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Solutions - stick with it?
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jwhitfie


Jun 13, 2012, 8:06 PM
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Solutions - stick with it?
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Hey Everyone,

I recently purchased a pair of La Sportiva Solutions for bouldering. I've been climbing for about 2 years, but have stuck to my 5.10 Spire shoes. Lately I've found I've been stuck on routes because the Spire's don't edge super well, or I can't get precise footing on small chips etc., and Solutions seemed to be... well, the solution.

I'm a men's size 8 in all my casual/regular shoes, and based on the advice of others, and what I had read, I sized down to a 39 (Men's 6.5+). I can get them on without too much fight, but oh-my-god, my toes! I've got a ton of pressure on my toes, especially when I try and walk (was walking around the house to break them in). I took them climbing today, and was able to keep them on for 15 mins (2-3 routes) before taking them off.

Will they break-in/stretch? Is it worth sticking it out, or should I size up to a 40? Thoughts? Please help!


shockabuku


Jun 14, 2012, 8:18 AM
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Re: [jwhitfie] Solutions - stick with it? [In reply to]
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jwhitfie wrote:
Hey Everyone,

I recently purchased a pair of La Sportiva Solutions for bouldering. I've been climbing for about 2 years, but have stuck to my 5.10 Spire shoes. Lately I've found I've been stuck on routes because the Spire's don't edge super well, or I can't get precise footing on small chips etc., and Solutions seemed to be... well, the solution.

I'm a men's size 8 in all my casual/regular shoes, and based on the advice of others, and what I had read, I sized down to a 39 (Men's 6.5+). I can get them on without too much fight, but oh-my-god, my toes! I've got a ton of pressure on my toes, especially when I try and walk (was walking around the house to break them in). I took them climbing today, and was able to keep them on for 15 mins (2-3 routes) before taking them off.

Will they break-in/stretch? Is it worth sticking it out, or should I size up to a 40? Thoughts? Please help!

The Solutions have a lot of rubber on them; I don't think they stretch a whole lot so likely they won't get much better but everything does take break-in time. When you say 2-3 routes do you mean boulder problems or 30+ foot rope routes? If it's boulder problems, that's probably not good. If roped routes, that's probably okay. I usually take my shoes offf between routes (or sets of routes). I downsize my Sportiva shoes 1.5-2 sizes from my street shoes. I don't wear the Solutions but I have demoed them in my standard Sportiva size range. My daughter wears the Solutions and downsizes 1.5 sizes from her street shoes.


Gmburns2000


Jun 14, 2012, 8:36 AM
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Re: [shockabuku] Solutions - stick with it? [In reply to]
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shockabuku wrote:
jwhitfie wrote:
Hey Everyone,

I recently purchased a pair of La Sportiva Solutions for bouldering. I've been climbing for about 2 years, but have stuck to my 5.10 Spire shoes. Lately I've found I've been stuck on routes because the Spire's don't edge super well, or I can't get precise footing on small chips etc., and Solutions seemed to be... well, the solution.

I'm a men's size 8 in all my casual/regular shoes, and based on the advice of others, and what I had read, I sized down to a 39 (Men's 6.5+). I can get them on without too much fight, but oh-my-god, my toes! I've got a ton of pressure on my toes, especially when I try and walk (was walking around the house to break them in). I took them climbing today, and was able to keep them on for 15 mins (2-3 routes) before taking them off.

Will they break-in/stretch? Is it worth sticking it out, or should I size up to a 40? Thoughts? Please help!

The Solutions have a lot of rubber on them; I don't think they stretch a whole lot so likely they won't get much better but everything does take break-in time. When you say 2-3 routes do you mean boulder problems or 30+ foot rope routes? If it's boulder problems, that's probably not good. If roped routes, that's probably okay. I usually take my shoes offf between routes (or sets of routes). I downsize my Sportiva shoes 1.5-2 sizes from my street shoes. I don't wear the Solutions but I have demoed them in my standard Sportiva size range. My daughter wears the Solutions and downsizes 1.5 sizes from her street shoes.

what he said.

I don't wear the solutions either, but I have worn other sportiva shoes and i've always bought them about 1.5 sizes below my normal shoe size. maybe more.

the thing is, though, that it depends on your foot and how you fit into sportiva shoes. i can go down 1.5 - 2 sizes in sportiva or scarpa shoes, but i actually need to go UP! to wear 5.10 shoes.


jwhitfie


Jun 14, 2012, 1:22 PM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Solutions - stick with it? [In reply to]
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It was boulder problems, sorry poor word choice. I'm struggling to walk in them, so I'm thinking they're too small. Unfortunate!


jackweeze


Jun 14, 2012, 1:26 PM
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Sound too small by a half size or a size. You do have to likely get used to taking off your shoes more though. I have a pretty tight pair of Scarpa vapor v's, and I take them off after a few routes. They don't really hurt, it's just that they are tight and my feet shouldn't be in them for long periods. It's a tradeoff.


shotwell


Jun 14, 2012, 3:08 PM
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Re: [jwhitfie] Solutions - stick with it? [In reply to]
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jwhitfie wrote:
It was boulder problems, sorry poor word choice. I'm struggling to walk in them, so I'm thinking they're too small. Unfortunate!

First off, they are high performance climbing shoes, not walking shoes.

Second, they stretch a fair amount. I suggest sizing down about the range you did.

Finally, and most unfortunately, the Solution is not an edging shoe. As it breaks in it gets pretty soft. You'll get a lot of performance out of it, but you have to know how to use it. It climbs well, and sticks to edges, but it isn't in the class of something stiffer like a Katana Lace as far as edging work goes.

It sounds to me like you sized down a little more than you are comfortable with, but I'm guessing that as they soften and stretch they'll be slightly more comfortable. Sadly, the Solution neither toe hooks or heel hooks well when sized relatively comfortably. As those should be major strengths for the shoe you would be better off buying something designed to meet your performance expectations. Stiffer shoes appropriately fitted will be both comfortable and high performance for the problems you are trying to solve.


Gmburns2000


Jun 14, 2012, 7:23 PM
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jwhitfie wrote:
It was boulder problems, sorry poor word choice. I'm struggling to walk in them, so I'm thinking they're too small. Unfortunate!

for what it's worth, I take my shoes off after each route or pitch. I rarely wear them on consecutive pitches. shoot, I even take them off while racking up when swapping leads. not always, but most of the time.


jakedatc


Jun 14, 2012, 9:21 PM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Solutions - stick with it? [In reply to]
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yep, they are aggressive climbing shoes not loafers.. take them off between problems and they will probably be fine.

my solutions did loosen some so you might as well give them a try while taking them off after you climb


shoo


Jun 15, 2012, 4:23 AM
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You are almost certainly experiencing one of three problems, or a combination.

1) Wrong shoe shape fit. Chances are good that the shoes just don't fit your foot shape very well, regardless of sizing issues. What other shoes (if any) did you try on before going with the solutions? In general, you should try on a LOT of shoes first and dial down your size before buying. as for shoe choice, solutions are intended for severely overhanging boulder problems and routes, and aren't really great for edging on vertical terrain. More aggressive doesn't mean better.

2) Wrong idea of how it should feel. As mentioned above, aggressive shoes tend to need to be sized relatively tightly compared to less aggressive ones. The solutions are about as aggressive as shoes get, and as such need to be tightened down way more than you might be used to in the spires. It isn't uncommon to take shoes off after every couple of problems or after each route.

3) Genuinely wrong size.


jwhitfie


Jun 15, 2012, 6:30 AM
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I tried on more or less every downturned model in the store (7 or 8 models, few sizes in each). The first pair of solutions brought out were large (42 maybe?) but the fit and last of the shoe seemed a good match to my feet. I'm used to cramming my feet into small racing shoes for running, so that wasn't too much of an issue.

I know that they need to be fitted tightly, in fact the salesman recommended a size smaller (38), which I could get my feet into (barely) - but I thought it was just too much. I elected to settle for a 39 based on his and others advice, but it's been a few days now and I'm just unsure. I'm aware they are not approach shoes and I don't need to be walking a lot in them - but I struggled to walk about 5-10feet from the base of the wall to the boulder problem I was projecting in the gym. I looked like a girl wearing high heels for the first time!


theextremist04


Jun 15, 2012, 6:50 PM
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If the 42 fit comfortably out of the box, 39 is probably too small...mine stretched, but not three sizes.


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