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La Sportiva Boulder X

Original Post
ty kom · · agoura hills, ca · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 16

I started off with the 5.10 Guide Tennies, which were great for climbing, terrible for approaches.  In less than half a year the toe blew out so I picked up the Boulder X's.  They are probably the best pair of shoes I've ever owned, of any kind, hands down.  The first day I used them I did a 10 mile hike and at no point did I feel any discomfort.  Normally there is a break-in period for shoes but these were amazingly comfortable right out of the box, I actually forgot I was wearing new shoes because they never bothered me.  They have great heel support (something the 5.10's didn't have) and the extra padding on the tongue makes them feel like pillows.  I accidentally slipped in a stream on a hike and expected to be squeaking and sloshing around for hours.  Not only did they dry incredibly fast but my sock and foot actually dried too which is something I've never experienced.  Usually if my foot gets wet it stays wet.  I can't recommend these shoes enough, I would wear them everyday but I want to save the wear and tear for climbing.  They are great for aiding as well and the rubber is sticky for approaches.  11/10 will be buying another pair when these die.

Forthright · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 130

Counter point:

Heavy (A pair of lightweight trail runners + climbing shoes can be lighter)
Too stiff (I mean if you like aiding...)
Not sticky (not even megagrip)
Leather + foam soaks up water
HUGE on a harness.

I know there are some people who like old clunky shoes, which these are great for. But in this day and age most people are better off in TX3's or TX4's

ty kom · · agoura hills, ca · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 16
Forthright wrote: Counter point:

Heavy (A pair of lightweight trail runners + climbing shoes can be lighter)
Too stiff (I mean if you like aiding...)
Not sticky (not even megagrip)
Leather + foam soaks up water
HUGE on a harness.

I know there are some people who like old clunky shoes, which these are great for. But in this day and age most people are better off in TX3's or TX4's

I use these mostly for aiding, I avoided the lighter shoes because I don't know if they can handle the abuse.  The shoes don't feel clunky to me, no heavier than the 5.10's and they don't feel stiff either, but the 5.10's felt stiff to me.

Forthright · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 130

Yeah for aiding and not doing free moves they are great but as for weight...
Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 16

Too bad LaSpo discontinued the Ganda...

I don't aid, but can second the TX3 for short approaches, up to 5.easy.  I mostly just wear my Helios 2.0 for places like Eldo or Lumpy. They are super light and have a clip in loop.

If I have a heavy pack, and need to negotiate talus, these days real hiking boots with a heel welt are so light, you might as well wear them as approach shoes. and bring a pair of sneakers for the descent.

Aaron Nash · · North Bend, WA · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 212

Echo the point that they're great for aiding or long days with a lot of weight. Love mine for those uses, much better than the tennies. If I'm free climbing and moving quicker with the shoes on the back of my harness, the TX2 is hard to beat.

Different tools for different applications.

Mike A. · · Victoria, BC · Joined Feb 2019 · Points: 0

I've heard alot of reviews where people say that these shoes fit perfectly right out of the box. Personally, I tried on various sizes of the Boulder X and it just didn't fit me right. Tried different sock and size combinations and they ended up giving me blisters on both heels.

Jack Servedio · · Raleigh, NC · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35
Aaron Nash wrote: Echo the point that they're great for aiding or long days with a lot of weight.
Different tools for different applications.

I use them basically as a beefy hiking shoe that can carry weight is actually good on 4th and 5.easy (though not the best). They are awesome with micro-spikes or strap crampons. They are great in ladders. They are pretty waterproof with the high rand as long as you aren't trudging through a river. In heavy NC summer storms, my feet are ususally the only thing that isn't drenched.

If you aren't leaving your Boulder X's at the base and have them clipped to you, you have the wrong tool for the job. They are heavy as hell, but they do what they were made for very well - they just weren't made to be lightweight.
Todd Kreider · · West Lancaster, PA · Joined May 2019 · Points: 10

I love my boulder x shoes
I’m on my third pair and that’s not saying they wear out fast
My favorite all times are the Guides
Made in Italy
I also have two pairs of Wildcats a new pair of Nucleos and just picked up a pair of slightly used Mythos
Might say I’m a LaSportiva fan

Nathan · · Baltimore, MD · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 107
Buck Rio wrote: Too bad LaSpo discontinued the Ganda...

I don't aid, but can second the TX3 for short approaches, up to 5.easy.  I mostly just wear my Helios 2.0 for places like Eldo or Lumpy. They are super light and have a clip in loop.

If I have a heavy pack, and need to negotiate talus, these days real hiking boots with a heel welt are so light, you might as well wear them as approach shoes. and bring a pair of sneakers for the descent.

And the Mix. Best shoe I've ever worn.

Joshua McDaniel · · Fayetteville, NC · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 115

I debated and read multiple reviews about the Boulder X.  After wearing the Scarpa Crux canvas since about 2013 (and still using them as my "gym beaters" to do backpack laps/train), I settled for replacing my approach shoes with the La Sportiva TX3 vs the Boulder X.  As others have mentioned the breathability of the Boulder X is a limitation that comes with the durability of its leather upper.  Climbing wise, I can't compare the Boulder X head to head with the TX3 but I will say that I don't love the way the TX3 feels when climbing.  The "climbing zone" compared to my old Scarpa Crux is too limited.  The TX3 feels great hiking and scrambling.  The way I sweat and since I primarily climb in the southeastern US, I had to favor a canvas/synthetic upper.   Others have mentioned the weight of the Boulder X as an issue, and that may be a legit concern too.  Think about the quote from Bill Bowerman in Without Limits, "(assuming a good miler has a 2 yard stride)...take an ounce off the shoe, that's 55 pounds of weight you don't have to carry." All that to say, very glad it seems the Boulder X is the shoe for you, just wanted to add some thoughts for anyone that might be debating purchasing a pair.  I know I debated pretty hard about getting them...and if I didn't have such sweaty feet/live in a hot/humid climate, I would have leaned toward the Boulder X too.

Forthright · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 130
adeadhead wrote:

And the Mix. Best shoe I've ever worn.

I'd bet you can still get the Mix from an EU reseller. 

RJNakata · · SoCal · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 460

I really like my TX4's (leather tx3's).  For my foot fit was the biggest difference between the TX4 and Boulder X...Also underfoot the X's felt "vague" 

Jesse Scarborough · · Menlo Park, CA · Joined May 2016 · Points: 36

FYI on the long term durability for the Boulder Xs. I blew the toes of mine after two bigwalls. The next day I talked to a guy who had the same problem after only one, two weeks after he bought the shoes. They've been good approach shoes but bigwall shoes they are not. The toe rubber is very thin. 

ty kom · · agoura hills, ca · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 16

What do you recommend for big wall?  I blew out my toe also and had to get a fresh pair two days before my first wall.  They held up but I'm looking at other options.

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 16
ty kom wrote: What do you recommend for big wall?  I blew out my toe also and had to get a fresh pair two days before my first wall.  They held up but I'm looking at other options.

I have never done a big wall....but I used to aid climb a lot.  I used a pair of 5.10 Guide high tops that worked very well, protected my ankles, but were svelte enough to fit into the step of my aiders well.

Griffin Ash · · Birmingham, AL · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 431

Love my Boulder Xs. The benefits outweigh the negatives imo. They climb great(Onsighted 5.10 with them) for easier routes and are great for hiking. Durability is the strongest benefit for me, with that comes the added weight. Tradeoffs.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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