able to test out toe hooks on the shoe for this review, but I did want to note that the toe cap is integrated into the rubber rand, which should increase durability and toe hook performance.