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REVIEW: La Sportiva Aequilibrium ST GTX 

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With lightweight materials and a striking new outsole that offers enhanced downhill braking, La Sportiva's Aequilibrium boot range covers a variety of uses from light-n-fast mountaineering and high-level backpacking, to via ferrata. John McKenna puts them through their paces on the Scottish winter hills. 

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 AliRLee 05 Apr 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Great review!

 walts4 05 Apr 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Had a pair of the ST now for about six months & used extensively in the Italian mid mountains during this dry winter.

These are the best boots I’ve ever owned, the sole really does work both in reducing fatigue & more importantly grip. Well recommended.

 mcawle 05 Apr 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Thanks, are there any notes from Sportiva on the differences between the three models? It’s not completely clear to me from their website although I expect the top range one with gaiter to be warmer.

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In reply to walts4:

It's good to hear that you've got some good wear out of them. I got some trango tech leather's about 18 months ago, and while they're lovely comfortable boots and great for climbing the waterproofing failed really quickly and the midsole developed cracks after only moderate use. I'm really disappointed with their durability even considering the compromise you inevitably make with lightweight boots.

 ScraggyGoat 05 Apr 2022
In reply to walts4:

The heel design and aggressive lugs look really good for saturated bog and steep wet grassy Scottish descents.

being goretex and fabric they will start leaking inside two weeks of being abused by bog and heather, and  unless the uppers are more robust than they appear I doubt I’d get more than four to six months out of a pair.  

So Are they better than they look for robustness?

 walts4 05 Apr 2022
In reply to pancakeandchips:

Used them extensively with no signs of wear but not in really rocky terrain that normally destroys lightweight boots.

On a plus note, the sole after approximately 4 weeks use, in excess of 10 - 15 km per day shown no sign of wear.

Forgot to mention on my earlier post, there is a female version, purple & orange available in Italy.

Post edited at 17:39
 walts4 05 Apr 2022
In reply to ScraggyGoat:

The heel design is a life saver literally, already tested this aspect.

Mine have been used extensively in the Italian alpes during the driest period ever, a little snow but not Scottish by any stretch of the imagination.

For myself & my potential use, they are an ideal boot, Scottish bogs may be a different proposition, time will tell.

 HomerTheFat 05 Apr 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

I have the LT and ST and love them. the LT=Leather and ST=Synthetic.

I've had the LT longer and have used them in Scottish Winter with Grivel G12s and no issues at all. They are fab for those days with long walks in on varied terrain and work great in deep snow and deep mud. I'm with the reviewer and though I have used them in SNCL, it was easy terrain. For anything above an easy G1 or for serious monster-cold-Scottish days, I'd pull out the Mantas. The LTs did get some interesting looks from the WML trainer this winter but I do stand by them as fab boots that work fine with crampons, do reduce fatigue and increase comfort and traction.

After having so much fun with the LTs, I bought the ST as a second pair as they are a wee bit lighter and cooler for summer alpine and for shoulder season stuff in Wales....just so comfy. I've used the STs on Bristly Ridge and the likes and can see no great sign of wear.

Heartily recommended 

 neuromancer 05 Apr 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Any meaningful comparison to Ribelle lights then?

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 HomerTheFat 05 Apr 2022
In reply to neuromancer:

I've tried on the Ribelle lights and would say that there is a lot of similarity with stiffness and weight, though the heel design of the Aequilibriums is superb and may be a game changer and the increased lug depth is also good

In reply to mcawle:

You might find these useful:

youtube.com/watch?v=B2tzqXGYEUI&

youtube.com/watch?v=LummzwqBeuA&

The TOP model comes with BOA lacing and a powerstrap, so quite different under the gaitor too.

In reply to ScraggyGoat:

The heel is brilliant for that exact thing. I used them coming down a sodden Stuc a' Chroin grassy bog section and could run across the terrain whereas normally I would have been taking much more care.

There are also the leather LT version which may provide a bit more robustness if you plan to really abuse them

In reply to neuromancer:

They are quite similar boots - both not the stiffest although C2 crampon compatible. Both lightweight yet able to be used on relatively technical terrain. Good for a fast and light outing.

It really comes down to the sole and heel design. The sole on the Aequilibriums is much more aggressive (particularly in the heel) great for braking and thicker which will hopefully last longer. And the construction of the sole package itself on the Aequilibriums feels more cushioned in comparison to the Ribelle Lite's.

The TPU toe and heel construction is also more robust feeling than that of the Ribelle Lite's

Post edited at 10:32
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

I tend to buy quite a lot of La Sportiva footwear because it’s one of the few brands that regularly seems to fit my narrow low volume feet. I like the look of the LT GTX - does anyone know how the fit compares to, say, the Boulder X Mid boots please?

 mcawle 06 Apr 2022
In reply to John McKenna - Rockfax:

Thank you - so it sounds like the sole construction (stiffness, etc.) is the same for all models and the variation is in the upper; is that accurate in your view?

 flaneur 06 Apr 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Can they be resoled?  I couldn't find anything on the La Sportiva website.

In reply to flaneur:

Yes, they can be resoled.
I believe the toe, heel, and full sole are all able to be resoled

In reply to mcawle:

Yes, that is correct as far as I am aware

 mcawle 06 Apr 2022
In reply to John McKenna - Rockfax:

Thank you!

In reply to John McKenna - Rockfax:

Do you know if the top model is any stiffer? The whole range looks really good but I'd like to know how they feel front pointing up fairly steep stuff.

In reply to pancakeandchips:

I don't think the top model will come with any increased stiffness due to the same sole package across all models.

In my opinion, these aren't designed for steep front pointing due to the flex. For that reason, I have avoided steep front pointing in them. In the UK, winter ridges and easy winter climbs are where they perform well.

 flaneur 06 Apr 2022
In reply to John McKenna - Rockfax:

Thank you, that's reassuring. I have had mixed experiences with moulded sole units like these and resolers. 

Having re-read the La Sportiva website we are recommended to use Lancashire Sports Repairs so I should probably check with them.

In reply to HomerTheFat:

> I have the LT and ST and love them. the LT=Leather and ST=Synthetic.

> I've had the LT longer and have used them in Scottish Winter with Grivel G12s and no issues at all. They are fab for those days with long walks in on varied terrain and work great in deep snow and deep mud. I'm with the reviewer and though I have used them in SNCL, it was easy terrain. For anything above an easy G1 or for serious monster-cold-Scottish days, I'd pull out the Mantas. The LTs did get some interesting looks from the WML trainer this winter but I do stand by them as fab boots that work fine with crampons, do reduce fatigue and increase comfort and traction.

Me and my wife bought the STs and are very happy with them. A bunch of Scottish stuff this winter including Golden Oldie, typical mixed ridge with a bit of neve at the top end. I didn't have any problems using the front points on cracks in rock and hard neve. I was using Grivel AirTech which may suit the boots better. They're not hugely warm so I was happy to switch to Nepals whilst belaying on cold ledges. 

Overall I think combined with the AirTech, they're a perfect lightweight winter boot. Waterproofing will tell with time (I think I would have bought the LT if they'd had them in stock). Highly recommended

In reply to timparkin:

> Me and my wife bought the STs and are very happy with them. A bunch of Scottish stuff this winter including Golden Oldie, typical mixed ridge with a bit of neve at the top end. I didn't have any problems using the front points on cracks in rock and hard neve. I was using Grivel AirTech which may suit the boots better. They're not hugely warm so I was happy to switch to Nepals whilst belaying on cold ledges. 

I take it you weren't literally swapping between different pairs of boots at belays?!?

In reply to TobyA:

> I take it you weren't literally swapping between different pairs of boots at belays?!?

I always carry a pair, just in case

Post edited at 09:02
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 flaneur 08 Apr 2022
In reply to John McKenna - Rockfax:

I contacted Lancashire Sports Repairs. They do not have the sole unit. More generally, they are not taking any new repairs at the moment due to workload. I hope they are able to resolve this.

It sounds like the boots should be resolable but this might be difficult in practice in the UK.  The boots sound great but if I have to get them back to Italy when the heel wears down that's a no from me.


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