Thursday, September 26, 2013

REVIEW: La Sportiva Solutions

Do these come in pink?
Yesterday, I popped into Mountain Equipment Co-op in search of new climbing shoes.  I've been wearing the 5.10 Anasazis for years, so usually I go in, ask for my size and give them a perfunctory try-on.  Alas, this time, my size was out of stock.  

So I decided to try something new.  Normally, I have a hard time finding climbing shoes because most shoes hit too high on my lateral malleolus.  I've only ever had success with three shoes in the past: 5.10 Anasazis, 5.10 Spires, and Evolv Rockstars.

The Solutions hit a bit high on my lateral malleolus, but they're tolerable.  And that tiny amount of discomfort is well worth feeling like I couldn't fall off a foothold if I tried.  It took some time to get used to the toe, as initially it didn't seem like I had as much sensitivity as with the Anasazis but that passed quickly.  I've always felt like my heel shifted around in the Anasazis when heel hooking, but this shoe holds my foot securely.  Also, I like the rubber patch on the toe for toe hooking.

Only downsides: the price, which at $150 is quite steep.  I've read that the Solutions are not great for slab or crack climbing.  Also, the shoe is not comfortable enough to wear all day, although I did manage to last 2 hours in the gym without taking them off.  Lastly, the single tab closure was kind of finnicky... I'd prefer two separate straps.

Bottom line: if you want a shoe that makes bouldering feel suddenly magically easier, this might be it.


  1. You're a climber? I'm impressed! I get the shakes going up on a ladder, not sure I could handle climbing up the side of a cliff!

    1. I've been climbing for more than 10 years and still get scared. I think it's a normal (and healthy) reaction, but one of the challenges about climbing is knowing when your fear is rational and protective and when it's just getting in the way.