top of page
  • Writer's pictureApril H.

La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX Hiking Shoes First Impressions

The La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX feels like the Cadillac of hiking boots.

Today's blog post is going to touch on my first impressions of the new La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX. This is a first impression post on the boots, rather than a review, since I haven't had enough time on the trails with them yet. I'm hoping to do a full review by end of Spring 2021, so stay turned for that.

La Sportiva was generous enough to send me a pair of the boots to test out, see how they perform and to give my initial thoughts. Believe it or not, I've never owned a pair of hiking boots, so I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I already owned approach shoes with sticky soles and running shoes that performed well enough that I never really thought I would need full fledged hiking boots - especially not for the day hikes I generally do. After a few hikes with Walter to Kirby Cove in the Marin Headlands and to Gray Whale Cove in Pacifica, I can see why they're useful.

The Nucleo High II GTX features a traditional Nubuck leather look, which absolutely makes the design of the boots. The Nucleo High II GTX also features the award-winning Gore-Tex® Surround™ technology, which basically means that the shoe has 360 degrees of breathability (heat and moisture are channeled away in all directions from your feet, so your feet/socks stay drier) and is durably waterproof. If you're interested on reading more on this technology click here. I can attest that this technology does work as intended. Walter and I went for a day hike in the Marin Headlands to Kirby Cove in early December and experienced light drizzles for most of the hike up until we reached Kirby Cove. We got hit by some rain at Kirby Cove, but luckily my Roseg Primaloft jacket kept my torso nice and dry while the Nucleo High II GTX kept my feet nice and cozy. My legs, unfortunately, did not fair as well. Once we made it back to the car, we decided to check out the Point Bonita Lighthouse before we made our way back to San Francisco. 0.1 miles into the hike to the tunnel (turns out the lighthouse was closed due to COVID), there was a torrential downpour of rain. To my surprise, again my torso and feet stayed stayed dry. I was very pleased that I wasn't completely soaked to the bone on that windy, cold day.

"Hurry up and take the picture Walter, I'm soaked."

The Nucleo High II GTX has a Vibram® Nano XS-Trek sole with impact brake system, which provides unparalleled traction and grip. This came in handy as Walter and I also made our way back to the Gray Whale Cove Trail parking lot as the sun was setting on our hike in November. We didn't bring headlamps with us that day as we were not expecting to be there for that long. Whoops. Rather than go back the way we came to reach the parking lot, we decided to descend via a shorter steep trail that had some loose gravel. I'm already not a huge fan of steep downhills as it is because it kills my knees - add in the loose gravel while losing daylight, I was not stoked. The shoes performed exceptionally well as we hustled our way down the trail with the waning daylight. I nearly slipped once on the way down, but I believe that was more of a user error than a traction issue.

The traction was also superb on our very short hike to the Lighthouse that I mentioned above. Before you reach the bridge that I'm pictured on, there's a bit of a steep downhill section. I was a bit nervous with the downhill and torrential rain making the trail slippery, but the boots proved themselves once again - no falls!

All in all, I'm very pleased with the La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX and can't wait to take them on more adventures!

The La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX is also available in wide sizes. Click here to check them out.

Photos by: @kingkongkoning

bottom of page