Who should buy the La Sportiva Karakorum HC GTX

Highly admired for its robust construction, the La Sportiva Karakorum HC GTX is one of the best in its class. It is a solid option if you:

  • Prefer a mountaineering boot that offers superior protection from water and external moisture. 
  • Prefer a mountaineering boot that provides reliable cushioning and support to the foot. 
  • Prefer a mountaineering boot that performs well on uphill and downhill paths.

La Sportiva Karakorum HC GTX logo

Excellent stopping ability

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.

La Sportiva Karakorum HC GTX outsole

Excellent traction

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

La Sportiva Karakorum HC GTX outsole 2

Comfortable cushioning

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. 

La Sportiva Karakorum HC GTX midsole

Shock-absorbing cushioning

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.

La Sportiva Karakorum HC GTX arch support


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. 

La Sportiva Karakorum HC GTX upper

Excellent ankle support

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. 

La Sportiva Karakorum HC GTX ankle support

Robust lacing system

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.

La Sportiva Karakorum HC GTX laces

Facts / Specs

Weight: Men 33.2oz
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 run 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 analyzes every detail of the shoes that you might buy.