La Sportiva Cascade GTX Trek Boots

Post by blogger | October 13, 2011      

Seems like I’m always messing around with hiking boots. Many of today’s are too much the runner and not much the slogger. More, most fit me strangely. Years ago I found one boot last I liked, but it got discontinued. I was spending quite a bit of time on the boot stretching machine till I discovered La Sportiva. They’re using a more “relaxed” last that’s just plain comfy. Of course everyone’s feet are different and you have to find “your brand,” but if you’re searching for hikers, don’t miss these guys for a try-on.

La Sportiva Cascade GTX

La Sportiva Cascade GTX

These days I use my heavier duty hikers mostly for hunting and firewood work. Thus, something with Gore-Tex works well as I’m doing those acts when conditions are gloppy and cold. Read, autumn in the mountains. Or winter trailhead work during backcountry skiing expeditions. During summer I don’t like Gore-Tex boots. Too hot.

La Sportiva Cascade is what you’d call a “mid weight.” It’s got enough cuff for average support (though I could use a bit more lateral stiffness here for my weak ankle), enough sole last to not be too twisty, and exterior of mostly rubber and leather that’ll hold up to abrasive incidents much better than lighter shoes that present nylon mesh as their exterior. Weight is average for this sort of shoe, 29 ounces each size US 10. Sole is said to increase traction and reduce impact. Not sure how much of that effect you really get, but anything helps. Nice colors, they don’t blind you.

So far the Cascade has been plenty durable. Indeed, in my opinion they could do with even less rubber around the toe (to increase breathability and reduce weight) and still hold up fine. Lacing system is basic and works well: leather eyelets lower down and two lace hooks on the cuff. Lace hooks can catch on things and cause a stumble, so use gaiters with this sort of boot if you’re doing any exposed scrambling where a trip could send you on a rapid downward journey. Sportiva’s lace clips are angled and tapered to mitigate this, but still, stuff happens. This boot is stiff enough to work for glacier walking with strap-on crampons, but they are not clip-on crampon compatible.

In all, good stuff from La Sportiva!

Shop for ’em, at this time they might even be on sale here.


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6 Responses to “La Sportiva Cascade GTX Trek Boots”

  1. RDE October 13th, 2011 10:29 am

    If you have fat feet like I do, check out the KEEN Targhee. Lightest and best moderately waterproof hiking boot I’ve ever found .

  2. Jim October 14th, 2011 12:25 pm

    Danner boots made in Portland Oregon are good also for wide/ flat feet. Very well made in US.

  3. dan ewing October 15th, 2011 3:10 pm

    Heads up, unless they’ve changed back to US only manufacturing recently, Danner shifted a bunch of it’s production offshore about ten years ago when US military demand ramped up. They still made/ make a few models in the US, but not very many.

  4. MorganW October 18th, 2011 12:30 am

    Is the need for ankle support not just a bit overstated? Think of all the stuff athletes do in all sorts of disciplines, in standard trainers WITHOUT ankle support.

    Boots keep you warm and keep stuff out.

  5. Dimitri October 18th, 2011 5:08 am

    the need for ankle support and amount of support is direcly related to how much weight you are carrying, i.e. hunters boot has massive support for carrying meat out of hunting grounds (Norske ones do anyway).

    Other require high support boots because of weak ankles, an ultra light backpacker will be happy with hiking shoes or mid lighter textile boots. more and more day hikers are using trail running shoes over here. If you are going to be supporting an expedition backpack (over 80 liters) over rocky and alpine terrain, you had better have some decent supportive boots. i have used this boot for alpine like backpacking:

    and the Salewa apline trainer for general use

  6. Lou October 18th, 2011 8:26 am

    Morgan, ankle support needs vary greatly with the individual. Some folks, myself included, have “bum” ankles that have been injured so many times they’re unstable. In that case, a boot with better support really helps, as does pre-taping and that sort of thing. Other folks can, yes, do all sorts of things in running shoes with no upper at all. The Cascade is definitely flexible in the upper, which adds to comfort and ergonomics, but takes away from ankle support. Lou

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