The type of terrain you plan on tackling dictates your climbing boot requirement, so if you are heading for slightly less rugged terrain and don’t need the optimum climbing performance then the La Sportiva S Evo is the perfect boot. It has a Vibram sole with a smooth climbing zone under the toe so you don’t slip off the smallest of rock holds. This is matched by good stiffness that allows the boot to take a crampon if needed when you top out onto Alpine snow. The upper is synthetic, with a Gore-Tex waterproof lining, which should guarantee dry feet during a typical wet walk to the foot of a Scottish rock route. The lacing and toe profile are good for adding precision when climbing, while the rubber rand ensures durability and protection when the going gets rough and rocky. The ankle flex is fairly soft, which allows a much more natural walking action without reducing scrambling performance too much. Use this boot on a wide variety of rocky and ice terrain, and it will perform well, while the softer ankle flex makes it suitable for less demanding terrain. At just £160 it is a good price, and all these points make this a highly recommended option for anyone heading for scrambles, via ferrata routes or long mountain scrambles at home or abroad. But this is not the most durable boot in its class, due to the complex mix of upper materials that are laden with stitching. Also, while I like the softer ankle cuff for its added comfort off the rock, I would prefer a little more lateral stability for use on the roughest of terrain. The forefoot area is slightly broader than in some other boots, which may suit some walkers better or worse, depending on their foot shape.
Upper: synthetic, Gore-Tex waterproof lining
Sole: Vibram Mulaz with dedicated climbing zone
Sizes: 40-48 (men’s); 36-42 (women’s)
Trail fit profile: forefoot 2; heel 2; volume 2; length 2
Crampon compatibility: B2
Weight: 1772g (pair, size 46)
Made in Italy
Stores in UK: no info provided
Verdict: Buy it if you want a well-priced boot that is still ideal for long scrambling routes, climbing or via ferrata in Alps or the UK and prefer a slightly softer ankle flex.