Updates to La Sportiva Karakorum HC GTX

  • This mountaineering boot from La Sportiva has the looks and functionality of the former model - the La Sportiva Karakorum with the addition of the Gore-tex lining. This special fabric offers superior protection from water and external moisture. 
  • The current model also features a different midsole made of expanded PU+EVA. It also comes with a TPU insert that provides reliable cushioning and support to the foot. 
  • For the outsole, the Karakorum HC GTX makes use of the Vibram Impact Brake System that performs well on uphill and downhill paths.

Size and fit

The Karakorum HC GTX by La Sportiva is a single mountaineering boot made with thick leather upper that takes on the shape of the foot after some breaking in. The lace clips near the cuff allow the fit of the ankle to be adjusted separately from the foot. This provides not only a secure fit but also stability, support, and ankle protection.


The Impact Brake System (IBS) of Vibram has lugs arranged in such a way that they increase the boot’s “break” or stopping ability by 20%. This is an important quality necessary for a mountaineering boot because traversing uphill or downhill paths can be totally difficult and dangerous. 

The IBS sole absorbs negative impact from the ground and increases traction, regardless of the type of terrain.


For this model, La Sportiva combined EVA and Polyurethane (PU) - two of the most common cushioning materials used in hiking shoes and boots. PU is known for being highly resilient, which means it doesn’t tend to compress or flatten over time. EVA, on the other hand, is lightweight, soft, and has low-density which has the ability to absorb impact. Together, they make a long-wearing, cushiony, and supportive midsole.


Like its predecessor, the Karakorum HC GTX has an upper made of 2.8 mm Idro-Perwanger leather which has really good waterproof characteristics even in extreme conditions. But it has a much nicer color - the mocha forest 2019. 

Like the Nepal models, this boot also features multi-directional 3D flex hinges for maximum ankle support. Inside the boot is a Gore-tex lining meant to keep the foot dry. 

Lastly, the boot comes with a robust lacing system that lets you adjust the fit around the ankle separately from the foot. It’s compatible with heel crampons, ready to take on challenging paths even in freezing temps.

Facts / Specs

Weight: 940g
Base model: La Sportiva Karakorum
Cut: High cut
Features: Vintage / Orthotic friendly / Removable insole
Waterproofing: Water repellent / Waterproof
Width: Normal
BRAND Brand: La Sportiva

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Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

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.