la sportiva pink climbing shoes on shelf

Best La Sportiva Climbing Shoes

What is the Best La Sportiva Climbing Shoes in 2024? Here's a list of the Top 6 climbing shoes from la sportiva based on our experiences and expertise.

La Sportiva is an establish Italian outdoor brand that has been producing outdoor equipment since 1928, specialized in quality rock climbing shoes, used and loved by both professional and beginner climbers alike. In all our years of rock climbing across the world in both outdoors and gym climbing, we have tested and worn a few of their models. In this article, we’ll share some of the best La Sportiva’s climbing shoe collection, comparing shoe features and discussing what makes each model so unique for different climbers.

Best La Sportiva Climbing Shoes

What are the Best La Sportiva Climbing Shoes?

Below you’ll find the list of the top 6 Best La Sportiva Climbing Shoes. We compiled this list from la sportiva climbing shoes we have used, asked others about, and researched further to give you the best possible roundup. With many years of experience with climbing shoes from la sportiva you can be assured that this article will give you what you’re looking for.

We also wrote a buying guide and answered some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) at the end of this article.

1. La Sportiva Skwama

La Sportiva Skwama
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Vibram Sole, Suede Leather Upper
Closure Type: Velcro
Shoe Material: Leather, Suede
Shape: Moderate-large downturn

La Sportiva’s Skwamas are a fantastic choice for the modern and seasoned boulderer, and those passionate about both indoor and outdoor bouldering will find it quite difficult to fault these shoes. When putting them on for the first time, you may well experience a world of pain, but this is a sensation that most in the sport are accustomed to, and besides this, the benefits are huge. The shoes come equipped with a sharp edge on the inside of the foot which is great for confidently gaining traction on those tiny ledges. The front of the shoe is absolutely coated in rubber which protects your toes in all of those pretentious toe-hooks that competition climbing demands of you. The shock-absorbing heel protects your feet a little when coming down off the routes. They have an aggressive downturn to help you squeeze your toes and retain power on steep overhangs, however, the middle of the shoe is quite malleable and, while not adapted for slab climbing, can allow enough grip when standing on sloping volumes when used well. They are, however, a little expensive, as are most La Sportiva shoes, and do take some time to break in.

Pros

  • Sharp edge helps to stand on small holds,
  • Minimalistic and lightweight,
  • Good coating of rubber for toe hooks,
  • Quick and easy to take on and off,
  • Great after a resole

Cons

  • Take a long time to break-in
  • Some reviews said they had uneven texture

2. La Sportiva Otaki

La Sportiva Otaki
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Vibram XS Edge
Closure Type: Velcro
Shoe Material: Microfiber, Leather
Shape: Large downturn

The La Sportiva Otaki is a colorful and great-looking shoe that performs well in indoor settings. The shoe has quite a sharp downturn which is great for powerful overhanging routes, yet it is soft and flexible enough to provide ample footing on sloping surfaces. While not as much as the Solution, Theory, or Skwama shoes, there is some rubber on the toe to protect your feet during potentially painful toe-hooks. The rubber is quite thin and soft, which is great for retaining sensitivity when climbing, however, it wears through quite quickly, and while the shoe performs well after a resole, it will be required to change the rubber quite frequently when using the shoes regularly.

Pros

  • Soft and flexible, despite the aggressive downturn,
  • Fantastic bright colors,
  • Some rubber on the top for toe-hooks,
  • Quick to put on and remove

Cons

  • Quickly need to be resoled
  • Premium pricing

3. La Sportiva Tarantula Women’s Climbing Shoe

La Sportiva Tarantula Women's Climbing Shoe
Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Rubber
Closure Type: Velcro straps
Shoe Material: Leather
Shape: Neutral

What makes La Sportiva’s Tarantula a great option is that it accommodates both the beginner to intermediate climber. It is an all-rounder shoe with a relatively stiff sole, which will support your climbing as you develop your foot muscles. The velcro straps make it easy to slip-on and slip-off in between climbs, which is always useful for a long day of climbing. While slightly more aggressive than most beginner shoes, they maintain a high level of comfort. It is hard to go past these shoes, we think every female climber would do well to have a pair of these.

Pros

  • Easy velcro,
  • Affordable,
  • Perfect on vertical walls,
  • Stiff sole,
  • Great all-around shoe

Cons

  • Not an aggressive performance shoe,
  • Not as grippy as others

4. La Sportiva Miura VS Women

La Sportiva Miura VS Women
Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Rubber
Closure Type: velcro straps
Shoe Material: Leather
Shape: Moderate-large downturn

The La Sportiva Miura VS is a more aggressive style shoe for the more advanced climber. The show is very flexible and the rubber is extremely grippy, allowing the shoe to shine when edging and smearing. The velcro straps allow you to easily take the shoes on and off, making them a great option for gyms, bouldering or sports climbs. However, they do have a more narrow fit than other climbing shoes, so may not be best for wide feet.

Pros

  • Durable sticky rubber,
  • Aggressive shape suitable for tough overhang climbs,
  • Good transition shoe: intermediate to advanced,
  • Great heel hook support

Cons

  • Narrow fit,
  • The sensitivity of the sole may be too much for the beginner climber

5. La Sportiva Mythos

La Sportiva Mythos
Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Sole Material: Recycled/Repurposed Rubber and Eco Idro-Perwanger Biodegradable Leather
Closure Type: Lace-up
Shoe Material: Biodegradable Leather
Shape: Moderate downturn

The Mythos is a streamlined shoe for multi-pitching, and it is not rare to spot climbers sporting these tremendous shoes in places such as Yosemite. The soft and malleable structure is designed to be as comfortable as possible while maintaining a maximum grip on sloping volumes or pieces of rock. With that in mind, while they might benefit you on slab climbs in the gym, these shoes will not help you so much on standard sports or boulder routes. The lack of protective rubber, the flat profile, and the long time it takes to take on and put off the shoes make them unsuitable for competition climbing.

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable, Perfect for a long multi-pitch,
  • Durable leather material,
  • Strong grip

Cons

  • Take a long time to remove and put on,
  • Not as useful in a bouldering gym

6. La Sportiva Theory

La Sportiva Theory
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 0.76 pounds (0.35 kg)
Sole Material: Vibram XS Grip2 Rubber
Closure Type: Velcro
Shoe Material: Microfiber, Leather
Shape: Low-profile heel, moderate-large downturn

The La Sportiva Theory is a relatively new shoe, streamlined for modern bouldering and competition climbing. The shoe is heavily coated in rubber to protect your feet in almost any ambitious technical move, whether you are to-hooking, heel-hooking, or standing on sloping volumes. The sole varies in thickness in key areas, to give the user maximum sensitivity and to connect with their feet on the routes that they are attempting to ascend. The aggressive downturn is great for steep overhangs, where you may have to jam your toes into tiny pockets to powerfully throw yourself up the route.

The downturn is great for overhanging routes, however, it limits these shoes drastically on slab climbing, and you may find that you will perform better by taking two pairs of shoes to the climbing gym so that you can vary the types of climbing that you do.

Pros

  • Premium product,
  • Perfectly streamlined for indoor bouldering,
  • Varying sole thickness for ultimate sensitivity,
  • Heavily coated in rubber for toe hooks

Cons

  • Very aggressive downturn makes it harder to stand on slabs

Verdict

Based on all of our experience with climbing shoes from la sportiva, we found that La Sportiva Skwama is the best la sportiva climbing shoes available today.

Our Premium Option is La Sportiva Otaki with all the best features and high-quality materials, but that’s only if you have more money to spend.

However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the La Sportiva Tarantula Women’s Climbing Shoe as an affordable alternative.

Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:

What You Should Know Before Buying la sportiva climbing shoes

Most Important La Sportiva Features

Each La Sportiva shoe has some unique features, depending on the type of climbing you are seeking for. If you are looking to buy shoes that are good for overhangs and roofs, try to find something with an aggressive profile so that you can retain power when you jam your toes into small pockets on the wall and push up. Additionally, a lot of rubber on the top of the shoe will also protect your toes from protruding bits of rock. Slab climbers should look for a softer shoe that is flexible enough to smear on sloping surfaces. Some shoes can cope with both styles, but not specialize in both styles. Multi-pitchers and big-wall climbers will most likely want a laced shoe that is comfortable to wear all day without taking off. Beginners should ultimately look for a comfortable shoe with a fairly flat profile so that they can work their way slowly and comfortably into the extreme sport, and so padding and profile are very important.

Downsizing La Sportiva Shoes

Downsizing shoes is a hotly debated topic in the world of climbing, and while the majority of climbers tend to jam their toes into the smallest of climbing shoes, it isn’t necessarily the right thing to do. Especially for beginners, a climbing shoe should be snug and quite tight, but you should still be able to feel your toes and have a little sensitivity, particularly when climbing with softer shoes on slabs. If you try to put your feet into something that is far too small, the pain is going to limit your ability.

La Sportiva climbing shoe comparison – bouldering vs rock climbing

There are some differences between La Sportiva bouldering and rock climbing shoes. La Sportiva has made shoes that are streamlined for bouldering, and they have also made other shoes that are fantastic for climbing. There are even some shoes which perform really well in both disciplines of the sport. When rock climbing, consider that you will be wearing the shoes for longer, so they should be more comfortable. When bouldering, you usually are trying much more difficult and technical moves than you might on a climbing wall, and so precision is key.

La Sportiva Pricing

La Sportiva’s cimbing shoes are an industry-specific, specialized piece of sporting equipment, and, as a result, tend to cost a lot more than other rock climbing brands you use in your daily life. La Sportiva has firmly earned a place amongst other highly respected brands, and while there are some more budget-friendly options available, they do tend to cost a lot. With that being said, they are made of exceptional quality, and the company is constantly researching to be able to provide the most innovative and modern designs, hoping to give you that little bit of extra confidence that can make all the difference when sending difficult routes. They will cost you a lot, but it is worth investing a bit more than buying cheap shoes from an unknown brand which will likely disintegrate, or not provide you with the grip that you expect of a climbing shoe.

Questions and Answers About la sportiva climbing shoes

Are La Sportiva Climbing shoes good for women?

Yes, La Sportiva climbing shoes are good for women. La Sportiva makes specialized shoes for both men and women, and some unisex models as well. Every major model is either unisex or has a version that is fitted to the standard shapes of women’s feet.

Should you size down in your La Sportiva climbing shoes?

Whether or not you should size down your climbing shoes is a strongly debated topic amongst climbers. As a beginner, you will hate having to squeeze into climbing shoes, and feel nothing but pain and resentment, and will subsequently be shocked when everyone starts telling you that the smaller the shoe, the better. This is not necessarily the case. Your first pair of climbing should be tight but comfortable, bearing in mind that they are going to stretch a bit as well. As you progress and develop, you may decide that a tighter fit will give you more confidence, but if you go too tight, to begin with, you can damage your feet and the excessive pain will also limit your climbing. With that being said, climbing shoes tend to be sized a little differently from your regular shoes. It helps if you can try them out before you buy them, as often if you buy climbing shoes which are supposedly for the same shoe size as your regular shoes, you may find that you have to wear 20 pairs of socks to fit in them.

How much are La Sportiva climbing shoes?

The cost of your La Sportiva climbing shoes will vary by model and condition. La Sportiva does produce their products to a very high standard and has become an international name in the production of climbing shoes, and, as a result, most of their shoes do fall at the more expensive end of the climbing shoe price scale. There are some more affordable models, such as Tarantulas, but these are best suited to beginners. It is an investment to own a pair of La Sportiva shoes, however, the quality, durability, and precision of these technical shoes will have you climbing with confidence and comfort.

How long does it take to break into La Sportiva climbing shoes?

Breaking into your climbing shoes can take as little as a few climbing sessions. If you are one of those people who buy their shoes a few sizes too small, it will of course take a little longer to break in your La Sportiva shoes. It is not essential that you do this, but many people still do. After three or four standard sessions in the bouldering hall or climbing gym, you will scream considerably less when jamming your toes into your shoes. When they are brand new, it is worth taking a more comfortable pair of climbing shoes with you (if you have them), so that you can change into something more comfortable if the pain is too much for you to handle.

Is La Sportiva shoe sizing very different from the average climbing shoe?

La Sportiva’s shoe sizing is not particularly different from other shoes from what we can tell. However, every climbing shoe producer has their own perception of shoe sizes, and it is definitely worth, if possible, trying before you buy. My 2 pairs of La Sportiva climbing shoes are 2 and 2.5 sizes smaller than my regular hiking shoes respectively, according to the European shoe sizing scale. My Tenaya shoes, on the other hand, are only 1.5 sizes smaller.

Lydia Y

Lydia Y

Lydia is an avid outdoor lover and wildlife enthusiast. She loves all kinds of nature escapades and enjoys immersing in the mountains and landscapes, hence the name Lydiascapes was born from there. She embarks on outdoor adventures like camping, hiking to skiing and water sports. She has travelled to 49 over countries to date and is waiting to conquer Norway in 2024.

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