2015 Editors' Choice: La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX

Waterproof/breathable shoes get a lot more breathable.

Brand: La Sportiva Gear Reviews

Model: Synthesis Mid GTX

Many boots have waterproof dialed, but when it comes to breathable, we’re often looking at our blistered toes and asking, Compared to what? From now on, it’s compared to this.

Equipped with Gore-Tex’s new Surround technology, the Synthesis vents heat 360 degrees by adding an airy, perforated footbed that sits atop a foam spacer and pushes moisture out side vents with every step. We tested this technology in a few other boots this year and found it works best in the lightweight, meshy Synthesis. Not even our sweatiest-footed tester—who’d been resigned to getting blisters in waterproof shoes—could swamp these things.

How does it hike? The compression-molded EVA midsole offers sufficient support for a standard weekend load over rocky terrain, and a durable PU exoskeleton boosts protection. An aggressively lugged Vibram outsole boosts traction. $180; 1 lb. 5 oz. per pair (w’s 37); m’s 38-47.5, w’s 36-43; sportiva.com

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