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La Sportiva Skwama Climbing Shoe


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    45 Reviews


    Skwama: Sportiva's strong sending slipper.

    The Men's Skwama Climbing Shoe is La Sportiva's high-performance slipper for competition bouldering and technical sport climbing. P3 technology applies a Permanent Power Platform that ensures the Skwama's downturn stays downturned. The S-Heel construction optimizes heel hooking and gives a snug fit, while Vibram's XS Edge sole sharpens the sides for ideal edging, slicing, and dicing. This shoe's soft LaspoFlex midsole gives enhanced sensitivity, a better feel, and more control on microscopic jibs and technical, insecure moves. La Sportiva styled the Skwama's upper with laser-cut leather and microfiber reinforcements that reduce stretch.
    • P3 downturned performance
    • Leather upper with microfiber reinforcements
    • Rubber toe cap
    • Unlined
    • LaspoFlex midsole with soft stiffness
    • S-Heel construction
    • Vibram XS Edge sole
    • Item #LSP008X

    Tech Specs

    Upper Material
    leather, microfiber, rubber
    0.8mm LaspoFlex
    Vibram XS Grip 2
    aggressive downturn
    Claimed Weight
    7.5 oz
    Recommended Use
    Manufacturer Warranty
    1 year

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    Jack of All Trades

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I'm a big fan of these shoes, but as the saying goes, they seem like a master of none. They do so many things well, but it seems like you can find a better shoe in Sportiva's line up for each function. I do, however, love how comfortable these are.
    Sizing: I wear a size 40 and my feet literally won't get into a 39.5, so they're fairly snug. The wide toe box makes them comfortable enough to wear on long pitches or around boulders without having to pop them off after every couple of goes. For reference, I wear a 40 in Solutions and Kataki's (super tight) and a 40.5 in Testarossa's.
    Edging: They're okay. This is probably their weakest point, but they're so sensitive that they still do a good job feeling out edges. They do roll on dead vertical. This is where I would pick the Kataki instead.
    Jamming: Not a trad shoe, but still sold. The slipper jams well, but it's no TC Pro.
    Smearing: I thought these did a great job of smearing, especially on slopey holds. The cut out in the foot allows them to form around slopey holds well.
    Caves & Steep climbing: This is where they shine. The toe rubber and really flexible midsole allow them to hook and grab great. On a steep face, Testarossa's and Solutions do a better job due to the possibility of hard edging. In caves, these are hard to beat.

    I wear these for just about everything. Hard to go wrong with these as a do-it-all shoe.

    Please don't ever stop making these

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I bought these when they first came out and am now on my 5th pair and these are by far my favorite bouldering shoes. I don't think I'll ever want to switch to a different shoe again for bouldering. They conform to my wide feet perfectly after a couple sessions of breaking them in, and they are soft, sensitive, and sticky - which are perfect for tricky slabs with shallow dishes. Heel hooks and toe hooks are THE BEST with these shoes since that sticky rubber wraps around your entire heel and the entire back of your feet (much more so than the typical toe patch), so their performance is amazing on technical overhang routes as well. The rubber does wear fairly quickly on these shoes though, and they are so soft that if you're standing on dimes in them for a long time your feet get quite tired, so I don't typically use them on long routes (I go with the Otakis on those - same shape, just a stiffer sole so not quite as sensitive and not as good at toe hooks).

    Women's size 6 / 36 street shoe
    Size 34.5 in Skwamas
    Mad Rock Flash 2.0s size 6
    La Sportiva Miuras (lace & velcro) Women's, Otakis Women's, all in size 34.5

    My Shoe of Choice

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    One-line review: This is my go-to soft shoe. No other shoe fits me as well as the skwama. (4.5/5)

    Comfort: Once broken in the skwama is very comfortable, after an hour or so of bouldering I do take them off because of arch discomfort. With a brief break I am more than happy to get right back in these shoes. (4.5/5)

    Toe box: This toe box is great and incredibly soft. Starting at the top and working my way down. The toe hook rubber is not the largest of aggressive slippers, but it does come high up on the foot giving very good coverage. The rubber is well textured and more than grippy enough. The leather upper stretches nicely to fit my foot to give a comfortable performance fit. This shoe has no midsole which makes the skwama incredibly sensitive. For smearing and digging in on overhanging boulders the skwama is incredible. When it comes to edging it performs like a soft slipper, which is to say, it will roll on an edge, and doesn’t back step particularly well, but this is expected for a soft shoe. Its softness is noticeable when toeing in on anything overhanging, I am able to feel the texture under my toes and I have an easy time trusting my feet in this shoe. (5/5)

    Heel cup: This is the best fitting heel of any shoe I’ve tried. This shoe has by far the least dead space of any shoe I’ve tried, but there is still some noticeable space. On hard heel hooks this is my go-to shoe mainly due to the sensitivity. In addition to the great fit, these shoes also have a sensitive heel letting me feel the rock under my heel. The s-heel doesn’t make any noticeable impact for heel hooks to me. (5/5)

    Durability: I have used these shoes almost exclusively for outdoor bouldering and they have held up pretty well. The toe rubber is definitely soft and showed signs of wear after the first few outdoor sessions (as expected), but has held up well. It’s hard to compare this to other shoes I’ve worn because I tried to reserve this for outdoor climbing exclusively which means it doesn’t see anywhere near the amount of gym wear as other shoes I’ve owned. (3/5)

    Climbing: These have been used predominantly on quartzite and schist boulders. Their sensitivity makes them a joy to climb in outdoors. I feel like I am able to dig my toes in and feel the texture of the rock underfoot. The heel inspires confidence and gives enough sensitivity to determine if I actually placed that heel hook correctly. (5/5)

    Sizing Details:
    12.5 Street Shoe
    11.5 Butora Acro Wide (Incredibly comfortable toe box, heel will slip off on hard heel hooks)
    11.5 Butora Acro Narrow (Tight toe box, heel has moderate gap)
    42.5 La Sportiva Skwama (Snug toe box, best fitting heel, good comfort, near perfect overall fit)
    44.5 La Sportiva Testarossa (Tightest toe box, heel has large gap)
    11.5 Five Ten Hiangle (Snug toe box, heel has some gap but not too bad)
    10 Five Ten Moccasym (Snug but comfortable toe box, heels will slip on hard heel hooks)
    12.5 Evolv Oracle (Snug toe box, heel has some gap but not too bad)

    Love the Skwamas!

      This is my 4th pair of skwamas and i think i will always have a pair. They fit my foot perfectly. The toe box is centered on the big toe and has plenty of rubber to make them durable but also sensitive. While the heel is just a big ball of rubber and isn't very sensitive, after getting used to them, they will stick to anything. The toe rubber is also perfect for any toe hooks needed. Great shoe!

      For the aggressive climber!

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      I have worn Miura's for years. I recently have started doing a lot more bouldering and aggressive sport routes. One of the shoes that was recommended to me was the Swama's along with the Solutions. I tried on the solutions and they just didn't fit my foot right. However, the second I stepped into the Skamas I knew they were the right shoe. The wider toe box feels excellent and allows me to squeeze into a much smaller shoe than normal. I'm street size 11 and I usually wear my Miura's in a 43.5. However, I am able to cram into a 41 in the Skama, I wouldn't recommend it if you don't want to climb in pain, however, after a few days of climbing they have really broken in and I'm loving what I can do in them.


      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      I was lucky enough to get these on sale at 25% off, but they'd be more than well-worth it at full price. They're my first aggressive shoe but it only took a couple of sessions to break them in and now they're super comfortable. I'm a pretty wide 10/10.5 US in my street shoes and got these in 41.5 - for my feet I wouldn't want to go any smaller but they fit like socks (definitely give them a couple of sessions to break in). Feel is great, super precise as you'd expect. Toe hooks and heel hooks very well.

      Keep 'em coming

        Passing this feedback along from a customer! hope it helps!
        I climbed in the skwama for two years, and I love them so much that I had to get another pair. My street shoe size is US 8, and my skwamas are sized 37 for performance (which is also my size for the Miura lace and the old Pythons). The shoes quickly broke in after a few gym sessions, but, as the photo below shows, the skwamas kept their shape very well over these two years. It never felt like any performance was lost.

        The rubber on the skwama is top notch - super sticky and durable. The upper toe patch rubber inspires confidence on toe hooks. It feels secure on just about anything you throw at it. La Sportiva's new S-heel adds rigid support up an already rigid and rounded heel. It's sticky and performs well on powerful heel hooks where you crank hard on holds. However, the heel feels a little too bulky for smaller edges and tricky sloping features. These shoes have a soft and sensitive toe box. The rubber outsole has a hoof-like shape which lets the toe box be flexible. They are very good for toeing into holds while climbing overhangs or maximizing rubber contact with the rock on larger volumes and slabs. The midsole adds just enough support to let the shoe edge on smaller footholds. I have climbed in these shoes at the Red River Gorge and many other crags throughout the south, and they absolutely crush sandstone. The skwama is my go to when I need a soft shoe.

        However, I have also found these shoes too soft and not supportive enough for limestone at the Virgin River Gorge and schist at Rumney. My toes feel insecure on thin sharp footholds - almost like its rolling over the rock. I use a stiffer shoe where the rock is less steep and feet options get too small and too sharp.

        The skwama is not the best all around shoe, but I can't ask for a better soft shoe. I will use these for as long as La Sportiva makes them

        Women's on the Way

        Check out La Sportiva's in depth look into the Skwama. New for 2018 will be a women's model of this shoe as well that will be hitting the site soon. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me directly at or (801) 523-4052

        Hope they make em forever

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

        Best shoe I've ever owned. My feet were always too wide for Sportiva's but these fit perfect! Psyched to finally heel hook again after climbing in Five Ten for years.

        They're Great!

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

        My customer Kevin has this to say, about the Skwamas. HIs street shoe size is 10 and he likes the size 40 in the Skwama.

        I am excited to say that I made the right decision to size them down half a size from my Solutions. One reason I think this may have worked out is because my Solutions were my first super aggressive bouldering shoe and third climbing shoe so my feet have gotten more used to squeezing into a tight slipper. The second reason I think the downsize worked out is because the toe box does feel slightly bigger in the Skwamas compared to my Solutions even with the half size difference. I climbed for a long period in both today, leaving them on for extended periods. I still felt a painful pressure of my toes being squeezed together after having my Solutions on for almost 30 mins, but the Skwamas do not give me this pain. By the way, I do not have wide feet, but they definitely aren't narrow either.

        Other impressions: excellent heel and toe hooks. The heel felt very similar to the Solution heel. The strap system is better on the Solutions but still good on the Skwamas and does a good job at keeping the shoe on my foot during heel hooks. The design and color looks really cool, but I still think La Sportiva uses way too much yellow.

        In short, I'm keeping these. They're great!

        Awesome shoe.

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

        Love these things, great shoe for sport and bouldering. They feel solid on tiny edges, make heel hooks feel super locked in, and smear really well too. Bought a 42.5 (wear an 11-11.5 in vans and nikes) and have wide-ish flat feet, at first thought I might have sized down too much, but now they fit perfectly, almost a little big and don’t ever need to take them off during a long bouldering session. Seriously inspire confidence on the tiniest of holds. One wash and one year later of multiple days a week wear, and only a small a amount of de-lame on the rubber that runs over toe. I don’t think I’ll ever buy another shoe for sport and bouldering as long as they keep making these things.

        Might be great, might not

        • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

        Bet they're nice, but I wouldn't know for sure. Ordered and they were too big. So, I arranged for a return to get a new size. They said it may take a few months since the shoes were on backorder, which was fine with me. Returned the shoes via USPS, and notified Backcountry via email the same day that they were on the way and to expect them on a specific date, and waited. Three months later Backcountry pops in to tell me that they didn't receive them, then refuses to honor my return when I could not locate the tracking number (because, remember, this is three months after they were supposed to have received the shoes). The credit card transaction for the return shipment and corroborating email notifying them of the day to expect the shoes was insufficient evidence for these scholars. Inexplicably, Backcountry could provide no indication as to why nobody acknowledged my email providing the date to expect the shoes, or notified me when the shoes (supposedly) failed to arrive on that date. Who knows where the shoes are? Likely, Backcountry did receive the shoes, but some bro didn't log the return correctly. Sloppy company, with bad customer service. Caveat emptor.

        Awesome shoe, that doesn't cost $200

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times

        Great fit, right out of the box. The heel fits a bit different that the solution or Testarosa, it’s a bit bigger and the fabric goes further up the ankle. This shoe has great performance and fit! Awesome first impression. The more I use the more I like it.


        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

        These shoes are my go-to sport climbing rigs for nearly everything - they feel like a softer Solution, with the sizing/fit being very similar. I wear a 9.5 street shoe and I run a 41 a tight yet not overly aggro fit. They have enough structure for vertical pocket and edge climbing, while soft enough to paw and claw on severely overhanging boulders and sport routes. My favorite Sportiva shoe by far.

        Das Good

          Based on several reviews I ended up getting them a size smaller than I normally wear (size 42 in LS Miura VS, and Katana lace). I may still be in the break in period with these because as of now they are a little tight. I have to take them off between climbs/belays. Been climbing in them about 4 days total so yeah definitely needs more time.

          Love the width & the stickiness!

          • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

          I have been using these shoes for just over a year. I am at the gym at least 2-3X per week + a some outside - mostly leading - some bouldering. So, they have seen the wall a decent amount. I am just starting to see wear on the left toe.

          I have a wide foot. Before purchasing these, when I went to purchase new shoes, I tried at least 10 different types. I wanted something on the aggressive side but everything I tried destroyed my feet because of the width. These were great because they have an aggressive arch, good toe and wide box. I climb upper 10 - lower 11 and vary between overhangs and vertical with smaller foot holds and love they way they stick.

          I went down 1.5 sizes to a 42 (10.5 street) as they definitely run large. Once I sized down they did not feel as sloppy, and they were nice and snug but not uncomfortable.

          When these are fully worn down I will be buying them again.

          Good Shoes

            The single strap doesn't allow for much adjustability, but that's a small tradeoff for how easy/quick it is to get these shoes on and off. These shoes are comfortable and sturdily built, plus they seem to stick to the wall nicely. However, I do wish they came in another color because personally I found the yellow to be a little bit obnoxious.

            Not My Personal Favorite

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

            I haven't used these enough to comment on the durability issues, but I do know that these seem to fit less comfortably than other La Sportiva shoes I've used, and I don't think that's just because of the aggressive shape. If you have wider feet like me, these shoes can start to hurt after even just a little bit of climbing. I even got a half size larger than I normally wear and me feet still felt cramped on the sides, but loose on the heel.

            Unanswered Question

            Did Sportiva make any improvements to this shoe over the years to warrant the price increase from $140ish when it first came out to now $170?

            Unanswered Question

            SIZING??? I have never owned a pair of aggressive shoes but I put on a pair of these and they seem like the right shape for my foot. I put on a 41 (smallest the shop had) and it was definitely too big. I usually wear between around a 41/42 street shoe (also never owned sportivas) and was wondering what size I should get. I also know that they'll stretch because of all the leather, so how much stretch is expected on these?

            I'm a long time La Sportiva Python wearer, size 39 fits me exactly perfect. Street size is 42 (US 9). What size should I get the Skwama?