Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: $175 | Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros: Flexible across toe, well fitting and very comfortable, lightweight.
Cons: May not fit well for wide feet, not much ankle support.
Best Uses: Day hiking, light backpacking, gardening and landscaping projects.
The La Sportiva FC Eco 3.0 wins our Top Pick award for Best Day Hiker. Immediately when putting it on, your foot breathes a sigh of content at being in such a comfortable, non-restricting space. The light weight and extremely flexible forefoot allow for the best range of motion of any boot in this review and make you feel like you are springing along the trail unimpeded. It weighs almost exactly the same as other light hikers we were impressed with such as the Keen Targhee II Mid and the Lowa Renegade. One downside to the FC Eco is that it fits rather narrowly, and may not work well on someone with a wide foot. If that is the case for you, try out the Vasque Breeze, which is available in narrow, regular, or wide widths. For our favorite backpacking boot, try out the Asolo Bullet.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
If you are looking for ankle support, this one offers it, but only slightly. The high-top is relatively low compared to others, such as the Scarpa Kailash or Asolo Bullet, but this provides range of motion while still protecting the ankle bones from bang-ups.
Sportiva's Vibram sole with the Impact Brake System provides good traction on the trail.
The laces end early on the top of the foot, and across the bending part of the toe is an extra flexible section made with a lighter fabric, making it flex and move with your foot easily and comfortably. This feature was immediately noticeable the first time wearing, and allows you to wear this boot right out of the box with no break-in time required.
The look of the FC Eco is simple and appealing. Rather than having the overloaded techy look that many popular hiking boots have, it is more streamlined and sophisticated.
Our tester wonders if after long, hard use, the fabric on the flexible part of the toe will wear out before the rest of the boot. It seems like a vulnerability in the construction even though this is the exact feature that makes the boot notable. However, fingers crossed, no unusual wear has presented itself so far.
We were skeptical at how well this shoe would perform in the water resistance test since the upper consists of meshy fabrics and perforated leather. However, it passed with flying colors. The added mesh makes it more breathable than all-leather alternatives such as Asolo TPS 520 GV.
The comfort of the Sportiva FC Eco means it can be worn for multiple types of adventures, but it excels at day hiking and light backpacking.
At well under $200, these boots are not only attractive in function, comfort, and style, but in price.
The La Sportiva FC Eco 3.0 GTX is the men's version of this shoe. This shoe is also available in the low cut version and is called the FC ECO 2.0 - Women's and the La Sportiva FC Eco 2.0, men's.
— McKenzie Long
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: May 11, 2012
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