You may be a really experienced climber and looking for the best possible climbing shoe to add to your collection. Some of the best climbing shoes for experienced climbers should be geared towards aspects that allow you to try a lot of different types of climbing so you will be able to use your experience wherever you like.
But there isn’t one shoe can all of things you are looking for, trying out one specific shoe can definitely give you more precise experience on what things you are already really good at and your shoe is great at doing, and some of the ways you need to increase your skills, even though already have many, and where your shoe is lacking in performance.
The La Sportiva Genius is a great shoe for even the most experienced climbers and will definitely be an awesome addition to your climbing journey. Continue reading to get La Sportiva Genius Review.
In Depth Guide of the La Sportiva Genius Review Climbing Shoe
La Sportiva Genius Climbing Shoe Score
- Sensitivity – 10 out of 10
- Pockets – 9 out of 10
- Comfort – 7 out of 10
- Cracks – 6 out of 10
- Edging – 10 out of 10
How Well Does the La Sportiva Genius Climbing Shoe Actually Perform?
No Edge design is a pretty amazing way of getting the perfect climbing shoe. It is a huge deal to climbers who want the best sensitivity possible and also want a shoe that can perform exceptionally well while edging.
Uniquely, right away your Genius climbing shoe is ready to climb, being that it is already worn in really well, which is part of the design. You won’t have to spend a ton of time breaking in the edging ability of the shoe because the initial build is already so well suited for that type of climbing.
The Best at Edging
Since it is one of the best edging shoes, the Genius can give such a better purchase on really tough ledges. Most other shoes will force you to use partly your own muscle power in combination with the rigidity and rubber coverage of the shoe.
But the No Edge design of the Genius gives the edges of the shoe an excellently rounded edge. The rounded edge is perfect for molding itself onto the rock face and giving unbelievable purchase on very small edges of the rock.
You may find it a little tough to get used to being able to actually feel the rock well because, unlike most climbing shoes, the toe is extremely rounded. But after a little while of trying it out, you will get used to it and find that the design has almost perfect sensitivity to the rock.
When you jam or press your foot into smaller edges and hard to get purchase on rock faces, you will be able to stick really well into these tough spots. The rubber design and style will mold itself just enough into the smaller areas of the rock face and give you that much more holding power.
Even when you have to quickly find a hold because you misjudged your position or are quickly attempting a really difficult move, the rounded edge will definitely give you a strong hold even when you’re scrambling.
Since the toe box is actually a little bit wider than normal, this also gives you great sensitivity because your toes can rest a whole lot more naturally than they would be able to if the toe box was narrower and wasn’t able to give each toe more dexterity of its own.
Even though this shoe is specifically made for crack climbing, you can really use it for that purpose without any problem. There are some other shoes that are better at crack climbing and feature a wider, more solid base so that while you are in the crack, you won’t have to worry about lack of support when you are going for your next spot.
But because of its strong rounded edges it still gives you great support when jamming your foot into a crack. The bottoms of the shoe are a little softer than you might want for crack climbing, however.
Great for toe hooking, the downturned, longer than average edge of the toe also provides some quality protection while you are using a crack in the rock to climb.
Not Great for Long, Traditional Climbs
Since it does such a great job with edging by being rigid and rounded, and with its aggressive downturn for greater support, it may not be your favorite shoe to go on a long traditional climb. After awhile you might start to feel the affects of how its designed and start to get uncomfortable.
Great Pocket Shoes
The midsole of the La Sportiva Genius climbing shoe is made from LaspoFlex that actually extends out all the way to the toe. Between that feature and the Genius having a pretty aggressive downturn, pockets are no problem for this climbing shoe.
Even when you are trying to get a ton of support while placing your shoe into shallow pockets, this shoe really holds up and gives you the stability you need to make those harder climbs.
Even though the Genius is a little bit wider than normal, the design is meant to focus a lot of its support towards your big toe. Since that is the main place where you will want strength and support when placing your shoe into a pocket, this makes the Genius superb at this sort of climbing.
A shoe with a little more elongated point to it would still be the most preferable for pocket climbing, but the Genius still does an awesome job.
Is the La Sportiva Genius Climbing Shoe Comfortable?
The suede on the upper actually doesn’t have any lining that shows where the upper meets the rubber, and therefore doesn’t have the uncomfortable rigid portion that may cause chafing to the skin that it rubs up against.
Tons of space in the toe box also make this shoe a really comfortable one. When your toes are cramped in the toe box, it’s really tough for them to feel comfortable. Luckily your toes can spread out pretty well in the Genius’s toe box.
Even though the shoe is rigid and downturned it still has great comfort because of these couple of key features. It’s really hard to find a shoe that will perform in this way with this much of a downturn, and also be this comfortable, but the La Sportiva Genius climbing shoe does a really great job of giving you the best of both worlds.
The midsole of the shoe is a little bit softer, which does add to the comfort level. However, after a while of climbing this may not be a bonus as it will not give you much support.
Does the La Sportiva Genius Climbing Shoe Have Good Fit?
Usually the La Sportiva brand makes climbing shoes that are a little bit more narrow than some other climbing shoes. This allows for a more varied shape of foot and therefore a better overall fit.
The wide design also extends to the toe box. This will allow your toes to not be scrunched up and fit your foot much better. This wide toe box also allows for the Genius to be aggressively downturned, while still giving great fit.
It will also stretch well to conform to your foot because of the suede upper. So after a certain period of time you will be able to feel the shoe’s rigidness giving way little by little until it fits to your foot shape.
The Genius sports laces to loosen or tighten the shoe. Since it uses laces, you can adjust smaller, more specific sections of the shoe than some other climbing shoes with velcro straps. If you’d rather have the more forward part of the shoe be tighter, you can get that done. If you would prefer the less forward part of the shoe be tighter, you can adjust that really well as well.
Size the Shoe Down
Depending on the climbing shoe, you will want to get an irregular size from your normal walking shoe. For the Genius, you are going to want to size the shoe down at least a full size to get the best fit for your foot.
If you want to increase your performance of the shoe while climbing even further, you can go down another half size or so to get a more rigid, more supportive fit. This will obviously make the shoe that much more uncomfortable, but you’ll have to weigh the cost benefit depending on where and how you’re going to be climbing.
Does the La Sportiva Genius Climbing Shoe Have Good Value?
The La Sportiva is one of the most expensive climbing shoes out there. It might be a little tough to justify how much you’re going to have to pay to get this climbing shoe, but it just may be worth it for you.
The No Edge Technology makes up a huge portion of why the shoe is so expensive, and since the design can help you out with a lot of different kinds of climbing. Cracks, pockets, and edges all don’t pose a problem for the genius and makes its money for value really high.
Usually climbing shoes that have this much performance to go along with them don’t always have the best comfort. It is tough to be given that much support while still being soft enough to not affect your overall comfort.
Not so with the Genius. With its wider than average toe box, going your toes lots of room, and the soft midsole which allows your foot to not get too cramped, both provide the most amount of comfort you can probably get with a shoe that’s sufficiently downturned and is so great at edging like the La Sportiva Genius climbing shoe is.
Pros and Cons of the La Sportiva Genius Climbing Shoe
- Great For Edging
- Really Pricey
How does the La Sportiva Genius Climbing Shoe Compare?
1. Genius VS Katana
The La Sportiva Katana is a good bit better at crack climbing than the Genius. It’s wider foot base allows it to stay in the crack of the rock more easily and give better support than in that climbing situation than the Genius.
The Katana is also a good bit more comfortable than the Genius. It isn’t a huge differentiation between the two shoes, but it still gives you a little more ability to do a longer climb since you have more comfort.
2. Genius VS Solution
The La Sportiva Solution is almost on par with the Genius in its edging ability. You should be able to do almost any small ledge or ripple section with either of these shoes.
However, you’re going to find that the Genius is just a little better at giving you a good hold on the smaller edges of the rock.
They both have the same amount of comfort, so if you need a good performing shoe that will give you above average comfort for this style, either one will be a good fit for you.
3. Genius Vs Futura
The Futura isn’t going to have nearly the same ability to adjust the shoe because it features velcro straps rather than laces. With Velcro straps, you will be able to only tighten or loosen larger areas of the shoe.
With laces, you’re going to be able to more specifically tighten the climbing shoe so it will fit your fit much better.
4. Genius VS Solution Comp
The Solution Comp is not as good at edging and it’s also not as sensitive as the Genius.
Though there isn’t a huge gap in between its edging ability and its sensitivity, if you want a shoe that’s the best at both of these things, the Genius is going to be just a little bit better at both.
What’s the Verdict on the La Sportiva Genius Climbing Shoe?
It’s no edge technology makes it really super for edging, but still has great comfort. So if you are looking for a shoe that has great performance but also great comfort, this can definitely be the climbing shoe that fits you well.
It does take some getting used to, since the rounded design is so unique to this shoe and you may not feel like sensitivity is really that great. But once you climb a little longer with the Genius, you will be able to tell how sensitive this shoe really is.