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  • La Sportiva Karakorum Mountaineering Boot - Men's Side
  • La Sportiva Karakorum Mountaineering Boot - Men's Instep
  • La Sportiva Karakorum Mountaineering Boot - Men's Back
  • La Sportiva Karakorum Mountaineering Boot - Men's Sole
  • La Sportiva Karakorum Mountaineering Boot - Men's Back
  • La Sportiva Karakorum Mountaineering Boot - Men's 3/4 Front
  • La Sportiva Karakorum Mountaineering Boot - Men's Green
  • La Sportiva Karakorum Mountaineering Boot - Men's Side
  • La Sportiva Karakorum Mountaineering Boot - Men's Instep
  • La Sportiva Karakorum Mountaineering Boot - Men's Back
  • La Sportiva Karakorum Mountaineering Boot - Men's Sole
  • La Sportiva Karakorum Mountaineering Boot - Men's Back
  • La Sportiva Karakorum Mountaineering Boot - Men's 3/4 Front

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  • La Sportiva Karakorum Mountaineering Boot - Men's Green

La Sportiva Karakorum Mountaineering Boot - Men's


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    23 Reviews


    Tough enough for trips to the top of the world.

    Designed for the intense level of NOLS and Outward Bound mountaineering courses, the La Sportiva Men's Karakorum Mountaineering Boot delivers superior support and rugged durability for long climbs and alpine expeditions. La Sportiva's Idro-Perwanger silicone-impregnated roughout leather is highly water-resistant, breathable, and tougher than a lumberjack's calloused hands. Add a Vibram rubber toe rand and outsole, as well as the wicking comfort of the Karakorum's Dry-Best lining, and this La Sportiva boot is ready to tackle trips to the planet's highest reaches.
    • 3D Flex ankle hinge system articulates for lateral flex and greater agility; also reduces break-in period
    • Polyurethane SBR Aircushion midsole absorbs shock and cushions long approaches and descents
    • 8mm high density nylon insole with anti-torsion plate delivers underfoot support for negotiating uneven terrain and heavy loads
    • Item #LSP0146

    Tech Specs

    Shell Material
    [shell] roughtout leather, nylon
    Removable Liner
    Thermo-moldable Liner
    Crampon Compatibility
    Vibram Couloir
    Claimed Weight
    [pair] 1824 g
    Recommended Use
    Manufacturer Warranty
    1 year

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    Good in the right conditions

    • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit:True to size
    • Size Bought: 45.5

    Very Water Resistant (especially when treated well)
    Versatile and well priced

    Poor form around the heel which allows lift and causes blisters. (my feet are average to wide and I chose a size having tried a size in each direction)

    I've used these boots for a number of moderate alpine style climbs in the Northwest. Often the approach was on several miles of trail, followed by scree, volcanic rock, and then ice and snow. Overall, I'm impressed with their durability and functional capacity. I've front-pointed vertical ice and kicked many of steps. However, I would not like to lead moderate water ice, because they are flexible, and it is possible that they could work out of crampons. Though, this never happened on short water ice routes with a top rope.
    On rock and in snow I love their performance. However, the fit around the heel is not great. I will often receive a blister after trudging through steep terrain for hours on end. They simply allow too much lift. Comparatively, the Nepal series have a better grip around the heel. I would certainly recommend these for exactly what they are marketed for - Heavy Backpacking and General Mountaineering (in good conditions).

    A sturdy dry weather boot

    • Familiarity:I've used it several times
    • Fit:True to size
    • Size Bought: 45.5

    I got these boots for heavier duty hikes in the mountains and have worn them primarily in Kodiak.
    Tread: The sole is very aggressive and grips well on pretty much all types of terrain you can imagine. I also haven’t had any issues with the welt separating from the leather.
    Comfort: These are some sturdy boots and took me a little longer to break in. Out of the box they were stiff but I hiked 5 miles in them with no notable discomfort. I have noticed a slight rocking action when walking in these but it isn’t altogether unpleasant. I have a narrow foot and have never actually felt a boot snug up on the sides but this one definitely fits a tight, so keep that in mind when looking at them. I’ve had some close calls in these and I can say that the ankle support on these is also good.
    Warmth: People have mentioned that they are one of the warmer boots and I have with thick socks used them comfortably on day hikes well into the teens, but I wouldn’t recommend any extended winter or higher altitude wear. My feet sweat quite a bit and the lining does a good job of keeping them feeling dry but it takes a while to dry out, but that’s nothing a boot dyer can’t fix.
    Weatherproof: I didn’t exactly trust the whole silicone impregnated leather jazz so I treated them with Nikwax and I haven’t had a big problem with them wetting out. Water does seem to pool up right under the bottom lace and where the tounge starts on the boot so keep an eye out for that. I wouldnt trust them if the forcast called for extensive rain.
    Overall once you break these in these are comfortable for longer hikes and supportive enough for some rugged action along the way. They can put up with any 3 1/2 season abuse you can dish out. I know a few Coast Guard rescue swimmers that wear these when conducting mountain rescue and they have nothing but great things to say about them.

    OK boot. Review of 'HC' Karakorum model.

    • Familiarity:I've used it several times
    • Fit:Runs small
    • Size Bought: 43

    As a very thin guy I struggle to find boots that fit me relatively 'perfect' so to speak. Heel lift,pressure on the top of the foot and a lack of circulation are problems I face with most boots. However after a few weeks breaking this 'HC' model boot I found the fit to be quite good. Firm yet not too restrictive.
    The lace locking system for the front part of the boot is great for isolating that area and lacing with the tension to suit your preference,so as not to pressure the foot too much.
    The sole is grippy and solid.
    Plenty of support around the ankle,and reasonably warm. When I say reasonable,by that I mean for glacier hiking and spring/early to late winter mountaineering they are adequate if a bit on the heavy side. But recently in well below sub zero temps and whiteout conditions with strong gusts,I found my feet were rapidly cooling off within the space of perhaps 30-45 minutes which was most distressing. By the time I reached the comfort of a ski lodge to soak up a few brews,my toes were solid.
    They are marketed as one of the warmer boots,but don't treat them as a serious mountaineering boot even for lesser peaks. Here in Australia we don't have anything close to the American 14'er. But suffice to say I don't like the idea of taking those peaks on in harsh winter conditions. I have noticed people front pointing in these boots recently also. DON'T. They are far too flexible in the sole and not adequate for any serious ice climbing.

    In a nutshell these boots have great support and warmth compared to many other brands I have tried. But don't overstep the boundaries of their capability.

    not water-crossing and storm reliable

    • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit:True to size
    • Size Bought: 42.5

    These are great fitting and supportive for heavy loads, long trips, rocky terrain, but... I treated them as prescribed by La Sportiva with Nikwax aqueous waterproofing wax for leather, and Nikwax waterproofing wax for leather. The first river crossing was fine (with goretex gaitors) , the second resulted in about half the boot exterior being soaked, and the rain storm finally made them really wet all through, same day. On a 12 day trip, that meant wet boots for a long time because these don't dry out easily. I also found they don't breath well after being waterproofed, I've never had such smelly socks! Over the past 45 years, I've used a lot of different hiking/mountaineering boots and am returning to a synthetic, probably the Trango Cubes, since La Sportivas always fit my feet so well. Will use these as dry weather work boots with a thin sock because the toebox has shrunk from getting wet, even though I was wearing them during the days as they dried.

    Terrible quality

    • Familiarity:I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
    • Fit:True to size
    • Size Bought: 45.5

    I bought these boots for goat hunting in Sitka, Alaska. After waiting almost three weeks for them to arrive I couldn't wait to get out there, break them in and get after some goats. Being my first experience with La Sportiva, I didn't know what to expect and was extremely pleased with the look, fit and feel of these boots. After a day of wearing them around the house I decided to go for a walk through a park with my family. We made a loop around a flat, gravel paved PARK. When we got home after our less than one mile stroll, I realized the sole around the heel of the left boot was separating. I'm no expert on mountaineering but I don't think walking around a park where the biggest obstacle is a group of geriatric tourists qualifies. I'll be sending these back promptly with no intention of receiving an exchange, only a refund. I will not be buying La Sportiva again if this is any indication of the quality of their products. I'm not mad, I'm just..... disappointed.

    Endless Potential

    • Familiarity:I've used it several times
    • Fit:True to size
    • Size Bought: 43

    Let me preface this with saying I bought my first pair of Sportivas in 2002 on super deep clearance at a store in Dallas, TX. They took forever to break in. I wore them when I went to work the Columbia Shuttle disaster in 2003 and they were such a bear that I left them caked in mud out of spite. It wasn't until 2006 that my wife found them in a bag and admonished me for not taking care of them and wearing them which I did nearly continuously until 2010 when the leather cracked and the soles were shot...mostly from working construction while we were down and out in Portland...but hey that's all over now!

    After getting in shape for more challenging hiking in 2013-14, we've started exploring the more difficult hikes around and on Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, St Helens and the Oregon coast. It was sliding down part of Kings Mountain on the coast that finally convinced me I needed to get out of my Salomons (like the Merrells and Danners before them) and invest in a pair of real boots (especially since we're working our way into longer back country hiking/over night camping trips).

    I tried on several pairs of Salewas and Asolos at a local shop but kept coming back to the Sportivas because, at the end of the day: I really wanted a pair of boots that could be resoled, I'm a clydesdale so losing a few grams of weight in my boots isn't going to do much for me (I spent 11 years tromping around in Redwing loggers), and I felt I owed it to my first pair to Sportivas.

    These boots were a breeze to break in. My feet don't get blazing hot even with the lack of speed holes and gortex. They're stiff soled but not so much that it's like walking on a 2x4. The rubber is fantastic and thick. The tread pattern grips whatever surface I'm on like a champ and the ankle support is excellent.

    My third hike in them was up Tom, Dick, and Harry Mt (moderate hike up to 4900 feet with great views of Mt. Hood and all 5 mtns on a clear day) with my wife, mom, and her husband. On the way back down we came across a hiker with a severely sprained ankle and a group of people trying to fireman carry her sideways down the trail. After a discussion and elimination of other ideas to get her to the trailhead, I volunteered to piggy-back her down. She did a great job supporting some of her weight (and I had some help when I needed a break) but I ended up carrying her the better part of two miles, down 1500 ft of elevation on uneven terrain and across two rock fields. These boots were so great! I never had to think about my feet, the grip or my ankles. To prove to myself my adoration of these boots wasn't purely adrenaline based, I wore them to an Elle King show at the Wonder Ballroom that same night...still great.

    Can't wait to see where else these boots will take me.

    Endless Potential


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

    I use these boots with the grivel g-14 semi auto crampons. I keep up with my partners in evos with full auto crampons just fine. Toasty warm and just stiff/ flexi enough to do it all. Glad I got these over the makalu. Great boot for heavy duty hiking, vertical ice, and any alpine scenereo


    Great boots for hard hiking!

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

    The Karakorum are great boots. My pair are waterproof and warm, without defects, but I think that are not a mountaineering boots, however works great with crampons (I use it with BD sabre tooth clip) for glacier traveling and moderates slopes, so I prefer use the Karakorum boot for hard hiking in the mountains.

    These boots are very comfortables and don't need breaking in period, I used it for fist time in a 40 miles hiking (with glacier and rock paths) and my feet feel great all time.

    Great boots for hard hiking!

    Wild Fire Fightin' Boots

    • Familiarity:I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
    • Fit:True to size

    I got these for my bestie who's fighting wildland fires for Utah County this summer. They're super comfortable from day one, no uncomfortable break in period. Little bit hot in the summer, especially trampin around fires, but he can't wait to try them out with some crampons for some winter adventures when fire season ends. For sizing, they were pretty true to size, he's got an avg width foot, size 9 and he got the 42's.

    La Sportiva Karakorum

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

    Bought these boots for a spring backpacking trip in the Sierras. I got to use them for the first time a few days ago on a winter hike up Mt. Chocorua. They kept my feet toasty warm (it was mid 20's and I ended up wishing I had lighter socks because my feet were over-heating a little bit). I hiked 7.5 miles right out of the box with no blisters and not a single hot-spot.Not bad for such a stiff shoe. They worked well with the BD Contact Crampon Clip (I wear a 45.5 and they were right at the upper range of the crampon).

    I water-proffed the leather with Nikwax before use. With temps below freezing I would have been worried if I had issues with waterproofness. I will have to report back when I use them in warmer conditions.

    My only complaint is fit and this is really specific to my foot. They are low-volume boots. I have what I would consider a normal or medium width foot. I ended up having to go up about half a size from what is my true shoe size. As I said above I remained blister free. I did, however, find that when I went on to the front point my heel raised quite a bit. I had not experienced this when I walked on an incline slope without crampons so it came as a bit of a surprise. Not terrible for me since my primary use is backpacking and hiking, but worth keeping in mind if you have wider feet.

    La Sportiva - Karakorum

      I did some research before buying these boots. I had my foot measured twice, just to make sure, on the Brannock scale and visited the La Sportiva website which recommends buying 1/2 size larger. I followed their advice and the boots came in perfect. I took out the factory inserts, put my own in and have accumulated a little over 400 miles in them, hiking,on and off trail, climbing, post holeing through snow and snowshoeing. The website said to Nikwax them after a hard day, which I have, about 3 times now, and have had no problems with leaks. They walk great and feel like slippers to me now which, I'm sure, is due to a lot of use. All in all I feel like they are a great all around boot, great fit, very supportive and a terrific value for the money. I would highly recommend them to a friend but with the understanding they make sure of the fit - but that is critical no matter which boots you buy.

      Great General Mountaineering Boot

        I use these boots for General Mountaineering around south central Alaska. I climb peaks in the winter here, and yes it can be cold, and if anything I find these boots to be very warm, even for Alaska winters. Each person has different temps and comforts, for me these work fine! These replaced a pair of Asolo Alpinist boots, which last 3 years of intense use. My crampons go on these with no problems, snow shoes attach fine, and what I like about these is they dont have a lot of seams on the instep mid boot to break scrambling up long scree fields (the problem I had with my Asolo boots, constant cobbler repairs). Bottom Line these boots have functioned well for me, but then again I just climb mountains here in Alaska with them, in the Fall and WInter and Spring, not sure how that translates to what others are doing with them?


          First warning: If you're looking at purchasing a "mountaineering boot", then I hope you have some experience in this genre of footwear and know what you're getting into. These are not wear out of the box shoes and take quite a bit of time to break in. I've been working in them for 6 months and have probably logged 40-50 miles and they are just now starting to get "comfortable".
          Second Warning: These are NOT mountaineering boots...although modern crampon compatible and imbedded with a 3/4 nylon shank, the nylon fabric heel backing (which adds increased comfort when walking) limits the environments you can take this boot into. Additionally, the leather, until treated, is still water permiable. When treated, you lose the breathability of leather and your feet will heat up more quickly. The reality is these boots are simply heavy weight hiker/ backpackers with fantastic ankle support and limited environment application.
          My assesment: These boots run narrow in my opinion (I have a pretty regular size 11-11.5/ 45EU foot with no arch dramas). I've tried a variety of replacement insoles and found that Superfeet take up far too much room and my foot felt incredibly cramped. Go with a very low pro insole and stick to lightweight hiker socks to get the best fit...these boots, after all, are not meant for winter weather. It will take time for your foot to get use to this heavy duty boot. Good overall traction across a variety of environments and I haven't had any of the problems previously listed with sole/ rubber separation. If La Spotivas are your flavor, this can be a good boot with LIMITED application. If you are looking for a heavy weight hiking/ backpacking boot with crampon capability and more water resistance, I would recommend looking into the Scarpa Barun GTX, Asolo (best for wider feet) or exploring some of the other La Sportiva models.

          Shockingly inconsistent

            I'll start out by saying I have owned many pairs of La Sportiva boots and love them (but, unfortunately, I only get a couple hundred miles out of each one, so they get replaced every couple years). I've had the now-discontinued Glacier EVOs for the past few years, and the LS people told me the Karakorum boot was most comparable. I am now boxing up the third pair I have bought from this site and I'm giving up.

            The first pair of boots (a size 45.5) I sent back because they were a little snug, but more importantly, because the rubber stuff on the side of the boot was delaminating right out of the box. I decided to go with a size 46 for the replacement. I didn't see anything defective per se, but this boot was noticeably smaller than the 45.5 -- my toes actually jammed into the front of the "bigger boot" but not the smaller.

            Soo, I decided I'd take a shot at the 46.5s -- since the sizing just seemed like guesswork anyway. The fit was perfect; the product was not. The left boot was fine: placed on a flat surface it sits flat and is stable. The right boot does not -- it tips significantly towards the left front of the boot which creates a very awkward rocking motion that would be a knee killer on a long backpacking trip (and probably on a short hike for that matter). It also makes for a very odd feeling given the contrast with how the left boot feels. The tread itself looks fine -- there is no noticeable tread missing and no wear, so assume the problem must be with how the boot was attached to the sole, but who knows.

            One thing for sure, I do not think La Sportiva is manufacturing a product that can reliably be bought on-line these days, because you have to inspect every boot for defects and because the sizing is so unreliable.

            Amazing Boots!

              These are the best boots I have ever owned. I have always loved La Sportiva boots and have previously owned several pairs of the Glacier Boot. The Karakorum boot is far more comfortable and provides exceptional support for any type of hiking or climbing that I have done. I have put over 300 miles on these boots in the past 2 years and have summited over 20 peaks in the Wasatch and Uinta Ranges in Utah. They handle everything from class 1 to class 5 pitches with ease. Sole is great, leather still shows no sign of wear, waterproof, warm but not hot, and I have yet to ever get a single bilster or hot spot. These are the best summer trekking and climbing boot on the market.

              Killer boots

                Absolutely great I have had 5 different pairs of lasportiva boots and these work great for light mountaineering heavy hiking feel very supportive but comfortable and work great on rocky shale Perfect for spring & fall when I don't need a full on mountaineering boot might order another pair just to have for backup

                Very nice all-rounder

                  The quality of these boots in my experience is fantastic. They are made of first quality materials and it shows. I see how labeling them as a 'mountaineering' boot has caused some confusion though. They will not keep you as warm or dry as a super high tech boot. That being said, I have done glacier climbs in above and bellow freezing temps and have still been dry after ten hours. They are VERY water resistant for being non GTX and you get the added benefit of a faster dry time and breath-ability if they do get wet. They accept crampons decently too. In my view this is a quiver of one type boot. It hikes very well, is stable, has good water properties, and can handle some mild climbing as well- not to mention the design looks fantastic in person. I use nixwax on mine and it has worked very nicely. For more intense alpine use I'd look to the Nepal EVO's.

                  I plan on hiking Mt. Shasta with a group and I am looking to by not rent shoes for the mountain and also get something that is versatile that I can use regularly in most seasons on the PNC trails. I am split between these and La sportive EVO? I am leaning to these because of comfort and versatility. I am also concerned on the size. I due have a narrow foot and pretty much have bought everything in a 10 regular and usually fits fine. not sure if I should go a size up on these or not? Also would these be stiff enough for Shasta (FYI we are taking one of the more either routes with no true ice climbing but of course pretty damn steep for a long time).

                  I bought these boots somewhere else and the store clerk gave me 43.5 instead of 44. The 43.5 felt ok to begin with so I didn't notice the size change, but seeming to get smaller as hikes go on! Is there any chance the boot is shrinking? I where size 44 in other La Sportiva boots, should it be the same size in the Karakorums? The store is willing to get me a different size but they don't have any for me to try on :(

                  Hello, what happened if the shoe size I...

                  Hello, what happened if the shoe size I bought is not the correct one. Can I change It?

                  Best Answer


                  Yes if you order the wrong size you can send them back and get a new pair. Or you could order both sizes you are unsure about and then send back the ones that don't fit. You can read more about BC's return policy here:

                  what size is 10 U.S. in Europe

                  what size is 10 U.S. in Europe

                  What are the differences between this and...

                  What are the differences between this and the glacier boot?

                  I feel this is more of a heavy duty backpacking and light mountaineering boot where the Glacier has more flex and is geared toward heavy backpacking with some ice travel thrown in. They both weigh about the same.

                  This boot is stiffer and will need a break-in period where as the Glacier should break in quickly.

                  I'm looking at buying a pair of La Sportiva...

                  I'm looking at buying a pair of La Sportiva mountaineering boots that I could also hike/backpack in, but need some wisdom.

                  I have a long arch, wear custom-made orthotics and weigh in the 165 lb. range. I live in Utah and would like something I could use except in the deepest of winter.

                  There are several models of La Sportiva available (Glacier, Makalu, Karakorum...).

                  Any suggestions?

                  I have worn La Sportiva Makalus on backcountry trips in Utah, California, etc. and they have worked really well for me. These aren't light-weight boots for fast-packing, but top-quality boots for rugged terrain. I originally purchased a pair of Glaciers and a pair of Makalus at the same time to compare, and even though the Makalus are a little heavier, they were more comfortable. The Glaciers were sent back. You are lucky to live in UT, fantastic hiking there.

                  I'd go with the Maks. They'll hold up to anything you put them through, even in winter. You mentioned a long arch and custom orthos. Long arches need extra support. The Maks have a steel shank for added support ESPECIALLY under heavy load. You'll find these boots stiff to bend, but once your feet are used to them you'll appreciate the flex back the steel shank gives you.

                  I'm looking for a good general purpose...

                  I'm looking for a good general purpose mountaineering boot that fits very narrow feet. Which brand runs narrow. I've always had volume issues with boots.

                  Check out la spotiva as well as scrapa. I love the la sportiva karakorums. Not super waterproof since no membrane but great boots. These are fairly narrow and cant tighten to a wonderfully snug fit all around foot and ankle if disired. I have narrow feet and climb/backpack alot...

                  Check out la spotiva as well as scrapa. I love the la sportiva karakorums. Not super waterproof since no membrane but great boots. These are fairly narrow and cant tighten to a wonderfully snug fit all around foot and ankle if disired. I have narrow feet and climb/backpack alot...

                  what is the shank on boot?

                  what is the shank on boot?

                  What product should I use to waterproof...

                  What product should I use to waterproof them?

                  How stiff is this boot compared to the La...

                  How stiff is this boot compared to the La Sportiva Glacier?

                  Best Answer

                  The Karakorum upper feels more sturdy than the Glacier, although the cutouts allow great fore ankle flexing for walking uphill. The Karakorum also has a slightly more pronounced rocker making it a better boot for heavy backpacking in my opinion. It also has a quite trim forefoot making it good for scrambling and climbing, although perhaps not quite as good for snow and crampon use. I tried on both boots and bought the Karokorum with no regrets. Excellent quality. I have heard reports that the Glacier upper softens a lot after use, in fact too much, although can't speak to that first hand.

                  Hello there, I' d like to ask if this...

                  Hello there,

                  I' d like to ask if this pair of boots is really waterproof, having the unknown to me lining "Dry-fast".