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Here we review the funky looking and multi-functional La Sportiva Xplorer trail shoe

la sportiva xplorer trail shoe
Overall Score
Tough, versatile
Quite narrow toe box won’t appeal to everyone

The Xplorer is a lightweight fabric shoe offering great breathability from a durable nylon mesh upper. It has quite flamboyant looks as you might expect from an Italian shoe but they serve a purpose – a close fit and good sensitivity is gained through lacing that extends to the toe, and a new lacing cradle that progressively draws the body of the shoe inwards.

This won’t appeal to everyone as it results in quite a narrow toe box. On the other hand the Xplorer is designed with climbing in mind as well as trail walking, so if you’re going to be doing any sort of scrambling or more adventurous stuff on rock these shoes will work really well for you.

You get excellent grip thanks to the Vibram Idrogrip sole, which features La Sportiva’s Impact Brake System (which as the name suggests helps you stay in control on steep descents), and the smooth ‘climbing zone’ at the toe, which allows for more accurate forefoot placement when scrambling or climbing.

There’s also a shock-absorbing heel and lateral stability is maintained through a stiffened TPU insert. Your heel is cradled nicely too and we found very little heel lift.

The Xplorer isn’t a shoe you’d necessarily go for if you only intend to use it predominantly for hiking, but if you’re likely to be mixing your hiking with a little scrambling, climbing or via ferrata this is a shoe well worth checking out.

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