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Once you get your body tuned to life on the trail, you can bust out 20-mile days with the lightweight, breathable La Sportiva Xplorer Mid GTX keeping your feet dry and comfortable. This mid-height boot was designed to fit the demands of trekkers and fast-packers who need a lightweight boot that won't break down after the first 60 miles.

  • Gore-Tex Extended Comfort Footwear insert seals out rain, puddles, and creek crossings while also expelling interior moisture to prevent blisters
  • Air mesh on the upper provides incredible breathability, while synthetic leather reinforcement and a Vibram rubber toe rand provides durability and protection from the roughest trails
  • Dual-density MEMIex midsole cushions heavy steps for many miles in rocky terrain
  • TPU torsion plate reduces boot twisting and buckling while providing a decent amount of flex
  • A cushioned toe guard provides increased protection from rocky trails
  • The Vibram Idro Grip X-Traction rubber outsole features the Impact brake system, which is a slanted lug pattern designed to enhance stopping power and control when carrying a heavy pack
  • Mid-height boot helps to prevent ankle twists and injury, and an articulated heel cuff ensures easy, blister-free strides in varied terrain
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

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short distance boot

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

this boot has awesome things about it and things that were done terribly.

The good- is The traction is insanely good. going up and down and you can tighten this boot well. as stated in other reviews the lace design is flawed however if you loop lace from 3rd loop from bottom to the top i-let and back down to the #2 loop then tie it, you won't trip over you lace, at least i don't and i use these for short 4-5 class scramble.

bad- the boot will rub your foot raw unless you use 2 socks. any distance past around 10 miles for me. this is due to the boot having a hard back inside heel. no padding whatsoever.

recap- short distance its awesome if your going on very hard scrambles but if you want a GREAT boot this isn't it.

recall-worthy hook/loop design

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

The very first time I wore these they sent me falling flat on my face... twice. The top hook catches on the loop of the other boot and wham! Ouch. Glad I was walking with them to test them out in the city and not along the edge of a cliff. Sportiva should recall this design - the hook/loop combo is a recipe for for disaster.

Unsafe/Poor Design

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

I wore these boots for the first time on a weekend backpacking trip in the Porcupine mountains. I spent some time breaking them in before hitting the trail and I have to say I was impressed with the light weight, comfort, and stability. However, my opinion changed when I actually got out on the trail. I would not recommend these boots if you walk with your feet close together or if you plan on hiking any narrow mountain or brush lined trails. If the shoes brush together the top speed lace eyelet of one shoe has a tendency to catch on the other shoe. This happened to me several times within the first five miles, nearly causing me to fall forward each time. Eventually one shoe ripped due to the repeated catching. The trail I was hiking on was very narrow but relatively flat but I would not be comfortable hiking in these boots on any narrow mountain trails with steep drop offs. I will be returning these for a different style.

Unsafe/Poor Design

Hiked Whitney in these. Narrow trails, very steep drop-offs. No problems for me. Maybe it is because I almost exclusively hike in pants. The pants may cover up the problem. On the occasions I have hiked in shorts, I haven't noticed this snagging issue. Good observation, just pointing out that it may not be a problem for you. Like the reviewer said the weight of this shoe is incredible. Good support and incredible traction if you do a lot of scrambling on non-technical class 2-3 routes.

When I buy a new pair of these, the first thing I do is grab a wrench and rip those stupid little eyelets off. Problem solved, since I never lace my boots that high. I'm never afraid to alter footwear for the better. Rip, tear, cut, splice, glue, drill holes in, go for it!

Yes this boot runs on the narrow side.

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

I put that it fits a bit small which is about half true. Its not small so much as narrow. I'm normally a size 10.5 but I was a 44 in these. So they are slightly longer then normal size but narrower. They are great of rock scrambles and walking through sand and rocky terrain. The waterproofing is also great even in the snow. I went on a 4 hour hike through 4 inches of snow and my feet never got wet. But they aren't the warmest of boots so if your looking for something for zero degree temperatures this wouldn't be my first suggestion.

Great Boot...a Bit Narrow

  • Familiarity:I returned this product before using it

I ordered these boots in a 46.5 (12.5 US) because I would normally wear a 12 in regular shoes and a 13 in boots. They appeared to be really well made and looked sweet too. However, I have a slightly wide foot, and after wearing them inside for a little bit, it was just too narrow in the heel. I returned them, but if you have a normal to narrow foot then you will love these! The length was true to size.

Great Design - poor craft

    A well designed boot--blending hiking, approaching and climbing into one very versatile shoe. My intent is using a single boot for hiking, approaching and summiting California 14ers, light and fast...

    After some preliminary mall-crawling I decided to test them on a traverse of Castle peak which would include some steep loose trail, 3rd & 4th class scrambling and lower 5th class climbing with about 10 miles of hiking.

    First I realized the top speed lace eyelet was placed too high on the boot, annoyingly allowing the laces to slip up off the tongue and dig into the front of my leg. I was able to solve this by re lacing the upper going from the third eyelet to the top speed eyelet then crossing back down to the second eyelet loop for the knot. This allowed the upper to stay snug but moved the bow down the tongue so it wouldn't slip off. Hiking was comfortable with nice support--even if laced loosely, the last fits a foot really well (I have a medium to wide foot with a lower volume instep and wear a 43.5). When the trail turned steep (35-40°) and loose with small rocks and sand, after snugging up the laces, I was impressed with the traction of the Vibram Idro grip sole--no slipping whatsoever! What soon became apparent however, was the very hard and ill formed heel cup, (my right boot heel cup had an especially hard top edge inside the shoe). After inspection it seems the 'stack' between the grey mesh, the black band and the heel cup creates a hard edge which when laced and flexed forward pulls that hard edge (with every step) into the back of the heel - poor craft with NO padding! After the steeps and climbing traverses, for the hike out, I relieved the pressure and now pain on my heels by re lacing the boot into a low top, not using the top three eyelets, (now with every flex forward it didn't bring the heel cup with it) but, left the top of the boot open easily catching debris :( . For the more technical 4th and 5th class sections I was again impressed with the boot, confidently edging on pebbles and 1/2" edges, smearing on just about anything and along with toe down cracks and heel toe cams they felt very secure with just the right amount of stability and feeling. Unfortunately another example of poor craft became apparent, this time involving the lowest eyelets over the big toe. Again a sloppy seaming of the toe rand with the grey mesh and the tongue created a proud hard seam RIGHT under the lowest eyelet so when you snug the laces for climbing it pulls that seam right into the big toenail. The other lowest eyelet has the same combo of seams but is totally smooth creating no problem... Ok so I got around this as well by again re lacing this time starting one eyelet up, leaving the lowest free therefore not pulling the offending seam into my toes, by the time I hiked out I barely had them tied to my feet...

    To summarize, it was a love/hate relationship. The design, fit and Vibram sole really give this boot a winning multi use ability, but the poor craft in executing the design sharply diminished its potential (surprising from La Sportiva).

    Great Design - poor craft

    I concur with this user's review, I had a similar experience with my boots. Had the some love/hate relationship; when boulder hopping and scrambling over rocky terrain, I felt like spiderman, the grip was just incredible. I attribute this to the Vibram but also to the tread design. Ankle support was superb in all directions of movement, including rotational. BUT the heel cup was just too painful, I don't know why they didn't add padding here. On very steep ascents, I found myself climbing backwards because the pain was too great. And this was still present after about 20+ hours of break-in. I would probably hang onto these, hoping I just got used to the heel issue, because there is so much to love about them, but when the gore-tex membrane began failing in small puddles during my last hike, it pushed me over the, no pun intended...and I am now (reluctantly) returning them to try perhaps a different La Sportiva model. In conclusion, these are a marvel of technology and design where they excel, but unfortunately, the weaknesses outweighed the strengths for me.

    Like this reviewer and others, maybe this shoe isn't for you. But I have done some serious backpacking and scrambles in these boots (20+ miles in 24 hrs with pack) and have not had the comfort issues. The combination of weight and performance these boots have is worth a try. Maybe it doesn't work for you, but I know I have loved them. Also, I have never had a problem with the lace creeping above the tongue and cutting into my leg.

    Das Boot

      Took'em out of the box and headed for Zion. After Das Boot/Subway,Birch/Orderville/Narrows,Keyhole and Pine creek no blisters. I ware a size 10 or 43 but purchased a half size larger 43.5 bit tight with the neoprene socks but feel great with md. wt. hiking socks. The shoe did as advertised and look as if it might last for several more adventures. The red La Sportiva label is gone but the rest of the shoe looks fine.

      How is the fit with these boots? Do they...

      How is the fit with these boots? Do they run big, small, or just right?