Climbing shoes may get you up the rock route you planned to climb at Joshua Tree, but they almost certainly won't get you to the route in the first place. So give your feet some protection and support on the hike in with an approach shoe like the La Sportiva Boulder X. It features a sticker rubber sole than standard light hiking shoes, so you can scramble more securely across the slabs at the bottom of a climb. Extra padding underfoot and the exclusive Impact Brake System on the sole increase the comfort factor on long days.
Feature list from La Sportiva
ABOUT LA SPORTIVA
Innovation with passion. That’s the mantra of La Sportiva, the Italian sport shoe company from Ziano di Fiemme whose iconic yellow boots and shoes can be found on mountainsides worldwide. The majority of La Sportiva footwear is still produced in their small, 150-person factory in the heart of the Italian Dolomites, where the spirit and heritage of master alpinists like Walter Bonatti and Reinhold Messner lives on.
The La Sportiva Boulder X approach shoes feature sticky rubber and soft padding to keep your feet comfortable while hoofing it to a climb.
The Boulder X is a super sticky approach shoe designed for high performance.
|Average footwear weight (pair):||1 lb. 15 oz.|
|Can be resoled:||Yes|
|Construction:||Impact Brake System|
|Country Of Origin:||Asia|
|EVA SOLE:||Vibram Idro-Grip V-Smear Impact Brake System|
|Footbed:||2mm polypropylene, 2mm LaSpEVA|
|Footwear Type:||Approach Shoes|
|Ideal Terrain:||approach and hiking on technical terrain requiring friction footwork|
|Insole:||2mm Polyproylene/2mm La SpEVA|
|LINING:||Mesh (back half and tongue only)|
|Liner:||Mesh (back half and tongue only)|
|MIDSOLE:||Micropore EVA foam|
|Outsole:||Vibram® Idro-Grip V-Smear Impact Brake System|
|Recommended Use:||approach hiking, rock hopping, scrambling|
|SOLE:||Vibram® Idro-Grip V-Smear™ with Impact Brake System™|
|Shape of last:||Flat|
|Weight:||[pair] 2 lb 1.9 oz|
|La Sportiva Boulder X||$83.95 - $105.00|
|La Sportiva Xplorer Approach Shoe||$119.95|
I've put these things through the wringer over the last year + and they're in need of replacement. I don't know the total mileage I have on them but in two (out of several) climbing trips alone I put 40 miles on them. I sized up from a 9 to a 10 to give myself some room on steep and slabby descents and they have saved my toes. The leather breaths but is still warm (expect to sweat), but the lining works and the shoes were always comfortable. The padding in the sole is soft and on rocky terrain absorbs most of the shock. I've hiked enough to wear through the vibram on both heels of the shoes. If you're looking for more support and stiffer shoes that are better at edging either go with the Ganda's or my new Favs the Salewas. One real benefit here in the desert is that the shoe seems to do a very good job of keeping out debris like fine sand in Red Rock or DG in the Eastern Sierra.
These were designed with this little plastic piece in the heel. Once these stiff ass hell shoes start "breaking in," the heel rips like almost all shoes and this plastic piece is exposed.
I tried fighting through the pain but eventually developed a large blister that eventually got infected creating some scar tissue on the back of my heel.
I ordered mine from R.E.I. and returned them after a couple months of use. Really uncomfortable and stiff approach shoe. I'm not very happy with this product at all!!!
They wear down in weird ways and the soles deteriorate quickly. Boo!
I purchased these shoes two months ago from Backcountry and have ~50 miles on them, including a climb of the OS route of the Grand Teton last weekend. During that climb, the shoelace guide on one shoe completely ripped out, making it difficult to properly tighten the shoes.
Also have holes wearing through the fabric below the laces.
Not pleased with these at all.
I have had better luck with other La Sportiva products, so perhaps my pair of these shoes slipped past QC somehow?
NOTE: big thanks to Backcountry for letting me return these shoes! BC is the best!!
Seemed well made, but not comfortable on my feet.
I really like the design of the Boulder x. The cushioning around the ankle is 2nd to none, but unfortunately like a lot of la Sportiva and Asolo footwear the toe box is just too small for myself. I understand this is an approach shoe, but the to box did not work for me personally and I see it is working for a lot of other people. What I do like is the cushioning, the design and overall build. The vibram sole is super sticky and the the wrap around rubber on the uppers is a huge plus making it great for scrambling and a little technical touch here and there. The leather uppers are incredibly durable and are for sure going to last you a long time. I think the lacing system is ok, but I feel is puts a little too much pressure on the tarsals for my taste, but can be more comfortable worn lose (defeats the purpose I know, but like I said they did not work for me). The price is not so bad considering shoes like the Ganda are packing the hefty $200 + tag so they are a pretty good deal. If you have a narrow to medium set of feet than I think you would be really happy with this product. My phalanges just flex with too much expansion to make these work. I wear a 10.5 in most shoes and for sizing purposes I went with a size 44.5 so I would say the sizing runs a little small and if you aren't sure size up and get a couple sizes to do your own comparison, you can always return a pair.