Kathwrote a review of La Sportiva Makalu Mountaineering Boot - Women's on October 15, 2004
I have many mountain miles on this boot and don't understand its appeal. I bought it to replace my 20 year -old Fabianos which, except for feeling like wood on the sole, were wonderful (and you could add an insole to pad them). The Makalu is heavy, uncomfortable overall, sole too stiff & poorly designed in the toebox as well as being too tall at the rear ankle. I have to undo the first 3 to 4 lower laces altogether for it to be useable as the folded leather along the lacing digs into my toes painfully. I have major ankle blister problems in these things and took to wearing neoprene ankle supports in order to try to minimize the blistering. Bandaids, moleskin and binding didn't work. They were not waterproof from their very first rain. I watch locals in the Andes fly up the mountains in nothing but smooth-soled, cloth flip-flops tied with a shoelace and sometimes not even a shoelace, having no problem while I nearly fell off a cliff due to not feeling the terrain through thick soles (different pair of boots). I think we need to rethink shoe technology and this boot needs a rethink altogether. I'm tempted to cut mine apart to see what I can come up with, maybe put a tongue in it instead of these dreadful folds and put padding flush with the main ankle notch rather than up high where it is now. There's no excuse for this much discomfort, especially at this price.