Who should buy La Sportiva Makalu

This mountaineering boot by La Sportiva is a cost-effective option. Buy it if you prefer the following features:

  • A leather boot
  • Footwear with traditional, single-boot construction

La Sportiva Makalu logo

Who should NOT buy the boot

If you prefer lighter mountaineering boots, consider the La Sportiva Karakorum or the La Sportiva Trango Cube GTX.

Multi-feature outsole

The boot’s Skywalk MPE outsole is what provides and maintains traction over considerably rugged surfaces. Its heel and forefoot zones are generously engineered with high-profile lugs. The hikers say:

  • "very grippy and stick well to granite"
  • "a lot of confidence while scrambling on rock"
  • "they’ve never let me down"

La Sportiva Makalu forefoot outsole

Its arch region is lug-less and amply raised to give the boot adequate descent control.

La Sportiva Makalu arch zone

The Makalu boot has become popular among glacier and mountaineering guides, according to the reviewers. It also received praise from quite a few linemen workers. They consider it perfect for climbing on both steel and wooden hooks.

The Makalu's shock-absorbing platform

Making every ground contact as safe as possible and stabilizing the user’s footing is the Makalu’s SBR Aircushion midsole. Its stiffness is reinforced with an 8-millimeter thick insole and Dracomet-coated full-length steel shank. On the extra cushioning front, La Sportiva engineers gave the boot a cushy footbed. 

La Sportiva Makalu midsole

Durable upper build

With its ample thickness of 3 millimeters, the Makalu’s water-repellent Idro-Perwanger leather upper is made extra tough for the mountains. Its interior is breathable, thanks to the moisture-wicking liner called Dry Best. The wearers are happy with the boot's ability to resist water in wet conditions.

La Sportiva Makalu leather upper

The toe box, on the other hand, comes with a durable rubber rand by Vibram for abrasion protection.

La Sportiva Makalu toebox

 Here is what the testers say about the boot's durability:

  • "a stiff rugged boot that stands up to abuse"
  • "these things are bulletproof"
  • "never found a better, longer lasting pair of boots"

According to the reviewers, the boot takes some time to break in. At first, it feels stiff "almost like wearing ski boots," but once it molds to the foot, the comfort and support are unmatched. It does take some getting used to.

Double-tongue upper construction

The Makalu technically has two tongues—one external and the other, internal. The one on the outside is seamlessly constructed to the upper, keeping debris out. On the other hand, the one on the inside—the EZ Flex tongue—is crafted to be adjustable and removable. 

La Sportiva Makalu tongues

Facts / Specs

Weight: Men 34.6oz
Features: Single, Lace-to-toe / Orthotic friendly / Removable insole / Heel brake
Waterproofing: Water repellent
Width: Normal
BRAND Brand: La Sportiva
Construction: Single, Lace-to-toe
Material: Leather, Rubber sole

Compare popularity Interactive

Compare the popularity of another shoe to La Sportiva Makalu:
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.