La Sportiva G5 Evo Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Warm, climbs well
Manufacturer: La Sportiva
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La Sportiva G5 Evo
|Price||$849.00 at Backcountry|
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|$561.63 at Amazon|
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$750.00 at Amazon
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|Pros||Warm, climbs well||Super lightweight, climbs well, simple laces||Warm, lightweight, climbs well||Removable liner, velcro ankle strap, waterproof||Light, versatile, great for rock climbing|
|Cons||Expensive||No lace lock, could be warmer||No lace lock, not fully waterproof||Expensive, slightly flexible||Not very warm, minimal calf support|
|Bottom Line||This is a great boot for cold weather climbing and it's really fast to put on, take off, and adjust||This lightweight boot is our go-to choice for challenging climbs on ice, rock, and snow||This lightweight and warm boot will get you to the top of alpine climbs||This lightweight double boot is perfect for cold weather technical climbing||These light, versatile boots are good for all-around performance|
|Rating Categories||La Sportiva G5 Evo||Asolo Eiger XT GV Evo||Scarpa Phantom Tech||Arc'teryx Acrux AR||La Sportiva Trango...|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Specs||La Sportiva G5 Evo||Asolo Eiger XT GV Evo||Scarpa Phantom Tech||Arc'teryx Acrux AR||La Sportiva Trango...|
|Weight||1lb 15oz (875g)||1lb 10.8oz (760g)||1lb 12.6oz (810g)||2lb 2oz (965g)||1lb 13.6oz (835g)|
|Sizes Available||38-48 EU||40-47.5 EU||38-48 EU||7-13 US||38-48 EU|
|Upper||Stretch Cordura with reflective aluminum lining||High tenacity nylon with Schoeller Soft Shell||PU Tek + S-Tech Fabric||3L Gore-Tex w/ TPU Laminate||Nylon 6.6 with Honey-Comb Guard and FlexTec 3|
|Waterproof Lining||Gore-Tex Infinium||Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort||HDry waterproof direct lamination membrane||Gore-Tex||Gore-Tex Performance Comfort|
|Shank||3mm Honeycomb Tech insulating carbon||Carbon Fiber||Carbon Fiber + EVA + Aerogel||PU||9mm Insulated IBI-Thermo|
|Midsole||2mm polyurethane||Dual color microporous midsole||2D EVA-MP||CM EVA, carbon fiber||6-7mm TPU/ Dual-density micropore EVA|
|Sole Rubber||Vibram Matterhorn||Vibram Litebase with Mont compound||Vibram Precision Tech Roll / Mont||Vibram AR||Vibram "One"|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The La Sportiva G5 Evo does everything we need a mountain boot to do. They climb really well and keep your feet surprisingly warm, given how light they are. The updated Boa system allows for easy adjustments on the fly, without removing your gloves.
Some boots in our test are ice climbing machines, while others are clearly designed with steep mixed terrain in mind. In our testing, the G5 Evo presented one of the most well-rounded climbing performances. We were happy to have this boot on our feet whenever we tied into the rope, so it scores highly in the climbing metric. The rigid sole and power strap were a boon on steep ice.
On mixed ground and pure rock, climbers can loosen the power strap and enjoy a good range of motion in the ankle. The deep dive of the cuff around our Achilles tendon helped with this also.
This boot was pleasingly light, weighing in at 1lb 15oz (875g) for our test size 43. The inner boot is low cut, which certainly helps, but it seems like it's mostly space-age materials that keep this boot svelte. Sportiva somehow managed to keep the weight down while still providing a beefy outsole. Take note if you spend a lot of time on rocky approaches.
Like some other supergaiter boots, this is a tricky area. Some manufacturers are making the gaiter not waterproof and keeping water away from your foot with other strategies. The gaiter on the G5 Evo is made of waterproof fabrics and does an excellent job keeping out all types of snow in all kinds of situations.
However, the zipper on the gaiter is not waterproof. What keeps water away from your foot (and the inner boot) is a flap of fabric behind the zipper. The top of this fabric is about 6 inches off the ground, and that's the waterline of this boot.
The G5 Evo is a warm boot. We think that the only way climbers will get a warmer boot is to go with a double boot. All the fancy materials in the upper help with that, but the thick mid and outsole certainly contribute when we're standing still, in the snow, with crampons strapped to our feet.
We also think having the Boa on the outside of the gaiter contributes to keeping your feet warm. Having the knob so accessible makes it really easy to crank the boot down tight when you're climbing, then just pop the knob open when you're not. With the G5 Evo, we spend less of the day with the boots tight, restricting circulation to our feet.
The G5 hikes pretty well for a mountain boot. We often found ourselves leaving the power strap undone for the approach. This, in combination with the deep Achilles cut-out, allows us to walk with a fairly comfortable gait on dry hiking trails and snow-covered talus.
We didn't do any timed drills (though that could make for funny video), but this is one of the fastest boots to put on or adjust in our test. At the car, slide your foot in, zip up, turn the Boa knob till the forefoot is snug, and go. At the base of your route, or when the climbing gets serious, you can adjust the powerstrap, tighten the Boa a few clicks, and send.
A note about the Boa; a number of climbers who had experience with early versions of this system over a decade ago were dubious about its durability. Our lead tester has logged over 60 days in his La Sportiva G2SM's, which have 2 Boa laces per boot, with no issues. Our testing team has put many days on different versions of this boot, also with no problems, despite cranking hard on the knob. We appreciated the ease of operation with gloves and the ability to make quick micro-adjustments.
Should You Buy the La Sportiva G5 Evo?
With its fancy materials and design, this boot is like a message from the future of what mountain boots will be. It's light, it's warm, and it's quick to put on and adjust. If you own a pair of the previous version of the G5 that's still working, these might not be worth the upgrade, but if you're in the market for a new mountain boot, the added adjustability definitely makes these worth a try. Our testers found that this boot felt wider/higher volume in the forefoot than some other Sportiva models.
What Other Mountaineering Boots Should You Consider?
If the possibility of wet feet is unacceptable, take a look at some of the more weatherproof boots in our test, like the ultra warm and waterproof Arc'teryx Acrux AR or Lowa Alpine Ice. If you're on a tighter budget, check out the La Sportiva Trango Tower Extreme GTX, a much more affordable and very durable all-around boot.
— Ian McEleney
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