La Sportiva Boulder X (2013)

The La Sportiva Boulder X is designed as an approach shoe with good performance when scrambling on rock. There is additional cushioning underfoot for comfort on longer walk-ins and walk-outs too. The upper is suede leather with lacing extending all the way to the toe, for a more precise fit and feel when climbing. There is good rubber reinforcement, which extends around the full shoe to ensure durability on rockier ground in the long term. Underfoot the Vibram sole unit is made from grippy ‘sticky rubber’, while a smooth ‘climbing zone’ under the toe aids the precise feel on smaller footholds. The sole lugs aren’t the deepest or the most widely spaced, and the heel breast is less aggressive than some, so in terms of grip on softer ground the La Sportiva Boulder X is not the best option. But put the shoe on, and the comfort and fit are outstanding, and ideal for precision climbing and scrambling as well as general walking. The underfoot cushioning eases the pounding on hard surfaces without restricting feel when climbing. The only slight drawbacks are that you don’t get a waterproof lining, and the sole unit isn’t quite as good as some on muddier ground.

Upper material suede leather
Waterproof lining none
Sole unit Vibram Idro-Grip
Men’s sizes 36-47.5
Women’s sizes none
Weight 1038g (pair, size 46)



The La Sportiva Boulder X is well-priced, reasonably light and with excellent bouldering, scrambling and approach shoe performance; but others are slightly better for muddier ground.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine May 2013