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La Sportiva Skwama Climbing Shoe
The La Sportiva Skwama is a feature-packed advanced bouldering and sport climbing shoe that’s known for a level of comfort unusual in such a sensitive high-performance shoe. La Sportiva have designed the Skwama to be adaptable across all types of climbing, and it will perform best on steep and overhanging technical routes that also include edging, smearing, toe hooks, and heel hooks. Probably their most versatile shoe for climbers seeking all-round high-performance rather than just single-area high-performance.
The Skwama's P3 rand system helps maintains the shoe's aggressive shape, and this combined with the split-sole designed to reduce deformation when edging still provides a decent level of edging stability and support in such a soft shoe. The Skwama really excels at toe and heel hooking, including both the S-Heel™ with an "incompressible rubber insert" to help create a solid and unmoveable hook on holds during torsion-heavy moves, and the elongated toe rubber that provides friction across the entire forefoot.
As for fit, the Skwama features a suede leather / microfibre upper which is lined only in the back. Being part synthetic and part leather, expect it to stretch up to half a size. La Sportiva recommend you fit the Skwama on the snug side for a performance fit. If you're looking for a similar shoe but one that's stiffer and more suited for all-round use, try the Otaki or Kataki shoes which are built on the same last as the Skwama.
|Upper material|| |
|Closure type|| |
|Sizing and fit|| |
Yellow / Black
0.42 kg (Size 40 EU)
|Sole material|| |
Vibram XS Grip 2
|Sole thickness|| |
Lined (Back Only)
Vibram XS Grip2™
Rubber compound built for pure friction, recommended for use where maximum grip is the primary need - bouldering and sport climbing, indoor climbing, or extremely smooth, polished routes.
P3® Permanent Power Platform
After intensive abuse, downturned climbing shoes can start to lose their distinctive shape. La Sportiva’s P3 rand system prevents from this happening so your shoe maintains its powerful profile, permanently.
Full Features List
• Patented S-Heel™ construction provides optimal heel hooking manoeuvrability and the perfect heel cup fit
• P3® patented technology coupled with the new innovative split-sole construction allows the sole to spread when weighted, reducing edge deformation
• Sticky rubber toe patch for toe hooks and scums
• AWARDS: Climbing Magazine - Editors' Choice 2017
16 product reviews
A sensitive performance shoe, with great heelhook, toehook and edging abilities. It feels a bit like something in between Solutions and Pythons with best parts taken from both. I got these for bouldering so I sized these rather small 39,5 while I use size 40 in Solutions, Pythons and Testarosas (Street shoe size 42). Today I might go half size up so that these would be more comfortable in sport routes also. Heel of shoe required some break in time.
I would recommend a very slightly smaller size than the solutions. I feel that they suit a slightly wider foot but would still be great for average feet. The heel feels really secure on heel hooks, more than the heels on solutions and speedsters.
The only thing I found bad about the fit was the heel cut. I felt the material came up a bit too high at the back , which was painful at first but eventually my feet got used to it.For me they broke in very quickly as I wore them around the house for a few days. They stretched a small bit after I broken them in.
Overall, I would recommend this shoe to both indoor and outdoor advanced boulderers as there great on small edges on overhangs but I also use them for route climbing.
I’ve been using the Skwama’s for a month or so now and I must say, I’m impressed. I bought these because I was looking for some more sensitive shoes than my last pair and they sure don’t disappoint. Gone is the clumsy feeling of putting your foot on a small hold and just having to trust/pray that it won’t fall off.
Sizing – I spent a lot of time on the forums trying to figure out what the right size for me would be. Many said that half a size to a size down from their La Sportiva Solution size was good but I have never had a pair of solutions. I tried on my friend’s pair of size 42 solutions and they were fine so I bought a pair of size 41.5. Unfortunately one of my feet was just a bit large to fit the shoe comfortably (the other foot was snug but fine) so I ended up selling the 41.5’s (after having climbed in them a few times to see if they’d break in) and I bought a pair of 42’s. These are definitely more comfortable and only a bit less snug. The shoes to stretch a bit so don’t be alarmed if they’re very snug when you first try them on, they’ll relax a bit after a few climbs.
Performance - In short, they perform great. The rubber is as sticky as they come and the new S-heel is something of a miracle to me. All my previous shoes have had fairly floppy heels, so this is a breath of fresh air. Compared to the Solution heel, I’d say that the Skwama is just a bit better. This is because the Skwama has a slight bit more flex, but is solid where it needs to be whereas the Solutions heel is just a solid lump. I will say that the heel is fairly bulky, something that surprised me at first, but hasn’t affected my climbing.
Cons – It’s quite hard to fault these shoes however I have found two minor things that aren’t perfect. Because of the slipper design, ensuring that the shoe stays on tight is down to the strip of yellow rubber that loops round the back of the heel. This means that I do get a bit of a hot spot at the top of my heel. It’s nothing serious but can get annoying sometimes. My second draw back is that the Velcro strap doesn’t really pull the heel tighter as I expected it to. Again this doesn’t really hinder my climbing, but it is something that would be nice. My final remark would be a word of caution to people coming from stiffer shoes. The softness of these shoes does mean you need a lot more foot strength, especially on slab problems. I certainly felt some muscles in my feet being worked where previously I hadn’t
All in all, these are great shoes and definitely worth considering. I’d give them a solid 9/10.
I like these shoes because they are very comfortable and precise. They are stiffer than pythons but softer than solutions, more to python side. Heel is very good if you get right size. I wear size 40 solutions and pythons but skwama was too big in size 40. They are little wider and little bigger. I'd choose 39 next time.
Overall very good an nice looking shoe.
La Sportiva comes up with an excellent and comfortable high end shoe to boulder hard, technical and more sensitive on all terrains. Roofs or slabs, it does not matter. The Skwama is almost cheating. The heel and velcro strip are improved compared to the La Sportiva Solution. And with Vibram® XS Grip2 you have top notch rubber sticking you to any type of rock. However... the downside is that the Skwama wears out really fast compared to other shoes. I have used two pairs already and despite having alternative shoes for training and warming up, the durability of the Skwama is bad. Conclusively, reevaluate your technic and skills before spending big bucks on this precious piece of Italian climbing art.