La Sportiva Makalu GTX
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View all 4 Season Hiking Boots from La Sportiva
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The Makalu GTX is Sportiva's number one seller and the choice of guides, mountaineers and heavy -duty backpackers because of the combination of durability, versatility and fit.
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La Sportiva Makalu GTX Reviews
Reviewed by Roger K (London/Chamonix) on 2006-04-11:
General comments: Having purchased a pair of Makalu Gore Tex in Chamonix at the end of last season and have been very impressed at their comfort straight from the box. These were my third pair of La Sportiva mountaineering boots and after many years tramping around the Scottish hills in plastics I am glad to have returned to leather boots. Although the boot has a steel shank it would not be recommended for climbing anything harder than Scottish III in the winter. Its certainly warm enough for a long day out bagging Munros and Iíve used them several weekends closer to home in Snowdonia. The tall ankle is very supportive which I have certainly appreciated when paragliding in the French Alps over Christmas. I am unsure as to the benefits of a Gore Tex lining on boots of this nature as I believe that if the leather is treated with a proofing wax then dry feet are guaranteed. The inclusion of a lace lock enables your foot and heel to be held snugly whilst you ankle can be left looser to flex. The rubber toe bumper and partial rand provide excellent resistance to damage when scrambling or whilst crossing rocks and scree. In summary, a great all round mountaineering boot to carry you from your first Munro all the way to the summit of Mont Blanc via a Himalayan trek or two.
Pros: Comfort. Crampon compatability. Durability. Good deals to be had.
Cons: Heavy. Warm in the sunshine.
Reviewed by Neil (Hove) on 2006-05-12:
General comments: This is my 3rd pair of makalus and the first pair of the goretex version that I have owned. I have always preferred a heavier, more substantial boot, finding that any additional weight is more than compensated for by the support and general feeling of surefootedness, especially when carrying a heavy pack, that I get. The problem with this is that most heavy boots I have owned take an age of painful feet to break-in. With the makalus, once fitted by someone who knows what they are doing - take the time it is worth it - I found a boot that was comfortable from the box. The lace-lock on the lacing system allows you to set different tensions between the toe box and the ankle which allows easy comfort fine tuning. As a four season boot it does get a little warm in the summer but I have never found this particularly troublesome but I can see it as a problem for others. This is offset by the fact that it stays warm in all but the coldest weather. In winter I tend not to use them for much more than light trekking prefering to swap over to my Nepal Tops when it gets steep so I cant comment on how they perform with crampons etc. The biggest issue that I have had with both pairs of original boots was that after prolonged periods on very wet ground they did seem to leak quicker than my old Mantas. I havent suffered the same fate with the goretex version despite several spring time bog-trots. The new style sole seems as good as the old one when scrambling on wet rock which is reassuring - it always concerns me when new and improved is launched on something that worked perfectly well before. All in all a very comfortable and able boot that I strongly recommend
Pros: Comfortable from your first steps, adjustability of lacing system, goretex appears to have solved tendancy to develop leaks. Great boot all year round boot
Cons: Many will find them hot and heavy for all year use. The leaks in the non-goretex version. leave them in the back of your car and they will get nicked (the fate of my second pair!)
Reviewed by Rckape (Derbys) on 2007-01-19:
General comments: I have a pair of the non Gore-Tex version of the Makalu. I echo the above reviews in that they are comfortable to wear straight from the box. I like the support offered by the high ankle. The lace locks are a useful feature as is the removable tongue which aids drying of the boot overnight. I wouldn't reccomend that the boot be used with crampons with a toe bale as opposed to a plastic basket or straps, because after a bit of use the boots sole can flex quite a lot which would affect the security of the binding. I have also found with my boots (size 9) that the flex point is a bit too far forward to use with 12-point crampons. I have found that the non goe tex version does have a tendancy to leak, but re-treatment has sorted this out. I really like the Makalu and i'm sure that i'll get many good years servce out of them yet. when the time comes to replace them i think i would now rather go for the Gore Tex version.
Pros: Good support and value for money.