La Sportiva Xplorer: versatile, lightweight approach shoes

Released by the Italian brand La Sportiva, those Xplorer could offer a good alternative for those who want to swap between hiking boots and rock-climbing shoes. Combining the stability of boots with the lightweight of soft climbing shoes (without excelling at neither of those), they are ideal in terms of versatility.

The complete lacing of those Xplorer (going all the way to the toes) provide a good stability. The feet are fairly well protected, while the shoes offer a sticky sole (by Vibram) for a better grip. The foot bed, however, are no better than average. You might want to get spare ones, as those can wear out quickly with extensive use.

Thanks to the air mesh fabric, the La Sportiva Explorer let your feet breathe and stay cool. Certainly convenient for the summer! The downside is that the shoes tend to dry up a bit slower than other models.


The La Sportiva Explorer is an overall good model, for those who value versatility. They are not the lightest for hiking, nor the most stable for climbing. But, as any approach shoe, they do offer a very good balance between the two. An interesting option if you plan on hiking rocky terrains this summer!

Weight: 13.4 oz (375g)

Price: $120

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