La Sportiva Skwama Review: Is It Worth The Money?


Have you been searching the internet for the best climbing shoe to tackle that next climb? You might search for a La Sportiva Skwama review to see if that shoe could be it.

Climbers all over the world are tackling bigger and better endeavors. From free soloing El Cap to simply getting your first membership at a climbing gym, you want a shoe that can help you improve. We get that. And with the vast amount of shoes on the market these days, it can be hard to see the differences between them.

Fortunately, finding the information you need has never been easier. Let’s take a look at this popular climbing shoe.


Our La Sportiva Skwama Review: An Overview

LA SPORTIVA Men’s Skwama Rock Climbing Shoe, Black/Yellow,…

  • ADVANCED EDGING – Designed to…
  • STICKY TOE BOX – The Skwama…

The La Sportiva Skwama is a technical and aggressive shoe that specializes in all-around feel and grip. It is built to be extra sensitive through its glove-like slipper fit and precision rubber cut-outs. With a simple hook and loop closure strap to lock you in, this is a well-loved climbing shoe.

The Skwama is made for crack climbing, toe hooking, and steep boulders. Its patented S-heel construction leaves you with no wiggle room, which is just what you want in a technical climbing shoe. While it is quite tight, after a break-in period, you can still make it work well for multi-pitch climbs.

With all of its wonders, it does have a bit of flexibility in the shoe. It is decent at edging, but it is not its strongest capability.

About La Sportiva

La Sportiva is one of the few companies left which owns and operates its factory right at its headquarters. In the little mountain town of Ziano di Fiemme, Italy, you can find their employees working hard at giving you the best product every time.

For almost 90 years, they have been designing, perfecting, and manufacturing some of the world’s best climbing shoes. This family-run business will never sacrifice their product or standards in order to make more money. Their attention to detail, the environment, and ethics are all reasons for you to be excited to buy a La Sportiva shoe.

Specifications of the La Sportiva Skwama

There is a reason this is not the only La Sportiva Skwama Review you will find. This is an insanely popular shoe, and there are quite a few reasons why. Climber Ben Rueck uses this shoe quite a bit as he learns to push himself further.

To start, La Sportive has patented a new P3 technology. This involves a split-sole construction that simply looks like a small triangle cutout near the ball of the foot. Users have found this helps spread out the weight on the sole, in turn reducing edge deformation.

In addition, this shoe fits very snugly on your foot. This is La Sportiva’s S-Heel construction, which leaves no room for air or movement, allowing you to know your exact foot placement. When that is matched with the all-around sticky rubber heel, you will have your best heel hooks yet in this shoe.

The heel is not the only glorious patch of 4mm Vibram XS Grip2 rubber. The La Sportiva Skwama has a unique patch of rubber on the top of the toe, making it ideal for toe hooks and scums. So, if you are needing a shoe to help with mantling, consider this your best bet.

The La Sportiva Skwama weight in at 7.5 ounces, making it a light shoe that comes in sizes from 34 to 46, including half sizes. Made of leather instead of synthetic material, it will stretch a bit over time. The upside of this is it will be less stinky than its synthetic counterparts.

A La Sportiva Skwama review would not be complete without a simple list of pros and cons. So, check out these boiled down lists of what are some favorite, and least favorite, features of this shoe:


  • A technical shoe that still performs well in all types of climbing

  • Rigid, suction-like heel cup

  • Thick, sturdy hook and loop closure strap for a snug fit every time

  • Excellent grip on smears


  • Toe rubber has worn out quicker than expected by some users

  • Shoe stretches out over time

The La Sportiva Skwama: How We Reviewed

Gear junkies all over the world are each writing their own La Sportiva Skwama review. We have read a multitude of them, taking each of their praises and criticisms of the shoe into account. Pro climbers are mentioning when they climb new routes in them, so we can see what these shoes are best at.

With each of these intense product tests, we have dug into what makes this shoe what it is. We can fully stand behind our La Sportiva Skwama review as an excellent technical shoe for any climber after having condensed a multitude of gear tests and reviews into this article.

Alternatives to the La Sportiva Skwama

Hopefully, you are getting just as excited as we are for the La Sportiva Skwama. For being a high-quality shoe, it is a great value in comparison to others in its price range. However, we do understand that you might be looking for something a little different.

If you are not sold on the Skwama yet, consider these alternatives.

SCARPA Maestro ECO Climbing Shoe – Men’s Ink 43.5

  • Upper Material: Eco Leather…
  • Closure: lace
  • Midsole: Talyn (1.4mm)
  • Rubber: Vibram XS Edge (4mm)
  • Last: FY

A little bit heavier than the Skwama is the Scarpa Maestro Mid Eco. But, it is made with the same rubber and leather, making it a great alternative. It is a little bit pricier, but it has a few different features to help it stand out. Let’s check them out.


  • Incredibly comfortable mid-height shoe

  • Great for crack climbing and edging

  • Eco leather has less environmental impact than other brands

  • Flat toe box and padded tongue provide all-day comfort


  • More expensive than many similar shoes

  • Laces take a bit of time to get on and off

Where to buy

Tenaya Masai Unisex Rock Climbing Shoe, 11.5 Men’s / 12.5…

  • TENAYA MASAI – The most…
  • TECHNICAL SPECS – Uppers:…
  • TIPS FOR SIZING – Climbing…

So, maybe you are not as much of a crack and toe hook climber. Are you looking for a better edging shoe? Check out the Tenaya Masai.

This shoe focuses your power into small areas, allowing you to do some of the best edging maneuvers. Through its asymmetrical toe box, your toe will become a powerhouse. With this, you will be able to find all of the microholds.


  • Excellent for vertical and overhanging routes

  • Incredibly precise on small edges and cracks

  • Cotton-lined with leather laces for cozy and comfortable climbing

  • Great all-around shoe


  • Lining lends itself to getting a little smelly

  • Heel can slip on hard heel hooks

Where to buy

La Sportiva Unisex Katana Lace Climbing Shoe, Yellow, 44.5 M…

  • QUALITY BUILD – Leather /…
  • TIPS FOR BUYING – Reference…

The La Sportiva Katana Lace is a well-rounded shoe that is just that: decent all around, without having one particular stand out strength. That being said, it is a ridiculously comfortable shoe that can do just about everything. However, being such a well-loved shoe, the La Sportiva Katana Lace can be difficult to find.

So, glance through these pros and cons to see if it is a good alternative to the Skwama for you.


  • One of the most comfortable yet high-quality climbing shoes on the market

  • Aggressive build, great for crack climbing and pockets

  • Easy to resole

  • Stiffer shoe to keep you climbing all day long


  • Longer break-in period than some shoes

  • Higher than the average cost

Where to buy

Our La Sportiva Skwama Review: An Excellent Climbing Shoe

Having searched the web for the best La Sportiva Skwama review, we believe we just made it here. The unique attributes of this excellent shoe help set it up for success. For aggressive climbers with sticky foot needs, this is the shoe for you.

So, if you are getting ready to climb El Cap, these shoes might be just the ones. Of course, we do recommend using a rope — unlike Tommy Caldwell, Alex Honnold, and Kevin Jorgeson as they push the free climbing limits once again.

Have you climbed in the La Sportiva Skwama? If so, what did you love about the shoe, and what did you find it lacking in? We would love to hear below in the comments.

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