La Sportiva Boulder X Approach Shoe – Men’s

We’ve read the reviews across the web for the La Sportiva Boulder X Approach Shoe – Men’s and summarize the results below:

Universal Ranking

PeakScore: 83 (out of 100)
User Rating: 4.3 stars 
Expert Rating: 3.8 stars

Number of Ratings Reviewed: 213

Pros & Cons

Reasons to buy:

User Reviews

  • Outer rubber has adequate traction.
  • Vibram soles for increased grip ability.
  • Ideal choice for a narrow foot.
  • Inner sock/liner adds comfort.
  • Durable and supportive.
  • Despite the stiffness, lasts a long time.
  • A top choice for scrambling.
  • Able to jam the toes into cracks.
  • Great for edging, but better on medial than lateral.
  • Maintains stability on wet surfaces.

Expert Reviews

  • Great traction in dirt and mud.
  • Lacing system can be cinched for smaller edges.
  • Ideal support for medium/large edges over a long period of time.
  • Vibram Idro-Grip sole provides enough flexibility to get adequate smearing ability.
  • Stiff enough to allow weight shift to forefoot during crack climbing.
  • Inexpensive shoe option.
  • Highly durable due to Vibram sole.
  • Very sticky rubber at a low price point.

Reasons NOT to buy:

User Reviews

  • Laces can wear out after prolonged use.
  • Should be noted this is not solely a hiking shoe – they are best when used for approaches and scrambles.
  • Not a lot of arch support for those with flat feet.
  • Be aware when purchasing it fits like a climbing shoe, so you may need to purchase half a size up.
  • Would be heavy to carry on a harness.
  • Some reports of a lack of breathability during warmer temperatures.
  • Very long break-in period.
  • Not ideal for carrying up a long route.
  • Some reports of running small due to narrow toe box.

Expert Reviews

  • Heavy and bulky, especially if you have to carry for a distance.
  • Lack of sensitivity on small edges.
  • Poor choice for edging in pockets due to rounded toe box.
  • Lacing system has durability challenges.
  • Leather tongue doesn’t increase breahtability.


The La Sportiva Boulder X Approach Shoe for men is ideally suited for those who need a durable, supportive, and stiff approach shoe that is suitable for crack climbing and smearing, all without breaking the bank. We don’t recommend this option for climbers who carry their shoes over a long route, will be climbing small cracks and edges, or are looking for shoes to perform in small pockets.


Note: User and expert rankings were reviewed across the web, including here: 1, 2, 3, 4.