La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX Review – The Perfect Boot On Rugged And Variable Terrain

La Sportiva Nucleo High GTXProduct: La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX

My Rating: 4.6/5

Best Place To Buy: Amazon

The La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX is an excellent hiking boot for hiking on rugged, and variable terrain. Over the last few years, this boot is starting to become popular in the foot wear industry for men.

It even won Outside Magazine in the year 2017 for the best gear. This tells you that La Sportiva is doing a great job at manufacturing excellent hiking boots. With time, we are going to see more of that and I cannot wait to see it.

The La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX is made of very good features. These include, nubuck leather upper, Gore-Tex lining, 3D Flex™ ankle, Vibram® nano sole, and innovative nano-cell. Below I have explained in-depth of each of the features and how this boot is perfect for backpacking trip and hiking on trails like rugged surfaces.

Material Used

This boot is made of nubuck leather. The leather is nicely made and it’s going to provide you with structure and durability. At the side of the boot there little holes which are going to allow ventilation to come in and out of the boot.

This way your feet stay fresh and lower the chances of the boot getting too warm. Overall, the little holes at the side of the boot helps maintain the temperature inside of the boot and stops your feet from getting blisters.

Waterproof And Breathable

The La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX is surrounded with Gore-Tex. This is going to give you 360 degree waterproof and breathability whiles you are hiking in wet condition.

This means moisture is going to come out of the boot with ease and allow fresh air to come inside. This also prevent your feet from getting blisters or sores. As you can see, this boot is specifically designed to give you comfort and cushioning in the rain whiles you are doing your hiking and backpacking trip.

Lacing Structure

It’s time to look at the lacing structure. The lacing structure is very fascinating with the way La Sportiva made it. They combined leather and metals to make the lacing system. I’m going to break them down so that you can fully understand how fascinating and interesting the La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX lacing structure is.

Firstly, when you look at the bottom of the lacing system you will see three leathers which are shaped in round holes. These round holes are small in sizes and it’s going to take you some time for you to pull your laces through them.

However, once you manage to pull the laces through them, it’s going to give you an easy and stable format to lace your boot. Also, your toes is going to fit the toe box perfectly and keep it stable.

Secondly, there are six hard metal eyelets. Three on either side. These metal eyelets are well-made which means they are going to be durable. Also, they are nicely pinned through the leather which stops it from coming out.

Again, the metal eyelets are too small to pull your laces through them at a fast pace. But once you manage to pull the laces through them, the boot will start to mould around your feet. This is going to give you an advantage of comfort and stable hiking.

Thirdly, there are two leather lacing holes at the middle of the boot near the ankle section. One on either side. When you manage to lace your boot at this point, it’s going to stop the tongue from moving back and fore. This gives you a peace of mind whiles you are hiking without any distractions from the tongue.

And lastly, there are two lacing hooks at the ankle section. This is going to give you the opportunity to lace how you prefer. Either by tighting or loosing your laces. As you can see this is a clever lacing structure from La Sportiva.

Toe Box

This boot has got a nice and protective toe box at the front section of the boot. This toe box is very solid and it’s going to reduce the chances of you getting any serious injury when you kick yourself against a rock.

The Outsole, Midsole, and Insole

The outsole, midsole, and insole is one of the key components to look for when buying a hiking boot. So let’s take a look at what La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX has for us.

The outsole of the boot is made from Vibram. Vibram are known for their excellent rubber outsole. Therefore, this indicates that this boot is durable and it’s going to give you a nice grip on the trails.

Moreover, the lugs of the boot are neatly and beautifully made. They are going to give you a lot of traction on any surface you hike on. The lugs are self-cleaning, which means they going to clear any debris, and mud that goes underneath the boot.

The midsole of the boot is made of compression molded EVA / TPU inserts. It’s very interesting that La Sportiva decided to compress the EVA instead of using injection to make it. Compression EVA is the process of compressing EVA foam inside a metal mold. This gives La Sportiva the opportunity to mould exactly how they want to shape the midsole for this boot.

Injecting EVA on the other hand, involves using super-heated liquid mass and blowing agent to inject into the mold. If are interested in learning about how compression EVA and injection EVA works, I will encourage you to read this page out. It’s an eye-opening into the field of how EVA is made. Overall, the way the midsole of this boot is constructed is going to give you extra cushioning and support on the trails.

And lastly, the insole. The insole of this boot is made of 4mm woven polyester surround sacer / 2mm polypropylene. This is an excellent feature from La Sportive because it’s going to give you nice support and cushioning as you hike on the trails.

Colour Selection

The La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX does not have a lot of colour options such as Lowa Renegade or Danner Mountain 600. This boot comes with two colour options. They are brown and taupe brick. Below are the images of how they look like. Check on the images to see the full size.

Weight and Size

The weight of the boot is 16.80 oz (476g). This shows that the boot is not that heavy than it appears to be. Therefore, it makes it perfect for day hikes as well.

According to La Sportiva website, this boot comes in the sizes from 38 to 49.5 (half sizes). If you are someone who have a bigger feet, you will enjoy wearing this type of boot. This is a weak point for this boot because people who have smaller feet size cannot purchase it.

Is This Boot That Good On Rugged and Variable Terrain…..????

A lot of you may be wondering why I titled this boot as the perfect boot for rugged and variable terrain. But the question boils down to this, how true is that? Realistically speaking, this boot has got the features and capacity to do so. Let’s look at some of the features of the boot.

The outsole has got like a sharp lugs which are going to give you a good grip on the rugged and variable terrain. On top of that, it will keep you balance whiles you are hiking on it. This means you are going to have a smooth hike on these surfaces.

Since cushioning and comfort is at the core of this boot. You will find it at ease to hike on the rugged and variable terrain without your feet getting discomfort or experiencing some sorts of pain.

And the last thing I want to point out is the toe box. I managed this earlier, but I want to stress the importance of the toe box. The fact of the matter is anything can happen when you are hiking on a rugged and variable terrain. You can either fall or slip.

This is when the toe box comes in. It will give you a good protection at your toes in case you end up slipping on the rugged and variable terrain. As you can see there is a lot this boot offers that can protect you on this dangerous and tough surface. You might want to check closely at these features I have explained.

Recommended for:

  • Perfect for hiking on rugged and variable terrains
  • Backpacking Trips
  • Hiking

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As we come to the conclusion of La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX, you can see that this boot is perfect for hiking, and backpacking trip. But I think what makes this boot excel is how it performs very well on rugged and variable terrain.

The nubuck leather gives you comfort, warmful, and cushioning as you hike. One thing I want to point out about the leather is how important it is to take good care of it. You can do it by cleaning it regularly after coming from a hiking or backpacking trip.

There is a toe box which is going to give you good protection when you hit against a rock. Also, the Gore-Tex inside of the boot is going to give you water protection and at the same time keep your feet breathable. The lacing system, outsole, midsole and insole are brilliantly made. They are going to give you the support, stability and cushioning you need on the trails.

The only criticism for this boot is the sizes. It will be great if La Sportiva can make the boot in different sizes for everyone. This will help La Sportiva attract a lot of potential customers who are interested in these sorts of boot.

I hope you have really enjoyed reading this post on La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX review. If you have any questions or thoughts on La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below. I will reply as soon as I can!

And as always have a fantastic and wonderful hiking trip. ????




  1. Hey there,

    Thanks for a very analytic and detailed review. As a Boy Scouts leader, as well as outdoors lover, I always look for good and value for money equipment. This tracking boot does cover all the prerequisites for a good hiking boot plus the toe box which is very very important for this kind of equipment.

    Have you been on a hike with this boot? On what terrain? What are your impressions?

    Thanks again,


    • Hello Marios, 

      It’s fantastic to hear from another avid hiker like you. Definitely, toe box are essential if you going to hike on a rugged and tough terrains. 

      I haven’t tried this boot yet. However, I’m looking forward to trying it when I go to my backpacking trip next. What about you, have you tried it before? And what other hiking boots have you tried before? 

      Thanks for stopping by and as always have a fantastic hiking trip. 


  2. Hi Kuu,

    Well done guy, the feature I love most about this hiking boots is the self-cleaning lugs. So you don’t have to be worried about diets clinging to the sole of your boots thereby making it heavy to carry.

    I also love the fact that they accommodate ventilation. The manufacturer’s made it with the wearer in mind.

    What about those of us with small feet ? Are we not supposed to enjoy all these benefits?

    • Hello Kabirat, 

      Thanks for the compliment. I’m very happy that you liked this boot.  Unfortunately, this boot does not come in smaller sizes. This is a big disadvantage to this boot. It well be great if they can bring smaller sizes for this boot in the future. 

      You can try boots such as Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX and Danner Mountain 600. They come in all sizes. I hope you find this recommendation useful. 

      Thanks for stopping by and as always have a fantastic hiking trip.


  3. Hi Kuu.  I like the red and black. It looks great. 

    This is a great review. Thank you. 

    Personally I think the Nubuck Leather its made from is an advantage as well as it being waterproof.  That makes it great for any terrain. 

     The protective toe is a great addition.  I’ve had many loose rocks fall on my toes when hiking.  We have rocky terrain with lots of loose rocks.  

    The grip of the soles is also a very important thing when hiking. Slipping can cause bad injuries.  

    The darker color of the two options is my favorite.  Do you have a similar suggestion for ladies maybe?  I like this boot a lot, I would like a pair for myself 🙂

    • Hello Marlene, 

      It’s great to hear that you really like this boot and its colours. Indeed, toe box is very important if you are going to hike on rocky, tough and terrain surfaces. It will save you from getting any serious injuries. 

      Yes, they do have ladies version as well. You can check it from here. It’s similar to the men’s version. I hope you find this answers useful. 

      Thanks for stopping by and as always have a fantastic hiking trip. 


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