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No Edge Climbing Shoes: Bizarre And Brilliant

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The La Sportiva No Edge climbing shoes dare to defy conventional wisdom. How does this mysterious shoe technology work? And can it help you climb harder?

Futura-1

My Top Pick

Futura

The most popular no-edge shoe, perfect for both slippy limestone routes and steep indoor boulders alike.

La Sportiva Mantra thumbnail

For Training

Mantra

The original shoe that began the no-edge revolution is back with a fresh upgrade for the 2022 season.

La sportiva Genius no edge shoes

For Performance

Genius

A longstanding model in the La Sportiva line-up, the Genius is a tried and tested performance shoe.

La Sportiva Maverink - Kids climbing shoe

For Kids

Maverink

Built for young guns with a third for crushing hard, the Maverink is built for sending hard.

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Have you heard of the no-edge technology that the mad geniuses at La Sportiva have cooked up? I’m sure you probably have, it might be one of the biggest game-changers in shoe tech since the creation of the cambered last (big statement, I know).

La Sportiva’s no-edge technology was first introduced back in 1999 with the original Mantra, a predecessor to the modern Cobra. Unfortunately, the Mantra was quickly pulled from the shelves due to a lack of sales compared to the brand’s front runners at the time, like the now legendary Mythos and the Miura.

It wasn’t until the introduction of Futura and Genius that climbers started to understand the benefits of this unique style of shoe. Today, No-edge technology is a mainstay in the La Sportiva shoe line as more climbers warm up to this intuitive design. But what is it exactly? And how does it help your climbing? This video below probably explains it best.

No-edge climbing shoes differ radically from conventional shoes by ditching the crisp edge typically found at the toe, and substituting it with a rounded edge. While this is a pretty alien concept to many of us who honed our footwork by relying on a precise inner edge, with a bit of time, we think even hardened traditionalists may warm up to the no-edge tech.

The Benefits Of No Edge Climbing Shoes

La sportiva No Edge climbing shoes

For the same reason many of us gravitate towards our trusty, broken-in shoes, La Sportiva no edge tech makes sense when you consider the natural contouring fit of your foot. By omitting hard corners, softening the midsole, and rounding off the edges, shoes such as the Futura benefit from a comfortable slipper-like profile. No need to cram your toes and grin and bear the pain of cramps. No-edge shoes are designed to fit snugly, but comfortably, allowing your foot to sit in a more natural resting position.

This neutral position also optimizes surface contact on the wall, molding your placement to the divots and features. While edged shoes require precision in order to find the sweet spot along the front of the foot, no-edge allows you to plop your toe down and stick, without much finessing. As a result, even marginal foot placements can inspire confidence. As an added bonus, every No-edge shoe is paired with Vibram XS Grip 2 rubber, for a truly winning formula. 

You’ll get the best out of this design on overhanging terrain and situations that require a smear. These qualities make no-edge shoes a favorite among a whole variety of climbers from competition climbers, to sport climbers, to boulderers alike.

Every No Edge Climbing Shoe

Here’s every shoe in the La Sportiva range that currently uses its No-Edge shoe technology in 2023.

My Top Pick

La Sportiva Genius

La Sportiva Genius Review
Overall
8.35
(3 reviews)
  • Edging - 7/10
    7/10
  • Smearing - 9/10
    9/10
  • Steep Terrain - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Comfort - 8/10
    8/10
  • Sensitivity - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Value For Money - 7.5/10
    7.5/10

Pros

  • Incredible sensitivity
  • Great for edging
  • The toe rand
  • Laces help get the perfect fit

Cons

  • The price
  • Wears fast
  • Off-center laces get destroyed in cracks

The La Sportiva Genius is a high-performance lace-up shoe meant to boost your performance to the next grade. 

It sports the P3 platform system, as seen on the La Sportiva Solutions and Miura VS (among others). This maintains the aggressive downturn of the shoe over its lifetime by powering the mid-sole through a slingshot rand from the heel. 

The lacing system also stands out here as it allows for fine-tuning your fit every time. This model combines the best of La Sportiva technology with the handmade craftsmanship we’ve come to expect from this legendary Italian company.

Best For Gym

La Sportiva Mantra

La Sportiva Mantra slipper climbing shoe

The original 1999 Mantra was the shoe that kick-started the no-edge revolution and is now back and better than ever. With a focus on indoor boulder and lead, the new 2022 Mantra follows in the footsteps of its predecessors, opting for a lightweight and minimal design, making it one of the most sensitive shoes in the La Sportiva line-up.

How soft is the Mantra, I hear you ask? Well for starters, there’s no midsole, only the P3 platform to help maintain it’s downturned shape. The outsole rubber is also only 2mm of Vibram XS Grip 2 at its thickest spot, which makes this shoe absurdly soft.

Best For Gym

La Sportiva Futura

La Sportiva Futura review
Overall
8.45
(2 reviews)
  • Edging - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
  • Smearing - 9/10
    9/10
  • Steep Terrain - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Comfort - 8/10
    8/10
  • Sensitivity - 10/10
    10/10
  • Value For Money - 7/10
    7/10

Pros

  • Incredible sensitivity
  • Great at edging thanks to No-Edge technology
  • The fast-lacing system

Cons

  • The price tag
  • Wears fast

The Futura – though similar to the Genius offers a more narrow fit, while still delivering some impressive performance on all things edging and smearing. The big difference here is in the fastening system, as the Futuras are designed with a velcro system, they allow for a painless on-and-off process, making them better suited for gym bouldering. It’s also got a softer heel compared to the completely encased heel cup on the Genius.

The Futura’s are the only no-edge shoe offered in a lower volume, women’s fit.

Best For Outdoor

La Sportiva Maverink

La Sportiva Maverink

The Maverink is a kid’s climbing shoe that doesn’t mess around. This shoe is designed especially for the growing feet of young guns crushing it at gym. This no-edge climbing shoe reduces the amount of constriction found on a typical performance shoe while balancing technical capability.

The Maverink features a down-turned last, also powered by the P3 platform. The toe box is nice and roomy and is intended to fit a natural, instinctual position.

It’s an easy-going slipper with fantastic sensitivity, making it a popular pick even among adults.

Best For Outdoor

La Sportiva Speedster

La Sportiva speedster - A no edge climbing shoe

Best For: Outdoor sport and boulder

For those who prefer a slipper shoe, the Speedster gives you a quick on-off solution with aggressive performance. 

It’s got a thin, low-profile sole giving it maximum sensitivity, pairing well with the no-edge construction. La Sportiva has also given the shoe a generous toe patch and additional abrasion-resistant patches, making it a secure pick for tricky toe hooks.

What’s your thoughts on no-edge shoes?

No Edge climbing shoes

We think no-edge tech is one of the most exciting recent developments in climbing shoe tech and can’t wait to see where La Sportiva takes it next. It would be great to see more low-volume options and alternatives, given that finding a shoe that fits just right is so key.

These shoes are increasingly popular with new climbers, as well as youth athletes as they hone their skills on indoor comp style problems, smeary barely-there footholds, and steep overhanging walls. This truly is a design for the next generation shoe.

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