La Sportiva Solution Review

La Sportiva

A high-performance shoe that has been favored by some of the best in the game including Adam Ondra, Jakob Schubert, and Brooke Raboutou.

The Quick

  • Indoor - 9/10
  • Outdoor - 10/10
  • Sensitivity - 8/10
  • Comfort - 7.5/10
  • Durability - 9/10
  • Value For Money - 9/10


  • Laser precise  toe is awesome for technical footwork
  • 3D molded heel is great for heel hooking
  • Secure fit from the hook and loop strap


  • A little expensive
  • Not suitable for all-day climbing
  • The Velcro straps can break easily



Skill level



Foot shape

Foot Shape


Camber Profile



If there’s one shoe that’s synonymous with climbing hard, it’s the La Sportiva Solution. This is the shoe Adam Ondra used whilst clipping the chains of the first 9c, the footwear of choice for V17 bouldering bros Nalle Hukkataival and Shawn Raboutou, and the shoe that helped Jakob Schubert secure a podium finish at sport climbing’s Olympic debut in Tokyo.

But it’s not just professional athletes that benefit from a serious-sending shoe like the Solution. This is also a great tool for us weekend warriors looking to achieve our more humble climbing goals. The unique shape of the toe box and well-balanced tension allows for laser-precise footwork, especially on vertical and overhung terrain.

The versatility of the Soltuion shoe is nothing short of astounding. While it might not be my shoe of choice for dynamic gym slab boulder, its sister shoe, the Solution Comp, features a more flexible forefoot and adapt to the demands of indoor climbing.

The Full
La Sportiva Solution Review

Last updated on May 6th, 2023 at 02:55 am

The La Sportiva Soltuion is about as popular, and iconic, as climbing shoes come. It was first created by the geniuses at La Sportiva in 2007 and has remained remarkably unchanged since. The shoe got an upgrade in 2018 but this was mostly cosmetic and the generation Soltuion still retains that award-winning performance that LS fans know and love.

I am no stranger to the La Sportiva Solution. Over the years I have worn every version for a range of bouldering and sport climbing. I remember when they were first announced and how groundbreaking these shoes were. At the time, this model wasn’t like anything climbers had ever seen. The split sole and robust heel allowed climbers to utilize their feet like never before, while its tubular sock-like upper and hook-and-loop closure allowed for a fit rarely found on velcro shoes.

There aren’t many shoes that offer such a high standard of performance across a huge variety of terrain. In this La Sportiva Solution review, I will share a few of the standout features of the shoe, as well as the few areas where the shoe falls shorts.


When La Sportiva first announced the release of the Solution they proclaimed it to be the ultimate ‘solution to modern bouldering’. And after 16 years of crushing hard, I think it’s safe to say this shoe does exactly that. The generous toe patch, unique toe box shape, and 3D heel cup are just a few of the winning features that will help you bag your long-standing gym projects.

La Sportiva Solution Toe


After using the Solutions for a session or two, you will notice two things. The first – as you would expect – is that they are awesome on the overhung terrain (more on that in the section below.) The second is how well they stick an edge and laser in on those tiny features. I have tested my fair share of downturned climbing shoes, but few offer the pin-point accuracy and inspire the level of confidence the Solutions do. 

Their awesome edging ability comes down to a few clever design choices. The first is the talon-like shape of the toe box. Few shoes (perhaps with the exception of the Evolv Phantom) have a forefoot with such a pointed-toe box centered over your big toe for maximum strength. The clever P3 active rand, 1.1  LaspoFlex midsole, and solid rubber heel all work together to transfer power to the forefoot, allowing you to crank hard on the smallest of edges.


Smearing is arguably the chink in the Solution’s stellar performance. While the split sole does offer a reasonable amount of flex in the forefoot, all that tension that creates the edging powers does somewhat restrict the shoe’s ability to work technical friction moves. That’s not to say that the shoe completely lacks any degree of smearing ability.

Steep Terrain

Pocket pulling on steep terrain is where the La Sportiva Solution excels, which is hardly surprising, as this is exactly what it was designed to do. The downturned camber and pointed-toe box work exceptionally well to hook pockets.

Heel Hooking

The Solution’s heel means business. The company decided to use a molded 3D heel cup and I – like many Solution fans – I am happy they did. The heel looks and feels like half a sticky bouncy ball. The design works really well and gives you a really secure fit, no matter what monstrous 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.

The TOe

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 Rubber

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 shoe’s 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.

Size & Fit


So what’s the price for a high-performing climbing shoe? Well, apart from putting a fairly sizeable dent in your bank account, it’s no secret that aggressive climbing shoes aren’t the most comfortable shoe in the world. 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.

La Sportiva Solution Rubber

Paired with the 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.

La Sportiva Solution Size

Getting the perfect La Sportiva Solution size might be a bit of a challenge. La Sportiva is notorious for being a giant pain 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 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.

Technical Specs

Leather & Lorica Microfiber
Toe and arch area
4mm Vibram XS Grip 2
1.1mm toe only

Video Review

Tested By

Sam Laird

A lifelong climber and shoe geek. His first shoe was the OG Scarpa Helix, although his shoe collection has grown to unhealthy levels in the last 20 years. When he’s not cramming his feet into a new pair of shoes, Sam is backpacking around the world in pursuit of his next big adventure.

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