Reviews You Can Rely On

La Sportiva Spantik Review

The Spantik is a very warm, relatively light alpine climbing boot for cold conditions
la sportiva spantik mountaineering boot women review
La Sportiva Spantik mountaineering boots
Credit: La Sportiva
Price:  $775 List
Manufacturer:   La Sportiva
By Lyra Pierotti ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 18, 2018

Our Verdict

The La Sportiva Spantik is a warm, double synthetic boot for high altitude alpine climbing and expeditions. It is very light for how warm it is, making it an excellent choice for a variety of climbing styles. It is also relatively dexterous, allowing enough flexion to feel good on steep, technical rock and ice, as well as long snow slogs and even sections of dry trail. It is not the most durable boot, so we recommend keeping it for snowy adventures and avoiding rough, rugged trails and too much rocky terrain.
Easy to lace
Warm enough for most 6000m peaks
Lightweight for warmth
Climbs very well
Less durable
Not waterproof
Heel cup large for average female

Our Analysis and Test Results

The La Sportiva Spantik is a high altitude alpine climbing boot that performs well for women and men.

Performance Comparison

la sportiva spantik mountaineering boot women review - ice climbing in the spantiks is pretty enjoyable.
Ice climbing in the Spantiks is pretty enjoyable.
Credit: Kristin Bennett


The Spantik is the heaviest boot among those in our women's review. However, this is misleading. Or, it is a clue. You guessed it; it's also by far the warmest in this review. This boot is phenomenally light for how warm it is. If you've ever worn the old school double plastic boots for an expedition, these double synthetics will feel like a dream come true.

The light weight also makes this boot a better fit for women, in very general terms. Since women tend to be lighter than men of the same height and/or foot size, the weight of a boot will become, like backpack weight, a more significant proportion of her body weight. Additionally, the lighter materials are more supple, allowing a lighter person to flex the boot more efficiently. We would still love to see more alpine climbing boots built from a woman's perspective, but for now, we are relatively pleased with the Spantik.


The Spantik is incredibly warm for its weight. They are typically considered a 6000m boot, but for extreme high altitude climbs like Denali, we add a neoprene overboot once we get to high camp at 17,000 feet.

la sportiva spantik mountaineering boot women review - high on the west buttress of denali, a great place for the spantik.
High on the West Buttress of Denali, a great place for the Spantik.
Credit: Lyra Pierotti

The Spantik is a double boot, similar to the old school double plastic boots, but it is all synthetic and leatherette (synthetic leather), making it much lighter, more comfortable, and more dexterous.

la sportiva spantik mountaineering boot women review - the double boot system of the la sportiva spantik
The double boot system of the La Sportiva Spantik
Credit: Lyra Pierotti

Be sure to size the Spantik 0.5 higher than your standard Sportiva boot size. For example, if you wear a size 40 Nepal, you should be spot on 40.5 in the Spantik. This will ensure you have enough wiggle room to keep your toes warm.

Water Resistance

The Spantik is not a waterproof mountaineering boot. It is a high altitude alpine climbing boot—and usually, it doesn't rain—or melt—up there. However, to access said high altitude peaks, you must walk for days at lower elevations. Our biggest gripe with the Spantik is that it is not waterproof. When low on the Kahiltna after climbing Denali late in the season, these boots got wet in the warm, slushy, scary snow of late season in the Alaska Range. Even worse is the descent from an early or late summer climb of Mount Rainier where you appreciate the added warmth up high (seriously, this mountain can require double boots year round), but they get saturated as you descend the Muir Snowfield in the heat of the day.

Fortunately, these are double boots, so you can remove the inner liner and accelerate the drying process. Keep those liners in your sleeping bag with you at night to keep them dry and warm—even a little sweat can turn those liners into a popsicle by the morning.

Rock Climbing Ability

The Spantik look like big, clunky mountaineering boots, but rest assured they climb easy alpine rock routes very well. The sole holds edges well, and the ankle flexion is sensitive enough to allow you to control your foot motions surprisingly well for a boot of this size.

la sportiva spantik mountaineering boot women review - late season climbs on the disappointment cleaver on mount rainier...
Late season climbs on the Disappointment Cleaver on Mount Rainier can be a great time to bust out the warm and dexterous Spantik.
Credit: Robin Pendery

Ice Climbing Ability

Our favorite boot in this review for ice climbing was the Nepal. However, for frigid ice climbing adventures, the Spantik does, again, surprisingly well. For our female reviewers, the heel cup wasn't quite as good a fit as for our male reviewers, so we did get some heel lift after kicking our front points into the ice and standing up. Overall, it offers decent performance and is certainly an excellent boot for cold expeditions involving moderate ice climbing.

la sportiva spantik mountaineering boot women review - the spantiks are not a women's specific design, and one issue we had...
The Spantiks are not a women's specific design, and one issue we had was a bit more heel lift than the men who reviewed this boot. It was not enough to hinder our climbing, but it could be better. After all, women climb big mountains, too.
Credit: Lyra Pierotti

Hiking Ability

This is not a hiking boot. However, you may need to trek across dry ground at some point during a high altitude expedition. The sole rocker and hinged ankle make this boot flex well enough to manage some mileage on the trail. The full shank is excellent for snow, ice, and decent for rock, but makes walking more difficult—but hiking is not the focal point of this boot, so it makes sense.

la sportiva spantik mountaineering boot women review - pulling sleds up the kahiltna glacier is tedious at times, but...
Pulling sleds up the Kahiltna Glacier is tedious at times, but always scenic. The Spantiks hike well enough that you can focus on the views instead of your feet.
Credit: Lyra Pierotti


The Spantik are designed for use on snow, primarily. We strongly discourage taking these on an expedition to Aconcagua, as the rocks, trail, and dust will chew through the soft materials very quickly.

la sportiva spantik mountaineering boot women review - the lacing system on the spantiks seems convoluted at first but...
The lacing system on the Spantiks seems convoluted at first but quickly becomes a favorite feature, easily cinched and loosened, even when wearing mittens.
Credit: Lyra Pierotti

The laces held up surprisingly well in our testing (over many seasons and many years), but some reviewers have had some durability issues. The plastic trim tends to delaminate, which is not a complete failure but can be annoying.

Best Application

These boots are designed for expeditions and alpine climbs at altitude, around 6000m, in general. They do well on a variety of mountain activities, from walking, climbing steep snow, to climbing steep ice and rock.

la sportiva spantik mountaineering boot women review - mount elbrus in russia's caucasus mountains is an excellent venue...
Mount Elbrus in Russia's Caucasus mountains is an excellent venue for the Spantik - at just over 5600m in elevation - and entirely snow covered.
Credit: Lyra Pierotti


The Spantik is an expensive pair of boots. We like to think of them as our "fine Italian footwear." But another thing to consider is how much is each toe worth to you? This boot is pretty expensive, but we think a toe is worth at least $75.


The La Sportiva Spantik is a fantastic high altitude alpine climbing boot. It is warm, lightweight, and dexterous, and climbs snow, ice, and rock with relative ease. This is an excellent choice for your 6000m peaks and can be extended to higher and colder objectives with neoprene overboots.

Lyra Pierotti

You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More