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La Sportiva Aequilibrium Hike Woman Gtx Review

la sportiva aequilibrium hike
Overall
4.2
  • Comfort
    (5)
  • Stability and precision
    (4)
  • Waterproofing
    (4.5)
  • Breathability
    (2.5)
  • Sole
    (5)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Summary

A “mid” cut boot, it represents the model in the Aequilibrium family aimed at light hiking. The good ankle protection, which does not counteract its mobility, together with the innovative sole make it comfortable and precise for those who move fast on mixed terrain, even of a certain commitment.

Pros

  • Stability
  • Sole grip
  • Ankle protection
  • Comfort and lightweight

Cons

  • Limited breathability

The Aequilibrium Hike Woman Gtx, by La Sportiva, are hiking (or light trekking) boots that find their best application in mixed terrain, tackled at a fast pace.

They are the latest additions to the Aequilibrium family from which they inherit several solutions, including the innovative sole/midsole package with external shell construction and internal foam material. Unlike the other Aequilibrium models we have already tested, the Hike are designed for less technical use, while still doing well even on challenging terrain.

la sportiva aequilibrium hike

Technical features of the La Sportiva Aequilibrium Hike Woman Gtx

  • Upper: abrasion-resistant and water-repellent fabric
  • Dobule Heel
  • Lining: Gore- Tex Extended Comfort Bluesign® Certified 100% recycled laces
  • Midsole: polyurethane foam with TPU anti-abrasion film
  • 3D Flex System EvoTM directional joint, with contoured malleolus
  • Abrasion-resistant fabric edging.
  • Gussets with Impact Brake SystemTM
  • Insole: la Sportiva Mountain Hiking 5mm
  • Outsole: Vibram® rubber tread and PU foam inside
  • Weight: 458 g (single shoe, size 39.5)
  • Country of manufacture: EU
  • Manufacturer link

Test Mode

I tested the Aequilibrium Hike Woman Gtx this spring with sudden weather changes: we quickly went from 20 degrees with very warm sunshine, to zero degrees with snow and heavy rain.

The test terrain was varied: from easy trails, to more challenging ones among boulders and scree, with elevation gains from 400 to 1400 meters, touching altitudes from 1000 m to 2400 m above sea level.

testing la sportiva aequilibrium hike woman gtx

La Sportiva Aequilibrium Hike Woman Gtx on-site test

How they look

The Aequilibrium Hike Woman Gtx immediately present themselves as comfortable, lightweight and fast boots.

They are very flexible, with excellent sole grip and specific protection of the malleolus up to mid-ankle, which supports it without closing or blocking it too much. A sensation, the latter, that is sometimes felt with high ankle boots.

la sportiva boots

Comfort and fit

The Aequilibrium Hike Woman Gtx are easy boots to adjust: with a single metal hook at the top of the foot and fabric loops underneath, lacing is quick and easy. In this regard, I would have preferred the laces to be a couple of cm longer, so that I could tie the knot more easily, although the choice to keep them shorter benefits greater safety when walking.

The narrow sole wraps the foot well without, however, compressing it. The foot on the inside is comfortable, stable and with a well-supported ankle.

la sportiva aequilibrium hike

As for the fit, I felt the lack of a buttonhole on the heel of the boot to ease its entry; probably a detail sacrificed by the designers in the name of a few fewer grams of weight.

Walking behavior

The walk is always comfortable and fast, thanks to a flexible sole that accompanies the stride with a smooth and smooth roll.

The heel in the hull is held firm and stable. The ankle is well supported, but at the same time free in movement.

testing la sportiva boots under the rain

The sole, made of Vibram and PU foam, features the Impact Brake System. This system features very deep lugs, aimed at facilitating uphill traction and downhill control.

The heel, in particular, has a significantly more pronounced gusset, a feature common to the entire Aequilibrium family. This technology called Double Heel helps especially on descents: it increases grip with the ground, giving a greater braking effect.

As a result, muscular stress is relieved and the legs are less fatigued.

testing la sportiva aequilibrium hike on rock

Behavior on rock and rough terrain

On more challenging passages, over steeper and rockier terrain, the response of the Aequilibrium Hike is excellent for a lightweight hiking boot: the grip of the sole is remarkable both uphill and downhill and the protection always adequate.

The forefoot is narrow to ensure greater precision in more technical passages.

Hiking boot with high precision

The midsole is made of polyurethane foam protected with TPU, a special abrasion-resistant film that resists impact, UV rays, and water. In addition, all of the boot’s edging is made of abrasion-resistant fabric.

The anti-abrasion edging
The anti-abrasion edging

A special feature of the Aequilibrium Hike Woman Gtx is found at the ankle level. Here there is the 3D Flex System Evo directional joint that allows excellent mobility and flexibility of the ankle, while still going to protect it by offering a more controlled support.

The directional joint at the ankle
The directional joint at the ankle

Specifically, I perceived the importance of this joint on uneven terrain, such as scree and boulders, and in short climbing sections. Here the ankle was always free to move, while remaining secure in the boot and free from accidental twisting.

Behavior on wet terrain

The Aequilibrium Hike Woman Gtx have good grip even in wet conditions. The deeper sole lugs, help limit slipping and the double heel increases braking ability especially on muddy terrain.

Waterproofness, breathability and thermal efficiency

I found the waterproofness of the Aequilibrium Hike really effective. I have worn them during long rain and snow storms, forded streams and crossed wet areas. In all cases the feet always stayed completely dry, thanks to the Gore-Tex Extended Comfort membrane.

The water-repellent upper, on which water tends to slip right off, also helps in this.

the upper of la sportiva boots

Instead, despite the unseasonably warm temperatures this time of year, breathability was modest, causing the foot to sweat more than usual. On this point, however, I reserve judgment in the coming months.

Regarding thermality, this is a boot suitable for mid-season but to be avoided for winter or high-altitude use. In my test, during prolonged stints in hostile weather and temperatures just above freezing, I felt cold on my feet. After all, these are not cramponable boots.

la sportiva aequilibriu, hike on snow

Sustainability

In the Hike Woman Gtx model, the laces and insoles are made of recycled material from the respective processing cycles of semi-finished products.

The Gore-Tex Extended Comfort Lining has the Bluesign certificate, which guarantees that the product is made in compliance with environmental, health and safety requirements.

Finally, the tread is resolable, so the life of the boot can be extended.

boots view from the up

Fit

I tried the Aequilibrium Hike Woman Gtx with half a size larger than mine, without experiencing any particular discomfort or compression.

The structure of the sole is narrow, so for those like me who have problems with hallux valgus or have a wide sole of the foot I recommend a full size up for more comfort.

la sportiva hiking boots

Comparison with the Aequilibrium family

In addition to the Hike the Aequilibrium family consists of other models we tested: the Speed Gtx, ST Gtx (both also in women’s versions), Top Gtx. For all of them, comfort and lightness are key features. Double Heel technology is present on all models, as is the directional ankle joint 3D Flex System Evo, which is missing only in the Speed model, geared toward high-altitude running.

The STs are the boots that are closest to the Hike model, but diverge in terms of conditions of use. In fact, they are aimed at more technical hikers, with passages even on mixed terrain, via ferrata and short glacier traverses thanks to the possibility of being used with crampons.

Then there is the Aequilibrium Trek model, which compared to the Hike I tested has a higher ankle height and a more prominent structure, bringing it closer to the characteristics of the STs.

Recommended for

The Aequilibrium Hike Woman Gtx are boots designed especially for day hikes with sustained pace and in mid-mountain areas. Thanks to the double heel and directional ankle joint, I recommend them for those who tackle different terrains: from non-demanding trail, scree and scree to basic climbing passages.

Thus, the ideal user for these shoes is the advanced hiker who enjoys trails with significant development and elevation gain and who seeks comfort without sacrificing safety, protection and support.

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