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Description

Put on the Boulder X and avoid the easy, boring way.

Make good time navigating miles of house-sized boulders when you wear the La Sportiva Boulder X Approach Shoe. Even with a heavy expedition pack, the sticky rubber tread and Impact Brake System give you confidence on wet or dry rock. With two layers of soft EVA in the footbed and midsole, your feet can make it from the car to camp without bruising or blistering. On the most demanding approaches, the leather upper and rubber toe rand hold up to your foot dragging and stone kicking, and the mesh liner covering the tongue and rear-foot add some breathability to summer rock hops.

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Review Summary
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14 3
6 2
4 1
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La Sportiva Boulder X Approach Shoe - Men's

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

Solid Fit - Great Traction

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

I wear these puppies all the time from approaches to the occasional hike (mainly for hikes that will have sort of technical sections.

Fit:
Over all the fit of these is pretty great. The heel sits nicely, the arch is supported but not too much. The lacing system works nicely but occasionally comes a tad loose.

Toe Box:
So the front of my feet are kind of squarish. Most climbing shoes are rather pointed in the from near the toe box which ain't fun. These approach shoes have a great fit to them and don't cramp my toes style.
Lacing:

Traction:
I get great traction on approaches and in spots where a little edging is necessary. The rubber is super durable. I've logged many miles in my pair and they're holding up like champs. Currently they don't look like they have that much wear on the outsoles. Makes me happy knowing these will last for some time to come.

Problems:
I had these a bit loose one day while we were descending the west ridge of Grandeur Peak and holy heck was that my mistake. Also sorts of fun painful bruising in my big toe due to the constant toe bang. This is my fault for letting the shoe get loose. So keep em tight.

Jared D.
Gearhead
800.409.4502 ext 4055

5 5

Favorite shoes

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

I use these shoes for light bouldering and mainly quick and light overnight to weekend long backpacking trips. They provide great support and I can comfortably carry a load with them. This is my second pair, and my first pair I use for work now. The first pair are almost 4 years old and still going strong.

Backcountry,

Are the Boulder X's only...

Posted on

Backcountry,

Are the Boulder X's only available in Grey/Blue or do you have any 42.5 still available in Grey/Orange?

Responded on

Hey C-RaigTheEl,

Thanks for your question.

Then inventory we have on hand at this time is only the 'Light Grey' which is grey/blue as pictured. The orange and grey in the 'detailed pics' is most likely an older color from a previous model.

Sorry about that.

5 5

Favorite for wandering slickrock

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

Very durable, great sticky rubber, and awesome lacing system. If I'm in the desert, and can keep my feet dry, this is the shoe of choice.

4 5

Solid Construction

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs small

So right now I'm living in the Hindukush system and I do a fair amount of walking. That said, I have only worn these for quick walks to and from...

After mixed reviews about running small and fitting true, I decided to order a .5 size large (I average an 8.5 to 9...so I went with a 9 or 42) and thought that that would be fine.

My initial impression when I first put the shoe on was that they were snug/narrow but the length was true. They were not uncomfortable and knowing that approach shoes should be just that...snug...I decided to keep them. After about a week or so and 8-10 hours a day in these shoes, my pinky toes hurt to the point that my entire foot felt like it was in a vice. I do not have a "high volume" foot at all. On the contrary, I have a pretty bony foot that is very prone to the cold at the slightest whisk of a breeze.

So besides needing to return these for maybe another .5 size larger than I have now, the quality of these approach shoes are impressive. I definitely like them. The wrap around lacing system is genius and the sole and rand are solid. I fully recommend these, just go a size up.

For sizing reference: A pet peeve of mine is when people complain about sizing and don't list there comparable sizes. I?m 5?8? and 155lbs. I comfortably wear a 9 in Lowa Zypher (my favorite boots-until they recently changed the design), a 9.5(42.5) in Salewa Snow Trainer Insulated, and an 8R in Belleville. I bought a 42 in these and plan to switch them out for a 42.5...pending Backcountry.com approving my return, of course.

5 5

Comfortable, sticky, good on scree

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs small

These are my favorite approach shoes. They lace snug, and the rubber rand comes in handy more than you would think. This is actually a "reserve" pair, in case LaSportiva changes them before my other one's wear out.

Anyone feel like these need a break-in...

Posted on

Anyone feel like these need a break-in period or are they good out of the box?

Best Answer Responded on

Dan,
I don't have this exact same shoe but I have had similar approach shoes from La Sportiva. My experience is that very little if any breaking in is required. I would make their first outing only a mile or two, but beyond that you should be good.

Responded on

I agree with Mike there is really no break in required, as long as you buy the right size.

5 5

Awesome shoe!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

The Boulder X is the best approach shoe I have worn! It fits true to size and the cushy liner makes it very comfortable for long walks. The rubber is very sticky for those class four scrambles and it edges well enough that I often find myself leading easy routes in them. Stick to your size if your typical approach is more like a hike. If you have technical approaches or often climb in your approach shoes then I would recommend downsizing half a size.

I like them so much I bought a second pair to have a ready replacement when the first wears out.

Great shoe, good price, very comfy, and performs well. I highly recommend this product!

3 5

Not for me

  • Gender: Male
  • Fit: Runs small

the first few times that i used them it was fine, a bit stiff, but ok.
but during the the third big aproach (8 hours) my achilles started hurting. i did a 30 hours climbing rountrip in patagonia using these for the aproach (16hs aprox) and had to rehab for a month because of them.
it�s probably just me, but they didnt work.

5 5

Great shoe..

I have been wearing these things just out and about to break them in.. A little narrow for my feet but they are slowly conforming to my feet. Or vice versa.

Great price for a shoe with the durability of a boot. I think these might become an everyday shoe to wear when knocking around.

5 5

Great approach shoe

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size

I've only had the shoe for a few months but so far it has been hands down the best approach shoe that I've worn. Wear and tear is non-existent so far and the fit/comfort has actually been great, note that I have narrow feet and heel so this is the perfect shoe for me. The grip is good enough these could actually be used for climbing.

4 5

Does the job well and comfortably

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs small

I wear the La Sportiva Scorpion in a 44 for bouldering, and decided to go up to a 45 in the Boulder X for more comfort hiking. I primarily use this shoe for hiking/climbing/scrambling Colorado's 14ers, as well as for work. This is a very sturdy shoe, yet still remains functional for both scrambling up scree and hanging off ladders re-glazing windows. I have yet to see any extraordinary wear that some of the previous reviews have stated.

Even though I did size up for these, I absolutely had to remove the insole it came with. This was simply to give my foot more room within the shoe. I had incredible blisters on both heels after Grays and Torreys. Removing the insole gave me just enough room to keep wearing them. Now that they are broken in I have reinstalled the stock insole and these shoes are now awesome. This is strange considering I dont have a high instep or a large volume foot.

Responded on

After a year of full use the sole is starting to peel back from the upper in the toe. Not pumped but they have gotten a lot of wear and this is the only place showing damage.

5 5

Bomber, comfortable, great traction

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

These are by far my favorite approach shoes. I have narrow feet, and Morton's toe (second toe is longer than my first) and these fit me perfectly in my street shoe size. They are snug, with just a little room in front of my toes. Think of them feeling like a hybrid between climbing shoes and trail shoes.

The construction is absolutely top-notch. The large rand not only protects high abrasion areas on the top of the toebox, but helps provide traction in cracks when you've decided to do more climbing than scambling without changing into your climbing shoes.

The insole is kindy crappy, but putting in aftermarket insoles must be done very carefully. Any insoles other than the thinnest, lowest volume insoles will fill far too much of the shoe and ruin the fit. Its best to simply stick with the stock insoles initially.

The traction on these is second only to my climbing shoes. Between Yosemite, the Sierra in general, and large crystal granite like Joshua Tree (cheesegrater!) my Boulder X's are still in fantastic shape. I love them so much I bought a second pair. When I destroy those I'll likely buy another pair.

I can't speak highly enough of them. If you have narrow feet and need some high quality approach shoes then look no further!

5 5

Nice - comfy

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: True to size

Purchased these approach shoes from the warehouse. While there, I tried on several other approach shoes including La Sportiva Ganda and the Boulder X felt much more comfortable for my feet.

Been on several strenuous hikes and a few canyoneering expeditions and the shoes hold up well. Good support and reinforcement in all the necessary places. Only complaint was that I 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.

5 5

Bought these for my 13 year old son....

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: Runs small

...and they were great! We just returned from a 5 day backpacking trip and he wore them the entire time. I tried to get him to break them in a little before we left but he probably only used them to walk the dog a few times before leaving. We hiked between 5 and 13 miles every day carrying a 25lb pack and they performed great! No blisters, hot spots or issues at all. He said they were very comfortable. We had some rain during our trip and the trails were very wet. These shoes handled every condition with ease. Whether it was hiking over moss-covered rock, tree roots, loose gravel or muddy trails, the Boulder X stuck to everything like glue. We didn't have any serious elevation change or technical climbs to really test them but based on past experience with La Sportiva (I wear the Xplorer Mid GTX) I'd think they'd perform just fine. Another quality shoe from La Sportiva.

Bought these for my 13 year old son....
4 5

Snug but solid

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Taken these out on quite a few approaches, and I haven't had an approach shoe this good and grippy before ever! I'm a 10.5 street shoe, got a 43.5, and yes it's a little snug at first with normal socks but after a month or so I'm noticing that it's starting to fit better now. It wasn't uncomfortable at first, it just hugs your whole foot nice and tight like an approach shoe should. If you are concerned it'll be a bit tight, going up a half size I would recommend.

Responded on

I just bought the 43.5 for my 10.5 street shoe size feet also. Definitely snug! I'm hoping after some break-in they'll feel a little more relaxed and comfortable. It's no UNcomfortable, just a very different feeling to have your foot be hugged so closely by the shoe

2 5

Most uncomfortable shoe ever!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs small

You know, I love la sportiva and use their climbing shoes pretty much exclusively, I don't even look at other brands as these shoes fit my fit perfectly and every one knows they are some of the best performers out there. However, these approach shoes just hurt my feet. I found tightening them up helped and I also found they climbed well and used them to lead easier sport climbs so that I would be ready to solo sketchy approaches. Perhaps it's the price you pay for being so good on rock but for hiking I could not wait to =get them off my feet as soon as I got back to the car. I would also say they didn't last all that long and I blew out the toe pretty quick and the trade was gone almost immediately. I would highly suggest that you buy a size larger and try them on before hand if possible

4 5

Great Climber, OK Walker

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

This replaces the cirque pro as far as I can tell. I wore out my cirque pro's I love them so much so I picked these up. It's a great shoe for approaching big climbs and scrambling. I've even strapped aluminum crampons on it for quick jaunts across glaciers on the way to alpine rock routes. This shoe has a nice stiff sole, good sticky rubber, good lug pattern for trails, good full rand and leather upper for durability and very precise lacing system. You can really dial in the fit. It climbs really well. The footbed is comfortable too. All in all, I would say this is an improvement over the cirque pro which had lots of durability issues. The great climbing ability sacrifices a bit in the walking department, however. The toe box runs just narrow enough for me to get blisters in the side of my big toe from the 2nd toe rubbing against it. This happens after about 4 or 5 miles. Thus, it's great for short approaches, but I just picked up the wildcat trial runner for the longer approaches. They still have decently sticky soles but provide a better fit for long days on the trail. Fit is narrow but true to size. I wear a 46.5 in these for a close fit and a 47 in pretty much everything else trail runner and mountain boot.

4 5

hugs my narrow foot

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

I usually don't buy shoes online but this time i took a chance, glad I did! Besides being super comfortable and great quality, these shoes fit snug around my ankle and narrow heel. I have always had a hard time finding shoes but these ones fit the bill.

5 5

boomer2

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: Runs small

these shoes feel great on my feet,just what you would expect from la sportiva. they look good too. i oredered euro size 47 wich is a us size 13 one size up from my normal size. can't wait to try them out on the trail and walkn around town. customer service is definately five star from backcountry i will now be a loyal customer, you guys rock. this is my 4th shoe product from la sportiva all my athere la sportivas have lasted a minimum of 4 years of everyday use.

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