La Sportiva Solution Climbing Shoe ReviewMarch 26, 2014
- P3 Platform retains shoe’s shape over its life
- Fantastic at pockets and edging
- Super comfortable suction fit
- Easy on, easy off
- Struggles on smears
- Struggles on certain heel hooks
The La Sportiva Solutions are downturned, aggressive and precise. The shoe struggles to smear exceptionally, and it takes a long time to break in. However, after years of testing, I regard the Solutions as one of the best high-end slippers on the market.
La Sportiva’s “P3” design—for Performance Power Platform—helps the shoe retain its aggressive shape over the life of the shoe. The Solution toes in on micro holds just as well today as it did when I first put it on more than a year ago.
My only complaint is the heel. Heel hooks take a little getting used to, perhaps owing to the foam that has been inserted under the heel (to protect against bouldering falls). It’s bulkier than, say, the La Sportiva Testarossas. It’s hard to qualify its heel-hooking abilities: in some cases, the Solutions perform worse than the Testarossas or Muiras, while in some cases the Solutions heel hook way better.
This is my choice shoe for Hueco and Bishop, but I’d even use them on long vertical edging routes. This is one of the most unique climbing shoes on the market, and its advantages over other slippers need to be tried to be believed.
The shoe seems to direct all your foot power into your big toe, allowing you to stand on the tiniest dime edges.
The Solution can smear well enough, but not as well as other performance shoes like the La Sportiva Testarossa because it is slightly stiffer and harder to mash rubber to rock.
The super precise toe box allows you pull into the tiniest pockets incredibly well.
The heel has a patch of foam that reduces sensitivity on super technical heel hooks. The toe has a patch of rubber atop the foot that allows for exceptional toe-hooking.
The narrow to medium fit leaves little dead space in the shoe, and no hot spots.
The Solution is one of the most expensive shoes on the market, but also one of the most high performing.