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.
For multi-day trips with a heavy pack. Manufacturers emphasize durability and support in the creation of backpacking boots. See backpacking boots
Designed for users who want to cover a greater distance by going fast, usually with a light pack. See speed hiking shoes.
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.
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.
WeightMen: 15.5ozWomen: 13.1oz
WidthMen: NormalWomen: Normal
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98 / 100 based on 3 expert reviews
A mid-duty, waterproof shoe with 360 degrees of breathability.
The La Sportiva Spire GTX quickly became our lead tester's favorite pair of hiking shoes, due to its incredible performance on all types of trail.
As for lifespan, these shoes feel just barely broken into, and I’m going to expect many more hundreds of miles in their future.
Updates to La Sportiva Spire GTX
- The research and development team of La Sportiva created the Spire GTX to keep a comfortable and waterproof in-shoe environment even on the harshest trail conditions. It is equipped with technologies working together to achieve 360-degree breathability and long-lasting durability.
- Technologies such as the Gore-Tex Surround, Nano-Cell, and STB control system are the prime features from the upper to the midsole. It optimizes airflow in and out of the shoe and renders a stable and supportive stride. Cushioning, on the other hand, is being offered by an Ortholite footbed and EVA midsole.
- The Vibram XS Trek with Impact Brake System from La Sportiva provides underfoot protection. Its non-marking yet aggressive profile allows users to use it indoors or outdoors.
La Sportiva Spire GTX size and fit
The La Sportiva Spire GTX is a day hiking shoe for men and women. It comes in standard width and regular sizes. Its straightforward lace-up closure helps achieve a snug fit. Generally, the shoe runs true to size.
Traversing most types of terrain is made possible by the Vibram XS Trek. Its aggressive lugs and non-marking profile possess sensitivity to ground conditions for an enhanced grip.
La Sportiva also added their Impact Brake System to this low-cut day hiking shoe. It includes opposing, slanted lugs that increase the braking ability of the sole. It also helps reduce negative ground impacts.
The 5 mm Ortholite insole works with the compression molded EVA midsole designed with aeration channels. This layout enables it to wick away moisture from the foot to the ventilation panels on the sides to maximize air circulation inside the shoe. They provide a lightweight cushioning and comfortable ride.
Furthermore, with the STB control system , the stability underfoot is enhanced. It places two full-length TPU stabilizers on the sides (medial and lateral) of the midsole.
With an abrasion resistant upper equipped with the Gore-Tex Surround technology, the breathability of the Spire GTX is optimized. The open side ventilation outlets are reinforced with the Nano Cell 2.0. Aside from keeping pebbles from entering the shoe, it also adds structure and durability.
The brand designers also added a couple of features on the upper. A PU Techlite rand is placed on each end (in the toe and heel areas) for protection, a finger loop at the heel for easy-on access and round laces running through the webbing eyelets lock the foot in place.