User Review: La Sportiva Men's Makalu
Use: Alpine trails general mountaineering
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: 450 NZD
Reviews you read on the Makalu are either love or hate affairs. I love my Makalus. Basically La Sportiva uses lasts that fit my foot (which is long narrow and 'low volume' boot speak for flat feet I think!!). I took my time getting the right size and tried on three pairs from a 46.5 to a 47.5 before selecting a pair of 47's. I chucked out the supplied insoles and use a pair of sorbothane insoles which seem to do the job. A bit of wall kicking was in order (simulating front pointing with crampons and decending downhill) to see if my toes hit the end of the boot.
A weekend of tenative walking around the house and they felt fine. The lacing locks work really well and the boots are well made and lovingly crafted. Way better than my Garmont boots which these have now replaced. Their first outing in the mountains was the Tongariro Crossing a 17km hike over an alpine trail in the Mountains of New Zealand's North Island. No blisters and comfort straight from the box.
Subsequent forays have been equally impressive. They kick steps in hard snow with ease hike up or down hill with superb sure footedness and take my Charlet S12 newmatic crampons with ease. Can there be a finer boot for general mountaineering?
At some point I'm going to have to reproof them but not for a while yet. Combined with a decent gaiter they have kept my feet toasty warm and dry as a bone in: snow, bogs and stream and river crossings. A very, very good boot. You just need the feet to fit them. Hopefully La Sportiva never stops making them.