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Closeup of a hiker tying the laces of the La Sportiva Spire GTX hiking shoes
Photograph credit score: Ian Krammer (

Considered one of La Sportiva’s most uncommon footwear, the Spire GTX, is a mountaineering boot masquerading as a path runner. These footwear have acquired excessive reward in each the fastpacking and mountaineering worlds – however do they dwell as much as the excitement? We put the Spire GTX by rigorous testing over a whole lot of miles from the muddy trails of the Cascades to Colorado’s tallest peaks to search out out for you. Preserve studying for our in-depth evaluation.

Fast Specs

Males’s La Sportiva Spire GTX

Rugged & sturdy waterproof mountaineering footwear

Worth: MSRP: $209

Weight: (PAIR): 2 lb 2.3 oz

Sizing: True to dimension


  • Comfy
  • Breathable
  • Waterproof
  • Secure
  • Glorious traction


  • Heavy
  • Single-lace eyeholes
  • Restricted sturdiness
  • Lengthy break-in
  • Not the perfect for scrambling
  • Costly

Full-body shot of a hiker sitting down on rocks to tie the La Sportiva Spire GTX hiking shoes
Photograph credit score: Ian Krammer (



Consolation is a trademark of the Spire GTX. The preliminary break-in interval was longer than we wished, at about 15-20 miles, the place the footwear felt inflexible and agency. As soon as they relaxed, although, it felt like we’d been carrying them for years.

That is the proper footwear when you love the construction and burliness of a boot, however need the breathability and dexterity of a path runner. La Sportiva describes the Spire as a “mid-duty mountaineering boot”, however we predict they appear and feel like a stout mountaineering shoe. Due to the sturdy midsoles and thick foam, the Spire feels nice, nimble, and quick on well-groomed trails, however they actually excel on assorted and uneven terrain.

La Sportiva makes use of compression-molded EVA for the midsole of the Spires. This is identical agency cushioning used to construct their longest-distance path runners, which implies your ft gained’t tire as shortly, and also you’ll keep comfy even by the longest days. This molding retains the footwear feeling sturdy on the whole lot from river crossings and slippery logs to dusty, gravelly ascents. The Spires are greater than cushioned sufficient to run in, however hefty sufficient for slopey, technical mountaineering routes. 

The lower half of a hiker crossing a flowing creek in the La Sportiva Spire GTX shoes
Photograph credit score: Ian Krammer (


The Spire GTX ventilates so effectively they’re aggressive with a lot of our favourite path runners. They’re extraordinarily efficient at moisture management. Due to the Gore-Tex Encompass membrane, our ft stayed dry on path. This Gore-Tex system permits sweat and built-up moisture to exit shortly not solely by the highest of the shoe however vent by the edges and the footbed itself. The Spires saved our ft impressively and persistently dry on scorching days, within the direct solar, for hours on finish.

The La Sportiva Spire GTX men's hiking shoes in the foreground with a blurry view of snow-capped Colorado mountains in the distance
Photograph credit score: Ian Krammer (


These footwear are additionally reliably waterproof. We put the Spires by the wringer over two weeks in soggy fall situations within the excessive Colorado Rockies, with a number of hikes by frozen creeks, deep mud, fields of tall grass soaked with the prior night time’s rain, and patches of mushy snow. The decision? These footwear carry out. They by no means allowed moisture in and saved our hooves persistently dry. This stage of breathability and waterproofing additionally makes the Spires an impressive alternative not only for summer time, however for frigid and moist spring and fall adventures.

The tongue design is essential to the water resistance of this pair: it’s related all the way in which to the collar, so there’s no probability of moisture soaking your socks until you’re in water over your ankles. And, since they measure over 4 inches excessive, it doubtless gained’t matter when you slip right into a deep puddle or mis-step close to a creek.

A hiker checking the fit of the La Sportiva Spire GTX hiking shoes by inserting a finger behind his heel
Photograph credit score: Heather Eldridge (

Sizing and match

Sizing was common and correct, though they don’t are available slender or huge variations. La Sportiva’s footwear have a popularity for working a bit slender. Previously, this made the model a favourite for individuals who like tight-fitting footwear, however lower than excellent for these with wider ft. The Spire GTX bucks this pattern with a well-known, comfy match.

The toe field offers loads of room and the midsole provides a beefy, structured really feel. Nevertheless, we discovered the heel runs surprisingly huge. This extra broad design is perhaps a problem for people in search of a slender heel pocket, or when you’re utilizing this shoe for climbing plenty of steep terrain. To keep away from slippage or scorching spots, the laces needed to be cinched tightly and knotted securely. That mentioned, after many dozens of miles and several other thousand ft of climbing, the broader heel was not in the end a problem (minimal rubbing and no blisters!), and getting used to this match seems to be a part of the break-in interval.

Observe that La Sportiva is an Italian firm, in order that they use European shoe sizing. European shoe sizing measures the foot from heel to longest toe in centimeters, as an alternative of inches, so there are smaller increments than with American footwear. In our expertise, meaning a precise match. For instance, in case your foot measures 25 cm, you’d sometimes put on a European dimension 40 however may dimension up or down one cm (about .39 in) for consolation. This makes the Spire an awesome alternative for various foot sorts and shapes.

Closeup of a hiker bending the sole of the La Sportiva Spire GTX hiking shoe on a steep incline
Photograph credit score: Ian Krammer (


These footwear are unquestionably four-wheel-drive footwear, constructed to deal with most landscapes. Sitting at 4.1 inches tall, they’ve a excessive lower in comparison with path runners, however a low lower versus mountaineering boots, touchdown within the candy spot between the 2. In case you favor a medium-to-high drop and a stiff heel, you’ll love the Spire GTX.

The standard lacing system, tall tongue, and heel tab make them really feel acquainted and powerful, however the brawny Vibram outsoles set them aside. The aggressive lug sample creates an extremely grippy, dependable, and steady mountaineering expertise. The Spires felt safe on trails, grass, mud, and angled terrain. 

The Spire GTX has TPU inserts. TPU stands for thermoplastic polyurethane. It’s a really versatile and sturdy sort of plastic utilized in mountaineering footwear so as to add assist and safety. The inserts work effectively to attenuate foot ache, and the good use of waterproof supplies and heavier weight will make you’re feeling assured and quick on the paths.

Closeup of the lugs on the bottom of the La Sportiva Spire GTX hiking shoes
Photograph credit score: Ian Krammer (


These are severely grippy footwear. The Spires are outfitted with the identical sticky Vibram XS Trek outsoles that La Sportiva makes use of on a lot of its mountaineering and mountaineering boots. This compound is extremely dynamic and cheesy, so the footwear really feel steady on the whole lot from moist rock to sand and pebbles. We discovered the self-cleaning outsoles are additionally remarkably environment friendly at releasing mud, rocks, and unfastened dust, with no problems with clumping or caking after mountaineering by even the deepest sludge.

The Spire GTX options giant, tightly-spaced lugs for a reliable grip whereas crushing an ascent. The busy, aggressive tread can be thoughtfully designed for lengthy descents. La Sportiva additionally makes use of their Affect Braking System – a grip sample that gives management and enhanced traction when coming down inclines. We discovered the Spire GTX made simple work of climbing, descending, and working.



Two kilos is heavy. The Spire GTX is without doubt one of the heavier pairs in our high ten checklist of Finest Males’s Mountain climbing Sneakers. Versus aggressive waterproof mountaineering footwear just like the Merrell Moab 3 or the Solomon X Extremely 4 GTX, the Spires are notably heavier. If light-weight is your high precedence, there are various different much less heavy waterproof choices. Try our Finest Males’s Mountain climbing Sneakers and Finest Girls’s Mountain climbing Sneakers to see our favorites.

Regardless of the load penalty, these footwear by no means felt cumbersome. The Spires are a wonderful alternative for multi-day adventures in addition to shorter excursions. A couple of further ounces mustn’t deter you from attempting these out. However we predict they’re too heavy for prolonged adventures like thru-hikes (and 20-mile days), which demand extra flexibility and lighter soles to maintain you cozy because the miles stack up.

A full-body view of a hiker wearing the men's La Sportiva Spire GTX hiking shoes on a mountain ridge in Colorado
Photograph credit score: Ian Krammer (

Single-lace eyeholes

Sadly, the Spire GTX solely comes with single eyelet lace holes on the high of the foot as an alternative of two like on many aggressive path runners and mountaineering footwear. Double-eyelets enable for a variety of lacing configurations that may supply a personalized tighter or larger match for various foot shapes or becoming wants. For instance, the broader heel of the Spire wouldn’t be a problem if there have been two eyelet holes since we may have laced the footwear tighter to stop even occasional heel slippage or rubbing. With just one eyelet, an adaptable lacing system is just not potential. 

Closeup of a hiker tying the La Sportiva Spire GTX shoelaces
Photograph credit score: Ian Krammer (

Restricted sturdiness

Don’t get us unsuitable – the Spire GTX are very sturdy. We even named them one of many 4 most sturdy footwear on our high ten checklist of Finest Males’s Mountain climbing Sneakers. Nevertheless, all-synthetic uppers are merely not made for longevity, and for us, this can be a con of the Spire GTX.

Although the chunky Vibram outsoles really feel bombproof, it’s essential to focus on that the development of those “boots” is identical as most path runners: mesh wraps from the edges to the highest. This materials is powerful, however typical mountaineering difficulties like roots, sharp rocks, mud, and constant abrasion will blow out this cloth.

After solely 70 miles, we discovered the factitious uppers have begun to point out put on. There may be predictable fraying the place the mesh forefoot creases, stitching is coming undone on the toe, and there’s slight separation of the midsole from the aspect mesh on one shoe. We’re nonetheless assured we’ll get 500+ backcountry miles from the Spires, and they’ll outlive most lighter footwear – however, in our expertise, this fast put on and tear is par for the course with totally artificial footwear.

The weakest factor of the Spire GTX? The shoelaces. Like most of La Sportiva’s laces, these footwear make the most of artificial fiber wrapped in a sheath. This sheath tends to wear down, normally lengthy earlier than the shoe does. We suggest shopping for a backup pair of shoelaces on the time of buy or swapping them out for a extra sturdy pair instantly.

La Sportiva Spire GTX
Photograph credit score: Ian Krammer (

Lengthy break-in interval

Considered one of our favourite issues concerning the Spire GTX is how stiff they’re because it makes for a really steady shoe – however that is additionally a con. The thick midsole and beefy, inflexible outer sole made for an extended break-in interval when in comparison with different choices. They’re definitely comfy, nevertheless it took about 10-12 hours of mountaineering, or round 15-20 miles earlier than the footwear totally loosened up and tailored to our ft. That is considerably longer than a few of the Spires’ competitors, a lot of which match effectively proper out of the field, or took solely a few miles to melt.

Photograph credit score: Dave Collins (

Not for scrambling

We seen a scarcity of flexibility when mountaineering extraordinarily rocky trails and traversing prolonged, sharp scree, talus, and boulder fields. The stiffness of the footwear made foot placement on rocky terrain difficult. The excessive rise of the Spire GTX felt wobbly on prolonged, precarious, jagged surfaces for the reason that outsoles stay considerably inflexible even after the break-in interval is over. Nevertheless, on most different terrains – from slippery stream crossings to difficult ascents – the stiffness of the shoe made them really feel very steady and safe.

Moreover, the Spires don’t have a bolstered toecap. As a substitute, they function an additional layer of tough, abrasion-resistant materials that provides construction to the shoe and a bit of further safety on your toes. In case you’re searching for a greater scrambling choice, take into account a lower-profile, extra versatile path runner for extra agility. Check out our Prime Path Runners for Girls and our Prime Path Runners for Males for options. 

A hiker testing the La Sportiva Spires on loose scree
Photograph credit score: Ian Krammer (


The Spire GTX is without doubt one of the most costly pairs on our checklist of Finest Males’s Mountain climbing Sneakers. In case you are out there for footwear or path runners, you’ll doubtless have some sticker shock. Nevertheless, they carry out like a high-end mountaineering boot with a water-proof lining, burly traction, and excellent stability. Although they’re spendy in comparison with our different high mountaineering footwear, they’re on the low finish for value in comparison with boots with comparable options. If you need a burly boot-like shoe and this pair suits your ft effectively, they’re an awesome alternative. Nevertheless, if you would like a lighter-weight shoe, there are different budget-friendly choices that carry out equally.

Backside Line

The Spire GTX are dynamic. They provide stellar efficiency on most terrain, whether or not moist or dry, steep or flat, steady or semi-loose. Due to some fancy tech, your ft will keep ventilated, completely happy, and supported irrespective of the place you’re mountaineering. These footwear felt steady, dependable, and comfy whether or not we had been chasing a number of summits and 20+ mile days, taking quick afternoon hikes to the river, or grabbing some greasy pizza and a chilly beer on the town.

At round one pound per shoe, although, they’re notably heavy. The Spires even have a longer-than-average break-in interval. Like most artificial uppers, this pair is susceptible to put on and tear, they usually fall quick on scrambles. Plus, they carry a big price ticket in comparison with our different high mountaineering footwear.

Nevertheless, general, we’re nonetheless huge followers of La Sportiva’s Spire GTX. They do an beautiful job of mixing the perfect options of a conventional mountaineering boot – like stability, nice traction, and a water-proof liner – with our favourite points of high-quality path runners – like breathability, consolation, and correct sizing. These footwear are so versatile that they’re price taking a look at for nearly any journey, whether or not you’re a day hiker, obsessive weekend warrior, or love multi-day backpacking journeys and part hikes. The Spire GTX earned a spot on our checklist of the Finest Males’s Mountain climbing Sneakers – they usually may simply grow to be your go-to pair of mountaineering footwear.

The lower half of a male hiker sitting on a rocky slab in hiking pants and the La Sportiva Spire GTX hiking shoes
Photograph credit score: Ian Krammer (

Extra Data

We hope this assessment helps you identify if the La Sportiva Spire GTX is best for you. As at all times, please depart a remark under when you’ve got any suggestions, questions, or options. And are available verify us out on Fb and Instagram to affix the group dialog. In case you discovered this assessment useful, please share on social media!

In case you favored this checklist, you’ll love the CleverHiker Gear Information the place we take a look at and suggest tons of outside journey gear from a wide range of classes. Listed here are some sources to take a look at:



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