Shoes with a cuff that goes below the ankle. See low-cut hiking shoes.
Good to know
Generally, for trails that are easy to tackle, go with low-cut shoes. Go mid to high if there are more trail obstacles.
WidthMen: StandardWomen: Standard
Experts are hikers, 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.
Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.
97 / 100 based on 4 expert reviews
I've been wearing them for about two years now, and I absolutely love them.
If you are looking for a boot that handles big loads for long miles, the Karakorum offers great performance over a very large range of applications.
A summer mountaineering boot that's armor-tough
These are the best boots I have ever owned.
Updates to La Sportiva Karakorum
- The La Sportiva Karakorum is a high-cut mountaineering boot that doubles as a backpacking boot. Its Couloir outsole provides traction over challenging terrains and is resistant to abrasions. It is created with strategically patterned lugs to grip on grounds tackled by mountaineers and heavy backpackers.
- The midsole's styrene-butadiene rubber is a soft material that provides cushioning. The durable rubber works in synergy with the anti-torsional plate to deliver comfort and prevent the twisting of the sole.
- The Idro-Perwanger leather on the upper renders durability, breathability and water repellency. The Cordura fabric around the cuff and the Dry-Best lining on the interior walls give comfort. The Hydrofil nylon incorporated in the Dry-best lining wicks away moisture from the inside. Also, La Sportiva infuses the multi-directional 3D Flex hinge, allowing adaptation to ankle movements.
La Sportiva Karakorum size and fit
The boot runs true to size and comes in standard width. Sizes are from 6 to 14. These lengths are also in half-sizes. Moreover, its lace-up closure and over-the-ankle height result in a snug fit. This feature prevents sliding of the foot or uncomfortable chafing inside the boot. The La Sportiva Karakorum is a unisex offering. Female mountaineers are advised to go a size lower to achieve the right fit.
The Couloir rubber delivers the traction needed on uneven terrain. This rubber by Vibram is also durable and resistant to abrasions. Moreover, the mountaineering boot features deep lugs on its outsole. The strategic pattern assists in maintaining a strong hold on challenging grounds. The outsole also comes with a heel groove, serving as a crampon attachment.
The cushioning is provided by the styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) Aircushion. This component is soft, flexible and responsive. It also offers insulation in hot or cold environments.
The La Sportiva Karakorum comes with 8-millimeter high-density nylon insole with an anti-torsion plate. This combo gives underfoot support enough for tackling uneven grounds and supporting mountaineers or backpackers with heavy loads. The footbed is removable so users can replace it with their preferred insole.
The 2.8 mm Idro-Perwanger roughout leather is a silicone-infused material. It makes the Karakorum water-repellent yet breathable. It also adds durability to the boot. The upper also features a padded Cordura cuff to provide comfort. Cordura fabrics are made using high-tenacity fiber technologies to produce durable products.
La Sportiva Karakorum has the Hydrofil nylon incorporated in the Dry-Best lining. Hydrofil is a special type of nylon blended with other fibers to increase its strength, comfort, and absorbency. The combo in this shoe and keeps the user’s foot dry and cool.
A Vibram rubber rand runs from the forefoot to the midfoot area. It acts as a bumper to protect the toes. It also shields the boot from abrasions.
The upper has La Sportiva's proprietary 3D Flex system. This multi-directional hinge enables natural movement of the ankle while maintaining support. It's a component that reduces the mountaineering boot's break-in period.
- The Karakorum is ideal for general mountaineering, backpacking with a heavy load, heavy hiking and various outdoor work wherein the priorities are comfort and durable support. It may also be worn on alpine expeditions and long climbs.
- According to La Sportiva, the outsole is compatible with New-Matic crampons. This 12-point C2 crampon is designed for alpinism, routes with moderate waterfalls and general mountaineering. However, mountaineers may use semi-rigid crampons from the brand of their choice.