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IR: La Sportiva Hyper Mid GTX shoes - Christensen

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  • Ryan Christensen
    Dear Monitor, etal: Herewith is my Initial Report on the La Sportiva Hyper Mid GTX hiking shoes.  The HTML file is available via this link:
    Message 1 of 1 , May 21, 2013
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      Dear Monitor, etal:

      Herewith is my Initial Report on the La Sportiva Hyper Mid GTX hiking shoes.  The HTML file is available via this link: http://tinyurl.com/oreallb  
      and the text is included below for your review and comment.

      Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions.  Ryan

      May 21, 2013

      Reviewer Information    
      Name:  Ryan L. Christensen
      Age:  48
      Gender:  Male
      Height:  6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
      Weight:  235 lb (107 kg)
      Email:  bigdawgryan(at)yahoo(dot)com
      City, State, Country:   Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

      Backpacking Background
      I began backpacking at twelve, continuing until 25. After an extended hiatus, due in part to a bad back, I resumed cycling, hiking, and backpacking several years ago. I also began snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. I share my love for backpacking and these sports with my children. I am a midweight backpacker, but carry a full array of necessary gear.

      Product Information:

      The information below came from La Sportiva's website and Hyper Mid GTX product tags.
      Hyper Mid GTX
      Manufacturer:     La Sportiva N.A. Inc.
      Manufacturer website:     http://www.sportiva.com
      Place of Manufacture:     China
      Year Manufactured:     2013
      Materials:     Upper: Leather / Lorica® / UreTech / AirMesh / Vibram® rubber toe rand
      Lining: Gore-Tex® Extended Comfort Footwear
      Mid-Sole: Dual Density MEMlex/ TPU Stabilizer/ RockGuard
      Sole: Vibram® Idro Grip X-Traction™
      Sizes Available: Euro 38 - 47.5 (half sizes)
      Color Available: Black / Red

      La Sportiva's Warranty

      "All the products we manufacture are covered under a Warranty. This warranty doesn’t cover wear and tear, improper use, or improper care. There is no implied life span of a shoe, due to the variables that can affect footwear.

      La Sportiva®’s Warranty does not extend to any La Sportiva® product that has been resoled, repaired or otherwise modified. Only original La Sportiva® materials and workmanship are covered under Warranty. Any La Sportiva® products to be warrantied must be returned to La Sportiva® for evaluation. Upon inspection La Sportiva® will either replace the product or repair it. "

      MSRP: $180 US

      Product Specifications
      Manufacturer's Specifications      
      Weight:     N/A
      Tester's Actual Measurements
      Weight: [Euro size 44; US men's 10.5]     1 lb 1.85 oz (506 g) - each
      2 lb 3.7 oz (1.012 kg) - pair

      Product Description:


      The Hyper Mid GTX, hereafter referred to as the "Hyper" or "shoe," is a mid-weight, all leather, waterproof technical hiking shoe. The Hyper is part of La Sportiva's Climbing/Access line of footwear products.

      Clicking the "Products" link on www.sportiva.com reveals six lines of footwear: Mountain, Hiking/Backpacking, Mountain Running, Climbing/Access, and Women's. The Hyper Mid GTX hiking shoes are part of La Sportiva's Climbing/Access line. This fact leads me to believe the Hypers are more of an approach shoe than a hiking boot. However, the website lists them as "MID-HEIGHT ALL LEATHER, WATERPROOF TECHNICAL HIKING SHOE WITH STICKY RUBBER AND A SNUG LACING SYSTEM PERFECT FOR HIGH COUNTRY SCRAMBLES, TECHNICAL BACKPACKING AND FASTPACKING."

      The Hyper is a stylish, mid-cut, GORE-TEX lined hiking shoe. They came with two tags attached to one of the boots: one tag briefly described Vibram'sIDROGRIP, the high performance rubber compound used in the soles; and the second had the GORE-TEX name and logo along with its guarantee to "keep you dry." From the bottom of the sole, to the highest point on the collar, these boots stand approximately 6.5 in (16.51 cm) tall; approximately 0.5 in (1.3 cm) taller than some other mid-cut boots I own. [PHOTO HERE]

      The uppers consist primarily of a Lorica. Lorica is a synthetic leather constructed from extremely small micro-fibers for a water-repellant, breathable and highly durable material. There is also a synthetic mesh material in the gusset and the upper. These boots also have a Gore-Tex® Extended Comfort Footwear liner. According to Gore-Tex, Extended Comfort Footwear is "ideal for moderate and warmer temperature conditions. Great for high-output activities and everyday use. The technology is appropriate for constant changes between indoors and outdoors, standing and walking, working and leisure time."

      One quickly notices the "To-the-toe lacing." The lacing system consists of five pair of eyelets, three pair of cord loops, and one pair of plastic cinch hooks at the top of the collar. La Sportiva says its To-the-toe lacing offers a precise, performance fit. The laces are a round woven material.

      The gusset is attached to the collar approximately 1.5 in (3.8 cm) down from the top of the collar. The gusset is primarily synthetic mesh material with a suede patches near the top on the outer side. The gusset is padded around the ankle and has a GORE-TEX membrane. The gusset has a webbing loop at the top to pull the gusset into place and one webbing loop between the second and third cord loops from the top of the collar, to pass the laces through. It also has both suede leather and synthetic mesh on the outside. There is a rubber toe rand at the front of the boot for added toe protection. On the back of the boot, there is a webbing pull-tab that is approximately 0.5 in (1.27 cm) in width and 1.5 in (3.8 cm) in length. There is a plasticized logo in the middle of the heel of each shoe.

      The molded footbeds (photo above right) in these hiking shoes are approximately 0.125 in (0.32 cm) thick, approximately half as thick as the footbeds that came with my mid-cut hiking boots. The topside is covered with a fabric of some sort. They have a series of perforations in the toe and arch areas. The underside has "La Sportiva Ergonomic Performance Fit System: debossed in the material. The footbed has raised sides beginning in the arch area and extending to the back of the heel to form a heel cup.

      [PHOTO HERE] The outsoles have a less-than-aggressive tread (photo on right). The soles are VibramIDROGRIP with X-traction™ (from the toes to the arch) and Impact Brake System™ (in the heel). Vibram claims IDROGRIP, which was specifically designed for technical approach routes, provides "outstanding grip on dry and wet surfaces." The tread of this sole is not nearly as thick or aggressive as the tread on the boots I usually wear hiking and backpacking. It will be interesting to test the grip/traction and whether I feel more rocks through these soles than I do with other boots. The midsole is comprised of Dual Density MEMlex/ TPU Stabilizer/ RockGuard, which La Sportiva claims adds extra stability and support.

      The Hypers came with a booklet containing warranty information as well as care and maintenance information. This booklet is written in Italian, English, French, German, and Spanish.

      Initial Impression:
      Right out of the box, I was impressed with the overall appearance of these boots, especially the coloring and the To-the-toe lacing. They felt somewhat lighter than other suede/synthetic mid-cut boots I own. After removing the shoes from their cardboard box, I thoroughly inspected them inside and out. I found no noticeable flaws in the materials or seams. These Italian-designed hiking shoes appear to be constructed of high quality materials and workmanship.

      Initial Testing:
      After inspecting the Hypers, I donned them over my cotton low-cut socks. Using the webbing pull tab at the back of the collar, which readily fit my finger, I easily pulled the shoes on my feet. Lacing them up and tying them was quick and easy. I like cinch hooks for quick lacing; these boots only have one pair at the top of the collar. Once on my feet, I quickly noticed the fit, the Hypers felt very comfortable. It felt as if they were cradling my feet. They were also quite comfortable around my ankles. There is not a lot of padding in the uppers. No doubt this reduces weight. It will be interesting to see whether I notice this lack of padding as I move through brush, rocks, etc. I will report on the fit, performance, and durability in subsequent reports.

      Initial Pros:
          Toe Rand
          Padded Gusset
          Padded Collar
          To-the-toe Lacing
          Good-sized Pull Tab

      Potential Cons:   

          Less-Than-Aggressive Tread

      This concludes my Initial Report on the La Sportiva Hyper Mid GTX boots. Thanks to La Sportiva and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to test these hiking shoes.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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