The La Sportiva Hyper Mid GTX is a specialty hiking boot for those who play on rock and in the mountains. It's ideal for routes like the Upper Exum on the Grand Teton and the Keyhole route on Longs Peak where you'll encounter easy rock climbing and long approaches. With more cushioning in the midsole than most rock climbing approach shoes, and excellent torsional stability, this boot can handle the long miles. The GORE-TEX waterproof membrane works well while remaining breathable, and overall this hiking boot doesn't sacrifice much climbing ability to provide comfort and support for hiking. Not surprisingly, we found the La Sportiva Hyper Mid GTX more comfortable and supportive for long approaches than traditional low cut approach shoes.If you're looking more for a more traditional hiking boot, check out the Vasque St. Elias FG GTX, our Editors' Choice, for all-around performance. The Keen Targhee II Mid, which won our Best Buy award, also comes highly recommended as the most versatile lightweight hiker we reviewed.
La Sportiva Hyper Mid GTX Review
Cons: Poor mud traction, sole wears quickly
Manufacturer: La Sportiva
Our Analysis and Test Results
Light, comfortable, and snug fitting, the La Sportiva Hyper Mid GTX is the boot we choose for talus hopping and rock scrambles. Sort of a mid-cut approach shoe, with foot support rivaling boots, it's a great off-width climbing boot as well! La Sportiva products generally fit an average to narrow foot well, and this snug fitting specialty boot might not be a good choice for those with wide feet. Individuals with wide feet who are in search of a waterproof scrambling boot may want to check out Scarpa's similarly designed Tech Ascent GTX.
This lightweight hiking boot fits like a glove. With its hybrid boot/approach shoe design, we were surprised how comfortable it was for long miles on the trail. It fits the best with a thinner sock. Eight lower eyelets and one upper allow you to cinch this boot down as tight as you desire, all the way down to the toe. Folks who haven't worn climbing shoes before might find it a bit puzzling how closely it wraps the toe and forefoot. Additionally, the Hyper breathed well, and kept our feet cooler than most of the waterproof models we tested.
The La Sportiva Hyper Mid GTX's ankle collar is relatively low cut, but because it fits so snugly, it provides ankle stability on par with or better than most lightweight hikers. As you would suspect, the snug fitting boot has a relatively narrow sole.
Torsional stability is where the Hyper excels. Its forefoot and arch area are more supportive than the other lightweight hikers we tested. When standing on a 1/2 inch rock edge, this is really nice. Our feet appreciated this added support on long alpine approaches.
Hands down, this product provided the best performance on rock slabs. Climbing and approach shoes use softer rubber formulations for the sole to make them "sticky." The trade-off here is most definitely durability, since the softer rubber wears more quickly. Unfortunately, the Hyper was a rather poor performer in the mud, and so-so when moving over loose gravel. The products that performed best in these tests were the Scarpa Kinesis Pro and Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX respectively. However, this product gets the job done like no other for what it was designed for: sticking to rock.
The La Sportiva Hyper Mid GTX is light. It landed right about in the middle of our selection of lightweight hikers. The heavier uppers of the Hyper are more substantial and durable than most of the other lightweight options, and account for this added weight.
With a low cut ankle collar, this is not the boot you want for wading streams. But the waterproofing performs very well, and kept our feet dry during our lake edge test. It's notable that the Hyper breathed better than most of the boots we tested with a waterproof GORE-TEX membrane.
This is a burly boot for a lightweight hiker. The uppers are well-built and will stand up to lots of abuse. While the sole wears more quickly than most other boots, that is a reasonable trade-off for the great traction they provide. We should note, though that if you have a good relationship with a climbing shoe resoler, you may be able to get this product resoled with sticky rubber.
One of the most specialized hiking boots we reviewed, this model is designed for rocky scrambles and mountain summits. It's comfy and supportive enough to keep your feet happy on long approaches, and absolutely slays rock scrambles. It's pretty nice for off-widths and squeeze chimneys too! This product would also work well as a big wall climbing boot; however, we recommend coating the leather on the outside of the forefoot with a shoe goo or seam sealer to protect it from excessive wear and tear.
If this type of specialized boot is what you're after, 180 bucks is reasonable. That said, most folks will find better all-around hiking performance and value elsewhere.
Buy these hiking boots and then head out to climb. Go on a long summer road trip, climb the Third Flatiron and Longs Peak, stop in Vedauwoo for the wide cracks, then head up to the Tetons and the Wind River Range. These hiking boots will take you places!
— Brandon Lampley