La Sportiva Solution

sp_solutionI reviewed the Solutions a few years ago and thought they were great: I loved them for their comfortable fit and downturned, aggressive last and crazy precision. I originally noted that the shoe didn’t smear well, and it took a long time to break in. However, after a year of hard use, my opinion of this shoe has grown fonder, and I now regard the Solutions as one of the best high-end slippers on the market.

What surprised me is just how well the Solutions “P3” design—for Performance Power Platform—works. Unbelievably, the Solutions retain their 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 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 THE shoe for Hueco and Bishop, but I’d even use them on 110-foot “slab” climbs like Joe Six Pack (5.13a) at the Virgin River Gorge. 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.