La Sportiva Solution
A high-performance shoe that has been favored by some of the best in the game including Adam Ondra, Daniel Woods and many more.
- Performance: 95% 95%
- Sensitivity: 90% 90%
- Comfort: 85% 85%
- Value For Money 85% 85%
- Total Score 90% 90%
Lazer precision toe
3D molded heel
Amazing for overhang
We Don’t Like
Not suitable for all-day climbing
Velcro straps can break easily
LA SPORTIVA SOLUTION REVIEW
This shoe were first created by the geniuses at La Sportiva in 2007 and has remained remarkably unchanged since. Sure, the shoe got a revamp in 2018, but I am happy to report this was mostly cosmetic and the shoe still retains that award-winning performance that hardcore fans have grown to love.
I am no stranger to the Solutions. I have used both the new and old versions over several years for both bouldering and sport climbing. In all honesty, I really struggle to find any major fault with them. There aren’t many shoes that give you such a high a standard of performance in a huge variety of moves and terrain – but the Solution is one of them.
The shoe was originally designed with the goal of being the ultimate ‘solution to modern bouldering’ and 13 years on, it’s still is. That neverendingly toe rand, aggressive last and 3D heel cup are just a few of the shoes winning features that will help you bag those dreamy V7 problems you have your eye on.
But this shoes can do so much more than a few laps of your local bouldering gym. Take them on your next trip to your local crag and you will be surprised at how well they preform while sport climbing, even on the more vertical routes.
The another reason why the Solutions hold a special place in my heart is because every pair is unique. These, like all La Sportiva shoes, are moulded and sown by hand in the heart of the Italian Alps. If it doesn’t fill you with confidence knowing your shoes have been hand crafted by a seasoned European climber, I don’t know what will.
The old school design also used a unique marbled patterned mid-sole, which means no two shoes will ever be the same. I admit, it won’t help much with your climbing ability, but it’s pretty cool to think your shoes are one of a kind.
In this La Sportiva Solution review, I will share with you some of the features and knowledge I have grown to love, as well as a few things I am not so keen on. Lets get started!
1) Toe Box
As you would expect from a high-performance bouldering shoe, the Solutions use an aggressively downturned last – supported by La Sportiva’s P3 platform – which helps retain the shape and edging ability. After using them for a while you will notice two things.
Firstly, you will have become a cave-climbing master and will be in total awe of how amazing the pointed toe is at grabbing pockets. There isn’t many shoes that can keep up with the Solutions performance in this respect. The spoon-dip design of the sole fits naturally between the ball of your foot and your toes.
Secondly, it gives you a laser precision edging ability, far better than you would expect from an aggressive bouldering shoe. You will be able to stand on crimps so small it will look like a David Blane levitation trick.
The upper rand of the toe box is equally as impressive. The design of the toe rand is the company’s logo and while it looks pretty rad, it also works really well for toe hooks and cracks climbing too.
The Solution’s heel means business. The company decided to use a moulded 3D heel cup and I, like many Solution fans, are so happy they did.
The heel looks and feels like half a sticky bouncy ball. The design works ridiculously really well and gives you a really secure fit, not matter what monstrosity of a heel hook you are trying to pull off.
A lot of bouldering shoes I have tried tend to slip and move around if you have a lot of weight on a heel hook. But these bad boys hold firm with minimal movement.
The only criticism that can be made about the design on the heel is that there isn’t much sensitivity (i.e. you can’t feel the rock because of all that rubber) which can make more technical heel hooks a bit more challenging.
If you have ever had a pair of shoes that use Vibram XS Grip 2 rubber, you will know these guys know how to make some sticky soles.
The Solution is no different. I could throw my Solutions at the wall right now and they would never touch the ground. Okay, I might be exaggerating slightly, but they are good.
And while they are sticky, they aren’t overly soft, which contributes to the shoes edging ability and means you won’t be running to your local shoe resoler in tears every second month.
The Solutions use 4mm of the XS Grip 2, which might not make them as sensitive as the Scarap Drago or even the Futura, but there’s still plenty of sensitivity to go around.
The use of the split sole is a common sight on many aggressive shoes, as it helps with the flexibility of the sole and your ability to smear.
4) Comfort and Fit
So what’s the price for a high performing climbing shoe? Well, apart from paying a heavy price tag, it’s no secret that the La Sportiva Solution is not the most comfortable shoe in the world. Then again, which bouldering shoe is?
Don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom. The synthetic upper is similar to an elasticated sock that creates a snug fit around your foot. This itself actually gives the shoe a pretty good fit. Paired with painted hook-and-loop harness system you are guaranteed a snug fit every time. While the Solution is probably more suited to wide footed climbers (the women’s version will be better for narrower feet) this clever closure snakes around your foot and can be pulled to adjust different areas of the shoe. Be warned, it’s not uncommon for this strap to become worn, and even snap, over time.
Getting the perfect La Sportiva Solution size might be a bit of a challenge. La Sportiva are notorious for being a giant pain in the backside when it comes to finding the right size. I downsize my Solutions by a whole size (US) whereas my climbing partner downsizes by two.
If you are looking to buy these online, I would strongly suggest get getting a couple of different sizes and seeing which one works best for you. It’s also worth remembering they will stretch half a size once broken in.
Once you find the perfect size, these shoes will give you a great fit. It took me about 4 or 5 sessions until I felt I had broken the shoe in properly.
The Solution is undoubtedly one of the best performing climbing shoes you can get your hands on. While it is packaged as a shoe for technical bouldering problems, this shoe can tackle any type of climbing and provide you with maximum performance every time – just don’t stand around in them too long!
We hope you have enjoyed our La Sportiva Solution review. If you can’t wait to get your hands on the Solutions you can get them on REI here.
If you have any questions about the Solutions, please feel free to drop us an email. or if you are not sure if these are the shoes for you, then make sure to have a look at some of our other great reviews!