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Gear Guide 2009: La Sportiva FC 3.0 Boot Review

Expect heavy-duty performance in this lightweight hiking boot by La Sportiva.
gear, hiking boot, gear guide 2009, la sportiva, fc 3.0La Sportiva FC 3.0 (Julia Vandenoever)

Best Buy
“This shoe handled the kind of abuse we typically reserve for a heavy-duty boot,” our tester reported after a rugged, largely cross-country hike through the High Sierra. Despite the big-boot stability, support, and protection, the FC 3.0 has the instant comfort and nimble feel of a lightweight dayhiking shoe. Sportiva achieves this by varying the density (read: stiffness) of the EVA midsole and the boot’s flex: “It felt good even after hard 10-hour days carrying 30 pounds,” said one tester.

The Gore-Tex liner kept feet dry, and the outsole bit into packed dirt while offering scrambling-shoe stickiness on talus. Lastly, the construction is superior for this category: You get smooth, secure lacing; a padded tongue that never migrates; and stitching that shows little wear after miles of rock-bashing. Best for low- to medium-volume feet. $150; 2 lbs. 8 oz.

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