La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX

rated 4.00 of 5 stars (2)
photo: La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX mountaineering boot

 Ideal terrain: Winter mountaineering, ice climbing, mixed climbing

Specs

Men's
Price MSRP: $599.00
Current Retail: $599.00
Historic Range: $286.83-$599.00
Reviewers Paid: $575.00
Weight 31.50 oz / 894 g
Sizes 38-48 EU (half sizes)
Last Nepal
Upper 3.2mm silicone impregnated Idro-Perwanger Roughout Leather with high-abrasion resistant fabric / Air-injected rubber rands
Lining Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort Footwear
Insole 3mm Carbon Tech honeycomb insulation / 4mm EVA
Midsole 3mm Polyurethane graded for crampon attachment
Sole Vibram Matterhorn with Impact Brake System
Women's
Price MSRP: $599.00
Current Retail: $599.00
Historic Range: $286.83-$599.00
Weight 25.20 oz / 716 g
Sizes 36-42 EU (half sizes)
Last Nepal
Upper 3.2mm silicone impregnated Idro-Perwanger Roughout Leather with high-abrasion resistant fabric / Air-injected rubber rands
Lining Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort Footwear
Insole 3mm Carbon Tech honeycomb insulation / 4mm EVA
Midsole 3mm Polyurethane graded for crampon attachment
Sole Vibram Matterhorn with Impact Brake System

Reviews

My definite winter boot. Couldn't be happier!

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • No break-in period
  • Rock solid when edging
  • Great crampon fit
  • Usable for walking
  • Warm?
  • Two-zone lacing system

Cons

  • Expensive

I needed some stiff boot for winter mountaineering and as per multiple friends' recommendations I was going to buy the trusted Nepal Evo. That was until I started digging a little more into the Nepal series...

Enter the Cube!

I admit, it was a gamble because there where very few reviews and no references from any fellow hiker. Cube's main selling point compared to the Evo is the carbon honeycomb insole that ups the price +160€ but adds extra warmth and reduces the weight -150gr. per boot.

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UPPER: 3.2mm silicone impregnated Idro-Perwanger Roughout Leather with high-abrasion resistant fabric / Air-injected rubber rands
LINING: Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort Footwear
INSOLE: 3mm Carbon Tech honeycomb insulation / 4mm EVA
MIDSOLE: 3 mm Polyurethane graded for crampon attachment
SOLE: Vibram Matterhorn with Impact Brake System
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Lots of padding in the upper part to facilitate a more natural movement compared to the Frankenstein-like that other stiff boots are notorious about.

I walked 2km on tarmac in order to reach my car with almost the same speed and fluidity as some of my friends that were wearing semi-stiff boots and had no hot spots or issues whatsoever. Brilliant!
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Fit: My street shoe size is 42EU. A friend who is the same shoe size bought 43EU for the Evo and suggested I do the same, but a reviewer (and La Sportiva's site) suggested that the boot is true to size and there is no need to upsize. Obviously it is accounted that due to winter use a thick or double sock is going to be used. I wonder if I could have gotten away with 42EU...
DSC00341.jpgJust to play it safe I upsized 1/2.

I wore them with a medium weight merino and with my Mund Makalu socks and the fit was great in either case due to the two-zone lacing system that manages to create two different lacing tensions. I usually prefer to keep the foot area somehow loose (I curl my toes for wiggle room and then tighten) and I tighten the rest of it from the ankle up except when traversing at steep angle for a long period of time that I tighten uniformly.
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Notice the closed ring. In order to "lock" it down all you have to do is to pull the laces inwards. That's it! By the way, the yellow stitching area with the red arrows is the flex zone.


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And in order to "unlock" just pull the laces outwards and you're done.


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I still haven't used the extra tongue that is included and supposedly increases ventilation because its primary use (I think) is with a lighter weight sock or if you still experience heel lift, which I didn't.

 
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My feet are not bone-dry but they're not soggy either, plus this boot is designed for lower temperatures than the ones I experienced this winter in Crete. Still haven't used the additional tongue to have a more definite opinion although...
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There was no break-in period and the fit is amazing to the point that they felt more secure and comfortable than my Salewa Rapace (at least when ascending/descending) in firm snow with my crampons on.

When I scrambled a few time the edging in dry rock was awesome. I did not feel as fatigued as I expected. Tons of support!

Apart from one time that I developed a blister in my inner ankle due to traversing with looser lace settings than I should, I had no mechanical issues whatsoever.


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I have used them in loose and firm snow, with and without crampons from 24/12/2019 to this date so I cannot comment about their durability, but their performance is consistent and I'm very excited about it.

I also received numerous compliments about the Cube's good looks which is nice :)

Forgot mentioning the weight in size 42.5. I'll let you be the judge...

Portable scale
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Kitchen scale
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P.S This is the 2019 version. Not sure if there's any difference between this and older versions.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 489€

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for sharing info on these boots, Nick!


20 days ago

At the recommendation of the outfitter near Mt. Rainier I purchased these boots with a 90-day window to break them in. Supposedly 70 percent of the guides out there wear these. With three weeks before my climb and thousands invested to summit Rainier these boots hurt like hell. 

I have tried Superfeet inserts of five types, several configurations of thick and thin socks, with and without liner socks, laced up tight to hold my heel down—they rub and hurt every time I take a walk. It is a mile around my block and I have put about 20 miles on these Nepal Cubes. 

Now I am beginning to feel desperate and have invested several thousand planning this special trip. These may soon be for sale as I try to find an old used pair that offer more comfort.

Maybe it's just my feet, but I wear Salomon boots every day in comfort. Tonight I filled them with water and tried to get them to form to my feet with slight improvement. Certainly do not look forward to hiking for 20 hours in these with or without crampons.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $575

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Welcome to Trailspace, James. I'm sorry to hear your La Sportivas are not working out for you. Do you have a local outdoor retailer that could check out the fit and help you? Any boot fitters who might be able to assess the fit and stretch the boot, perhaps? Also, if Salomons work for you, the company does make some mountaineering boots.


4 years ago
Nordic Runner

Hi, I have the Evo boots, 2 generations old and have had a very good experience with them in temperatures done to -20F. I added a ½" wool felt sole and been using thin poly liner socks, then a plastic bag to make a vapor liner and then thick wool socks. With all these layers, I think it's important that the feet are not feeling packet which wold make the boot feel colder. I don't have any heel slipping. I use them primary with snowshoes and crampons, but each have different foot shapes and fit. Hope this helps.


4 years ago
Nordic Runner

Also, I have a pair of Salomon d4 Quest boots, the Salomon are very soft and comfy, but also a completely different boot fir regular hiking. I normally use both the Salomon but also more heavy leather boots in the summer, this


4 years ago
Nordic Runner

might make the transition easier on the feet when using mountaineering boots.


4 years ago

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