The good and the bad of “this year’s model” of you name it

I’m going to focus mainly on climbing gear, here, but this probably applies across the board when it comes to the “latest, greatest thing”.  The new year is here and the 2019 models are coming out.  Let’s take climbing shoes, for instance.  A very popular, high performance climbing shoe, the La Sportiva Testarossa, is coming out in a new model this year.  I always have mixed feelings about stuff like this.  Allow me to explain.

This year’s model of the Testarossa is a bit of a redesign.  For 2019, they changed the heel to be a molded heel cup instead of the old heel, which was an interesting “wrapped” sort of thing.  Did I mention the new heel cup is bright red?  Well, it is.  Now, performance-wise, we’ll see what this new heel cup means for the Testarossa, but I personally think that the aesthetic is horrible.  It looks cheesy.  They also added a symbol to the upper that makes it look, in my opinion, even more cheesy.  Now, performance comes first in climbing, so the aesthetic isn’t as important as what the shoe does for you.  The sole is still the Vibram XS Grip2 rubber.  It should perform fine.  Not being a professional climber, though, the aesthetically pleasing sense of a shoe, or lack thereof, matters a lot.  I’ve talked to a lot of climbers who feel the same way I do about the aesthetics of the new 2019 Testarossa shoes.  Aesthetically, they don’t like it, and some of them aren’t going to buy it for that reason.

The good thing about any upgraded model of any shoe, whether redesigned or not, is that the old version goes on sale.  Yes, that’s right.  Out with the old, and in with the new.  The old, fortunately enough, drops in price to a halfway affordable amount of money.  If you time it right and have your outlets and retailers dialed ahead of time, you can slip into a pair of old Testarossas at $40-$60 off the original price!  The only problem is that, the longer you wait for the prices to drop, the bigger the risk is that you won’t be able to find your size, especially if your foot is a common size in the mid-range.  Now, if you have extremely large or extremely small feet, you can likely wait a bit longer and get a deeper discount.  You know if you’re one of these people.  So, “this year’s model” isn’t always a bad thing if you’ve got some money saved up or a friend owes you a favor and you can snag a pair of the tried-and-true old model at a discounted price!  But you didn’t hear that from me…

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