7 best La Sportiva hiking boots

Based on reviews from 46 experts and 437 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to La Sportiva hiking boots. Updated Jul 2019.

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La Sportiva hiking boots have always been synonymous with footwear that outdoor enthusiasts can rely on for their adventures. Their high-quality mid-cut and high-cut hikers have safety and performance features, impressing many outdoor junkies. The brand’s boots also boast of technologies that prioritize your comfort and provide ample support during your hike.

La Sportiva didn’t really start with producing trail shoes. In 1928, when it was founded by Narciso Delladio in Italy, the focus was in manufacturing hand-crafted leather boots and clogs that farmers and lumberjacks used. During World War II, the company helped produce custom mountaineering boots for Italy’s soldiers. It was only in the 1950’s when they started producing ski boots and introduced the brand name La Sportiva. Today, as a reputable shoe brand, it is distributing quality hiking shoes, hiking boots, running shoes and other outdoor footwear in different parts of Europe, North America and in some parts of Asia.

La Sportiva’s line of hiking boots come with the brand’s guarantee of incorporating eight decades of expertise with new technologies. The brand’s long years of experience and expert craftsmanship led to its international recognition and popularity. With its reputation among outdoor enthusiasts, each pair bearing the La Sportiva logo is revered and coveted.

Benefits of La Sportiva hiking boots

best La Sportiva hiking boots

Best La Sportiva hiking boots - August 2018

La Sportiva hiking boots are a favorite of many adventurers.  Many of La Sportiva’s designs look tough and durable, but when worn, they provide the comfort, support, and traction needed by every hiker. Anyone can choose a preferred model out of La Sportiva hiking boots’ line. Just study the features of a boot you’re eyeing to purchase to see if it suits your needs.

Comfort and fit

Comfort is a top consideration of every wearer. There are many good designs out there, but very few could make a hiker feel free and comfortable even with boots on their feet. La Sportiva uses different technologies to provide the best fit and comfort in every hiking boot they produce. For example, the Core High GTX model has Nano-cells structure that keeps the upper breathable.  By mixing high-quality materials and technology, La Sportiva came up with models that wrap in all the right places while securing the foot’s position.

Durability

La Sportiva’s eight decades of shoe manufacturing experience can also be attributed to each shoe passing the hands and scrutiny of expert boot makers. Apart from excellent craftsmanship, the materials used for each pair – from leather to synthetic materials – are also unparalleled. With dedicated individuals, continuous research, application of new technologies, and a high standard, the company vouches for each boot that comes out of its doors.

Support

Day hiking trips need boots that give utmost support on a moderately tough terrain. Models like the Core High GTX for example, is made for fast hiking which uses La Sportiva’s mountain DNA solutions. Ample foot support is achieved by wrapping the foot for a locked-down fit.

Traction

Walking in the wilderness is different from walking on paved streets. Hikers can expect that they will be dealing with slippery rocks, snow, and other surfaces that will be hard to tackle if an everyday running shoe was worn. This is where the choice of an outsole stands out.

La Sportiva hiking boots mostly use Vibram soles. Vibram is a company that produces rubber soles. Their products are known for their deep lugs and excellent traction on a wide range of surfaces.  

Protection

Screes, rocks, animals, and the elements could serve as a threat to hikers. Injuries and discomforts that they can cause could vary and La Sportiva has made sure that their hiking boots came with protective properties. From sturdy and waterproof upper materials to toe and ankle protection features, La Sportiva hiking boots keep wearers well-protected.  

Reasons why people choose La Sportiva hiking boots

La Sportiva’s market prominence can be greatly attributed to the unique qualities of their products. But what makes La Sportiva unique and worth it?

Some popular La Sportiva hiking boots

When it comes to La Sportiva hiking boots, three things are always considered: weight, support, and function. With its line of quintessential models of hiking boots, it comes as a no surprise that every hiker wants a coveted pair of La Sportiva ready.

One of the most popular La Sportiva hiking boots is the Synthesis Mid GTX. Both the men and women’s model won in the OutDoor Industry Award 2014 and Backpacker Magazine Editor’s Choice Award 2015. The boot is most popular for its foot-wrapping protection, waterproof properties, and breathability.

Another popular model is the Nucleo High GTX which suits hikers who are off to varied and rugged terrain. Aside from being waterproof, it is also breathable and supports moderate loads. As a favorite of many hikers, it earned the Outside Magazine – Gear of the Year 2017 award.

Also a popular and award-winning model is the Core High GTX. This model combines La Sportiva’s mountain heritage and other technologies. It is a well-loved model for its maximum breathability, waterproof protection, and stability.

Finally, there is the Trango TRK GTX, a popular choice in the La Sportiva hiking boots line among people who want lightweight hikers. This boot model may be lightweight but it can tackle the toughest terrain.

Women’s hiking boots are also available. The women’s line is made to specifically give comfort and protection to women hikers who love exploring muddy and slippery paths. These models are a result of long years of research and expert craftsmanship. The boots provide women hikers with grip, comfort, shock absorption, and weather protection. Each model is made to meet all the requirements of carrying light or heavy backpacks.

La Sportiva technologies

For a good and award-winning pair of La Sportiva hiking boots to materialize, the company pools together tried and tested techniques with the right technologies. The introduction of new technologies to take care of different aspects such as weather-proofing, traction, support, and comfort has become the brand’s top priority. Here are some technologies La Sportiva hiking boots are equipped with:

  • Gore-Tex. Many La Sportiva hiking boots models are waterproof, thanks to the use of Gore-Tex Surround technology. This membrane guarantees that the feet will be protected from water and dampness. An added feature of this technology is the Gore-Tex Surround 360⁰ breathability – that is, apart from the upper, the midsole is also breathable.
  • STB Control System. La Sportiva also uses the STB Control System which stabilizes the foot by wrapping the midsole so it can unify with the upper for a locked-down fit. This is the same technology the brand uses for reliable approach and via ferrata boots.
  • 3D Flex System. Another technology La Sportiva hiking boots borrowed from its
  • Vibram. Finally, La Sportiva hiking boots prominently use Vibram rubber soles. The Italian company is known for producing soles with excellent traction on different types of surfaces. With various trails to tackle, hikers need footwear with soles that will give them a firm grip on slippery rocks or snow.

Price

Considering the features, technologies, and the materials incorporated in a pair of La Sportiva hiking boots, they could come a little bit pricier than models from other brands. Models under the hiking activity category are priced from $165 to $220. Despite the extra amount though, hikers still love them.

Availability

La Sportiva is one of the European outdoor footwear brands known to many all over the world. It has several stores and retail outlets all over Europe, North America, and some parts of Asia. Clients all over the world can also place orders through its website and have the boots shipped to their address.  

La Sportiva hiking boots FAQs

Are there wide or narrow La Sportiva hiking boots?

People with wide or narrow feet often have problems searching for perfectly-fitting pairs because of the width of their feet. Sadly, as much as La Sportiva hiking boots are popular among hikers, there are currently no wide or narrow sizes being offered. 

Are La Sportiva leather boots better than those with synthetic uppers?

Both leather and synthetic materials have benefits. Leather is a tougher material that can withstand screes, rocks, bushes, and other elements that could hurt a hiker. Synthetic materials, on the other hand, are lighter and are cheaper than leather. However, choosing between the two materials always boils down to one’s preference.  Also note that there are La Sportiva hiking boots that combine both materials.

Is Gore-Tex a dependable waterproofing material?

There are many La Sportiva hiking boots that come with Gore-Tex's technology. This membrane or laminate is made of microporous structure that keeps water from penetrating. The thin layer of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene that has breathable, waterproof, and windproof properties.  

Gore-Tex has earned the reputation for effectively waterproofing footwear but of course, its effect and length of usability depends greatly on how it is used. If properly cared for and used for its intended purpose, the material will stay on the footwear upper for a long time.

How do I clean my La Sportiva hiking boots with Gore-Tex membrane?

After each hiking trip, you should make no excuses about cleaning your La Sportiva hiking boots – one of the basic ways to preserve it and keep it useable for a long period. A cake of mud, the residual water, and other elements contribute to the deterioration of your boots. Cleaning them lessens such effect. Boots with Gore-Tex can simply be washed as using any treatment, polishes, and even drying out under direct heat are discouraged.  

How do I take care of my La Sportiva hiking boots?

  1. Break in the boots slowly. Taking hiking boots to a series of short hikes is a good way to break them in. The best way to prepare boots for a long hike is to let them conform to the foot’s shape first which can only happen if they are broken in.
  2. Avoid damaging the boots even during hikes. Yes, La Sportiva hiking boots are made of excellent materials which can resist abrasion and protect the wearer from injuries but these are not indestructible. As a wearer, you have the responsibility to always be mindful of your surroundings and to keep away from things that could damage the boots.
  3. Keep them clean and dry. A basic way to extend the life of your La Sportiva hiking boots is by making sure that they are cleaned and stored properly. After each hike, run the boots under a hose, gently scrub away mud and dirt, and air dry the boots. After cleaning and drying, store the boots properly in a cool and dry place.
  4. Always follow the care instructions. Some of the technologies or materials incorporated in your La Sportiva hiking boots may need specific care. Be mindful of the care label in your boots to make sure that the pair will last for a long time. 

What is the ideal outsole when considering to purchase La Sportiva hiking boots?

Most La Sportiva hiking boots have rubber outsoles, often from Vibram. There are also some with added elements that are meant to help the boots have a steady grip on different surfaces. When choosing a pair, here are two things to look for:

  • Lug pattern – Lugs are the bumps on the outsole that gives it traction. As a rule, the deeper and thicker the lugs, the better the grip. Those with widely-spaced lugs offer better traction than those with tightly-spaced lugs.
  • Heel brake – This is the clearly defined heel zone distinct from the forefoot and arch. This reduces the chance of sliding during steep descents.

Will my La Sportiva hiking boots really last for a long time?

For so many hiking fans, investing in a good pair of La Sportiva hiking boots means saving them time and money. A durable pair will last for years as long as they are also properly cared for.

For La Sportiva, there is no implied life span for a pair because there are different variables that can affect it. The key is to follow care instructions and not jeopardize the pair by putting them near chemicals or in areas where they can get wet over extended periods. 

Do La Sportiva hiking boots come with a warranty?

La Sportiva hiking boots do come with a higher price than the offerings of other brands but the good news is, each pair comes with a warranty. Since there is no life span implied, the footwear must only pass La Sportiva’s warranty evaluation. The company has also set their policies that clients must follow if they want to have their shoes replaced or repaired. Check out their warranty and returns page for the complete details. 

6 best La Sportiva hiking boots

  1. La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX
  2. La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX
  3. La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX
  4. La Sportiva Blade GTX
  5. La Sportiva Stream GTX
  6. La Sportiva TX5 GTX
Author
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Paul Ronto

Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.

paul@runrepeat.com
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