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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

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La Sportiva Karakorum Mountaineering Boot - Men's

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5 5

Endless Potential

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Height: 5' 10"
    Weight: 225 lbs
    Size Purchased: 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

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).

Responded on

I may be too late but if not I may have an answer for you. I own these boots and for what you're they should work fine. The EVO's wouldn't work nearly as well for your time on the trails and this boot is much more versatile. I've had mine for about 2.5 years now and I love them. I have used them on everything from short day trips up peaks in the spring to glaciated mountains here in the PNW. They are quite stiff(3/4 shank) and will accept hybrid crampons but not full step in's due to the absence of a front toe welt. For Shasta I would recommend theses over the Evo's. Hope this helps. Sorry If I'm too late!

Hey, <br/> I may be too late but if not I may have an answer for you. I own these boots and for what you're they should work fine. The EVO's wouldn't work nearly as well for your time on the trails and this boot is much more versatile. I've had mine for about 2.5 years now and I love them.  I have used them on everything from short day trips up peaks in the spring to glaciated mountains here in the PNW. They are quite stiff(3/4 shank) and will accept hybrid crampons but not full step in's due to the absence of a front toe welt. For Shasta I would recommend theses over the Evo's.  Hope this helps. Sorry If I'm too late! <br/> -Kevin   <br/>  <br/>

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 :(

Responded on

I would say that if you usually wear a 44 in Sportivas, you probably will fit in the 44 Karakorums as well!

5 5


  • Gender: Male
  • 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

5 5


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

I purchased these boots in the spring and have climbed more than a handful of Cascade peaks through the season. I've worn them in a variety of temps, across miles of trail, through creeks, glaciers, low 5th class terrain, and vertical ice. For an all-around 3 season boot with just enough flex to give you relief on the approach, and the stiffness to keep crampons from working off - even on vertical ice. I don't think there's a better boot on the market.

Do these boots have a shank support...?

Do these boots have a shank support...?

Hello,what happened if the shoe l bought...

Hello,what happened if the shoe l bought is not correct one .can l change It?

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 Responded on


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:

5 5

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!

what size is 10 U.S. in Europe

what size is 10 U.S. in Europe

Responded on

We try to be pretty transparent with our sizing charts listed by the Add To Cart button; if you ever need to check. These in size 10 should be about a 43 EU size.

4 5

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.

4 5

La Sportiva Karakorum

  • Gender: Male
  • 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.

5 5

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.

What are the differences between this and...

What are the differences between this and the glacier boot?

Responded on

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.

5 5

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?

5 5


Great stylin boots that does the job - strong,takes a bit to break in but after that they perform really well

2 5


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.

1 5

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.

King's Peak-Utah

King's Peak-Utah

Wore these boots to the top of the highest peak in Utah. 13.5k feet and they were great!