La Sportiva Boulder X Review

Are you a fan of Peter Parker? Or have you ever dreamt of climbing like Spider-Man?

Well, we are not talking about typical walls and definitely are not looking for another MARVEL superhero. The point of all this is to give you some information about a climbing shoe that lets you feel like you have a superhero in you while gripping and scrambling through the rough rocks.

The footwear we are going to talk about here is La Sportiva Boulder X. Designed by the Italian brand, La Sportiva, this durable shoe comes well-equipped for miles of hiking and climbing at a reasonable price.

The Boulder X is often termed as an approach shoe that means it is built to be more abrasion-resistant and offers excellent performance while climbing over rocks. It fits perfectly into La Sportiva’s lineup that consists of hikers and climbers of all types, mountaineering boots, trail runners, and much more.

For your clear understanding of this value-for-money footwear, we have included all the feature details, specifications, and some pros and cons of the Boulder X in this review article.

Now let’s dive into the details!

La Sportiva Boulder X- The Overview

Engineered with the premium materials, the La Sportiva Boulder X Shoe is durable and supportive for rough scrambling. Moreover, it also climbs well on the technical rock. The inclusion of Vibram Indro-Grip V-Smear sole offers a great compromise between hiking performance and climbing ability in dirt, sand, and mud.

The upper of this footwear is made from suede leather with the ribber rand enclosing most of the shoe. This assists in the durability of the product.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Durable designHeavy and bulky
Excellent tractionPoor breathability
Solid lug and tread pattern
Flexible
Weather-resistant
Comfortable and supportive sole
Affordable

Feature Highlights

  • Designed with synthetic material
  • Features Vibram IdroGrip rubber for excellent performance
  • Features leather uppers combined with beefy rubber rands for comfort
  • Includes mythos lacing system for a highly adaptable and custom fit
  • Features high-cushion EVA layers placed on top of the 2mm polypropylene insoles to cushion your feet on long approaches

Product Details

  • Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Material: Synthetic
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Downturn: Neutral
  • Lining: Mesh
  • Fit: Snug
  • For: Men and Women
  • Designed to Serve: Hikers and Climbers
  • Sizes: 26 options
  • Colors: Carbon/Opal and Grey/Yellow

Here is the basic sizing chart of the La Sportiva Men’s Boulder X Shoe:

US LA Sportiva (Europe)
2.5 34
3 34.5
3.5 35
4 35.5
4.5 36
5 37
5.5 37.5
6 38
6.5 39
7 39.5
7.5 40
8 41
8.5 41.5
9 42
9.5 43
10 43.5
10.5 44
11 44.5
11.5 45
12 46
12.5 46.5
13 47
12.5 48
14 49

Here is the detailed feature breakdown of this La Sportiva Boulder X Shoe:

Weight and Packability

At 2.2 pounds, this versatile shoe falls slightly on the heavier side. With the additional weight, the footwear offers much better foot support for carrying heavy loads and also aids in the increased durability.

Though the extra weight equals added support and longevity, you have to make a compromise while clipping the footwear to the back of your harness or packing them into a small climbing pack.

Edging

As the Boulder X is moderately stiff, it stands comfortably on medium-sized edges but doesn’t have the required sensitivity for small edges. Though the lacing system can be cinched down for better edging, the footwear has limited edging ability in tiny edges.

Similarly, the toe shape of this shoe is a bit more rounded than the top edging performers, making it a wrong choice for edging in pockets. However, the shoe does offer great foot support for standing on medium to large edges all day.

Smearing

Though this climbing and hiking footwear feels big and clunky on your foot at times, there is enough forefoot flexibility to get a consistent smearing performance out of the Vibram Indro-Grip sole. The rubber and tread pattern on this climbing shoe is a great hybrid that aids with a balance between climbing performance and solid traction on the trail.

Climbing Performance

Overall, the stiffness of the shoe has both positive and negative effects on the LaSportiva Boulder X’s climbing performance. Though it helps prevent foot fatigue and also provides excellent support, the stiffness compromises the shoe’s ability to smear. However, another positive aspect to look from this is that the stiffer sole makes edging feel more secure.

Hiking Performance

This shoe from La Sportiva is comfortable for hiking as well, especially over rough terrains. The inclusion of Vibram outsole offers plenty of traction in dirt, mud, and scree. With the added weight and stiffness, the footwear can be able to edge in Spring snow better than lighter weight models.

Impact Brake System

Another great feature of this versatile shoe is the use of the Impact Brake system. The Impact Brake System helps to reduce up to 20% of the impact forces acting on your feet, legs, and back with each step while walking on uneven ground.

Comfort and Fit

The removable insole of this Boulder X has a nice amount of cushioning. Under this insole, there is a 2mm polypropylene insole, then a Micropore EVA midsole, and a Vibram Idro-Grip V-Smear with Impact Brake System outsole. These factors offer a lot of support underfoot that leads to less foot fatigue after tiring days on rugged terrain.

Moreover, the long lace of this shoe passes around the ankle collar and goes down to the toe through tunnels of leather. As the laces zigzag back up from your toe, they exert a pulley-like force, letting you adjust the fit at the ankle collar and the forefoot. One drawback of this product is that the leather tongue is not gusseted to the upper that creates breathability issues.

Durability

The La Sportiva Boulder X Shoe is known for its excellent durability. The La Sportiva Boulder X is one of the rugged models of approach shoes available on the market that features great materialization and superior sole construction. With that, you can find the footwear in excellent condition even after some great miles of scrambling and climbing.

As we mentioned already that the Boulder X features Vibram Idro-Grip sticky rubber, it helps to keep the shoe sticky even in the rainy season. The upper is extremely durable as it is made with Roughout leather and has double-stitched seams.

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For further information, catch the video review here:

Other Options Worth Exploring

SCARPA Origin Climbing Shoes

 

  • Engineered with leather material
  • Includes passive randing for classic performance
  • Features Scarpa’s proprietary vision rubber
  • Comes with flat lasted construction for all-day comfort and performance
  • Includes dual power strap closure for maximum adjustability
  • Features hook-and-loop closures for keeping your feet snug and well-positioned during use

Mad Rock Men’s Drifter Climbing Shoe

  • Designed with 100% leather material
  • Features slightly asymmetrical last and flat profile for comfort
  • Comes with a split neoprene tongue for easy on/off
  • Features 3D molded heel for a precise fit
  • Includes Science Friction 3.0 rubber sole for excellent friction
  • Features moderate asymmetrical curvature
  • Comes with padded piping for a stylish look

Five Ten Hiangle Climbing Shoe

 

  • Designed with 100% split grain leather
  • Includes single-strand velcro closure system
  • Comes with Stealth C4 4.2 mm rubber outsole
  • Features stiff thermoplastic midsole
  • Features unlined leather upper with half size-stretch
  • Features aggressive downturned toe

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Well, this peculiar feature comes with a great advantage for your comfortable adventure. First of all, this system ensures the right placement of your heel while carrying out the climbing or hiking activity. The Mythos lacing system can be woven through the back of the shoe, and it wraps around the heel area, making sure you get a highly flexible fit.

Yes, the Boulder X has an easily removable insole. This insole offers a lot of support underfoot that leads to less foot fatigue after tiring days on rugged terrain.

The fact is that hiking and climbing footwear is not waterproof. However, it is very water-resistant. The manufacturers have claimed this shoe to offer all weather-resistance, making it a suitable product for all kinds of outdoor conditions.

Our Opinion

The Boulder X shoe from La Sportiva offers excellent performance that can cope with all weather conditions without jeopardizing comfort and durability. Due to the superb durability and comfort, the shoe is significantly bulkier than most approach shoes.

However, the upper leather, midsole, insole are made for giving you perfect friction. The shoe provides the utmost secure fit as it comes with the Mythos lacing system.

All in all, this is one of the best go-everywhere and do-everything approach shoes. If you seek an affordable shoe that works in all aspects, but places more emphasis on hiking comfort rather than top-notch climbing ability and lightweight, look no further people.