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Description

Expand your horizons.

When it comes to rocks, you are an omnivorous explorer that doesn't like to limit himself to merely one location or activity; fortunately, the La Sportive Men's Xplorer Shoe can take them all on. This rugged approach shoe is ready for anything from high-altitude approaches, speed climbing, or slab paddling to desert canyoneering.
  • Toe box Overwrap rand construction controls foot creep when edging and smearing
  • Dual-density EVA midsole is soft under the heel for all-day comfort
  • Highly compressed EVA RockGuard in the forefoot adds protection from rough terrain
  • Vibram Idro-Grip rubber sole sticks to rock like glue
  • Impact Brake outsole design features lugs slanted in opposing directions, increasing braking power by an average of 20% and decreasing impact forces by an average of 20%

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Review Summary
5
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5 3
2 2
1 1
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La Sportiva Xplorer Shoe - Men's

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Here's what others have to say...

3 5

Exums? ...please come back

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

Good shoe, cool look'n too, great friction. Give it some break in time and its comfy. Not as good, nor ever could it compete or be a replacement for the Exums, but if you find them on sale it's worth considering. If money is tight and you can only get one shoe to do it all,and are needing a replacement for the Exums b/c the resole store refuses to keep putting tread on your old Exums - I'd recommend the Salewa wildfire or the mountain Trainer until La Sportiva can come up with something better.

What size would any of you recommend for...

Posted on

What size would any of you recommend for someone who normally wears 10.5 street shoes? A lot of 10.0 street shoes fit me pretty well although somewhat snug, so I am probably a 10.25 street shoe size. I would like to be able to do long approaches as well as some decent-mild climbing. Thanks for any advice.

Best Answer Responded on

Johan,

I've been in La Sportiva boots and approach shoes for a few years and wear a 10.5 street shoe, I would suggest the size 44. For approaches wearing a SmartWool Trekking or Medium Hiking socks will provide more padding and comfort. A suggestion is to get a 44 and a 44.5 try them on with your approach socks and keep the pair that feel the best and send the other pair back with free return shipping. Call a Backcountry.com Gearhead and they'll help you out with this and I'm sure you'll be happy with the outcome.

Meanwhile get out and enjoy the Backcountry!

Scooter

Responded on

Hey Johan, So I'm in that same weird size range to. I wear a 10 - 11 depending on the manufacturer but I've found I wear a pretty strict 43.5 in the La sportivas. 44 they consider to be 10.5+ while 43.5 is about that 10+ size. I've not tried the xplorer, The boulder x, Scarpa Crux and Five Tennie guides are nice shoes but I wouldn't want to hike more than 10 miles in them. Five ten's preformed better (almost a trailer runner) but the sportiva's climbed better. Crux is a good all rounder.
The best all round approach\climbing shoe I've used yet is the Salewa Trainer, just the most expensive. The Sportiva Xplorer looks like it would be comparable. The quality is top notch. Like Scooter said, see if you can get a few sizes shipped of which ever you do choose.
Climb on!

4 5

Good shoe

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

The more I think about it, the more I can't really find anything to fault with these shoes. They're comfortable, and stable approach shoes, even when carrying a 40lb pack. They're also durable. I've had these for a while now and aside from scuff marks on the rubber, there aren't any significant signs of wear/damage. As much as I like them, I just like the Boulder X's more. Don't get me wrong, if you're looking for a great shoe you can find them here. I just prefer the Boulder X's to these.

5 5

Really Nice and Secure approach Shoe

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

I already have Gandas, and Ganda Guides. I wanted something for hot conditions, mesh/ breathable but still with nice climbing rubber sole. I love the way the full lace system in La Sportiva Gandas work, nice snug fit tht is highly adjustable. The Xplorer's lace system is very similar, and provides a very adjustable fit. They are as light a anything out there, and very comfy right out of box if you like the way typical La Sportiva fits. The sole is more of a hybrid...more aggressive hiking pattern with a climbing toe forward. Its not the dots like the Ganda, so is likely not quite as good a climber, but should be a better all around approach shoe. I wear 44 Gandas, and the 43 1/2 Xplorer fits with just a touch more room. I think 1/2 size down is about right.
I think this will be a great shoe for hot and humid, as well as desert approaches, and is still nice and light for hanging off your harness for the hike off. Its a nice looking shoe on your feet too. Definitely worth a look at under $120!

4 5

Good, but not a hiker

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

Basically repeating what others have said. This is not an all day, heavy pack, death slog kind of shoe. I made the mistake of not breaking these in before taking them out for a couple long days in some slot canyons for a work shoot. Foot fatigue for sure, along with some blisters. They did however perform amazingly well in the actual technical slot canyons, and they have been perfect for all the approaches for recent sport climbing trips. Had them for a month or so, and been abusing the hell out of them, and they are holding up well. Definitely approve.

5 5

Nice compromise

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

To say that these don't hike well, I think, is missing the point. With that being said however, of all the approach shoes I've tried over the years (guide tennie, some nike thing, la sport boulders - which are all dedicated approach shoes) these do hike the best. They are, after all, an approach shoe which in general lean more to the climbing side of things. La sport on their website makes no such claim as does Backcountry here that they provide all day comfort but they will provide added security on high altitude rock work and long days of establishing routes etc. They've been a good shoe for me that succeeds in a good compromise of some comfort by use of the eva heel midsole and technical ability in the toe design, lacing, and heel brake. Its a good shoe for what its made for (which is not hiking for miles in. Excuse me if I get a little impatient with reviewers who don't understand this). A well thought out product.

These shoes will take you places

These shoes will take you places

Posted on

Descending a rap in Kolob Creek. I love using these in southern Utah's canyons. The rubber grips really well. They are rugged and handle everything I throw at them.

5 5

so good I'm on my second pair

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

I'm now on my second pair and loving these shoes. I was disappointed when La Sportiva got rid of the exum series. The Xplorers is a worthy replacement. I use these shoes for hikes, sandstone scrambling, and long approaches canyoneering. The athletic upper and stiff bottom is great for comfort on long approaches. If getting into terrain tough on the side of the shoes consider reinforcing the seams. If really tough & skiny off width stuff consider a different shoe designed for that type of terrain. I wear a size 11 (44.5) in a lot of brands but I like size 45 in La Sportiva.

5 5

Great approach shoe!!!!!!

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

This shoe is the essence of an approach shoe. It is definitely closer to a hiking boot than the boulder x or most other approach shoes but i love it for its ruggedness. The thing is light and breathes well. It have stinkin vibram rubber so you dont slide anywhere and the la sportiva breaking system works well too. I feel super comfortable climbing all over talus fields and making long approaches to the crag. This thing is a beast. I have even climbed a 5.9 approach pitch and a couple jump starts in these things.So not bad at all!!!!!

Great approach shoe!!!!!!
Great for short approaches

Great for short approaches

Posted on

I bought these a half-size smaller than my street shoe. That amount of tightness makes these shoes perfect for short approaches, scrambling, and easier rock routes. I’ve led up to 5.9 with confidence in these shoes. I also really love how lightweight and breathable they are.

4 5

Canyoneering shoe

Snagged these hoping they'd be the ideal shoes for wet canyoneering. They have a synthetic upper that drains water fairly well. Biggest concern was the durability of the lacing system in tight slots. From the image above, it looks like the top eyelets are not reinforced, but they actually are. So the laces hold up pretty well, even when jammed with sand.

The soles are pretty stiff to start, definitely worth breaking them in. Also, the fit is pretty narrow, so if you are used to wider shoes like 5.10's, it might take some time to adjust. The fit can be tight when worn with neo socks.

Compared to the old exums, it seems the rubber is a bit stickier, and overall an improvement. If you like the narrow fit of Sportiva's, you'll dig this shoe.

Responded on

Hi Dan, when you say these shoes drain water pretty well, is there any measure you can give here? I've worn Sportiva Raptors, a totally different shoe I know, but these were the fastest draining trail running/ hiking shoe I've come across. Andrew Skurka seems to swear by them. However, it might sound strange, but I'm after a shoe that I can wear for long distance cycle touring, but that will also be totally uncompromised when it comes to hiking/ scrambling. SPD style hike-a-bike shoes just won't cut it. Stiffness and support wise, this shoe seems great, but it's more how fast they drain water I'm concerned about; I don't want a Gore-Tex shoe as this will trap water once wet, and is not ideal for the middle of summer. Any advice appreciated.

2 5

Great shoe that didn't hold up

These have become my go to shoe for summer climbing approaches and long desert approaches - think Red Rock. They're sticky, light and breathable. The soles gave me confidenc on long slab approaches common in Red Rock. If you replace the nothing insole wiht a better after market insole, they're increadibly hikable and stiff enough to protect your feet.

Edit for long term use: these unfortunately are getting returned today. After three days of epic approaches in Red Rocks these shoes almost killed my feet. Both shoes developed a "ridge" of padding above the structural shank in the rear of the shoe. Hiking 3 miles out from a long day of climbing this ridge of padding put quarter size blisters on both of my heels. Given that it happened in exactly the same spot on both the right and left shoes (right about 1 mile after the left) this is obviously a design flaw. Even after stopping to tape both heels I developed the blisters. No more.

These are going back and I'm switching to Salewa Fire Vent's.rs. Thankfully, it was the last day of my climbing trip. Given how well these handled very long, hot, slab approaches in Red Rock I was going to write a glowing long term review until this happened.

4 5

Great Shoe, Still Miss Exums

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I like these shoes a lot,but they are not a straight up replacement of the Exum Ridge/Pro series. For me, the Exums were much better on the long distance approaches like going in to the Winds or long, 15 mile+ day hikes. The trade out though is a more capable performer on rock.

3 5

Better for climbing then hiking

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Hiking up and down slab the soles of this shoe are like the hand of the gecko! Thats all they got going for them, if you wanted to walk up a mound of dirt or steep grassy hill you would be better off with golf shoes, no lie. The insoles are thin and hard, I switched them out for some thin but soft insoles out of my Reeboks and it made them way more comfortable. I don't know how they can say this sole will absorb shock, and all day comfort, the hard sole killed my feet on a moderate hike. Got blisters, have to wear 2 pairs of socks, rolled my ankle twice (can't find high tops that stick like this), miserable miserable shoe that sticks to rocks like glue

5 5

Xplorer Shoe

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These shoes are way nice! They are super burly, but also lightweight. I have been wearing them as my all-around shoes and have no complaints. They are awesome for approaches and easy climbs.

1 5

Not comfortable

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Unlike other reviewers I found these shoes very uncomfortable. I've been wearing them off and on for a few weeks trying to break them in. I regret buying them.

How did you guys size these? I would like...

Posted on

How did you guys size these? I would like to use them for going from aid to easy free climbing and approach/descents in the Sierras.

Responded on

Andrew--I wear a 10.5 running shoe, 44.5 Extreme & Spantik, & 44 TC Pro (all fit awesome). I've got a 44 in these (also tried a 43.5 & 44.5, both didn't fit nearly as well), & they fit incredible. I even climbed the E. Buttress of Whitney & up to 5.8 in them...definitely a good shoe for the money--super sticky, light to get you going, & about as comfortable as I've had in an approach shoe

5 5

Real Nice

So far I've only begun to break them in on a few local climbing approaches in Little Cottonwood Canyon, but the fit and feel is great, and they seem very burly. I've got a trip to Tuolumne in three weeks and will report back after that.

5 5

La Sportiva Xplorer Shoe

A great approach shoe that is comfortable on the hike in and enough friction for the climb & scramble in. At first I was disappointed with the end of the La Sportiva Exum series of approach shoes, but glad these shoes are a worthy successor. This shoe is great for scrambling, climbing, hiking, canyoneering, or wearing around. The fabric is breathable. If getting into terrain tough on the side of the shoes consider reinforcing the seams. If really tough & skiny off width stuff consider a different shoe designed for that type of terrain. Overall I'm glad with this purchase.

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