Verdict from 12 experts and 100+ user reviews

8 reasons to buy

  • Many users appreciated the comfort brought forth by the La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX.
  • It required virtually no break-in period, according to the majority.
  • A couple of users lauded the waterproofness of the pair. They said that it was able to withstand wet conditions.
  • The traction of the Synthesis Mid GTX was superb, as praised by a number of wearers.
  • Some consumers liked its breathability. They noted that their feet did not get sweaty during their hikes.
  • An expert exclaimed that the La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX was a great replacement for his ankle-high boots.
  • Owners by the handful were stunned by the gear’s superior lightness.
  • Its overall support system was considered top-notch by a few testers.

4 reasons not to buy

  • A high percentage of wearers were disappointed with the quality of the shoe. Some of them commented that after a few weeks, the sole in the toe area separated from the upper.
  • The slightly high price of the pair was not approved by several users.
  • Numerous hikers were upset with its durability.
  • The lacing system started out great until it wore off quickly, according to a handful of consumers. They said that it would have been better if La Sportiva used regular tie-up laces on the Synthesis Mid GTX.

Bottom line

The La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX is a lightweight hiking boot appreciated for its comfort, traction, breathability, waterproofness and virtually no break-in period. It was even commended by an expert for being at par with his other ankle-high boots. However, there are downsides too. The slightly expensive pair was not able to deliver on durability and quality. Users were also upset with its flimsy lacing system.

Tip: see the best hiking boots.

Good to know

  • La Sportiva's Synthesis Mid GTX features the Vibram Nano sole, which works in conjunction with the Impact Brake System. This combination is responsible for the shoe’s traction and shock absorption.
  • The midsole uses compression molded EVA foam reinforced with TPU inserts. It takes care of the cushioning and support. This setup also works with the STB technology for torsional stability. Also, there is a breathable Ortholite footbed for support.
  • The AirMesh fabric with Gore-Tex Surround of the upper offers breathability. The Nano-Cell Technology helps keep the structure of the Synthesis Mid GTX.

The La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX hiking boots are offered to men and women. Built on European half sizes, a shoe has a size run of four more sizes. The one-pull lacing system allows a quick, custom fit.

The outsole of La Sportiva’s Synthesis Mid GTX features the Vibram Nano equipped with the proprietary Impact Brake System (IBS). The asymmetrical design of the lugs delivers traction and grip. It also aids in shock absorption, hence reducing fatigue. The opposing, slanted position of the lugs on the soles raises the braking power by 20% (on average) and lessens impact forces by 20% (also on average).

The La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX uses a compression-molded EVA midsole. This material is processed by pressurizing EVA in a mold, so it forms a thick outer skin. This procedure makes the foam durable and provides torsional structure, enabling better control of foot rotations. The abrasion-resistant, elastic TPU inserts render support.

The STB technology makes the heel area rigid. This component wraps the midsole (along the heel area) and unifies it with the upper. It also allows a secure lockdown fit.

The Synthesis Mid GTX has an Ortholite footbed for cushioning. With its open-cell structure, it is breathable and can manage moisture inside the shoe. The footbed is removable so hikers can replace it with their desired orthotic insert.

The upper of the La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX uses an AirMesh fabric and PU leather. This combination yields breathability and durability. Likewise, the Nano-Cell Technology that wraps the shoe helps maintain its structure.

The Gore-Tex Surround utilizes the open construction of the Gore-Tex film that allows aeration from below the foot. It works in conjunction with the side ventilation outlets. As a result, the foot stays dry, reducing risks of having blisters.

The Synthesis Mid GTX also uses an adjustable single-pull lace system that has a metal ring eyelet and speed hook on the top. This setup enables the user to open the mouth for easy on and off. The elastic band near the instep reduces flopping of the laces. 

  • The Synthesis Mid GTX is vegan-friendly.
  • The pair received the Backpacker - Editors’ Choice 2015 award.
  • The shoe won the Outdoor Industry Award 2014. It gained outstanding marks in the following criteria: degree of innovation, design/quality and functionality.


How La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX ranks compared to all other shoes
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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.