We spent 7.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what approachers think:

5 reasons to buy

  • The La Sportiva Boulder X is a durable approach shoe, as mentioned by a lot of users.
  • Many consumers think that it’s a comfy product.
  • A considerable number of hikers praise it for its sticky rubber outsole.
  • Less than a dozen hiking-slash-climbing enthusiasts are amazed at the edging performance by the Boulder X.
  • More than a handful of testers like the snug fit of this La Sportiva offering.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Most complaints from wearers were about the laces. They are excessively long and got easily undone.
  • A very small number of buyers aren’t satisfied with the narrowness of this approach shoe.

Bottom line

La Sportiva’s Boulder X approach shoe delivers excellence through its construction and performance. Users agree that it is comfortable and durable. Its outsole is also praised for being grippy.

However, wearers don’t like the laces that came with this offering. In summary, all the necessary approach-focused qualities can be found in this shoe, but it might be a good idea to couple the pair with a new set of laces to avoid the problems that have reported reviewers.


Material: Leather, Vibram sole
Top: Low
Weight: Men: 17oz | Women: 14.4oz
Brand: La Sportiva
Price: $120
Colorways: Grey
Special editions: 1 special editions
Small True to size Large
Tight Loose
Durability 10/10
Comfort 9/10
Stickiness 10/10
Performance 9/10
See more facts


A top 9% best approach-shoe
A popular pick

Expert Reviews

Experts are approachers, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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84 / 100 based on 12 expert reviews

  • 96 / 100 | Eminence FrontX5 | | Level 1 expert

    Top-notch hiking shoe!

  • 80 / 100 | Round the World Couple | | Level 1 expert

    A little too heavy for my taste, and a little bit too rigid

  • 71 / 100 | OutdoorGearLab | | Level 3 expert

    These durable shoes are well-equipped for miles of hiking and scrambling at a great price.

  • 80 / 100 | Switchback Travel | | Level 2 expert

    This shoe is extremely comfortable, excels on the trail, climbs third and fourth class well, and boasts insanely sticky rubber.

  • 100 / 100 | Frixtion | | Level 1 expert

    The Boulder Xs are a capable do-everything shoe that I can also feel good about wearing for activities other than climbing.

  • 98 / 100 | Backcountry Skiing Canada | Level 1 expert

    The Boulder X shoe offers superlative performance that can withstand weather and trail conditions without compromising comfort or durability.

Become an expert

-The Boulder X is an approach shoe for technical routes where friction footwork is needed. Its engineers included past technologies in it, albeit tweaked to respond to the varying demands of approach adventurers. La Sportiva highlights its Mythos lacing, which delivers a customized fit.

-The midsole unit combines a LaSpEVA cushioning layer atop a 2mm polypropylene insole and a Micropore EVA for support. As for the outsole, the designers went with the Vibram Idrogrip for stickiness even when stepping on wet rocks.

La Sportiva’s Boulder X is for men and women. It’s a low-top shoe with a lace-up closure (called Mythos) whose construction provides volume adjustment through its to-toe eyelets. La Sportiva mentions that it delivers an adaptable fit.

The Boulder X features a Vibram outsole that uses a compound called Idrogrip. It is optimized for wet terrain. According to its manufacturer, outsoles with this compound are designed for tackling challenging technical trails. A free climbing rubber was the inspiration behind the creation of this outsole compound.

This unit has lugs of different shapes. The circular protrusions are for slip resistance while the slanted ones grant grip on rocky trails. Serving as a platform for edging is the front tip of the outsole.

The outsole is built with Impact Brake System (IBS). The lug placement creates stopping power by 20% max.

La Sportiva designers built this midsole unit with long approaches in mind. That’s why they added a LaSpEVA padding to the polypropylene insole. The combination functions as a cushioning system.

Beneath the insole is a Micropore EVA midsole. It absorbs shock upon each step. The shoe is board-lasted to maintain torsional rigidity and deliver support.

The Boulder X from La Sportiva comes with a leather upper, making it durable. It is partially lined with mesh (tongue and back-half sections) to deliver breathability. It has a full rubber rand combined with a slingshot rand at the heel for durability and additional stickiness. The slingshot rand, which bears the La Sportiva logo, also provides protection when scrambling.

The closure is called Mythos lacing. It features combination eyelets with a pair of polygonal grommets at the top. This system is for managing the fit. The back has a pull tab for quick on and off.

In terms of structure and features, the Boulder X and the TX4 (both are approach shoes from La Sportiva) have quite a lot of differences. This part lists and describes the components of each offering.

Midsole. The Boulder X has extra cushioning for long approaches in the form of a layer on top of the insole. It also has a shock-absorbing EVA midsole. As for the TX4, The MEMlex midsole with STB Control System delivers support and torsional rigidity.

Closure system. The Boulder X uses a system called Mythos (see the Upper section for the construction of this feature). As for the TX4, it also uses a similar lace-up closure, but with a different structure--the upper-most pair of cord eyelets meet at the back of the shoe’s heel, forming a kind of loop that may be adjusted for an even more personalized fit.

Upper material. Both approach shoes are made of leather. The Boulder X has a partial mesh lining, while the TX4 has a slip-resistant mesh lining. Although these shoes have a full rand, the former comes with a slingshot rand. As for the latter, its rand is part of the STB Control System, and it works with the midsole to give structure to the shoe. Both shoes have a rand designed with the La Sportiva logo. 

At the Back of the Boulder X is a pull tab. The said component is not present in the TX4.

Outsole. The common features between the two are the Impact Brake System and the circular lugs on the outsole. More info on this can be seen in the Outsole section above. As for the rubber compound, they differ. The rubber of the Boulder X uses the Idrogrip, while the TX4 uses the Megagrip. The outsole of the latter is also built with an enhanced stability area and comes with a heel brake for stopping power. 

Fit. The Boulder X has a regular width overall. On the other hand, the TX4 is wide in the toe box area.