La Sportiva Genius

8.2 score
[Editors rating (8.2) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = (TheGearHunt) score (8.2)/10

Editor rating: 8.2 / 10
User's rating: based on 4 user ratings
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La Sportiva Genius Review Facts

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.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Balance of performance and comfort levels
  • Enhanced support
  • High-end performance
  • No-edge technology
  • Unparalleled comfort
  • Expensive


There are a couple of options for resoling. A traditional edge sole can be used that will wear down a bit and will have a rounded edge pattern in short order. The No-edge sole is offered to resolers who remove the sole and replace the entire sole including the piece that covers the toe. The rationale behind choosing Vibram XS Edge rubber is the formula produces sticky rubber that is ideal for climbing. The XS Edge is harder than other Vibram rubber. It is intended for edging.

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.


La Sportiva Genius has a soft midsole. The midsole is made of LapsoFlex that has the proper combination of softness and stiffness. The LapsoFlex midsole helps the shoes keep their aggressive shape. The No-edge technology is used in the La Sportiva Genius. The midsole gives the shoe a unique sensitivity. The No-edge technology increases the durability and lifespan of the rubber.


The suede and microfiber upper has P3 technology that maintains the downturn shape of the shoe. It makes the shoe a steady and veritable machine. The unlined interior with a slip lasted construction makes the shoe less stiff than board lasted shoes.

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.


The shoes weigh eight ounces each.


When the Genius is taken from the box, it is immediately comfortable, even when tightly sized. The toes are provided a comfortable arch created by plenty of toe room, a wide last, and a suede upper that is unlined.

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.


The shoe has a lace-up performance design. The main feature of the La Sportiva Genius is the No-edge technology. It is an entirely new concept for rock shoe design. The No-edge technology develops the shoe around the natural shape of the foot, completely revolutionizing the concept of climbing shoes.

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 Genius has P3 flat-lasted performance. The P3 stands for Permanent Power Platform. Wear of the Genius is longer than other climbing shoes because the wearer doesn’t concentrate on a single point but is spread out. The No-edge technology solves the problem of durability. The shoes are not going to wear through on the toes and will last longer.


The lacing system precisely and snugly wraps the foot to provide support. The combination of the P3 Patent System and the LapsoFlex midsole provide support, even if the shoes are not excessively tight. With the No-edge technology, there is a closer relationship between the rock and the climber’s foot. Power can be laid down from any angle instead of relying on a specific point where the edge meets the foothold.

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.


Out of 28 climbing shoes reviewed, the Genius received the top ten out of ten rating. Pinpoint precision is not required of the no edge concept. This shoe holds on irregular placements where others might slide.

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.


From back to front, this is possibly the most sensitive climbing shoe available. It is rated ten out of ten for sensitivity. The soft heel and toe box that is a bit wide allow toes to rest in a position that is natural. Unparalleled confidence and security are provided, including marginal foot placement. The toes are more forward in the shoes. The wall can be felt better due to the sensitivity of the shoe.


The rating for crack climbing was eight out of ten. Seven shoes scored nine out of ten. Four of them were La Sportiva products. The Genius can put toes into merciless small places and tiny edges, even though the shoe has a soft underfoot platform and is downturned. The freakishly comfortable shoe with a progressive downturn allows access to super tight cracks. They provide the rigidity needed. The rubber of the toe facilitates hooking. It protects cracks that are small.

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.


The Genius was designed for high-end sport, bouldering, traditional climbing - generally vertical to overhanging terrain. The shoes thrive on various terrain. They can be worn for high-end climbing, bouldering, and sports climbing.

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


The price tag of the La Sportiva Genius requires some justification. The comfort provided costs about $19 per toe. A climber can scale an incline better and climber higher than without the shoes. Other luxury items are much more expensive. The shoes are remarkably durable. After use for a couple of months, they show little wear.

Key Features

- LaspoFlex midsole having medium stiffness
- No-edge technology
- P3 flat-lasted performance
- Sole made of Vibram XS Edge rubber
- Upper of unlined suede

Bottom Line

Critics’ ratings make the value of the La Sportiva Genius hard to ignore. The shoes are a combination of inspired designs. Some of the aspects of favorite climbing shoes have been blended to create a complete package that is unique.

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.