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La Sportiva Skwama Climbing Shoe

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sale $127.50 Original price:$170.00
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Skwama Climbing Shoe

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.
  • High-performance slipper shaped for climbing boulders and routes
  • P3 downturned performance provides extreme aggression
  • Leather upper with microfiber reinforcements and rubber toe cap
  • Unlined to customize to your footshape for conformed comfort
  • LaspoFlex midsole is soft and sensitive for a precise performance
  • Vibram XS Edge rubber sole ensures hard-wearing traction on crimps
  • Item #LSP008X

Upper Material
leather, microfiber, rubber
Lining
unlined
Closure
hook-and-loop
Midsole
0.8mm LaspoFlex
Rubber
Vibram XS Grip 2
Last
slip
Profile
aggressive downturn
Claimed Weight
7.5 oz
Recommended Use
climbing
Manufacturer Warranty
1 year

Tech Specs

What do you think about this product?

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>Rating: 5

Good

Good product

>Rating: 5

Truly a game-changer

Familiarity:
I've put it through the wringer
Fit:
True to size
Size Bought
40.5
Height
5` 10"
Weight
155 lbs

I've been climbing for close to 10 years, and I've tried dozens of pairs of aggro shoes for bouldering and overhung sport climbing with varying degrees of success. My biggest pain point has always been the heel-cup: nothing has ever felt as snug or secure as the Skwamas. The break-in period was uncomfortable, but now they fit live a glove and I feel confident on the tiniest of smears and edges. This will be my go-to shoe for the future and I truly hope La Sportiva does not discontinue it.

>Rating: 5

La Sportiva Skwama product features

Familiarity:
I've put it through the wringer

Neil Gresham, Adrian Baxter and Stu Littlefair chat about the latest La Sportiva's climbing innovation, the "S-Heel technology" found on the new Skwama and Otaki shoes: Check out their thoughts in this first complete product review, during a recent trip to the Peak District with Dark Sky Media.

>Rating: 4

Achilles = Ouch At First!

Familiarity:
I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit:
Runs large
Size Bought
44
Height
5` 11"
Weight
230 lbs

After reading all the reviews, I purposely got these in 44, 1/2 size down from my other La Sportiva shoes, Otaki and Solution, in which I wear 44.5. I actually tried the Skwamas in 44.5 and could tell immediately they'd slop when broken in; so I went with the 44. I can tell the front end is going to mold to my weird shaped feet nicely, but at the outset, the back dug into both my Achilles tendons. Now they feel like this edge will soften as they break in. I got these for their smearing prowess for a Fall trip to MOAB. You know, Wall Street, Looking Glass Rock and Ice Cream Parlor. I am intrigued at the split sole for that purpose. I only do slab stuff, because I am >twice the age of the rest of you; so I need all the specialized help I can get LOL.

>Rating: 1

Worst traction

I really wanted to like these shoes. They fit my wide feet really well and I love the colors and the aesthetic appeal. Just one big problem....you can’t keep your feet on any marginal holds. I have slipped off on gym routes with these more than any other pairs of shoes. At first, i wasn’t sure if it was just me. But i have four pairs that I rotate for different style of climbing and after side by side testing, I can conclusively tell you that the rubber on the Skwamas provide terrible traction. I will not be buying La Sportivas with XS Grip2 soles ever again.

It sounds like you either got a defective pair or you need to improve your footwork 🙃

>Rating: 5

Amazing shoes! But painful10/10

Familiarity:
I've put it through the wringer

I wear a size 6.5 in men’s and my street shoes is 8-9. Anyways I have messed up feet so sometimes it’s hard to find shoes that fit really really well. But I sized these down as small as they can go. My advice is maybe even get a half size small then take and put them on half way to get the stretch. Then force them on the rest of the way. What you need to do next is take a very warm bath with them on to get them to form to your foot even better. Yes these shoes hurt like hell! And it’s taken me a couple months to fully break them in climbing a few times a well. But you will be able to do it, if it don’t hurt it isn’t the right size. If you scrunch your foot and toes and there is a bit gap between your big toe and the shoe it’s the wrong size. So make sure you get a small size that’s right and your climbing will enhance so much. Now these things can stand on insanely small ledges, smear amazingly!, toe hooks and heal hooks are great! On crack climbing the toe box feels great and it doesn’t hurt your toes :). They have a problem with small pockets though, and you barley have to flex your calve to stand. All in all 10/10 shoe

I
>Rating: 4

Great shoe through a month of use

Familiarity:
I've used it several times

Really solid shoe. So far, I've been using it to train in the gym, but I took them out on some granite and limestone for a couple days of bouldering so I can share that experience, along with some CRUCIAL info on sizing. Sizing: THIS SHOE RUNS VERY LARGE. I cannot stress this enough. I wear a 40.5 Genius, Futura, Miura (Lace and VCS), and when I got a pair of 40.5's in the Skwama, they did not fit properly. They were sloppy within a day or two of climbing in them, so I downsized to 39.5. For comparison, I wear about a 42 or 42.5 in street shoes. Downsize these down a full size from any of the models I mentioned above, and expect a little stretch in the first few wears. Gym: I've had very good luck with these in the gym, no matter how small the jib. Great smearing, but maybe not as good as a no-edge shoe. Solid downturned shape that retains its' performance so far. Limestone: Was really good at sticking to glassy smears, and held heel hooks very nicely on pretty sub-par holds. Granite: I was amazed by how well this shoe stuck to very poor smears. The toe hooking ability is excellent, and I felt very confident on foot jams. Surprisingly good performance on tiny tiny edges/crystals on slabs too. The asymmetry of the shoe was really good at getting to hard, technical foot placements on steep problems. General: Shoe is retaining a good shape. Still getting a touch of heel roll despite downsizing so substantially, but nothing that I would consider a deal breaker. Largely comfortable, but this is a PERFORMANCE shoe. Volume work leaves me with a fairly sore Achilles' tendon.

Really
>Rating: 5

Comfortable and Sensitive

Familiarity:
I've put it through the wringer

Definitely performs well for me. It is sensitive and comfortable. I climb a lot of trad and feel like this shoe is comfortable enough to wear on a long pitch if sized appropriately. If snug, take them off at the belays so your feet are ready to crush the next pitch. A half size up from your snug/performance fit would allow for some thin socks if you are in to that. Actually, these shoes are sensitive enough that thin socks wouldn't make a huge difference in performance. My street shoe size is 43 (10 US) and I wear a 42 in Skwarma's and the same in Otaki's. I u

Thanks for this review, Arin. And thanks for leaving your sizing info. It's so helpful with climbing shoes!

>Rating: 5

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.

>Rating: 5

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). Reference: 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

>Rating: 5

My go to

one of the best soft shoes on the market. I will always have these on hand no matter where I go. They stretch a good bit and wear in pretty fast. Size 9.5 street shoe, size 40 Skwama.

>Rating: 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)

>Rating: 5

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!

>Rating: 4

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.

>Rating: 5

Awesome

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.

>Rating: 5

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

>Rating:

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 weads@backcountry.com or (801) 523-4052

>Rating: 5

Sooo sticky!!

The shoe preforms like no other. Much more comfortable for me than other aggressive shoes I have had in the past!

>Rating: 5

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.

>Rating: 5

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!

Yellow is LaSportiva's corporate color...

>Rating:

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?

Hi Streblo, I'm sorry, I don't have access to that info. I would recommend talking to La Sportiva and they can detail all the changes in this shoe. They are the ones who set the price, and will have a lot more info than us.

>Rating:

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?

>Rating:

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?

FYI, I got the 39s and have worn them maybe 6 times in the gym and for a weekend outside. They fit perfect. Same sizing as the Pythons for me.