Verdict from 2 experts and 5 user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • Pampering: To hikers in droves, the La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX is either "fantastic" or "superior" comfort-wise.
  • Light: As far as backpacking boots are concerned, this trekking gear is not weighty at all, and numerous reviewers very much agree.
  • Supportive: It has plenty of arch support, according to many. Someone who has flatfeet also finds it quite accommodating underfoot.
  • Sticky: Trail-goers are amazed by the grippy Vibram outsole of the Nucleo High II GTX.
  • Waterproof: Like most Gore-Tex greats on RunRepeat, this La Sportiva offering is watertight through and through.
  • Breathable: Despite having a waterproof liner, the featured boot can keep things stuffiness-free on the inside for longer.
  • Eye-catching: This shoe can be considered one of the lookers among La Sportiva’s library of hiking boots.

1 reason not to buy

  • Weak laces: The laces of the Nucleo High II GTX snapping and fraying on more than a handful of owners is downright disappointing.

Bottom line

Where trekking mightiness is in great demand, the Nucleo High II GTX just might be the only ally you will ever need. Built weather-ready, snappy, and seriously protective, this La Sportiva hiker can personalize your multi-day excursions as if the wild were created just for you. While not the perfection it wants to be, the Nucleo High II GTX can elevate your outdoor performance all the same.

Tip: see the best hiking boots.

Nucleo High II GTX: The successor to a well-loved trekking boot

They say that the follow-up to something considered high-quality is supposed to be better in every way. While being a complete revolution over the Nucleo High GTX might be a tall order, the boot in question does have welcome improvements. Such are the following:

Revamped upper protection. The La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX this time around comes with a rubber rand and toe cap courtesy of Vibram. This means that you get virtually the same amount of toughness around your tootsies as you have underfoot.

Tweaked closure. Aside from having sturdier eyelets, the shoe’s lacing system has been redesigned in a way that promotes ankle flexibility.

More fight against stink. Consider keeping the boot’s default insole. The reason for such a suggestion is quite obvious—said footbed is from Ortholite, which is engineered with antimicrobial agents that eliminate odor-causing bacteria.

Another win for La Sportiva

Just like its predecessor, which won Outside Magazine’s Gear of the Year award back in 2017, the Nucleo High II GTX is also a triumph. This time around, however, the recognition comes in the form of Editor’s Choice Award from REI Co-op!


How La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 44% hiking boots
All hiking boots
Top 34% La Sportiva hiking boots
All La Sportiva hiking boots
Top 47% backpacking hiking boots
All backpacking hiking boots


The current trend of La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX.
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Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.