The wheel, the lightbulb, and now the Genius.

La Sportiva calls the Genius Climbing Shoe its highest performing shoe for boulderers, sport climbers, and overhanging aficionados. The Genius gains its high performance through a No-Edge technology rubber overlay over the toe, which grips on edges and make-believe footholds like they were ledges. This remarkable technology lets you place your feet quicker and more efficiently, without having to readjust because No-Edge feels that good on the first step.

The Genius also features La Sportiva's mind-bending P3 technology that made the Solution one of the most popular shoes today. P3 uses a Permanent Power Platform to maintain the Genius' aggressive downturn for life. Like the Testarossa, the Genius' heel is surprisingly soft, stretchy, and sensitive for a proper fit as well as solid heel-hooking.

Vibram gave the Genius its hardest and stickiest XS Grip rubber to match its high performance. The thin sole works with the LaspoFlex midsole to keep the Genius malleable and flexible like most professional-grade high-performance climbing shoes these days. La Sportiva left the upper unlined so your foot can slide into the soft and smooth suede upper, and the microfiber tongue gusset adds soft, lightly padded comfort.

  • No-Edge edging technology
  • P3's mind-bending power technology
  • Suede upper, unlined
  • Comfy microfiber tongue gusset
  • Vibram XS Grip 2 sole
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Help sought with sizing

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I run street shoes in 43 (generally), Miura VS in 42.5 and Solutions in 42 - what size should I look for in the Genius?

Technical Comfort, Intuitive Sensitivity

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These are my all time favorite climbing shoes for Bouldering and Sport Climbing. I've used these indoors and outdoors extensively on steep to overhanging terrain and cave climbs and roofs.

My street shoe is a size 42 (US 9) and I size down a half size (41.5) and these are the best fit for me. (I have the La Sportiva Finale and Solution shoes both in 41.5 as well)

I originally bought these a year ago in a size too small (41) and despite trying to break them in, I would have to stop climbing after 20 minutes but I still loved them for that 20 minutes and am glad I have the right size now. I got the 41.5's 3-4 months ago and have been climbing 4+ days a week in them ever since. Currently climbing 5.11b+ and bouldering V6+

I loved my first climbing shoes (La Sportiva Finale) after a season of use wore them down because I could get a lot more feedback on footholds and weighting my feet properly and trusting small chips etc and this shoe does this right out the box. I needed a more performance based shoe, something more technical when I started climbing more difficult and technical routes.

It feels good right out of the box, a little cammed up and I can't wear these all day (I take them off between climbs) but it feels really good. I have a somewhat wide foot with medium volume (my active and running footwear is minimalist which has beefed up my feet, splayed my toes, etc) and the toe box and shoe seem to fit that shape and volume pretty well. The Solutions and Skwamas definitely still have wider toe boxes than these.

I tried to love the Solutions which I have in the same size but they feel clunky and like bricks in comparison. I've used both outdoors and I can't nearly stick as well as I do in the Genius's when I try climbing with the Solutions plus all the extra rubber on the Solutions make it impossible to jam toes into small pockets and I don't get the same sensory feedback that I do with the Genius.

The heels feel really great and I can toe hook and heel hook all day with confidence. I haven't tried these on any multi-pitch routes but think I might need something slightly less aggressive to do anything more than 120+ feet.

I really love these shoes.

Unanswered Question

Female foot sizing with a narrow heel
I wear the 39.5 in katana Velcro women’s - I have a touch of space around the heel (I don’t do heel hooks because of this and the fact I can’t feel my heel) but it presses my toes a bit tight.

I tried on the katana lace which is a men’s size, fits heaps better around the toe box but way too much space in the heel. Same size though- 39.5. Also tried 39, but crunches my toes. So no good.

So would the 39.5 work better in the genius? How does the heel compare to katana lace? I’m also considering the kataki., in the women’s.

I have a very narrow heel, and normal to slightly narrow forefoot.
My running shoe is us 8.5 adidas adios boost. Which is a 7Uk and 40.5 euro.

Comfort + Precision

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I wear a street shoe size 12 and ordered a 45.5 and they fit perfectly tight. At this price they are a steal. So far I've just used them for gym climbing and bouldering but they help me fly up 5.10s so much easier than my previous shoes.

Size comparison with Solution:

I've been wearing a 41 in my current pair of Solutions and am planning to try a pair of the Genius. Any recommendations on how the sizing compares between the 2? Should I try a 41 first in the Genius?

Hey Michael, what is your normal shoes size in euro?

Hard to say, but I think it would be 42.5 Euro for most street shoes. My Mondo is 26.5, and I use a 8.5 US Snowboard boot, but my typical street shoe size is 9.5 US.

Incredibly sensitive

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

These are by far the most sensitive climbing shoes I've ever worn. I reserve them for the harder routes I climb and they never fail to deliver. You simply feel every tiny bit your feet is on

Love EM

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I really love these shoes. They climb so well, but I think Neil Gresham says it the best. Check out this video and he will explain the benefits on the no-edge technology

Outstanding performance

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Picked these up barely-used from someone who didn't like the fit at my gym and they quickly became my hands-down favorite out of the 5 or so pairs of climbing shoes I own. I've used them several times a week in the gym as well as outside on limestone, sandstone, and granite for 4-5 months.

Fit-wise, it's similar in shape to the Solution but slightly tighter, and a little bit wider in the mid and forefoot than the Katana Lace. I took it 1.5 sizes down from street shoes and they're aggressive enough for hard bouldering and comfortable enough for longer sport routes; a full 2 sizes down might be better if you're primarily bouldering in them and like your shoes tight. Regardless, the balance of performance to comfort is excellent.

I know some folks aren't big fans of no-edge shoes, or at least felt that they required some adjustment and getting used to, but for me they've been fantastic from the get-go. The fit puts your big toe in really direct contact with the front of the shoe while holding everything in place, so you get great sensitivity and power. Compared to traditional shoes I found that it's a little more intuitive to hit both smears and small edges accurately (and get tactile feedback when you've placed your foot poorly). The heel feels very secure and solid on hooks, especially if it's laced up tightly.

There are a couple very minor downsides: The laces are not so sturdy--both blew out after about 4 months of use. Big deal--laces are cheap. In my experience they're also a little less ideal for hard toe hooks than some top notch bouldering shoes e.g. Solutions, which have a bigger patch of toe rubber than the Genius can fit around the laces. (I might just suck at toe hooking though.)

If they fit your foot well and you haven't been turned off by the no-edge design, they're outstanding and totally worth the small cost difference vs. other high-end shoes.

Best Climbing shoes I own

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Pros:
Incredibly comfortable
No edge design is great for small footholds
Great for sport climbing
they are comfortable enough to wear for a few hours at a time but aggressive enough to send the toughest climbs. Would recommend to any sport climber.

Favorite shoe I own out of 6 pairs

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Off the bat, when it comes to footwork, there is a different climbing style involved with using these shoes due to the no edge technology. I personally favor it, but it may not be for everyone. Out of 6 pairs of climbing shoes, these are my favorite due to comfort, breathing ability, performance and they are light weight.

Incredible shoes

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I highly recommend these shoes. The no-edge design is fantastic. It gives so much flexibility in how you utilize small footholds. It took a couple sessions to get used to but I can step on tiny chips, pivot, rotate and feel super solid. These shoes are incredibly comfortable. The laces allow a fine tuned fit for my high instep. I also like being able to 'runner-lace' them to tighten up the heel (which is already very solid-feeling). The toe box is amazing. With my toes curled in, all my toes feel like they are contributing without feeling crammed. They are very very comfortable. I really enjoy toe hooking with this shoe. The rubber perfectly wraps over the knuckle of my toes and sticks very well.

These are really great, powerful, aggressive shoes that somehow manage to be extremely comfortable and sensitive.
The stretch was very minimal. I would say less than half a size. I recommend ordering your normal La Sportiva size.

Shout out to Warren for the great customer service.

new to no edge technology

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

So far I have used these shoes indoors for about one month. I have not had the opportunity to test them outdoors , so my opinions are based on gym climbing.
To begin I had spent a lot of time reading reviews of others who have used these shoes. I was skeptical about them and was concerned that they might change how my feet edge on holds in a negative way. I finally pulled the trigger on them, and so far I am glad I have. I have noticed several things about them.
1. I have tested very small micro chip edges compared to sportive testarosa and solutions on a slab wall. the genius shoes edge better, no doubt.
2. when you edge with these shoes, because there is a no edge, you can slightly evert (pronate) your foot. what happens is that you then engage your hamstrings and glut muscles which help to naturally pull your body more into the wall. This is a good thing. if you try to do the same thing with a shoe with an edge, if it is a small edge, there is more of a tendency to come off the hold.
3. It is easier to turn you foot on a hold with these shoes compared to other edge shoes that i have. i notice this on overhang climbs and bouldering routes.
My other shoes that i currently use are lace miuras, solutions, testarosas and now the genius.
i am looking forward to trying these shoes outside as soon as I am able to do so, but so far I am a fan of these shoes

By far the best shoe I've ever owned

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Background: I started in Rogues, then Shamans, then Demons. I have a narrow foot and a relatively shallow heel.

I actually got my first pair of these in Bishop, CA. I went in the store thinking I'd buy a pair of Women's Solutions or some Oasi's. Ended up walking out with 40.5 Geniuses.

They fit my foot better than any other shoe, particularly in the heel, which drew me to them initially. The toebox was tight and borderline painful, the heel was tight and didn't have much dead space.

From the first time I climbed in them, I loved the no-edge technology. I felt like I could smear well and edge on a dime while climbing in the Buttermilks. Not to mention, finding some pretty sweet heel hooks.

Over time, these shoes quickly became my absolute favorite of all time. Though, I did end up regretting getting the 40.5's instead of the 41's as they were a bit TOO tight for my liking, I'm fine with a little pain but it made it hard to climb until they broke in a bit. I got them in 41 for my second pair, my feet feel like they've stepped through the pearly gates.

Onto the stiffness and rubber: I don't think the Geniuses are particularly flexible or stiff, they're kind of in the middle but I'd say they lean towards the stiffer side, similar to the Testarosa. They're much more rigid than something like the Drago, Mocasym, or Rogues. It's a good balance between stiff and soft where you can smear well enough, but also edge properly. I'd say that these shoes are better at edging than smearing but, I haven't had issues with either. The rubber of the shoe could have something to do with it. The rubber is excellent, once again a good balance between soft and hard like the stiffness. Again, leaning to the hard side. They're softer than a Scarpa Instinct VS and harder than a VSR. I think it hits the sweet spot, but I'm obviously quite biased.

I've discussed fit, stiffness, rubber, thus far, I'll end it with durability and usage. I use them for bouldering primarily but I have no issues with using them for sport either. I don't know if I'd recommend them for multi-pitch but, for single pitch sport and bouldering they're fantastic. They're fairly aggressive so they excel on small holds and overhanging routes/problems. I don't have any issues heeling or toeing with these shoes which is why I like them for bouldering so much. Furthermore, these shoes are fairly durable from my experiences with them. I climb about 3-4 times a week on average for 2+ hours (V8/9+) and they have lasted me for quite a while. It took me about 7 months to wear through my last pair which is pretty good if you ask me. However, I've heard that people go through these shoes fairly quickly, maybe I'm doing something different?

Regardless, they perform as well as they look, the no-edge is a blessing, they're great for overhanging bouldering and you'll like them if you have a narrow foot/shallow heel. Though, You can get away with them if you don't fit those specifications. Similar to Futuras in terms of fit.

Not My Style

    These are obviously very quality shoes, but I decided not to keep them because after trying them out for a little bit I figured out that I'm not a big fan of the edgeless design. It's just not nearly as easy to get your feet onto small footholds. However, the lacing makes it easy to fit the shoe to your foot comfortably, and I think the design is super cool. Smearing felt great in these shoes so if I ever became rich enough to own several pairs of climbing shoes, I'd get these again.

    Highest preforming climbing shoes

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    These are the best most comfortable and highest preforming climbing shoes on the market.

    Unanswered Question

    I tried on a pair of miuras at my local gym for sizing and found that the 41s were exceptionally tight and after a very short time my little toe began to hurt, but the 41.5s felt like once they were broken in they might be a little on the lose side. So ideally for miuras I would want a 41.25 (I can dream, at least).

    I understand these run about a half size smaller because they are softer, so I'm wondering if I should go with the 41s that hurt in the miuras or drop to the 40.5?

    The shoes I'm currently wearing are evolv chronos in a 43.

    Lightning strikes.

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

    This is just my initial review, but I've been searching for this very moment: got home with my new pair, sized up from street 43 (hurt) to 44.5 and put 'em on with plastic bags just to see if they were OK. Walked around my room and they were pretty uncomfortable still. Loosened all of the laces, walked around to no improvement. Decided to put them on no bags, and tie them really tight... Suddenly they just conformed to feet, snapped to attention and creepily whispered, "Yes, let's climb some boulders, sir..."

    Let's see if lightning strikes twice when I actually climb on them.

    Update - LOVE LOVE LOVE. These are so nice. Once I got accustomed to the no edge design, I can make them stick to whatever I want. These truly shine on sport climbs, very comfy, yet aggressive enough to crush. Toes don't hurt anymore. You definitely have to lace them up differently though. Pic coming soon.

    Lightning strikes.

    How has the stretch been? Reading mixed reviews from fitting TTS to downsizing 2 sizes has me confused.

    The stretch has been... interesting. After two weeks I thought I miss sized, they got sloppy. Then they kinda broke in better and now its perfect. A little downturned toe action. I sized up from street haha. Depends on how you like it. The no edge is weird and I could not imagine being in them if they were aggressive fit, I'd probably cry.

    I don't lace them like they come, and to be critical of other reviews, if you only lace up with the basic cross, your shoes will never perform at their best. I skip the 2nd to last loops and go the last loops then double back the 2nd to last and back through the last ones. This allows me to loosed the top and toe box, but when I tighten the laces, it pulls the heel cup forward, helping with heel hooks. I'll put a pick up soon.

    Also, I got the strangest blisters with these, but I love them, indoor and out.

    Best Sport Climbing Shoe!

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size

    I have been using these shoes for quite some time now. All sport routes in Maple Canyon, UT and Lander, WY. They have been awesome! They are a little pricey but with the no-edge technology you don't have to break them in. They will preform at the highest level right out of the box, which is HUGE with new technical climbing shoes. They will wear more evenly so in turn last longer before you blow out the toes. The P3 band is awesome! They wrap your heel so well, I have never felt them slip when cranking on your toes on steep over-hangs. I got them true to size. I wear a 9 1/2 street shoe. They were a little tight at first, which is what I wanted, but were not so unbearable I had to take them off between every pitch.
    If you have any questions:
    email me @: wbowen@backcountry.com or give me a call @ (801) 204-4571

    Unreal!

      I purchased these about a month ago and have put them through quite heavy use, and I have absolutely no complaints! They are durable, grippy, and have a perfect fit. By far one of the best climbing shoes I have ever had. I highly suggest these to anyone in the market for a new pair of climbing shoes.

      Flawless and #1 in the shoe game!

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
      • Fit: Runs large
      • Size Bought: 42.5

      I have yet to find a negative side to the La Sportiva Genius! I have purchased two pairs over a year and a half (one for indoor and one for outdoor) and LOVE them! They took 3 or 4 weeks of consistent climbing to break in, but once they were broken in they fit to perfection. They do seem to run large, so I have a 42.5 (9.5 US), however, I wear an 11 to 11.5 street shoe, so size down 2 sizes. From indoor to outdoor climbing/bouldering, there is no shoe better for all around climbing while still be aggressive and comfortable enough!