La Sportiva FC ECO 3.0 GTX Boots
March 27, 2012
Filed under Footwear
At just over a pound (19 ounces), it will be hard to find a lighter pair of hiking boots than the La Sportiva FC ECO 3.0 GTX boots. Billed as boots designed to handle everything from all-purpose hiking chores to moderate backpacking excursions, these recently introduced boots have several appealing features. For recreationists desiring to go green, the ECO (Environmentally Conscious Outdoor) designation is significant. La Sportiva boots in this series are manufactured in either whole or partly recycled materials in the upper, lining, mid-sole, laces and sole. Percentages of recycled materials in these areas range from 15 to 100 percent.
In some cases, green seems more like a codeword for gimmicky. Not so with these FC ECO boots. In my initial tests, I was immediately impressed by how lightweight the boots were. My feet are prone to blistering and sores, but I experienced neither of these on an inaugural hike over moderate terrain. Traction is an extremely important feature in hiking boots for me as I often wander beyond the trail. Testing on a variety of surfaces from rocky slabs to fallen logs in wet and dry conditions, I found the traction of these boots exceptional. La Sportiva, an Italian company, is well-known for its mountain-climbing footwear, so it’s not surprising that grippy soles are a common feature.
Along with their traction, the stability of the La Sportiva FC ECO 3.0 GTX Boots was impressive. They feel very solid under foot, inspiring confidence when tackling uneven or steep terrain. The boots are very flexible as well, feeling somewhat like an over-the-ankle, beefy running shoe rather than a traditional hiking boot.
With a Gore-Tex/Dri-Lex lining, the boots are waterproof and breathable. I wore them for an extended slog through melting snowdrifts and a boggy trail. The boots kept my feet dry and also seemed more breathable than most. Other notable niceties include a well-cushioned tongue and a wide, finger-friendly loop above the heel to assist pulling the boots on. Looping the laces over a single set of eyelets makes securing the boots to your feet a breeze.
Along with appealing functionality, the La Sportiva FC ECO 3.0 GTX are equally attractive to the eye. Incorporating solid and perforated Nubuck leather on the uppers, the boots sport a nifty line graphic on the sides in the shape of a mountain range. Along with the 3.0, the FC ECO GTX line includes a low-cut model (2.0) and a beefier backpacking boot (4.0). The FC ECO GTX 3.0 and 2.0 are available for both men and women. Price for the La Sportiva FC ECO 3.0 GTX Boots is $180.
La Sportiva, 303-443-8710,