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La Sportiva Solution vs Scarpa Instinct VS

Climbing Shoe

La Sportiva Solution

Scarpa Instinct VS

Best Uses

Hard sport climbing, bouldering, steep and overhung terrain

Hard sport climbing, bouldering, steep and overhung terrain


Slightly narrower to normal-width feet

Normal-width to slightly wider feet


Sensitivity, hooking, edging, pockets

Sensitivity, hooking, edging, pockets


Smearing, crack climbing, can be uncomfortable, strap can break

Crack climbing, can be uncomfortable, long break-in period


Vibram XS Grip2

Vibram XS Edge


Leather and Lorica (synthetic leather)


Special Features

LaspoFlex, P3 Midsole


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The La Sportiva Solution and Scarpa Instinct VS are two of the best climbing shoes you can find for bouldering and steep sport climbing. If you’re wondering which shoe to get, you’ve come to the right place. Here we compare the shoes side-by-side and examine their similarities, differences, and more.

Bottom line, the shoes have many similarities but also a handful of differences that interested buyers should be aware of. Read on to see our recommendations on who should get which shoe.

La Sportiva Solution or Scarpa Instinct VS: Which One Is Right for You?

If you’re unsure of whether you should get the Solution or Instinct VS, here are our recommendations based off the differences between the two shoes:

  • Best for wider feet: Scarpa Instinct VS (runs a little wider in the toes, but, by Scarpa standards, it is a narrower shoe. For truly wide climbing shoes, here are your best options.)
  • Best for narrower feet: La Sportiva Solution
  • Best for normal-width feet: Either one
  • Most durable: Scarpa Instinct VS (it has harder rubber and the Solution’s strap has been known to break)
  • Best for bouldering: Either one
  • Best for sport climbing: Either one

Or, if you think neither of these shoes are right for you, check out some of our other popular climbing shoe buying guides:


For the Solution and Instinct VS, it’s particularly difficult to come up with a simple formula for determining what size to get. These are some of the highest performing sport climbing and bouldering shoes out on the market, so some people will size down to masochistic sizes in order to squeeze out as much performance as possible, while others who prefer comfort will size down less.

In short, sizing for these shoes can vary widely. We recommend you take a look at the reviews posted by others on REI for more sizing guidance:


As you probably garnered from the comparison table above, the Solution and Instinct VS are similar in many ways. Both are designed for steep sport climbing and bouldering. They both have a Velcro closure style and are aggressive climbing shoes that can be uncomfortable if sized for a performance fit.

The shoes mostly do the same things well (hook, edge, fit into pockets) and do the same things not so well (smear, climb cracks). Either shoe should be sized tight and for that reason neither is particularly made for long, multi-pitch routes.


There are a handful of differences between the Solution and Instinct VS. Most of the differences are minor, but — since both shoes are expensive — they are worth knowing before purchasing a pair.


One of the most important differences between the two shoes is the type of rubber they have. The La Sportiva Solution has Vibram XS Grip2 rubber which is stickier and softer than Vibram XS Edge. Though the Solution comes with 4mm of rubber and the Instinct VS comes with 3mm of rubber, the XS Edge rubber on the Instinct VS will likely last longer.

The softness of the XS Grip2 rubber also makes the Solution a little more sensitive than the Instinct VS. Wearing the Solution, you’ll be able to feel more features of the rock underneath your toes.

P3 Midsole

The Solution has a feature called the P3 Midsole; the Instinct VS does not. The P3 Midsole is a technology that maintains a shoe’s downturned shape for its entire life. This means the Solution will lose very little, if any, of its downturn, even after countless smears.

The P3 Midsole is a positive if you mostly climb or boulder on steep and overhung terrain. It will help your shoe stay down-cambered which will let you hook and grip on those tiny, overhung footholds, and that is exactly what happens with the Solution.

However, the P3 Midsole can be a negative. If you want your shoes to lose some of their downturn over the course of their life, then shoes with the P3 Midsole aren’t good choices for you. You’d want a shoe to lose its downturn if you will be slab climbing or smearing in it a lot or if you want your aggressive climbing shoes to be as comfortable as possible.

So, the Solution P3 Midsole will help the shoe better maintain its ability to climb on overhung terrain, while the Instinct VS’s normal midsole will make the shoe more comfortable and better at smearing and slab climbing.


Any two climbing shoes will have differences in the way they fit. Despite their similarities, the Solution and Instinct VS are no exception.

The main fit difference is that the Solution is a little narrower than the Instinct VS. The Solution, therefore, fits narrower to normal-width feet, while the Instinct VS fits normal-width to wider feet.

We have been unable to determine how, if at all, the heels fit differently. Both shoes are known for their heel hooking abilities, though, so we’d venture to say they both fit most heels well.


The Instinct VS is made completely of Lorica, a synthetic leather, while the Solution is made of both leather and Lorica. This means the Solution stretches more than the Instinct VS. How much each shoe stretches, though, depends partially on how much you downsize your pair.

From reading many user stories, it seems that, on average, the Solution stretches half a size to a size while the Instinct VS stretches at most half a size.


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