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  • La Sportiva - Cobra Vibram XS Grip2 Climbing Shoe -
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  • La Sportiva - Cobra Vibram XS Grip2 Climbing Shoe -

La Sportiva Cobra Vibram XS Grip2 Climbing Shoe

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22 Reviews


A minimalist slipper for steep boulder projects and sport routes.

Slip into the La Sportiva Cobra Climbing Shoe when you want a top-notch blend of edging performance and supreme sensitivity. These shoes turn dime edges into sidewalks and give you the precision feel needed to finally send your long-standing project. La Sportiva used an unlined, slip-lasted design to give the Cobra a feel that’s one step from bare feet.
  • Unlined leather upper will stretch about one full size
  • Aggressive down-turned shape for steep routes and bouldering problems
  • Vibram XS Grip2 for serious edging performance, smearing performance, and durability
  • 0.8mm LaspoFlex at the midsole uses a super-lightweight, super-thin synthetic laminate for torsional rigidity and a sensitive feel
  • Slip-on design makes this shoe an excellent choice for bouldering
  • Item #LSP0171

Tech Specs

Upper Material
Vibram XS Grip2
Asymmetrical Curvature
Claimed Weight
[single] 7.5 oz
Recommended Use
sport climbing, bouldering
Manufacturer Warranty
1 year

Tech Specs

  • Reviews
  • Q & A

What do you think about this product?

Have questions about this product?

Was on the Fence

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Now I'm not, I had considered a slip on shoe for a while, I have been climbing in Muiras and Katanas for a while, and while pricey I need something that I could tear up at the gym on the regular without hurting my wallet to much. These shoes fit the bill, but to my suprise I like them better then my Muiras or Katanas. The soft rubber feels great, the leather leaves your feet orange, but these things fit like a glove right out of the box. I am very impressed, this will be my go to shoe for gym bouldering and wall climbing. I wear a size 12 street shoe, and wear size 44.5 in my Muiras, for these shoes I sized down to 44 and its perfect.

Perfect Workout Shoe

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs large

I bought a pair of these to work out in at the local gym and they've performed phenomenally. I bought a size down because they tend to run a bit big. I normally wear a 45.5 but I wear a 44.5 in these and they fit comfortably snug. They grip well, edge well, and allow me to use more precise footwork than my old shoes. Will definitely be getting another pair when I eventually wear these out.

Good Slippers

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have been wearing a pair of La Sportiva Pythons for a while and wanted a gym version of them, enter the Cobras. I ordered them in the same size as the Pythons and they fit great. They are tight and sensitive but still comfortable so I can easily wear them in the gym for an hour or more. The Cobras work great on vertical and overhang problems, the only issue is if there is some serious heel hooking needed these might not be the best shoes for that, but that seems to be the case for most slippers. I would very much recommend these to a friend.

Good Slippers

Great Shoe, size down!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs small

I've used these shoes a couple times, so far they have been great. I sized down a bunch. I originally bought size US6 (38) mens, but they were too big so I exchanged them and got 5.5 (37.5). My street shoe size is size 8, I wear size 8 in 5.10 Teams. So I sized down 2.5 US sizes.

good shoe for bouldering, face

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is a decent shoe, but sizing might be tricky, depending on what you're after. Better for face and bouldering. Heel cup is good, so you can heel hook if you size them tightly enough. I would not recommend them for crack climbing (like, for desert splitters). I looked at these as an alternative to 5.10 Moccasyms. Cobras have a more pointed toe box, so that it is highly unlikely your toes will lie flat. I don't have Morton's toe; regardless, 2nd and 3rd toes will not lie flat, even in larger/looser sizes.

Sizing: I wear a street size US 9 mens shoe. I have a size 40 lace Katana, which are sized for agressive face climbing and bouldering. Toes are curled over, so I can't stick them in a crack (or, it's excruciating to use them for crack). I have a size 41 TC Pro, which is sized for all-day comfort and crack climbing (toes are flat). A size 41 Cobra puts my toes in the same position as the size 40 Katanas.

Love them

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Had these shoes since christmas. They took awhile to break in, but are incredibly solid shoes. I wear a 9.5 / 10 in a street shoe. Went with a 39.0 in these, and they are reaaaally tight, but after around 10 bouldering sessions they came around and don't hurt anymore. I think next time I would definitely size up to 40.0, but maybe i'm just a wuss.

Awesome shoes

    I've had a few pair of these and they are still one on my favorite shoes. I use them for warm-ups, gym endurance training, and most of my bouldering up to a certain level and type of climbing. For overhanging caves you probably want the Solution or Pythons.

    For a performance fit you want 4 Sizes down from street!

    There is a lot of questionable climbing shoe sizing advice on Backcountry so be careful what you use as a guide. The following suggestions (best for lower volume feet) are pretty accurate IMO and matches the words of others who seem to speak with wisdom...

    3.5 or 4 down from street (Miura VS)
    4.0 down from street (Cobra)
    4.5 down from street (Solution)
    5.0 down from street (Futura)

    For example, with a 10.5 street shoe you want about a 39.5. Yes its going to hurt for awhile but otherwise they will be sloppy after breaking in.

    Essentially a Miura slipper

      Great shoe, a lot like the Miura lace, they're versatile, high performance and sleek.

      The main difference with this shoe is that its unlined leather upper and thin (3.5mm) sole make it more flexible and sensitive, but less precise than the Miura. This is great for overhangs and gym climbing, but makes them suffer on edges, especially as they break in. The vast amount of elastic needed in this shoe to keep them snug on the feet is also less comfortable than a lacing system, because you can't eliminate pressure points.

      On the upside, they are not too expensive, and go on and off really easily. I sized them they same as my Miura's and the fit just a hair tighter.

      Love them

        bought these a few weeks back and i have to say i love them, for beginners and more advanced climbers. If you are considering to buy them take in to account that you must buy them 3 euro sizes smaller than you normally would, I usually have a size 46 with la sportiva but 43 was the size for me for these shoes

        but there are 2 downsides
        - it takes a long time to break them in but after that they have a amazing fit nice and snug without constricting
        - they stain your feet orange, was kinda funny in the beginning but now its bugging me a little, makes me wonder about the quality of the shoe

        Butt... i still recommend them to anybody who wants to get new climbing shoes :D

        Love them


          i love these shoes! they grip great and mold to your foot perfectly. but it does take a while to break them in, i bought them 2.5 euro sizes below my normal climbing shoe size and it was definitely painful the first couple of climbs but was totally worth it. they are now awesome!

          great shoe

            These shoes are great. I love them they are great for bouldering and sport climbing. These shoes do stretch A LOT. Most people say that you should go one size down, but since it is a slipper I went smaller because they will have the tendency to slide on your foot on the occasional heal hook. I normally wear a 43.5 but I went to a 41 and have had no problem on heal hooks. I have a very narrow foot, and they fit great. I have kinda hairy feet, so when I put on the shoe it will tug on the hair making it some what uncomfortable so I just have to shave my feet periodically. This is very well worth the money. La sportiva will resole your shoes for you.

            Soft, precise performance shoe..

              Very soft comfortable shoe for gym and competitions. They strech a lot so i sized 4 euro size downs. Breaks in easily after two boulder sessions in gym. The best part is the midsole is so thin that it is so precise. It fits like a glove and lets you use your feet as precisely as your hand.
              Because of very litte support from mid-sole it may be a little harsh on calves during long sport routes with lots of edging.
              Also it stretches a lot and loses its shape after some long time and it may pop on some agressive heel hooks.

              Soft, precise performance shoe..

              Smear campaign

                Let's start with sizing:

                I wear a 42 in Miuras and got these in a 41.5 -> perfect (once broken in).

                The break-in:

                Owowow! NOT for the faint of heart. It took probably 10 hours total on-foot time for these puppies to get broken in. I still can't wear them for more than a couple of pitches at a time. At least they don't try to break my toes when I fall off a boulder problem (I'm looking at you, 5.10 Quantum).
                Before the break-in I could only wear them for a problem or 2, or a painful pitch before the numbness set in. They pressed really hard on the inner part of my big toe knuckle (where the extra rubber is). Now they're awesome, they've relaxed just enough and become like a second skin. They also barely turn my feet orange anymore.

                The performance:

                I've climbed my hardest routes in these. The heel cup is amazingly secure for a slipper (I've never even had a hint of a problem with heel hooking), which also makes them kinda hard to take off (NBD). You need to have amazing foot strength to get them to "turn dime edges into sidewalks" as per the description, but they do edge well for such a soft shoe. But oh MAN do they smear! I truly believe this rubber (Vibram XS Grip2) is stickier than stealth, and the amazing sensitivity and flexibility of these shoes really help it come into its own on marginal smears. They lose their (slight) downturn pretty quickly, but you can just flex your feet and they'll flex with 'em (use your feet like hands).

                All in all, these are everything I was looking for in a slipper (but if you're planning on doing mostly cracks, the moccasym is probably a better suited slipper than this toe-curler). I imagine these'll stay in my rotation as long as La Sportiva keeps making them.

                Smear campaign

                Slip on Performance

                  I normally would wear about a 40.5 in most other climbing shoe brands, but I sized down to 38 in the Cobras, and they fit pretty well for being new. I have wider feet than average, I also have Morton's toe (only slightly) and these fit very well for not even being broken in yet (I'll edit my review once I climb in these suckers more).
                  The features/designs that really stand out to me are that the rubber on the toe ends right at my knuckles, which allows my toes to be less cramped since they're only on the stretchy leather. The rubber on the toe extends up only covering my big toe, which will be useful for jamming. The heel rand is incredibly well designed as well- even for a slipper it cups your heel very tightly so every heel hook feels bomber.
                  My only issue, is that the fabric rubs on the bottom of my ankle bone. Maybe I have "low ankles" but I think the shoe could have been cut a little lower.
                  This is absolutely no reason to deter from buying this slipper. The rubber is amazing, the fit is great, even for the shoes not being incredibly down turned, they can stick on holds really well.

                  I can't wait to see how these do once they're broken in.
                  FYI, I was climbing in a pair of Red Chili Matadors prior to the Cobras.

                  As with any pair of slippers, if you're needing to get a super gnarly heel hook, find some different beta. These have slipped off my heel a few times, it's not too bad, but I wouldn't trust them for a completely secure heel hook. The fabric under my ankles is also continuing to bother me. I'm not sure why they had to make it so tall... also, I think my feet are a little wide for the shoes, I can barely stand wearing these for a full day of bouldering. On the positive, these things can edge on a dime and smear like no other.
                  initial rating: 8/10
                  broken in rating: 7/10 - minor things that I can expect from slippers, still AMAZING!

                  Will take you to the top

                    just got these shoes a week a go and all ready love them, they fit perfect and they fill very comfortable, sadly i haven't try them on the rock, because it been raining a lot round here but i will soon. I try them on the gym all last week and they perform just great, these slippers will definitely do the job on any route or boulder problem and definitely wont come out, i normally use a # 9 but with these i went to a 7.5 size, the vibram is great its very sticky and soft enough to feel what are you stepping on, the only bad thing as mentioned before in other review is that these shoes will leave your feet with a little orange color jajaja!!!

                    Will take you to the top

                    I have a size 43 in the Tarantula's (my first and only shoe) and I am long long long overdue for an upgrade. How will these fit compared to my Tarantulas?

                    I bought a pair of tarantula's in my street shoe size 45.5, which fit incredibly comfortably but not loose. I bought a pair of these in 44.5 and they fit incredibly comfortably. I use them for training and can wear them for an hour gym session before my feet start hurting. If I was going to go for performance, I would probably have gone down another half size to 44.0. So for me, I would guess a difference of a size and a half. Hope this helps.

                    Anyone use these and TC Pro? Is the shoe length the same in same size for both models?

                    how do these size compared to the muira...

                    how do these size compared to the muira lace? wear a 48 street shoe and a 44 in miura, should i get these an extra half size smaller for the stretch? looking for a snug toe curling fit.

                    Best Answer


                    It sounds like you are already sizing down considerably in your Muira's. If you are achieving a snug "toe curling fit" there I would recommend staying with the 44 in the Cobra. I don't think you will need to go down an extra half size even with the minimal stretching that will occur over time.

                    I owned both this slipper and have extensive Miura lace experience as it's my all time favorite shoe. These slippers need to be sized around a full size smaller than the Miura lace and velco shoes, even though they are all built on the same PD75 last. As reference, I go for the absolutely tightest fit possible with my shoes where they can break in to have 20min session comfort.

                    I have a 8 US men's slightly higher volume foot:

                    41 EU down to 38 in the lace

                    41 EU down to 37(36.5 is possible) in these slippers

                    If you really want a long lasting performance fit and can handle a little pain in the beginning, use a plastic bag on your heel the first few times you put on an unlined leather shoe to help it slip on easily. They stretch like crazy and you'll notice huge comfort gains in only a few hours of using the shoe.

                    Do you carry this shoe in 36.5 or are you...

                    Do you carry this shoe in 36.5 or are you sold out?

                    How do these shoes compare to the Pythons...

                    How do these shoes compare to the Pythons (size, feel, etc)?

                    Best Answer

                    So this is basically the slipper version of the Python as far as fit is concerned. Its going to be a little harder to get on since you can't open it up like the Python. Also, without the hook and loop closure you can not tighten it down for a more precise fit. With that said I would get the exact same size unless the Pythons fit either small or large on you in which case I would adjust accordingly since there is no room for adjustment in these shoes.

                    anyone ever size these for crack? I have...

                    anyone ever size these for crack? I have had mocs but the fit has always been suspect. also I don't dig the red feet

                    good for thin cracks where you don't expect to get your full foot/toes in. Your toes will probably not lie flat enough for hand-sized or larger cracks, and it will be really painful on your toes. YMMV, as far as the pain thing is concerned.

                    in my other crack shoes even if my toes are half curled, as long as the shoe give them room to lie flat I can jam all day. I was really curious if they have something rigid like P3 (but not listed) to give them a down turn. things like that can mess with your sizing of crack shoes

                    I was curious what size would these be...

                    I was curious what size would these be best in for crack climbing?

                    Currently I wear 39 in solutions for bouldering and 39.5 in miuras for sport.

                    Any suggestions??

                    I wear a size 40 in the katanas. Should a...

                    I wear a size 40 in the katanas. Should a 40 also work for the cobras?

                    How do these compare to the 5.10 moccs?

                    How do these compare to the 5.10 moccs?

                    These are essentially the same as the moccs. I've clibmed with both but 5.10 shoes don't fit my foot as well as La Sportiva. Moccs and Cobras are the best shoes out there for trad, get whichever fits YOUR foot better.

                    I've also sent some pretty tough boulder problems with the cobras. If you have multiple shoes in your quiver, these will come out the most.

                    Unanswered Question

                    Hello everyone, I have this shoe in the...

                    Hello everyone, I have this shoe in the older model with the crappy rubber. They are maybe too sensitive for my bouldering tastes. I was wondering if anyone could compare these with the Five Ten Dragon, in regards to sensitivity and overall feel. Thank you.

                    i wear a 42 in the nagos. anyone had both?...

                    i wear a 42 in the nagos. anyone had both? stick with a 42?

                    Personally, I would downsize, the Cobra is a full leather shoe, so it is going to stretch out around a full size. The break in on these shoes isn't too bad, once broken in, they feel like a custom glove for your foot. They are not very downturned but edge very well. This is my 'all-around' shoe, sport and bouldering.
                    I wear a 42.5 street shoe but wear a 39 for bouldering and a 39.5 for comfort sport climbing.