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La Sportiva Eco 4.0 Review

   

Hiking Boots - Men's

  • Currently 4.0/5
Overall avg rating 4.0 of 5 based on 1 review. Most recent review: December 18, 2013
Street Price:   $165
Pros:  Light, comfortable, good sole, large toe box.
Cons:  Poor to middling support, particularly when wet, not durable, large toe box.
Best Uses:  Backpacking, hiking.
User Rating:       (0.0 of 5) based on 0 reviews
Manufacturer:   La Sportiva
Review by: Atherton Phleger ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ December 18, 2013  
Overview
Product Discontinued
The Eco 4.0 has been discontinued. Check out the new Best Buy winner, the Keen Glarus (shown below) and our complete Hiking Boot Review.

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The La Sportiva Eco 4.0 is a great value for its all-around performance and relatively long lifespan. It is a well-built boot that is worth the price. However, if you are looking for a higher performing boot, perhaps one that can handle the talus approaches and root-choked trails that, when wearing the La Sportiva Eco would make you feel like a baby deer, try a heavy hiker like the Asolo Power Matic 200.

The La Sportiva is a perfectly adequate, middle-of-the-road sort of boot. We liked it on moderately maintained trails during good weather with medium-weight loads. Because of the unusually large toe box it does not do well on talus hops or any sort of balance-oriented type of walking. That same toe box was helpful when crossing ice-crusted snow, though most of the time it was simply a pain.

To handle hot-weather activities at the other end of the spectrum, we recommend our lighter weight offerings like the Keen Targhee or the Moab Ventilator.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
We like the La Sportiva Eco because it is exceptionally light and yet offers support comparable to much heavier boots. While not as comfortable as some others, it still was among the more comfortable of those tested. It has a decent lacing system, although getting a really snug fit is difficult and often uncomfortable. The tread pattern really excelled at gripping wet rock, which made it useful for canoe tripping and snowy approaches.

The La Sportiva Eco has an unusually large toe box that makes it rather awkward to wear at first. You feel like a Labrador puppy, feet too big for the rest of your body. It's a real pain on root-choked trails or talus hops but we discovered that the extra surface area is a boon on ice-crusted snow. At times it can make the difference between post-holing and walking.

Dislikes
The La Sportiva Eco really suffers when it gets wet. The material becomes supple and flaccid. It provides nearly no support. So while it may grip well on wet rock or glide over ice-crusted snow, it doesn't really matter if the boot itself is as limp as a Bizkit.

As for durability, the La Sportiva Eco did well, but not spectacularly. There were no critical failures but the toe rubber delaminated and a rivet was torn out. The boot remained waterproof, however.

Best Application
The La Sportiva performed well at all basic, mild-weather hiking-type activities. It does not do well at either end of the temperature spectrum, or when wet, or with particularly heavy loads. But as an all-arounder, it does very well for itself. We recommend it for just that the happy place between the extremes, the average, the middle of the bell curve. Keep it on moderate trails in moderate climes. This is an Aristotelian example if we've ever tested one.

Value
At around $150 the Eco is a much cheaper, more durable, and all-around better performing alternative to the Scarpa Kailash. In our Heavy category, it earned our Best Buy award.

Atherton Phleger

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Most recent review: December 18, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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La Sportiva Eco 4.0
Credit: La Sportiva
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