La Sportiva – Cornon Gore-Tex boots


Review by Tony Lourens
RRP: R2999.99

La Sportiva have been around for longer than I can remember. In fact, believe it or not, they were founded way back in 1928 when they started manufacturing boots for farmers and lumberjacks in the Dolomites, then during WW2, provided custom mountain boots to the Italian army. That’s all part of their long history, and over many decades, La Sportiva has risen through the ranks to become one of the world leaders in mountain boots and climbing shoes. Their range is just astounding and most people agree they are the Rolls Royce of mountain footwear.

A little while ago, while hiking the Harkerville Trail, my one boot just came apart at the seams . . . at about noon on the first day. This left me a tad disgruntled, as we still had quite a way to go on that day and another full day after that. Anyway, amongst us we managed to pull a McGyver and strapped my floppy sole to the upper with bandages, and I managed to finish the trail without any further mishaps. Of course, this meant a new pair of mountain boots were high on my shopping list. I needed a good sturdy boot, but nothing too heavy. Definitely not a ‘big mountain’ boot. In fact, I wanted something light, but hardy enough for rough mountain use, and with ankle support and all that.

I immediately looked at the La Sportiva range and, although there is a fair amount to choose from, I soon identified the type of boot I was looking for – the Cornon GTX. Sounds a bit like a sports car (the Cornon GTX 3-litre V6!). Anyway, jokes aside, the minute I put the boot on I knew I had found my match.

Typically beautifully constructed from suede leather and abrasion-resistant fabric, the Cornon is an extremely comfortable and breathable 4-season hiking boot with a very soft foot bed which feels nice and spongy, and a shock-absorbing polyurethane midsole, which enhances flexibility when walking. The 3D Flex System provides support and maximum stability control on all types of terrain and a protective toe and reinforcements reduce the impact of branches, roots or stones, while a Gore-Tex Performance Comfort lining makes the boot waterproof while guaranteeing maximum breathability. I find the Vibram soles to be nice and sticky when clambering over boulders, and they also work well on easy rock routes. They have a very effective lacing system and weigh in at just over 500 grams per boot. Excellent for what you are getting in terms of performance!

In a nutshell, the Cornons are perfect for day walks, multi-day trekking and rough mountain use across all four seasons. Real Italian class – proprio bellissimi!!

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