Help me ID my own boot type...

8:57 p.m. on November 9, 2012 (EST)
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This is funny but I don't know what category or model of boot I've had for the last 8 years, that which I've loved so much.  These are LaSportivas, all one piece of leather uppers.  Despite diligent care, the leather at the fold in the tongue finally cracked the other day (suspicisous of Nubuck, but that's a different thread.  I may go with something like simple Lexol products in the future - but I digress). 

LaSportiva doesn't have such an exact boot anymore it seems, and I'm not sure if I should be looking at "Backpacking," "Mountaineering," etc.  I like these for their soles that were really durable (basically no wear), and could "knife edge" into muddy hill sides.   The closest I see at first glance seems to be like a "light" mountaineering, but I don't want heavy insulation (these have none and that's probably best for me), don't use crampons, etc, I just want the other features it seems (durability, lack of fabric upper parts, soles that won't wear out, they don't fall apart in a year, etc).

I don't mind spending some money as I won't accept the idea of boots lasting a year or two and can easily justify spending on a higher end boot when it last me 8-10 years. I honestly still like the idea of a full leather upper though that appears not so common.  They need to be able to get muddy as heck and not come out stained after cleaning for example...

What should I be looking at for a near replacement?  These have been with me from Tennessee to Texas to Oregon to Alaska and I need a worthy successor!


11:02 p.m. on November 9, 2012 (EST)
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First of all, don't go by a category name as that can be misleading. Look at the boot itself. What you are talking about is what I would call an old school or traditional boot. I have a pair of Asolo's from the 1980's that are probably similar in construction. Pretty much indestructible under normal conditions. I replaced them with a pair of Asolo FSN 95's which have gotten little use, so I can't comment on their longevity.

What separates my new boot from the old one is the modern materials and advances in footbed construction similar to advances in running shoe design.

However, if I was you, and was looking for a traditional boot, I would look at Asolo, Raichle, Vasque or Merrell. Maybe something like this-

11:19 p.m. on November 9, 2012 (EST)
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Great thanks for the input.  That indeed looks like another full leather beefcake of a boot :)   I'll check out some of the other brands you mentioned as well.

5:16 p.m. on November 12, 2012 (EST)
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second on the tps 520's - had a pair of them for ten years. recently retired them and got lowas, a lighter boot.

12:45 p.m. on November 18, 2012 (EST)
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A note on the TPS 520s. They can be quite tricky to resole, there are not a ton of folks that can do it properly, and it can be quite expensive to have done. 

In regards to the boot you have pictured above I believe they are an older, past variation of the Makalus.

See link here(it's a big one huh?:),r:27,s:0,i:160

As far as boots that are similar La Sportiva still makes the Makalu(although with a few new features(rand, etc.) If it has worked for you in the past why change it? Just get another pair.

Scarpa also makes the SL M3(which is the boot I personally own.) This boot is somewhat similar in design to your boots and might be on it's way out the door in regards to this specific model. It is what I refer to as a traditional boot.

No waterproof membrane, no insulation, thick leather(2.8mm,) and just an all around tank of a boot that is very well made.

Scarpa recently came out with the SL Activ and I am seeing substantial price drops on this model on Scarpa's site along with other retailers which is an indicator to me that it might be on it's last legs of production.

I think it is a shame. This is one heck of a boot if it fits you. 

I cannot comment on how they will fit the masses but the SL M3(standard & wide width available) is a very burly FGL boot. I have put mine through 4 season use and they get regular treatments of Obenhauf's Heavy Duty LP.



Hope this helps...

Happy hiking-Rick 

May 21, 2018
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