Hiking Gear Review Travel

Best Hiking Shoe: La Sportiva Synthesis

In This Information
  • Why The La Sportiva Synthesis Is Nice
  • How the La Sportiva Synthesis Compares to Conventional Mountaineering Boots
  • 1200 & 1600 Mile Updates

After utilizing these for over 2 years, I can simply say that the La Sportiva Synthesis is the perfect climbing shoe or climbing boot that I’ve owned. This mountaineering shoe is light-weight, rugged, and has an excellent path really feel. I exploit it for every thing now. Right here’s why it’s so nice.

However earlier than you learn on, two issues.

For those who love an enormous, strong mountaineering boot, the La Sportiva Synthesis just isn’t for you. Go together with one thing just like the Asolo Fugitive GTX as an alternative.

Second, I solely publish and advocate gear that I truly use and love. And I really like this climbing shoe.

UPDATE: This boot is being is discontinued (but continues to be nice and out there) and is being advanced into a brand new line. Take a look at my gear web page for the updates and thin.

The La Sportiva Synthesis is a Mountaineering Shoe / Mountaineering Boot / Path Runner Hybrid

I used to have a pair of climbing boots and minimal mountaineering footwear. I used the climbing boots for tough and sloppy terrain, and the minimal mountaineering footwear for day hikes. The minimal climbing footwear have been my most popular selection as a result of they have been mild and felt nice on the path.

I personal a variety of totally different footwear, I’d place these within the prime two. They really feel extra like a sneaker than a boot. Extraordinarily snug, straightforward to placed on and take off do to the lacing system. Deep treads and good grip. I purchased them for tackling mountains nevertheless I’ve been sporting them each day. May need to get a second pair. – REI Reviewer

The La Sportiva Synthesis has changed each my climbing boots and minimal mountaineering footwear. It’s mild and has the path really feel of a minimal shoe, nevertheless it presents the safety of a boot. For those who check out the photographs, you possibly can see how rather more safety they provide in comparison with my previous minimal mountaineering shoe, and the way comparable they’re to a full climbing boot. And though they seem like my mountaineering boot, they weigh about half.

The sunshine weight turns into an asset once you hike. The much less work your legs need to do, continually lifting and dropping your ft, the extra power you’ve got, the longer you possibly can hike. It’s the rationale why most Appalachian Path thru-hikers choose path trainers. La Sportiva took their well-liked path runners, and beefed them up for hikers.

la sportiva synthesis hiking shoes next to minimal hiking shoesThe La Sportiva Syntheis in comparison with a minimal climbing shoe. You’ll be able to see how far more safety that it provides.la sportiva synthesis hiking shoes next to full hiking bootThe La Sportiva Syntheis subsequent to a full climbing boot. Comparable measurement, half the load.top view of la sportiva synthesis hiking shoes next to full hiking bootYou’ll be able to see the La Sportiva is about as broad and beefy as a full climbing boot.

The La Sportiva Synthesis Have the Stability of Mountaineering Boots

Mountaineering boot stability is a controversial topic with hikers. Some hikers swear by a full boot. A full boot allegedly helps your ankles when you’re carrying a heavy pack.

I’ve discovered that ankle help isn’t an element, no matter how a lot weight I’ve on my again. I’ve rolled ankles in full boots, and I’ve rolled ankles in low mountaineering footwear. In each instances, my ankle rolled. My ankles are likely to roll once I’m drained and never paying consideration. No boot will repair that.

I measure a climbing shoe’s stability by how nicely it grips and adheres to totally different terrain. I would like to have the ability to step down and know I gained’t slip. Climbing boots usually have nice stability.  They’re heavy, have a large sole, and have critical tread.

The La Sportiva Synthesis has these attributes, however with out the load. I examined these climbing footwear in excessive, but widespread climbing circumstances. Testing included mud, unfastened filth, rock scrambles, stream beds, and unfastened onerous rock. I by no means as soon as misplaced my footing in any of those instances. The blocky Vibram tread and sole are efficient. The bottom contact is strong. These climbing footwear are as strong as mountaineering boots.

tread on La Sportiva syntheisTread on the La Sportiva Synthesis.

La Sportiva Synthesis Presents Good Foot Safety

These climbing footwear have Gore-Tex, and are waterproof. I walked via puddles, I hiked by means of shallow streams, and no water entered the shoe. It might sound apparent, however water will are available via the highest, because it’s a mid-cut shoe. Different hikers have used these footwear with waterproof gaiters for water safety greater up on the leg.

In contrast to my previous minimal climbing footwear, the edges of those come as much as your ankle. This presents safety from rocks and particles that get kicked up round your ft. Once I take these climbing footwear off after a hike and shake out the particles, nothing comes out.

La Sportiva Synthesis upperGore-Tex hold your ft dry, the excessive ankle hold particles out of your shoe.

The Vibram sole is efficient at defending your soles from particles on the path. Should you step on sharp rocks, you don’t really feel it in your foot.

La Sportiva Synthesis tread compared to hiking shoeMy previous minimal climbing footwear and the La Sportiva Synthesis have the identical path really feel, however the sole on the La Sportiva is far more protecting.

The Most Snug Mountaineering Shoe, Ever

Yea, I stated it. Different hikers had informed me that the La Sportiva Synthesis footwear have been snug, however you need to really feel it to know it. You possibly can really feel simply sufficient of the path with out the path particles poking by means of.

I went ‘all-in’ on my check hike with the La Sportiva Synthesis. I did a 19.5 mile hike with 5200 ft of climbing. On the finish of the hike, my ft felt wonderful. I didn’t have any blisters. There was no break-in interval. Lovely.

My ft stayed cool because of the brand new Gore-Tex Encompass know-how. This tech has a layer within the sole that vents all of the air out of the shoe each time you step down. It does this whereas nonetheless being waterproof. The Gore-Tex breathed and maintain my ft cool in 100F+ temperatures.

I’ve had a pair of the Synthesis for the final 6 months and have been very impressed. They get used principally mountaineering round Colorado (although I’ve had a couple of journeys as much as Wyoming and Utah) and the very first thing I observed was how a lot lighter and extra snug they have been than my previous Asolo boots. Whereas they provide up just a bit ankle help, I really feel like they greater than make up for that in mobility. The Vibram sole is superior and it sticks to just about every part I’ve run into. Unfastened and rocky terrain is a lot simpler with the higher mobility and traction, After studying a couple of critiques on the best way the Encompass works, I used to be intrigued. Usually I keep away from GTX footwear for summer time as I find yourself with moist, sweaty ft. After climbing all summer time in these, I’ve determined the Encompass is a particular enchancment over my previous GTX boots. A lot in order that I even throw these on for journeys round city (one thing I might by no means do with my previous boots). They’re equally as waterproof and my ft keep dry after splashing via puddles or crossing streams. – REI Reviewer

These climbing footwear are about half the load of a daily climbing boot. There’s an previous mountaineering quote – “one pound in your ft equals 5 kilos in your again.” Climbing with the La Sportiva Synthesis saves you power. In sensible phrases, meaning you possibly can hike farther and/or not be as drained.

Mountaineering footwear have been widespread with Appalachian Path thru-hikers for some time now. The 2 hottest mountaineering footwear for AT thru-hikers have been the Salomon XA Professional 3D and the Brooks Cascadia. I attempted each of them on at REI, and the La Sportiva Synthesis simply felt a lot better. If unsure, attempt these on, perhaps they’ll be just right for you.

La Sportiva Synthesis lacesThe laces have a fast launch on one aspect.La Sportiva Synthesis lacesThe lacing system tucks right into a holder on the entrance so that you simply don’t snag your mountaineering poles or sticks.

1200 Mile Replace

After 1200 miles, my La Sportiva Synthesis lastly failed. Right here’s an replace on their situation.

General, they’ve held up rather well. I’m a reasonably lively hiker, and use the boots in many various circumstances. I’m in all probability someplace above the typical hiker, and someplace under an AT or PCT by way of hiker. I had learn that the tread wore down for some AT customers at round 800 miles, nevertheless it held up for me fairly nicely.

La Sportiva SynthesisGeneral, the La Sportiva Synthesis are in respectable situation after about 1200 miles.La Sportiva Synthesis treadThe tread continues to be good, with minimal put on.La Sportiva Synthesis treadI need to heel strike so much, that is the place a lot of the tread loss was on my boots.La Sportiva Synthesis treadThe primary tread space continues to be in nice form.

The boots are nonetheless waterproof, they usually nonetheless grip rather well on rock scrambles. A few of the threading within the lacing system has frayed although.

La Sportiva Synthesis lacesSome fraying on the lacing system.

The most important malfunction that I skilled was chafing on the lace, which led to them breaking 10 miles right into a 20 mile hike. Extremely, the boot was comfortable sufficient that I used to be capable of hike the remaining 10 miles house and the boot stayed on my foot (with the damaged lace). After investigating nearer, a small pebble had wedged itself into the mesh loop that the lace goes by way of. As I hiked, the pebble wore away the lace, and it broke on the loop.

La Sportiva SynthesisCloseup of the damaged lace. Amazingly, the boot stayed on my foot like this for 10 miles. It was unfastened, nevertheless it stayed on.

I referred to as La Sportiva, they usually advisable changing the lace with Yankz! laces (out there at REI). I went to REI and talked to the shoe man. He really helpful simply changing the elastic webbing twine. I attempted each, they usually each labored high quality. It was a 5 minute swap for each choices. I additionally did a 12 mile hike with each techniques. The Yankz! offered a snugger match, maybe due to the bigger diameter twine. A few of the evaluations for the Yankz! laces stated they break simply, however after about 100 miles, they’re nonetheless nice on my boots.

La Sportiva SynthesisThe 2 lacing techniques aspect by aspect. Yankz! on the left, normal elastic lace on the best.

General, I might nonetheless advocate them. I haven’t had one blister since utilizing these, they’re mild as may be, and have held up rather well.

1600 Mile Replace

I lastly referred to as it a day for this pair and acquired one other. They have been nonetheless snug, however the tread simply wore away. Right here’s some new pair / previous pair comparability pictures. You’ll be able to see that apart from the laces and tread, the boot held up extraordinarily nicely.

la sportiva hiking boots

la sportiva hiking boots

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