La Sportiva Genius
From slabby to steep, the La Sportiva Genius outperforms the contenders on every rock angle. Much of the shoe’s worthiness is centered around the No-edge technology. The benefits of this technology are nearly endless, though it took a while to catch on. Climbing shoes tend to wear out quickly. Wouldn’t something without an edge be less durable? The idea of the technology is for the rubber to follow the shape of the foot rather than creating an artificial edge.
- Balance of performance and comfort levels
- Enhanced support
- High-end performance
- No-edge technology
- Unparalleled comfort
This is a durable rubber that keeps its shape after much climbing. It is neither as precise or sensitive as the Vibram grip series. Sensitivity is sacrificed for durability. Regarding aggressiveness and ability to climb hard grades, this shoe is placed at the top of the La Sportiva line.
Because the sole comes out of the factory with a very round edge, it wears more evenly than a square edged sole. The wear pattern is almost built-in out of the factory. Climbers get longer lifespans out of the No-edge sole than a traditional sole because there is less rubber to chunk off at the beginning of the shoe’s life.
Experts who like the No-edge technology feel like the laces of the shoes are a bonus that makes the shoes fit snugly. The P3 is incredibly sprung and taut on the instep. In the P3 platform, the rand wraps around the heel back down to the other side of the shoe that causes the permanent downturn of the shoe.
Power is concentrated on the toes and provides more precision. The rand wrapping around the shoe extends the lifespan of the shoe, keeping it in the downturn position. Without the downturn, the shoe would flatten out.
The shoe has asymmetrical lacing that provides for lots of rubber on the top of the shoe. The lace-up fit gives a fit that is more customized and precise. For those who want maximum the performance of the shoe, the lace up system lets the climber fine-tune to individual preferences.
Reviewers rated the Genius an eight for comfort. The Genius is a moderately asymmetrical shoe that is aggressively downturned. It can be worn on long climbs and for spotting at boulders. No-edge shoes are characterized by the softness that fits nicely to the foot, somewhat like a slipper especially in the arch and toe sections. The softness also means every nuance of the rock can be felt.
Unlike traditional climbing shoes, No-edge technology traces the shape of the foot on sharp edges, maintaining a closer more uniform distance between the foot and the rock surface during boulder and static phases of climbing. It leads to more even wear on the rubber and better edging performance.
The union of support features and the lacing system make the shoes adaptable to any foot type, both wide and narrow fits are accommodated. The No-edge technology has a rounded shape instead of the traditional square shape.
Research showed climbers often resorted to old climbing shoes because the edge had naturally worn away. Reducing the square edge puts the toe closer to the front of the shoe and consequently the rock. It provides more sensitivity and precision on small edges.
The Genius is one of the most progressive shoes in the La Sportiva line. It has the downturn and relatively asymmetrical last that curves around, concentrating power toward the big toe, giving the climber an exact platform to edge.
The shoe works well on the ‘barely there’ footholds that give no idea of what is being stood upon. The climber's weight is evenly distributed throughout the sole rather than concentrating on one point. The rounded shape moves more homogeneously. The greater rubber surface allows the climber to judge the position and inclination of the foot on the hold. In traditional climbing shoes, the pressure exerted by the climber focuses more on one area of the sole.
With No-edge technology, the weight is distributed more evenly. It is evident by the type of wear to which the shoe is exposed. Patented No-edge technology provides better adaptability, homogeneous pressure, and higher sensitivity. The shoes have a lace-up design making the foot stay locked in place.
The toes mold to the rock. Toes are sensitive. The characteristic makes adjusting to irregular foot placement easier than other versions of La Sportiva or other brands. Using the shoes requires some adjustment time.
When a climber is acclimated to the shoes, he or she can press into dangerous ripples and micro edges. The shoes are advantageous when on-sighting. They push through moves when a climber is near the limit. The climber’s footwork feels intense. After getting used to the shoes, going back to other shoes can be compared to working with gloves on your hands.
The Genius can be used for high-end climbing. It is not the ideal choice for easy or moderate climbing. A flatter shoe would better serve the purpose. One would be hard pressed to find a climbing style that the La Sportiva . The shoes have a LapsoFlex midsole extending beyond the toes and are aggressively downturned. The technology permits climbers to stand in shallow pockets and on minuscule edges.
A rating of nine out of ten was given to the Genius for a pocket rating. Though the shoe is a bit wide, it manages to put the focus on body weight through the big toe. It is precise enough to locate and fit into small pockets easily.
Unless the climber has deep pockets, using them for gym sessions or training days is not recommended. There are those who feel they are the perfect gym climbing shoe. It features make it ideal for gym climbing where the climber is more often pulling and pushing than trying to edge or smear.
The method of construction permits ideal adaptation to various kinds of rock. It is derived from a large surface area that comes in contact. The Genius is the perfect choice for climbing rock walls. Enhanced comfort features allow wearing the shoes for long periods.
The grippy heel is perfect for boulder use. Foot placement is more likely to stick because the shoe molds into the holds. The shoes work well for small smears that often occur on limestone, but one reviewer felt when standing on a sharp edge on the inside of the toes they were not very supportive.
If limestone climbing or steep smearing bouldering is your thing, the same reviewer said the Genius is worth a look. The performance is consistent from the time the shoes are taken out of the box. When doing on-sight climbing, the need for precision is a little less critical.
Instead of putting a square toe on a square ledge, the toe is more or less smeared on the surface and provides a better perception of what the toe is on. It allows climbing to be a bit faster. The way the shoe downturns at the front of the shoe, and the somewhat of a hook work well on overhanging terrain. It helps bring the center of mass toward the rock and lets the climber pull with the feet as well as the
- No-edge technology
- P3 flat-lasted performance
- Sole made of Vibram XS Edge rubber
- Upper of unlined suede
No-edge technology performance and sensitivity are uniquely combined with the lace-up volume adaptability, precision, and comfort. If a person has $200 to spend on the shoes, they meet the criteria needed for most climbing styles.