We spent 5.9 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what hikers think:

10 reasons to buy

  • A high percentage of users reported that the boot needed little-to-no break-in time. Some of them wore it for the first time on the day of their hike and they had no issues.
  • Its waterproofing ability was excellent, according to many wearers.
  • Numerous buyers applauded the lightweight Nucleo High GTX. One even adored it for being light as air.
  • Despite having a premium price tag, a significant number of purchasers mentioned that it was worth the high price.
  • A lot of users noted that the La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX was the most comfortable boot they have ever worn.
  • The traction was superb, as commented by several testers. They have used it on snow, sand, streams, and challenging trails.
  • More than a handful commended the breathability of the pair.
  • The fit of the Nucleo High GTX was approved by the majority. Most of them have narrow feet.
  • An expert loved the boot’s ankle support. The lauded feature was tested when she crossed a rough terrain.
  • Its impressively durable upper was deeply admired by professional footwear reviewers.

1 reasons not to buy

  • A couple of users observed that the insole did not offer much support so they had to replace it.

Bottom line

The lightweight yet superbly durable La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX may have an expensive price tag, but loyalists thought that it was still worth their money. The short to non-existent break-in period and the comfort users received were admirable. The boot was also able to deliver commendable breathability and excellent waterproofing. Wearers with narrow feet liked its fit. The superb traction and satisfying ankle support were also praised. The only downside for some users was the default insole’s lack of support.



  • Use

    Day Hiking

    Shoes or boots for hikes that only last for half a day. Flexibility and lightness are the highlights of these kinds of footwear. See the best day hiking shoes and the best day hiking boots.


    For multi-day trips with a heavy pack. Manufacturers emphasize durability and support in the creation of backpacking boots. See backpacking boots

    Speed Hiking

    Designed for users who want to cover a greater distance by going fast, usually with a light pack. See speed hiking shoes.

    Winter Hiking

    Boots that grant insulation to the user during hikes. See winter hiking boots.


    Mainly sandals. Aside from hiking they can be used for other purposes such as water activities. See multi-sport hiking sandals.

    Good to know

    Casual hikers can choose day hiking footwear or multi-sport sandals. More info here.

  • Price
  • Feature
  • Weight
    Men: 16.5oz
    Women: 13.4oz
  • Width
    Men: Normal
    Women: Normal
Show more facts


Expert Reviews

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.

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89 / 100 based on 12 expert reviews

  • 90 / 100 | Gear Institute

    The La Sportiva Nucleo stands out as the most comfortable of the boots tested while also excelling in all other categories.

  • 80 / 100 | OutdoorGearLab

    For the right foot and the right situation, the La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX is a great boot with an incredible design.

  • 90 / 100 | Outside Online

    In short, La Sportiva packaged all the best features into a workhorse shoe that’s exactly what most of us want.

  • 90 / 100 | Backpacker

    La Sportiva claims the design reduces impact on knees, and our testers agree. Ding: Break-in required; our test team suffered a handful of blisters.

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Updates to La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX

  • The upper of the Nucleo High GTX has the Nano-Cell Technology and Gore-Tex Surround membrane, making the boot breathable. Both features allow ventilation and expulsion of moisture from the inside. Also, the 3D Flex system facilitates smooth movement of the ankles while maintaining its stability.
  • A compression molded EVA with TPU inserts makes up the midsole of the boot. It is chiefly responsible for cushioning and support. The adapted STB control system aims to deliver a more comfortable and stable feeling. It also has torsional resistance.
  • The Vibram Nano sole works with the Impact Brake System to provide traction and improved braking effect. The said outsole technology aids in shock absorption as well.

La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX size and fit

La Sportiva footwear is created based on European half sizes for a better fit. They are smaller increments of US half sizing. The ladies’ variant is from 5.5 to 11, while the men’s version ranges from 4.5 to 13.5. This boot generally runs true to size. It uses a lace-up closure for a snug and customized fit.


The outsole of the Nucleo High GTX features the Vibram Nano sole with the innovative Impact Brake System (IBS). This system absorbs ground impact, aids in traction and enhances downhill grip. The asymmetrical design of the lugs allows the boot to have more contact on the ground, thus improving shock absorption and reducing fatigue.


The Nucleo High GTX midsole is a compression molded EVA with TPU inserts. These materials are durable, resistant to wear and do not absorb water. They provide comfort and torsional stability by having control over foot rotations.

The STB Control System, a derivative feature from the mountain running line of La Sportiva, is added to the boot. This structure envelops the medial portion of the midsole with its anti-torsion components. It also enables a more comfortable, stable ride.


The upper of the Nucleo High GTX is made from nubuck leather which works in conjunction with the Nano-Cell Technology. Nubuck leather is known for its flexibility and durability. Meanwhile, the breathable cells wrap the boot and provide structure. It also allows the expulsion of humidity from the boot.

La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX is equipped with Gore-Tex Surround. This technology gives waterproofing and breathability. It is mainly featured in outdoor footwear designed for warmer conditions. Warmth and moisture can vent out through the “spacer” and to the sides of the boot, hence the name Surround which is marketed as providing 360-degree breathability. It keeps the foot comfy and dry in humid temperatures.

The 3D Flex system is incorporated in the boot. It features multidirectional hinges that allow smooth movement of the ankle while maintaining its stability. Furthermore, it renders enhanced foot control and steadiness on challenging terrains by allowing more surface contact. It also secures heel and delivers a better fit.

For added protection, the upper has a PU leather toe cap and heel. The soft, padded cuff adds comfort.

Additional Info

  • The boot received Outside Magazine’s Gear of the Year 2017 award.
  • The Nucleo High GTX belongs to the mountain hiking line of La Sportiva. The DNA composition of this line is designed for lightweight hiking. The three main lines of chromosomes that work in synergy came from Approach (20%), Mountain Running (50%) and Mountaineering (30%). These composition addresses fit, flexibility and cushioning and sole grip, respectively.