This is a long over-due review for these pair of climbing shoes as I've been using them for over 2 years, but it took this long for me to finally put my foot down (and into these beasts of a shoe) permanently and say that the Solutions ARE the best shoes I've ever used.
The down-turn of the shoes are very aggressive, put huge power into the toe for those micro edges. And believe me, they'll stick on dimes. And the deal maker: the shape stays! The yellow band that is very visibly wrapped around the heel also wraps around the arch and toe box of the shoe in a mobius-style orientation, keep the shoe's aggressive posture permanent and arching proud for the life of the shoe.
Putting on the shoes is like sticking your feet into a vacuum. I've heard many climbers who use these shoes, myself included, say that it feels like the shoe is "sucking" your feet in when you put them on. If fitted right, it's practically impossible for the heel to come off, no matter how hard you heel (believe me, I tried when I first demo-ed these).
MEAT AND POTATOES
When I demo shoes, I look for 4 criteria: fit, rubber, heeling power, and toe power, and these shoes really exceeds all expectations. For those that want their shoe to feel like it's a part of their feet and not just an extension, and having them do exactly what you want them to do, this is it. Feels like I dipped my feet into a bucket of stiff rubber. And the heeling and toe-ing power on these shoes is tremendous. Heeling or toe-ing on small edges have little difference than on larger holds, and the all-around rubberized toe box, made possible by the extra rubber at the top of the shoe, prevents the excruciating pain when toe-ing on sharp edges. I would even dare to say that the Solutions heel and toe better than the Five Ten Dragons or Jet 7s, especially since neither have rubberized toe boxes.
While powerfully versatile and exceeding in many areas, the Solutions do have a few flaws. The first notable flaw is the velcro strap, not so much that it doesn't hold your feet in, but it's very fragile in design and nature. The single strap redirected with metal eyelets causes immense strain on 3 areas of the strap. Half of the people that I know that wear these shoes have complained on the strap heavily fraying, threatening to break at any moment, or have theirs already snapped and forced to using duct tape. And speaking as an engineer, I doubt it has anything to do with the strap, but the metal eyelets themselves. They tend to rust and become very abrasive, and combined with the amount of tension that's exerted on them and the strap, it's a disaster waiting to happen. If the strap breaks, your shoe is pretty much useless.
Also, the piece of rubber that covers the top of the toe box isn't very well-adhered. On one pair of brand new Solutions, I did this massive toehook on this gritty rock face, and the sharp rock texture almost ripped the rubber piece right off. The newer Solutions seem to have an extra layer of glue to keep the rubber piece of coming off, but what La Sportiva really need to do is extend that rubber piece until it hits the velcro, much like how Five Ten have done with the Teams. This will prevent any rock edges from catching the edge of the rubber piece.
The heel is also very specific in shape (ball-cup design) in that it doesn't fit well for people with narrow or flat heels (the back of the heel where your Achilles tendon and heel bone are). I've had a few say that the Solutions tend to pop out of their feet when they're heeling because their heel doesn't fill the ball-cup correctly. A blessing and a curse, fits like a charm for some, while a nuisance for others. They also aren't very friendly for those with very wide feet. If you have a narrow or flat heel, you may want to look at Five Ten shoes instead.
And the last point isn't really a flaw per se, since these shoes are designed to be aggressive bouldering shoes. Because of the aggressive position that these shoes put your feet into, I personally can't wear these shoes for more than 30 minutes before I have to take them off, so don't plan to wear these for multi-pitch climbs. They still do very well on sport routes however, and slabs too (some may disagree, but I've put away V5/6 slabs with these shoes)!
While not quite perfect, it's pretty damn close. After demo-ing over 20 pairs of shoes, the Solutions made me retire every pair of shoe I've ever owned, and I couldn't be happier. If La Sportiva continue to improve their rubber as well as fix the small issues on these shoes, they have a loyal customer for life.