September 20, 2016
What better place to test out the new La Sportiva Skwama than the beautiful land of Squamish. So, a couple really cool things I like about this shoe: there’s a very thin midsole in the forefoot, but it also has 4 mm of the vibram xs grip2 rubber (the same on the Solution). This offers a very flexible shoe that can also perform exceptionally well on micro-edges.
With the introduction of the S-heel, or Stabilizer Heel, the Skwama outshines all others. This new heel has a sort of axel going from one end to another, thus preventing any sort of shifting when heel hooking on tiny crystals or smears. Another minor feature that actually makes a pretty major difference is the “tear drop” cutout of rubber in the bottom of the forefoot. This allows the toes to spread more ergonomically while covering more surface area on the wall.
The Skwama has been slapped with so much rubber on top of the shoe that you’ll toe-hook anything it touches, whether you want it or not, deal with it. This shoe is also unlined leather so I recommend downsizing a half size from your normal Solution, because this shoe does get nice and loosey goosey.
Now normally I climb in Solutions, Geniuses, and Miura-laceups, all for different reasons. I did use my Skwamas in Squamish, but only for specific occasions such as: when I have to heel hook or toe hook anything, stand hard on tiny crystals, toe down on an overhang, smear my way up a slab or dance my way up a technical face climb. But only for those reasons would I use these brilliant shoes. Bottom line, my other bouldering shoes are starting to gather dust and I don’t see it getting blown off anytime soon.