Good to know
- The Solution from La Sportiva is a rock climbing shoe that gives users the ability to pull off a variety of climbing maneuvers on virtually every kind of rock feature. Its designers made changes to the structure of the upper.
- It is still engineered with P3 or Permanent Power Platform—a patented technology that helps the shoe retain its downturned shape. It also provides additional support around the arch region.
- It comes with a partial midsole and Vibram XS Grip 2 outsole (retained in this redesign). Together, these two components grant wearers the ability to ascend with adequate sensitivity and performance.
- Also part of the Solution is the Lock Harness System. This piece of technology works in conjunction with the shoe’s heel cup in locking the foot in place yet allowing for enough flexibility when performing hooking maneuvers on overhangs and in-cuts.
Downturn. The La Sportiva Solution is an aggressively downturned rock climbing shoe. It is a platform designed for technical ascents. Its form is built to last and remain the same thanks to the P3 technology.
Applications. This climbing footgear from La Sportiva is generally intended for steep terrain, where overhangs are common. It may be used for bouldering, sport routes, and face climbing. It is a shoe designed for indoor (gym) use as well on top of outdoor adventures.
The La Sportiva Solution is a relatively true-to-size rock climbing shoe for men and women. Its highly asymmetrical fit is built for technical performance. Its confines may or may not stretch with time. Users may adjust its fit to their preference using the climbing shoe’s Velcro closure (also known as Fast Lacing System).
Midsole. Giving the Solution zonal support is the LaspoFlex midsole. The one in the men’s variant is 1.1 mm thick, while the one in the women’s version has a thickness of 0.9 mm. It reinforces the toe zone only, giving users a steadier forefoot foothold when dealing with nubbins and tricky pockets. Its toe-only presence translates to enhanced edging capabilities without the unnecessary stiffness around the midfoot and heel zones.
Outsole. The La Sportiva Solution provides sufficient surface traction with its Vibram outsole. It is based on the XS Grip 2 rubber compound which gives the ability to produce and maintain slip and skid resistance on rocky terrain, especially on overhanging routes. Its 4-mm thickness offers surefootedness without sacrificing forefoot sensitivity.
The upper of the La Sportiva Solution is a combination of high-grade leather and Lorica textile. It has a 3D-molded heel cup for improved rearfoot security. It is lined in the arch and toe box areas to deliver comfort. It has a partial lining. Adequate randing is present at the heel and toe regions for enhanced hooking capabilities. The base of the forefoot is also engineered with a rand to help climbers gain extra lateral purchase during toe hooks.
An adjustable strap engineered with hook-and-loop fasteners handles the fit management in this partially lined rock climbing shoe. The two pull loops at the heel, on the other hand, expedites on and off.
Two of La Sportiva’s rock climbing offerings—the Solution and the Skwama—are often the subjects of comparison among many climbers. Below are some of the things that set them apart:
Upper. Although both products are mostly leather rock climbing kicks, only the Solution is lined, albeit partially. This makes the featured shoe relatively more comfortable. That said, the toe rand on the Skwama’s forefoot region covers the inner half of the instep which translates to extra protection when toe hooking.
Closure system. While both rock climbing shoes use Velcro straps for fit management, only the Solution’s hook-and-loop strap pulls on two key points. The Skwama’s strap, however, has a more unified construction.
Outsole. Both of these shoes are equipped with the Vibram XS Edge Grip 2 outsole at 4 mm in thickness. However, the Skwama’s has a triangular cutout that offers increased forefoot flexibility, ideal for grabbing edges.
Heel-hooking capability. Although the two shoes in this head-to-head are built to give climbing enthusiasts adequate performance when heel hooking, the Skwama is more optimized for such maneuver as it comes built with the S-Heel technology.
Weight. Those in need of an aggressive climbing shoe with minimal weight may found one in the Skwama. Indeed, the competition is lighter than the Solution by about 50 grams.
Price. These two bouldering climbing shoes from La Sportiva can be both considered quite costly. That said, the Skwama is $10 cheaper than the Solution. In need of something far less expensive? Check out some of the budget-friendliest rock climbing shoes featured on this site.
When does the La Sportiva Solution break in?
The break-in time for this climbing shoe would depend on the frequency of use. Participate in shorter, less technical ascents, slipping out of it in between climbs to get accustomed to it. Once the feet feel more comfortable in the pair, wearers can finally engage in longer, more technical climbs. Remember that this is an aggressive shoe which might not provide a lot in terms of give no matter how long it is used.
Is the La Sportiva Solution for beginners?
For people who just started out as a rock climber, the aggressively downturned construction of the La Sportiva Solution may not be as friendly to your foot as, say, a pair of neutral climbing shoes (which are usually softer and more comfortable by design). Having that said, you may get one if the routes you wish to take on involve steep overhangs and small edges. If you are looking to sport something intended for all-purpose use, moderate climbing kicks may be your best bet.