When in Chamonix you will see two brands of footwear that everyone wears and all the shops stock, those brands are Salomon and La Sportiva. Both are suppliers of ski and hike gear but La Sportiva is a long established climbing shoe brand.
I have been checking out the La Sportiva Solution technical shoe one of La Sportiva’s revised range that utilises the patented P3 and Vibram XS Grip 2 systems.
The P3® power platform ensures that the shoe will continue providing the same performance throughout the life of the shoe. La Sportiva claim that it won’t deform and loose that hooked technical shape, iconic in this style of shoe, but still offer superb movement and support that is essential.
La Sportiva Solution has also been dressed in the finest Vibram XS Grip 2 rubber. This upgrade from Vibrams XS Grip offers even stickier rubber coupled with increased durability and further increases in edging use.
Having tried out the Solution I was very impressed. Technically similar to the Evolve Shaman, I found the big toe edge on the Solution to feel slightly heavy and hard, but less so compared to previous models. However I did find it very, very comfy and supporting. It didn’t feel like my foot would snap from being curled rather viciously. I also liked the heel on them, it didn’t look much in my hand but when I put them on the heel jutted out noticeably, ideal of heal hooks.
My two favourite things about the Solution were the quick lace system an excellent compromise between laces and straps and the toe box rubber.
The lace system zigzags across your foot and secures the shoe so that it feel more natural on your foot unlike Velcro straps, while at the same time being quick to adjust and release, like Velcro straps!
The toe box has a thick but very soft textured rubber; this gives very nice protection to the top of your foot (vital!) but is so unbelievably grippy, just rubbing you thumb across the toe box will inspire you with confidence when doing toe hooks.
The La Sportiva Solution is excellent for bouldering and overhanging routes and could be employed in almost any climbing situation. For more info and the tech specs. on the shoe visit La Sportivas website.