4 best La Sportiva hiking shoes

Based on reviews from 10 experts and 129 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to La Sportiva hiking shoes. Updated Dec 2019.

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Ninety years ago, Narciso Delladio translated his love for nature to the creation of boots and clogs for his farmer and lumberjack clients. When the war broke, this expert cordwainer helped provide custom mountaineering boots to Italian soldiers. After the war, he expanded his offerings and introduced the brand name. Today, La Sportiva hiking shoes, boots, and other products are widely available through some retailers in Europe and North America.

People behind this logo have an exuding passion for the mountains and the environment. They exert a conscious effort to maintain a factory that uses a proactive approach to reducing environmental impact while still delivering the best possible products to its consumers.

If there is one thing that owners of La Sportiva hiking shoes should be glad about, it would be the fact that their gear is crafted by people who do away with the fast-paced and extreme pricing pressures of its competitors. They take inspiration from their factory in Ziano di Fiemme, a small mountain village in the Italian Dolomites. For this maker, the alpine valley makes the heritage of handmade footwear live on.

Why people love La Sportiva

best La Sportiva hiking shoes

Best La Sportiva hiking shoes - January 2019

La Sportiva loves being attributed to the environment where their gear is produced. This gives them a chance to test the models on trails that are easily accessible to them. Through these efforts, each offering is improved to meet the standards that the final customers are expecting. No wonder almost every person who has worn a pair of La Sportiva hiking shoes, mountaineering or hiking boots, have something good to say about their experience.

Benefits of wearing men's and women's La Sportiva hiking shoes

A lot of great La Sportiva hiking shoes were sold, and many of them earned significant praise from experts and casual wearers alike. These are just a few of the things that fans are loving about their pair:

Comfort and fit

A brand often praised for crafting outdoor footwear that doesn’t agonize wearers, La Sportiva has mastered the art of making cozy hiking gear. Its Genesis Low GTX, for instance, has been getting great feedback in the comfort department.

Another factor that affects both comfort and overall footwear function is fit. Lucky for those who own La Sportiva hiking shoes, the brand offers products that run true to size whether it’s a men’s or women’s version. The lace-up closure also helps a lot in customizing the fit.

Durability

La Sportiva hiking shoes have always had a reputation for standing through the difficulties of trails and serve the wearers for years. This is attributed primarily to the mastery of Italian makers in crafting footgear of premium quality. Often regarded as the best, their handmade tradition is revered as it is mastered only through experience. The end products have better fit and excellent details.

Aside from craftsmanship, the maker also makes sure that the best materials and technologies are employed. From leather and new fabric to the proprietary Nano-Cell technology, La Sportiva hiking shoes keep up with the times in terms of the things they are made of.

Support

The world outdoors is not always friendly. Unlike paved streets, hikers need to overcome slippery, uneven, wet, and technical trails. Good thing, La Sportiva hiking shoes come with supportive features that help conquer greater heights safely. Making this possible are solutions like the STB Technology which help stabilizes the foot by wrapping it and unifying the midsole and upper.

Traction

As snow, pebbles, rocks, streams, uneven terrain, and steep boulders are hard to tackle, finding a gear that can offer excellent grip will solve the problem. La Sportiva hiking shoes come with Vibram outsoles to keep wearers on their feet when tackling mixed terrain. This reliable brand is a favorite in backing shoemakers with rubber soles that stick.

Protection

Water, rock debris, twigs, and critters are just a few of the things that you will meet along the trails. Without much protection, your feet are vulnerable to cuts, coldness, and bites. La Sportiva hiking shoes are packed with the right protective features, keeping users safe from these obstacles throughout their adventure.

Water intrusion is also a hassle that will instantly ruin a trip. If you think trench foot is just an inconvenience, consider that, for over 75,000 British and 2000 American soldiers during World War II, it was a severe problem that led some to amputations. Thankfully for owners of weatherproof hiking shoes from La Sportiva, Gore-Tex lining and other similar technologies kept their feet dry.

Qualities of men's and women's La Sportiva hiking shoes

Through innovation, an extensive and thorough consideration of materials to use, and design, La Sportiva hiking shoes endear themselves to wearers. Adventurers of every type and shape can catch a pair that will suit their personality and needs best. Get to know your gear by finding out what they are made of:

Materials used

What your La Sportiva hiking shoes are made of could greatly affect their performance and durability. Here are some of the components that make your comfortable pair:

  • Mesh. One of the more popular upper materials used today, mesh is known for delivering comfort and breathability. It could come in nylon and other synthetic fabrics. Apart from the cozy air circulation, this is also a common choice among manufacturers because they are flexible, softer, and less expensive than
  • Leather. A material derived from animal rawhides, leather is praised for its durability and flexibility. In the footwear industry, its various types are a top component choice because of their excellent qualities.
  • Compressed EVA. Ethylene vinyl acetate that goes through compression molding is subjected to heat and pressure to fit a mold. This process yields a better quality design while also providing a firm midsole.
  • TPU insert. A commonly used component, thermoplastic polyurethane or TPU is known for its versatility, resilience, and resistance to impacts and abrasions. In a few models of La Sportiva hiking shoes, this material is used in the midsole as sides or inserts.

Technologies

Behind every good pair of La Sportiva hiking shoes are innovations that work harmoniously together. Employing these technologies play an enormous role in improving the comfort, function, and lastingness of every model. Here are some:

  • Nano Cell 2.0. Used in cooperation with the Surround technology, the Nano Cell 2.0 feature increases the durability and breathability of the upper mesh material.
  • PU TechLite. This technology is used in La Sportiva hiking shoes as a toe cap and heel material. It is a lightweight component that gives protection from abrasions.
  • Gore-Tex Surround. A lot of La Sportiva hiking shoes come with Gore-Tex Surround technology. This is known for offering 360-degree climate comfort especially for hiking on warm summer days. Since it is from a brand known best for waterproofing, wearers can feel assured that they will still enjoy their adventures with dry and comfortable feet.
  • STB Technology. One of the most crucial features praised in select La Sportiva hiking shoes is the STB Technology. This innovation helps in stabilizing the foot by wrapping the midsole, unifying it with the upper, so people feel a locked-down fit.
  • Vibram. La Sportiva hiking shoes are equipped with Vibram soles to enable wearers to take on challenging surfaces. The outsole company uses rubber compounds that suit different hiking conditions.

Price

Coming from a reputable brand best known for their high-quality mountaineering boots, hiking boots, and other outdoor gear, interested buyers of La Sportiva hiking shoes need to prepare at least $180 to $210. For droves of fans though, the money they invested was well worth it basing on the comfort and improved performance they were afforded with.

Availability

As a European outdoor footwear brand that has gained a footing in the worldwide outdoor market, products like La Sportiva hiking shoes have been made available in various stores and retail outlets in Europe, North America, and parts of Asia as well. Clients who are not close to these stores can also place their orders on its website.

Some popular La Sportiva hiking shoes

Enjoying a fun weekend or a few days on the trail is something many people are looking forward to. La Sportiva hiking shoes give users the support and protection they need so that they won’t sustain injuries when dealing with on-trail obstacles. Two of the models they can get are Spire GTX and Genesis Low GTX which come in both men's and women's version.

La Sportiva hiking boots FAQs

Is leather La Sportiva hiking boots better than those with synthetic upper materials?

The debate on whether leather or synthetic components make for better shoe upper has been around for quite a while. In the case of La Sportiva hiking shoes, both are used and are considered equally vital in improving the durability, fit, comfort, and function of the models. In the end, it’s the wearer’s preference. For those who prefer a tougher gear that can withstand rocks, twigs, screes, and other elements, leather is the more sensible choice. On the other hand, those who prefer a lighter and more breathable pair can opt for ones with a synthetic upper.

Is Gore-Tex a dependable material?

There are plenty of waterproofing materials used in the footwear industry, but one name that stands out is Gore-Tex. La Sportiva hiking shoes are primarily using a surround technology that doesn't just guarantee waterproofing but 360-degree breathability as well.

Gore-Tex has earned a reputation for delivering effective waterproofing for a variety of products. It is made of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene. Judging from the number of La Sportiva products that utilize this material, it can be said that the maker believes in its dependability. However, it is also important that owners take care of their gear, so its components perform well.

How are men’s and women’s La Sportiva hiking shoes different?

La Sportiva is a manufacturer that has developed a range of fits that will cater to the unique shape of a woman's foot which is one way to offer them the maximum comfort during outdoor adventures. These women's model has characteristically a wider forefoot to heel ratio compared to the men's shoes. These are also straighter and narrower. They have a lower cut heel and a smaller overall volume.

Can low cut La Sportiva hiking shoes protect me on the trail?

The choice between a low-cut hiking shoe or mid-cut hiking boot depends entirely on the preference of the person. Some may prefer mid-cut shoes for the extra support they offer. The additional material also comes in handy when treading on trails known for snakes and other critters. However, there are also those who appreciate more of the freedom that lower cut ones offer. They also provide decent protection from pebbles, twigs, and animals along the way.

How can I effectively clean my La Sportiva hiking shoes with Gore-Tex?

You may be afraid to wash your La Sportiva hiking shoes because of the Gore-Tex technology they come with. However, to make sure you make the most out of your gear, you need to remove dirt right. Here’s how to clean them:

  • In washing them, use a cloth or soft brush and lukewarm water. The maker may have some treatment or preservation tips so never overlook these. Remember to remove any dirt and shake out the footbed.
  • Dry La Sportiva hiking shoes naturally and avoid direct heat.
  • Do not use any waterproofing waxes or other products with similar purpose because these can affect the membrane’s breathability. Use only the treatments, polishes, and other care products that the maker recommends.

Do La Sportiva hiking shoes come with a warranty?

La Sportiva hiking shoes may come with a bit heftier tag, but apart from the excellent quality that the maker is known for, their after-purchase efforts are also worth mentioning. Any item purchased from them come with a warranty.  There is no implied lifespan to any of the footwear products, but those that are submitted because of wear and tear, improper fit, inappropriate use, or inadequate care will not be covered. The maker's Warranty Department is the sole in-charge that determine whether the pair returned to them are qualified for any repair or replacement. 

What is the expected lifespan for La Sportiva hiking shoes?

If you want to make the most out of the money that you are shelling out, you might as well get a pair that will last a long time. Those who choose to invest in La Sportiva hiking shoes can look forward to high-quality outdoor gear that, if appropriately cared, will last a long time. 

Not a single brand can promise a definite number of years that their products can cover. Aside from the expertise, technologies, and materials used by La Sportiva, the care and attention that owners give also contribute largely to how well they will last.

3 best La Sportiva hiking shoes

  1. La Sportiva Spire GTX
  2. La Sportiva Genesis Low GTX
  3. La Sportiva Trail Ridge Low
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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