Made of lightweight materials. They don't have much top-of-the-foot coverage so they're mostly suitable for well-maintained trails and summer hikes. Also useful for crossing rivers and streams. They come in open and closed-toe designs. See the best hiking sandals.
The low-cut equivalent of hiking boots. Comfort is paramount in the creation of these shoes so they often have flexible materials. Generally used for day hikes. See hiking shoes.
Mid to high-cut models designed for more aggressive hikes and backpacking. See hiking boots.
Specialized footwear. Often insulated and used in technical routes, ice climbing or expeditions. See mountaineering boots.
Good to know
For hikes that won't last for more than a day, go with hiking sandals or hiking shoes. Tackling trails with greater challenges will require hiking boots or mountaineering boots.
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.
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.
89 / 100 based on 13 expert reviews
It has really great features.
La Sportiva Spantik is designed for high altitude mountaineering, somewhere in the range between six-to-seven-thousand-meter peaks. However, due to some technical design and easy comfort we have had a few people using it for Norwegian ice climbing or even Scottish winter.
The Spantik was a revolutionary boot when it came out almost ten years ago, and it remains a favorite among technical alpinists and cold weather mountaineers.
The Spantik is the boot of choice for cold weather mountaineering in the world's serious mountain ranges, such as Aconcogua and Denali.
Updates to La Sportiva Spantik
- The Spantik is a double boot. The inner liner and the outer boot are made using a combination of technologies that chiefly work for the insulation of the footwear. The lacing of both components is a one-handed closure system.
- The boot’s midsole is a mix of TPU and dual-density, micropore EVA materials. There’s also a removable insole in the inner liner for extra cushioning.
- The single-build rubber outsole is powered by Vibram Montagna and engineered with horizontal lugs. These lugs outline the majority of the outsole.
La Sportiva Spantik size and fit
The La Sportiva Spantik is a unisex mountaineering boot that comes in standard width. It is offered in whole and half sizes from 6 through 13. The inner liner is replaceable and comes in whole and half sizes from 6.5+ through 13. Both components fairly run true to size. The inner liner can go through a process called heat molding to achieve a custom fit. La Sportiva notes that their footwear is created using EU half sizes. Since they are smaller increments than US half sizes, there will be four extra sizes in every size run.
Vibram Montagna is the technology behind the La Sportiva Spantik’s traction. It is made of Vibram’s own Megragrip, a durable, long-lasting, rubber compound. It has an optimum balance between flexibility and stability for it to adapt on various grounds. Its traction works on both wet and dry terrain.
The outsole has heavy-duty lugs and a prominent arch zone. Together they allow the boot to bite securely into icy surfaces and provide enough stopping power, especially during descents.
The Spantik’s midsole is a sturdy piece of rubber made of TPU and dual-density, micropore EVA. It has crampon notches located in the heel and toe zones. TPU, or thermoplastic polyurethane, is a type of polyurethane plastic that is characterized by low-temperature flexibility. The dual-density, micropore EVA, on the other hand, is a material that is characterized by lightness and toughness.
The stock insole, which is found in the inner liner, is a fusion of thermal-structure carbon fiber and aluminum insulation. This 5mm-thick, default footbed not only provides extra warmth and cushioning but also added stability.
The midsole’s forefoot area acts as a toe rocker. This slightly angled zone improves locomotion by aiding the wearer during toe-offs. It also assists in transitions on flatter surfaces.
The outer boot has a layered upper with different insulating technologies. The PE micro-cellular, thermal-insulating, closed cell foam preserves the heat within the La Sportiva Spantik. This foam is coated with a heat-reflective, abrasion-resistant aluminum material which further improves the boot’s insulation. There’s an external coating called Lorica with Antiacqua that makes the Spantik water repellent. Stitched synthetic layering and embossed PUR leatherette also make up the boot’s upper.
The inner liner, also known as the inner boot, is made of micro-perforated, thermo-formable rubber. It can take the shape of the wearer’s foot through a process that involves oven heat. La Sportiva strongly recommends for this process to be done at a specialist shop. It is also water repellent as it is lined with the same Lorica with Antiacqua technology found in the outer boot’s upper.
The closure system promises convenience when lacing up as it is designed to be operated with one hand, with or without gloves on. The outer boot uses a washer closure mechanism to secure its laces, while the inner boot uses a Velcro-like strap.
For added protection, the designers included a Vibram rubber rand. This protective sheet of rubber extends from the Spantik’s toe box all the way to the heel zone.
- British mountaineer and author Andy Kirkpatrick used the La Sportiva Spantik in several of his climbing adventures. He wrote the best-selling autobiography Psycho Vertical which was adapted into a film documentary via Kickstarter. Psycho Vertical won the Best Film Climbing award at the 2017 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.
- The liners can be washed by hand with cold water. It is recommended to dry them naturally. Drying by a heat source is highly discouraged.
- The boot is compatible with step-in crampons (automatic crampons).