Evolv Shaman vs. La Sportiva Solution Climbing Shoes

Climbing shoes are a crucial piece of gear for any climber, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro. The right pair of shoes can make all the difference in your performance and comfort on the wall. Two popular options in the market are the Evolv Shaman and the La Sportiva Solution. Both shoes have gained a following among climbers for their unique features and high-performance capabilities. In this article, we will compare both of these climbing shoes, highlighting their differences, similarities, and which one might be the best fit for your climbing style and needs.

Evolv Shaman

Evolv Shaman
Climbing Shoe Type: Aggressive
Last: Slip-lasted
Upper: Synthetic lux microsuede
Lining: Synthetic suede
Outsole: 4.2 mm TRAX high-friction rubber
Footwear Closure: Strap
Weight (Pair): 1 lb. 4.8 oz.

The Evolv Shaman climbing shoe is a top-performing shoe designed with steep sport climbing and bouldering in mind. It features innovative technology, such as the Love Bump midsole, which supports the toes into a position of power, and the Knuckle Box design, providing a better fit for toes in a downturned position. The shoe has a synthetic upper made of breathable and comfortable Synthratex VX material, and three minimalistic velcro straps for a snug fit. The back of the shoe has an ergonomic heel cup wrapped in sticky rubber. The split sole comprises 4.2mm Trax rubber, which performs well on various types of rock.

The Love Bump design may feel unusual at first, but it provides excellent support and helps guide the toes effectively without being annoying. The shoe is comfortable enough for longer pitches while being tight and precise sufficient for sending hard boulders. The shoe’s design may not fit everyone, so it’s best to try them on before buying. Overall, the Evolv Shaman is a top-shelf model for steep sport climbing and bouldering at a competitive price. The shoe performs well on a variety of terrains and is a great option for those seeking high-performance climbing shoes.

What I like: Great for steep sport climbing, high performance, comfortable, and secure fit

What I don’t: Soft rubber lacks sensitivity

See the Evolv Shaman

La Sportiva Solution

La Sportiva Solution
Climbing Shoe Type: Aggressive
Last: Slip-lasted
Upper: Leather/synthetic leather
Lining: HF (toe box and arch area only)
Outsole: Vibram XS Grip2 rubber
Footwear Closure: Strap
Weight (Pair): 1 lb. 1.8 oz.

The La Sportiva Solution climbing shoe is a premium and high-performing shoe that is well-suited for bouldering and sport climbing on a variety of rock types. The shoe features a clever velcro closure system that quickly locks most foot shapes into a powerful position, with a more durable closure system and additional rubber on the toe box for enhanced durability. The downturned shape is great for steep terrain and pocketed limestone crags. The tensioned heel cup is ideal for toe and heel hooking on overhanging terrain, while the shoe’s pointy toe provides excellent precision and allows for the proper placement of toes on the tiniest footholds. The medium-soft shoe offers a good compromise between smearing and edging, with 4mm Vibram XS Grip 2 rubber on the men’s and women’s versions offering high friction and the ability to bend and smear better than XS Edge.

The shoe’s low-volume toe allows for marginal toe jams in difficult finger cracks, although it’s not designed for crack climbing. The shoe is stiff compared to others and has a narrow toe box that can be uncomfortable for those with wider feet. The shoe’s closure system evenly tensions the Velcro strap with multiple points, making it unique and compelling. However, the tensioned heel cup can cause some comfort-related issues, and the softer construction may cause foot fatigue on longer routes.

In conclusion, the La Sportiva Solution climbing shoe is an excellent choice for those looking for precision and edging performance in bouldering and sport climbing, especially on steeper-than-vertical terrain. While it comes at a premium price, the shoe offers superior design and quality materials compared to other high-dollar climbing shoes, with enhanced durability due to the extra rubber on the toe and the burlier Velcro system. It’s worth noting that the rubber-heavy design makes the shoe less breathable, and the suitability of the shoe is a matter of personal preference.

What I like: Aggressive/downturned toe tip, very sensitive, great toe and heel hooking

What I don’t: Not comfortable for all-day climbing and the single strap break quickly

See the La Sportiva Solution

Which one is right for you?

Choosing between the Evolv Shaman and the La Sportiva Solution climbing shoes ultimately depends on your personal preferences and climbing style. Both shoes are high-performing and popular options for sport climbing and bouldering, but they have some differences in their design and fit.

The Evolv Shaman features a more aggressive downturned shape, making it ideal for steep and overhanging terrain. It has a wider toe box than the Solution, which may be more comfortable for climbers with wider feet or those who prefer a more relaxed fit. The Shaman also has a softer midsole, which can provide better sensitivity and feel on the rock.

On the other hand, the La Sportiva Solution has a more pointed-toe box and is better suited for precision footwork and edging on small holds. It has a narrower fit than the Shaman and a stiffer midsole, which can provide more support for edging on vertical or slightly overhanging routes. The Solution also has a unique closure system that can be quickly adjusted and secured with multiple points of tension.

If you climb steep and overhanging routes, the Evolv Shaman may be a better option for you. If you climb on more vertical terrain or prioritize precision and edging performance, the La Sportiva Solution may be a better fit. However, the best way to determine which shoe is right for you is to try them on and test them out on the types of climbs you typically do.

Mark Stewart

Mark Stewart is the adventurous founder and CEO of Climb Daily. With a background in marketing and a deep passion for rock climbing, he left the corporate world to pursue his love for the outdoors. Learn more about Mark Stewart here.