La Sportiva Boulder X
I really wanted to like these shoes, but had to return…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: £90
I really wanted to like these shoes, but had to return two pairs due to the inner-lining splitting/ripping. Maybe just bad luck?
- The rubber — sticky, great for edging and scrambling
- The fit is great — a heel box a little like a climbing shoe
- The lining split, twice, just at the heel
- Hot, and they don't seem to breathe very well
I really wanted to like these shoes, in fact when new I utterly loved them, for the first 50 miles.
They simply started to wear too fast — not the sole, but the inner lining. My first pair the lining split open at the heal, and the second pair it started to go in the same place before I quickly gave up and returned them. Currently looking for a replacement, most likely the Scarpa Ascent.
The rubber, combined with the almost "climbing shoe fit" and the lacing right down to the toes is just awesome. No issues with even "heavy" edging, i.e., with a pack on.
The lacing is maybe a long term weak point? That is just an observation, as I quickly returned mine with the faulty/split lining, but the lacing seems that it may pull out of the leather after long use.
The sole tread pattern is great, loads of grip although most suited to drier conditions. In the wet I'd put them in the "ok-good" category.
I found the shoes pretty warm/hot on the feet and not able to breathe very well. They also let the water soak through, even in wet grass.
Like first said, I tried hard to like these shoes; they do tick all the right boxes, just a few niggles to consider. I gave them 3.5 stars just as that rubber and sole is so great in the dry, and the fit.
More comfortable than the majority of other approach…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $75
More comfortable than the majority of other approach shoes and holds up to some strenuous wear.
- Slow drying
Let me start I by saying that even the thought of purchasing shoes online having not tried them on terrifies me. Perhaps you know the feeling too. How many experiences have you had where you see a pair of shoes online, spring for them and anxiously await their arrival only to receive them and find out that the styling isn’t what you thought, the sizing is off, and the shape of the shoes doesn’t match your feet?
I’ve had too many to recount, so I generally stay away from making such purchases. I do, however, conduct most of my window shopping online prior to making purchases. Each time I have, I’ve found that my first pick is generally not the best fit, which only adds to my aversion from online shoe purchases.
Thankfully, when it came time to purchase a new pair of approach shoes, I had the luxury of trying on multiple pair in-store to get a final read on what would be best for my needs. On my store visit, I tried on the Boulder X along with several other La Sportiva and Salewa models. I was pleased because not only did I like the general styling of the Boulder X, but they were significantly cheaper than several of the others I had considered.
The shoes have held up. I have been on strenuous hikes and a few canyoneering expeditions and have experienced positive results. The shoes have overall good support and reinforcement in all the necessary places — toes, sides and heel.
I initially noticed a subtle hot-spot on the back of my heel, but that was fixed when I adjusted the tightness of the continuous lacing system. I have since also adjusted the tongue from being laced under the side flanks to being laced on top of the side flanks. I have found that this helps prevent from debris entering the shoe and also relieves some of the pressure caused by the laces.
One thing that I would note is that the shoe does not have much breathability. There is not ventilation in the shoe and as such, it can be quite warm. I have used these shoes in desert environments and they can get pretty hot. Also, due to the lack of ventilation, the shoes take a while to completely dry out when they get wet, which can be quite annoying if you’re trekking through damp areas.
Overall, I’d say that these shoes are well worth their price point. They handle varied terrain well and are comfortable for short and even longer hikes/treks.
Excellent shoe! I used them on the outdoor for 20…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $130
Excellent shoe! I used them on the outdoor for 20 miles and didn't feel anything in my feet. I recommend it a lot.
- Rubber sole
The fit is OK. They're really comfort and the support it's OK. Don't try them in the rain.
For me these are wonderful shoes.
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
The Boulder X is a super sticky approach shoe designed for high performance.
- CampSaver.com refers to the men's version
The La Sportiva Boulder X approach shoes feature sticky rubber and soft padding to keep your feet comfortable while hoofing it to a climb.
- REI refers to the men's version
While it could be used as a fashion forward hiking and backpacking boot, the La Sportiva Boulder-X Mid GTX reaches its design potential where the hiking path ends. Scramble through scree and talus, step-kick the approaching snowfield, then crawl up chimney cracks-- the Boulder-X Mid will prove itself an alpine workhorse. Stout leather uppers on the outside for durability and GORE-TEX(R) on the inside to keep you dry Ankle protection for longs days when you stumble out in the dark New Vibram(R) Idro-Grip V-Smear sole Vibram(R) rands for confident smearing Board lasted construction offers stability and rigidity 2mm Polypropylene insole allows the Boulder X to be comfortable and stable on long approaches Mythos lacing system laces through the toe for a highly adaptive fit Snug performance fit
- OMCgear refers to the men's version
It can be tough to find a shoe that will perform well both hiking to your route, as well as scrambling up anything technical to get there, not to mention being able to actually perform while climbing. Lucky for you, there's the La Sportiva Men's Boulder X Mid GTX Approach Shoe. La Sportiva started with a durable leather upper to ensure that the shoe won't break down on you. A Gore-Tex lining keeps your feet nice and dry, since you don't want to pull a wet foot out of your shoe when you roll up to start your climb. The Vibram sole with La Sportiva's Impact Brake System makes sure that you have a sure grip on your whole trek, no matter how many banana slugs you might accidentally step on. To keep these stiff enough to hike comfortably with a pack, La Sportiva made them board lasted.
- Backcountry.com refers to the men's version