La Sportiva Spire GTX
These are built for performance, support, protection, and impressive traction while providing great comfort. Very light on the feet for a hiking shoe and with a Gare-Tex lining, which will keep your feet dry from the elements, but limit breathability some.
For those looking for a shoe that is built to last due to durable high-tech functional performance. This shoe is certainly worth adding to your gear.
This is an impressive shoe and you have to pay a higher price for top quality. Read on and see why this may well be exactly what you are looking for.
Breathability is good
Durability is good when used for design purpose
Some users suggest durability could be a little better when constantly used in tough environments
Higher price tag for quality
This shoe has the comfort expected from a high-quality trail shoe and the versatility needed from a low ankle hiking boot.
Designed like a trail running shoe the features for comfort are extended to include hiking. Molded EVA sole gives good compression and extra cushioning. For more comfort, the shoe has excellent arch support working in conjunction with a moderate level of rocker. The sole gives absolute protection from sharp stones and on snowy, muddy surfaces gives a comforting stable feel equal to a hiking boot.
The gusset tongue reaches high up for protection and comfort but does not get in the way when you slip on the shoe. The lace-up system tops-of the sensation of supported comfort securely for the forefoot.
A killer for comfort has always been wet feet, the Gore-Tex Surround membrane will certainly keep your feet dry and breathability is simply impressive. The Surround tech also enables the feet to waft away perspiration via the 5mm Ortholite footbed. This design feature means that even in warm weather, your feet stay at a healthy comfortable level of dryness.
Despite the low-cut design and comfortable light build the creative designing and inclusion of high-tech features for this shoe are all about support, These are good for day-hiking in all terrains. Providing seriously good support and are great day-hikers when used in the design context.
The shoe features support for all types of terrains expected while day-hiking, a three-inch high ankle collar sits just below the ankle bone. This design ensures good lateral support and prevents the potential for rolling ankles.
The sole feels soft enough for trail-running and the TPU inserts ensure a balancing stable stiffness, even on challenging surfaces. The shoe has a slightly narrow feel with a forefoot of around 4 inches width and this lends towards nimble assuring stability.
The Vibram XS Trek rubber compound outsole can grip all types of surfaces though for very steep rock surfaces a stickier outsole would be better.
Traction works when the lug pattern has wide-spaced lugs with a deep bite to drive through dry dirt or wet mud without clogging up. The Spire GTX outsole gives traction and even includes an Impact Braking System. This lug layout gives you control over how quickly or slowly you move down steep slopes.
The overall feel from the traction performance is that you feel stability and you feel in control.
Here is where we focus on the purpose of design. This shoe is constructed from a combination of synthetic materials which have been chosen for performance and durability. While not going into deep technicalities, synthetics have a design purpose and for this shoe, the purpose is day-long hiking, moderate weight back-packing, and also multiple trail conditions.
Where the weather is concerned, these will give protection from snow a few inches deep but performance and durability will be tested if you constantly hike deeper snow. Durability will be tested if you continually long-distance hike in foul wet tough conditions. For very wet weather consider a fully designed wet weather approach shoe such as the Asolo Drifter EVO GV Waterproof Men’s Hiking Boot.
Stay with the design for purpose and the durability of the Spire GTX is very good.
Weighing in at around 1 pound per shoe with slight variations for shoe size. These are average for weight when comparing to other branded hiking shoes. There are other minimal lower cut options on the market that are lighter but offer less performance.
The combination of comfort, support, stability, protection, and weight for a day-hiking shoe is very good.
Comparison to Other Approach Shoes
For weight, support and traction the Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex is slightly ahead but it falls short on comfort while durability is the same. Another comparative and impressive shoe is the Arc'teryx Aerios FL GTX which performs better for weight at 1.64 lbs a pair. However, its performance is slightly less for comfort, support, versatility, traction, and waterproofing.
The Mountain Trainer Lite GTX is certainly a good option. It's a heavier shoe, better for support and traction and slightly less for comfort, versatility, and weight.
There are other close comparable options on the market and a deciding factor may well be the price. The Spire GTX is not a budget price, it does cost more than some other choices but you have to pay more for great functional features and design.
The Spire GTX is certainly a good multi-performance shoe that gives the wanted blend of stability, comfort, traction, and performance. For dry comfortable feet in wet weather and balanced breathability in warm weather, this shoe has lots of positive feedback from users.
The price is high but not excessively high, for the range of impressive performance features. A sound investment for sure.