La Sportiva Spire GTX
Our take The shoe buyer’s dilemma: Do you want waterproofing or breathability? One usually comes at the expense of the other, but the Spire GTX does a pretty good job of eliminating the tradeoff. Our feet never got too sweaty in the light-duty kicks—even while tracking through Joshua Tree National Park on a 90°F day—thanks to the year’s best use of Gore-Tex Surround. With Surround, each step compresses a liner in the midsole that squeezes sweat vapor out through the sides and under the foot; paired with the Spire GTX’s meshy upper, it’s the most breathable waterproof shoe in this lineup.
The details A PU web overlaid on the upper protects the lightweight shoe from errant rocks and sticks without compromising breathability. One tester, who carried a 40-pound load for 20 miles in Yosemite National Park, complimented the Vibram XS Trek outsole. Its chunky, rectangular lugs bit into loose gravel without issue.
Trail cred “I scree-skied through some coarse rock in J-Tree without any damage to the sole,” said our tester after 100 miles in the Spires.
$190; 1 lb. 15 oz.; m’s 6-13.5, w’s 5-12