Gore-Tex trailrunning shoes for backpacking and hiking? If you want to keep your feet drier longer, I found the La Sportiva Crossover 2.0 GTX a great shoe with it’s integrated ankle-high gaiter.
Disclaimer: I’m sponsored by La Sportiva BUT I bought these shoes with my own money. This did not influence the article as I maintain full editorial control of the content published on this site. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on affiliate links & blogger transparency.
I bought the La Sportiva Crossover 2.0 GTX in April 2018, and have used them since then pretty much on every backpacking trip: Sipoonkorpi National Park, at Camp Ousland, Backpacking in Vålådalen, Backpacking in the Pyrenees and also on my backpacking trip in Hammastunturi Wilderness. Additionally, in winter I also use these shoes all the time, so they easily have seen over 360 days of use so far, and I estimate that I have hiked over 1.500 km in them.
Shoes give you protection and grip on your hiking & backpacking trips, and depending on the environment you are likely to pick different shoes: If I’m hiking in super-warm weather the Luna Sandals OSO are my pick, if I am in the mountains I usually opt for an approach shoe like the TX2, and if I’m hiking in the autumn off-the-beaten track or expect wet and cold weather, then I put on the Crossover 2.0 GTX as they keep my feet drier and warmer than an unlined shoe.
The Crossover 2.0 has these features:
- Grippy sole with AT Grip zone for enhanced hold on snowy and icy terrain (FriXion AT Sole with Impact Brake System and AT Grip zone)
- “Easy-in” speed fitting system
- Ortholite Mountain Running Ergonomic Footbed
- 10 mm Drop
- Water-repellent Gaiter fabric with YKK water-repellent transversal zip and integrated tension adjustment system
Integrating a gaiter into a running shoe isn’t new, but La Sportiva has done an absolute amazing job with this shoe as it is durable in all aspects which matter to me.
I have used this shoe for almost two years in autumn, winter and spring, in the Pyrenees, Finnish swamps, on snow & asphalt and forest trails and have never found anything wrong with them. They’re always comfortable for my feet with a good fit in the heel, and the toe box is wide enough to accommodate my toes. The zipper holds up AMAZINGLY well, and still functions flawless. Also the heel - commonly an area where you see the wear & tear first - is still without any damage. And I have been hiking a lot off-trail with these shoes, though shrubbery and whatnot, and the upper + gaiter still look in great shape.
One shoe weighs in at 358 g in Size 42 which makes the pair 716 g heavy.
Sustainability & Recyclability
La Sportiva is a 1% For The Planet Member, and they have a Recycle Program for the waste resulting from their manufacturing process in Val di Fiemme. The company is ISO 14.001 certified and all that and more you can read in their Sustainability Report. BUT how do you “recycle” your La Sportiva shoes at the end of their life-cycle? In most countries shoes belong into the residual waste bin. Or if they still have some life left in them, you can drop them into a clothing recycling bin or donate them to a place which takes old clothes and shoes. You also can look for the shop or place which is part of the Reuse-A-Shoe program, where they recycle your sneakers and transform them into Nike Grind material.
As always, this is the most important part of the whole article - get a cup of coffee and then read on.
First things first: This is a Gore-Tex shoe, but that does not mean that I always had dry feet in them. If it are good, clear trails and it’s raining - dry feet, mucho awesome. Hiking through shrubbery, overgrown paths and through grass heavy with dew or wet from the rain, expect to have wet feet in a few minutes. The inner material also holds on to wetness well, so once the shoes are wet they are wet till you’re drying them over a stove. The wet shoes are not really a problem if you have some good Merino Wool Socks on and have the hiking in wet shoes is not a problem mind set, but it’s something I need to mention. Gore-Tex or waterproofness in shoes in general only goes so far really, but for me the benefit of having dry & warm feet in the rain, when the trail conditions are right, outweigh the downside of hiking in a wet Gore-Tex shoe that needs longer to dry. I have found that drying the shoes overnight next to a wood stove is possible, and also in the tent they do dry out a wee bit if the air is not really saturated with moisture.
The shoe has a 10 mm Drop which is usually more than I like, but it’s still acceptable for me and as I have used these shoes so much I have got used to it. I also don’t particularly like that La Sportiva has used in the inner construction a material which holds moisture so long, I wish they would have used something more meshy that dries super-fast. But as this shoe is intended for winter trailrunning I get why they have made the shoe warmer instead of more breathable. It being a “warm” shoe also means that it isn’t really suitable to really warm weather - for me the ideal temperature to use the shoe is between -5°c and 15°C. If it is more than 15°C I get really warm and sweaty feet, on the other side of the thermometer it’s not a problem to take the shoes down to -15°C and still have toasty feet.
Grip wise these shoes are absolutely fantastic. Wet rocks in the Pyrenees, boulder-hoping down a field of scree: No problem. Traversing wet swamps: No Problem. Hiking on forest trails with roots and stones: Ideal terrain. Snow: Hi there, I’m at home here. The Crossover has superb grip thanks to it profile and the La Sportiva FriXion AT Sole. On wet boulders I am more careful than with a Vibram Megagrip sole, but I haven’t slipped on wet rocks yet. Given how much I have used these shoes I also am super-happy with the durability of the soles, they still have a few longer backpacking trips in them.
The integrated gaiter of the Crossover 2.0 is what gives this shoe a great advantage over normal trailrunning shoes in my opinions - the zipper is really well designed, the gaiter can be adjusted in width (tightness) at the top so it doesn’t slip down, and the material keeps rain, snow and debris like dirt and small stones out of your shoe. It also gives the shoe a great look, and I wear the shoe with the laces always done and only slip in and close the gaiter, ready to go.
Could be better
I know that this shoe is made for trailrunning in winter, which is why it is made warmer. I’d like to see the same shoe - maybe with a Vibram Megagrip sole for even better grip on wet rocks - with a lighter inside construction which dries faster when it is wet, and I also can imagine it’d be good to decrease the Drop to 6 mm or less. This is more wishing La Sportiva building the ideal hiking shoe for wet weather, though 😃
I have hiked for 9+ years in unlined shoes as that’s the Ultralight Backpacking Mantra. Light shoes without a (waterproof) liner are lighter and dry faster when wet. That is true, with the caveat that it depends on the material of the shoes how quickly they will dry. But I got so frustrated year after year that I had wet feet as soon as it rained a tiny wee bit or I went slightly off-trail, that I decided I want some more protection from water - hence I bought these shoes. I don’t look back at all. I love these shoes and will purchase a 2nd pair once these are nearing the end of their lifecycle, for me they really are a fantastic pair of shoes which helps me to keep my feet dry longer, with great grip on all the terrain I backpack in, and I really love the integrated gaiter of the shoe.
Convinced? Buy the Crossover 2.0 GTX via these affiliate links and I’ll get a small commission without extra costs to you!
The La Sportiva Crossover 2.0 GTX is available at Alpinetrek.co.uk in the UK and at Bergzeit.de and Bergfreunde.eu in Europe. Readers from Germany, Switzerland and Austria can also find the shoe at any of the shops in the underneath widget:
You can see more photos of the La Sportiva Crossover 2.0 GTX in this Flickr Album.
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