My first serious pair of mountaineering boots were from La Sportiva. I used them when I climber the Eiger and a year later went up Mont Blanc. Ten years on and they’re still going strong, though admittedly they’ve had a more sedentary existence over the last few years. So it’s with fond memories and perhaps some bias that I tried the Boulder X, a hiking shoe that’s designed more for people taking on rough scrambling than mud plugging along Offa’s Dyke.
The La Sportiva style is clear to see and the brand’s mountaineering heritage shines through. There’s a large, protective rubber rand at the toe and, uniquely, the lacing system wraps around the ankle before extending down towards the toes, bringing the shoe’s upper snugly around the foot to provide a stable, supportive fit.
The Boulder X is bulky, and at 1.1kg per pair they’re pretty heavy, but if they fit the shape of your foot then you’ve found a shoe that will do a bit of everything at a great price. In terms of support, stability and comfort it’s as close to a full boot as you can get without raising the cuff above the ankle, although the lack of a waterproof membrane means that you’re only going to want to be using the shoe when the weather’s looking good.
For £100, the La Sportiva Boulder X shoes represent great value for money. They offer a lot of support, protection and grip, though they’re a bit on the heavy side.
In a line: Quality at an affordable price
Value for money: 9