One year later: mods and thoughts on the La Sportiva Solar
How much boot do you need, really? The La Sportiva Solar (and its carbon cousin the Skorpius) present a strong argument that the average ski tourer could be well served with more of less. While not quite full on ski-mo weight weenie light, the impressive lack of heft to these boots combined with the range of motion, speed of transitions, and decent downhill performance nails La Sportiva’s stated goal of a “lightweight touring boot for general backcountry skiing.”
I started skiing the Solar midway through last season (read the initial WildSnow review), and they have been my go-to boot for this season of local tours, resort laps, and a recent hut trip. The massive articulation (68 degrees) has been a revelation in uphilling comfort and performance for me; almost eliminating my use of risers, and makes every other boot I’ve had on my feet feel clunky by comparison. The Swing Lock deploys rapidly, and even with the upper cuffs buckled, and heels locked in, the range of motion on flat exits almost rivals that of my tele setup.
The two buckle closure system makes for rapid transitions; particularly since the upper buckle / velcro strap arrangement is low-profile enough to open and close under ski pants. The lower spider buckle arrangement has proven to be susceptible to ham-fisted operation. It broke at the upper guide, then around the plastic rivet. Both instances occurred when I tried to swing the instep buckle from completely open to fully closed in one motion, instead of closing each stage of the buckle separately, which insures that the cable is properly set in the guide before the final pressure is applied.