La Sportiva Makalu
Materials: 3mm leather
Use: rough trail, lots of steep ascents and decents
Break-in Period: still working them in
Weight: 4 lbs /pair
Price Paid: $240 at REI
My first La Sportiva boot was the regular hiking model similar to the Makalu. I wore them on two trips and liked them and than returned them for the crampon-accepting and slightly heavier duty Makalu Ladies. The men's boots seem to have too much interior volume for my feet and didn't fit as well as the ladies version. These boots were the only ones that straight out of the box felt incredibly comfortable.
The one major hike I did with them since I got the Makalu's I duct taped my heels and only got small blisters on the inside of my heels. Not a bad deal considering that I deserved worse for taking them straight out on a hike with zero break-in time before the hike. Considering, they were super on the hike and treated me well. I used them on a hike in the Rahwah Wilderness in CO were the trail gained about 2500' of elevation in 7 miles and was fairly rocky with quite a few stream crossings.
The other boots that I tried prior to the La Sportiva's were the green Montrails and however cool looking they were waaay too high volume for my feet and even a snug fit back to front gave me a sloppy side to side fit and blister-producing friction. The Makalu's are definitely a heavy-duty boot with the full steel shank and 3mm leather upper but I like a tough boot that will stand up to a beating and support my tired feet through the last mile. I did put waterproofing Nikwax on my boots that was provided to me in the box with the boots and it did turn my boots a darker brown but they still look cool. They are now impervious to water and dirt can be wiped off.
My friend has the men's version and he seems to like his boots as much as I like mine and both of us tried on a ton of boots before deciding to stick with the La Sportiva's. Their customer service seemed really helpful when I called and asked some questions about their boots before I bought them, haven't had to call yet with any problems.
I also put in a pair of Superfeet insoles and that helps out a lot in any boot. It gives you a more supported instep and hugs your heel better than a standard insole. Check them out, they are sold at most EMS and REI type stores.
Use: Rough trail w/heavy pack; light mountaineering, scrambling, etc.
Break-in Period: seem to work good right away
Price Paid: $320 CDN
My wife actually just got a pair of these. She's only used them on one trip so far. She loves the fit; it's the first boot that has actually fit her properly (she's got bizarre feet; narrow heel, no arch, looongggg middle toe).
We went scrambling following a 4 km hike and she had absolutely no problems, blisters, etc. Maybe the new cambrelle lining in the 97 model helps, I don't know.
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
The La Sportiva Makalu Mountaineering Boots are among the most-popular footwear in the mountains, and now a women's-specific fit brings their versatility and performance to you. Durable leather material and tough Vibram soles handle years and years of abuse. Full crampon compatibility makes the La Sportiva Makalu Mountaineering Boots an excellent pick for glacier travel and single-day alpine trips. Grab yourself a pair and head for the mountains.
On Sale. Free Shipping. La Sportiva Women's Makalu Boot (Spring 2008) The Makalu by La Sportiva is a classic leather mountaineering boot. Automatic crampon compatible boot for general purpose mountaineering, alpine ice and heavyweight backpacking. The perfect choice for NOLS and Outward Bounds courses. Similar to the Glacier with a stiffer midsole and automatic crampon compatibility (grooves in both the heel and toe of the outsole). Specifications: UPPER: 3mm Idro-Perwanger Roughout Leather/Vibram XSV Rand/Removable EZ Flex Tongue with Dri-Lex lining CONSTRUCTION: Board Lasted LAST: Makalu LINING: Dri-Lex SOLE: Skywalk MPE MIDSOLE: SBR Aircushion INSOLE: 8mm Mtnflex with 1.5mm Dacromet-coated full steel shank WEIGHT: 4 lbs. 5 oz. Features: Mtnflex insole is stiff enough to handle automatic crampons and kick miles of steps in hard frozen snow MPE sole is crampon compatible, deep lugged and tough as nails for years of service in the harshest conditions 3mm Perwanger leather with rubber toe rand for durability and protection from mountain abuse caused by scree, talus and granular snow Rollerball hardware and a locking D-ring allow independent fit in the lower and upper portions of the boot
The La Sportiva Makalu for women is an authentic mountain boot built for real mountaineering situations. The proportionally graded Mtnflex insole with a full steel shank makes the Makalu stiff enough to handle step-in crampons and alpine ice. Kicking steps in hard, firm snow is a breeze. The MPE sole has solid block lugs in the forefoot for rock climbing performance and a special incut heel for extra control when plunge stepping or glissading on your way down the mountain. The La Sportiva Makalu is hand-made by Italian craftsmen at the foot of the Dolomite Mountain Range. They put 70 years of mountaineering and boot-making experience into the Makalu so you can climb, hike and explore without worrying that your boots aren't up to the challenge. *AVAILABLE FOR NORTH AMERICAN SHIPMENT ONLY.
- Backcountry Outlet
CLOSEOUTS . La Sportiva's Makalu mountaineering boots are specially designed for all-season technical hiking, backpacking and general mountaineering. Weatherproof silicone-impregnated leather upper adds durability, while special ankle cut and Dri-Lex lining significantly diminish break-in time. Mountainflex insole stiffened to handle automatic crampons for winter climbing. Easily adjusted fit via a locking D-ring lace system MPE outsole is deeply lugged Engineered to last through years of harsh trekking Board-lasted construction Height: 6” Weight: 4 lb. pr. Medium width CLOSEOUTS . Italy. Size Euro (US): 37 (6) 37.5 (6 ) 38 (7) 38.5 (7-7 ) 39 (7 -8) 39.5 (8) 40 (8 ) 40.5 (9) 41 (9-9 ) 41.5 (9 -10) 42 (10) Runs small, order size larger.
- Sierra Trading Post