At OutdoorGearLab, we have tested tons of footwear from La Sportiva, which has an excellent reputation for high-performance shoes for all kinds of outdoor adventures. We were excited when we received the techy Synthesis Mid GTX. They felt great on our feet straight out of the box, featuring a comfy footbed and flexible upper. It's lightweight, too, and topped our charts in water resistance. This shoe performed only average, however, in several categories compared to the tough competition. The sensitive soles are nice when scrambling up rocks but lead to sore feet on rough terrain. It lacks traction, support, and durability, yet has a high price tag. We liked this shoe, but its performance limits its applications in the backcountry.
If you fancy a lightweight and synthetic upper, the Adidas Terrex Swift R GTX offers better all-around performance, yet is less comfortable underfoot. If you want a shoe that does it all, The North Face Ultra 110 GTX is our Editors' Choice all-star.