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La Sportiva Aequilibrium St Gtx Review

Overall
4.8
  • Comfort
    (5)
  • Stability and precision
    (4.5)
  • Waterproofness
    (5)
  • Breathability
    (4.5)
  • Sole
    (5)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Summary

Technical hiking boots featuring high comfort and light weight. The innovative Double Heel heel provides excellent walkability, with a very smooth roll and high traction, making it excellent even for mountaineering on low difficulty.

Pros

  • High comfort
  • Ankle mobility
  • Marked grip
  • Lightness
  • Waterproofness

Cons

  • Low thermal comfort

The Aequilibrium St Gtx was designed by La Sportiva as an ultra-light technical hiking boot, ideal for via ferrata, trekking and long traverses on glaciers and mixed terrain.

A boot that, thanks to its innovative construction, offers the perfect balance between comfort, technicality, lightness and durability.

snow test

Technical Features of the La Sportiva Aequilibrium St Gtx

One of the new features of the La Sportiva Aequilibrium St Gtx is the new sole/midsole package with Rubber Guard™ outer shell construction and internal foam. The result is increased cushioning and reduced weight due to fewer layers of rubber.

  • Upper: High-strength, water-repellent 60.6 nylon with Honey Comb Guard abrasion-resistant zones
  • Lining: Gore-Tex Performance Comfort
  • Insole: Carbon filled nylon
  • Outsole: Vibram SpringLug Tech and PU foam liner, semi-automatic cramponable
  • Soft fabric snow gaiter
  • Lacing: Velcro top, webbing bottom with anti-chafing lower gaiter for use with crampons
  • Double heel
  • Weight (tested): 717g (size 43.5)
  • Manufacturer link
La Sportiva Aequilibrium St Gtx

Test mode

The product was used on 12 excursions between January and March this year. I hiked in a variety of terrains, from EE trails on rocky terrain to some medium altitude mountaineering in mixed terrain with fresh and icy snow.

Altitudes ranged from 500 to 1500 metres, with a maximum of 2500 m. On these occasions I found variable weather, with temperatures never too cold.

La Sportiva Aequilibrium St Gtx on test

La Sportiva Aequilibrium St Gtx on-site test

How they look

The overall impression is of a very lightweight boot with a tapered but attractive design. It feels very comfortable, thanks to the tongue with integrated gusset and the soft snow gaiter on the collar.

The innovative Double Heel sole provides a good grip and the TPU side reinforcements prevent abrasions.

laces

Comfort and wear of the La Sportiva Aequilibrium St Gtx

From the first use, the foot enters the boot easily without having to push too hard. The tongue with integrated gusset, located at the back of the collar, provides a secure and firm grip on the boot when putting it on.

Once on, you will feel that your foot is well wrapped by the upper, evenly and without any compression zone. The lacing, with hooks at the top and webbing at the bottom, never gives the feeling of a compressed foot or an ankle that is not very mobile, even when it is very tight.

In fact, the innovative multidirectional articulation of the upper (3D Flex System) allows the ankle to take advantage of its natural characteristics without losing stability.

3d flex system
In the ankle area you can see the multidirectional 3D Flex System joint

Walking behaviour

The comfortable feel you get from the first fit is maintained throughout the gait, which is comfortable and agile. Even on long trails, the semi-rigid sole, which flexes slightly as you walk to facilitate rolling, did not cause any pain to the feet. This is thanks to the upper, which wraps around the foot without leaving any pressure points or gaps.

walking test
The La Sportiva Aequilibrium St Gtx on the descent

On the down hill, the innovative Double Heel provides excellent traction. The very pronounced double heel construction increases the braking effect and gives a more fluid roll while reducing muscle fatigue.

double heel
The double heel increases the braking effect on descents.

Behaviour on rock and snow

The La Sportiva Aequilibrium St Gtx boots move excellently on rock. This is mainly due to the freedom of ankle movement provided by the 3D Flex system, which allows the foot to make the movements and rotations necessary for climbing. In addition, the Impact Brake System, the innovative system applied to the sole that absorbs the impact, gives the shoe greater adaptability to hard rock surfaces.

Finally, the climbing zone on the toes of the sole, with slight grooves, provides support and the right thrust when climbing.

climbing test la sportiva

Obviously, given the nature of the shoe, it cannot guarantee support comparable to that of a hard-soled boot. However, the sensitivity is high enough to make you feel what you have under your feet.

sensitivity on rock

One of the aspects of the Aequilibrium that impressed me most was how well it performed in a snowy environment. In addition to the excellent job done by the Snow Guard gaiter on the collar, you immediately notice the high grip even in difficult conditions.

On one of my trips, I was accompanied by a friend who was wearing a pair of La Sportiva Trango Tech. When he reached a slope of compact, hard snow that was quite steep, he had to stop to put on crampons, while the Aequilibrium St Gtx continued to maintain sufficient grip, thanks in part to its very pronounced tread.

on snow test

Use with crampons

The La Sportiva Aequilibrium St Gtx is designed for semi-automatic crampon use when the terrain requires it. Once crampons are in place, the shoe’s excellent ankle mobility, which allows the foot to adapt smoothly to the slope of the terrain, is even more pronounced.

La Sportiva Aequilibrium St Gtx with crampons
Semi-automatic crampon

These boots offer excellent stability on steep climbs, and even on mixed rock and snow descents, they provide a pleasant, sustained and comfortable gait.

La Sportiva Aequilibrium St Gtx cramponable
La Sportiva Aequilibrium St Gtx cramponable

Due to the semi-rigid sole, you should not expect the kind of support that more structured mountaineering boots can provide. As a result, crampon hooking is a little less easy and precise than with a rigid sole.

One of the advantages of this boot is the lacing protection gaiter at the toe to prevent possible chafing when wearing crampons.

laces gaiter
The gaiter on the Aequilibrium St Gtx that protects the toe lacing.

Waterproofing, thermal comfort and protection of the La Sportiva Aequilibrium St Gtx

Excellent breathability goes hand in hand with waterproofing: even on mild days with temperatures around 15°C and intense activity, I never felt the sensation of sweating.

Even when walking in fresh snow or crossing small streams, my feet stayed dry. This is thanks to the Gore-Tex Performance Comfort membrane lining, which keeps water out while allowing sweat to escape.

waterproofing test

Impact protection is also excellent: although I have used them intensively and “carelessly”, there is no sign of wear. The TPU side reinforcements, the yellow/red toe and heel reinforcements and the anti-abrasion layer in the ankle area do their job well.

The La Sportiva Aequilibrium St Gtx is not a thermal boot for the cold season. Despite the mild winter, I did feel a slight chill in my feet, especially when I was walking in deep snow and the temperature was just below freezing. They work best in all three seasons and/or at not too high altitudes.

high altitudes test

Fit

I tested these boots in my usual size, 43.5. As already mentioned, I always had the feeling of maximum comfort and an optimally wrapped foot with no trouble spots. I therefore recommend that you stick to your own size.

La Sportiva Aequilibrium St Gtx

Comparison with the Aequilibrium range

The La Sportiva Aequilibrium St Gtx shares the light weight, durability and comfort of its Top Gtx and Speed siblings. They also share innovative technologies such as Double Hell, 3D Flex System and Vibram SpringLug tread.

In addition to the different lacing system (Boa for Tops, Quicklace for Speed), the St version offers greater versatility for use in environments ranging from via ferrata to high altitude traverses. The Top version, on the other hand, is more at home on goulottes, ridges and mixed terrain, while the low Aequilibrium Speed combines the characteristics of a mountain boot with those of a trail running shoe.

Recommended for

High comfort combined with low weight and good grip make the La Sportiva Aequilibrium St Gtx ideal for technical hiking or basic mountaineering where comfort is a priority. They are best suited for advanced trekking, including technical passages, mixed terrain, via ferratas and glacier traverses.

These are not boots for advanced mountaineering, for long progressions on toes or vertical ice, or for winter mountaineering.

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