La Sportiva Nucleo GTX Shoes Review

 Test conditions

  • Test location: Crossing the Dolomites by GTA Yellow route and High Dolomites Route between Bolzano & Udine
  • Types of terrain: mountain in particular scree
  • Activities: hiking
  • Duration of the test: 16 days of walking
  • Weather: Hot and sunny weather mainly but also some thunderstorms

La Sportiva Nucleo GTX Shoe Features

  • Composition: Nubuck leather upper with side parts in Nano-Cells technology + PU stitch and heel
  • Membrane: GORE-TEX® SURROUND ™
  • Sole: Vibram with Impact Brake System
  • Colors: gray – black & yellow.
  • Location of manufacture: China
  • 2 years warranty
  • Price: $199.00 – $375.40


Disclaimer: “I” refer to the actual shoes user reviewer, i did just translate it for you.

Nucleo GTX Shoe Review

Founded in 1928, the Italian family business La Sportiva is known historically for its climbing and mountaineering products. I reviewed a pair of hiking shoes Nucleo GTX in the country of origin of La Sportiva for a beautiful crossing roaming dolomites between Bolzano & Udine. Armed with my backpack of 80L for a weight of about 19-21 kg, here is my opinion after this hike.

First impressions

My first sensation when I opened the box is the originality of the design. The “cobweb” on the shoe gives an original look to the shoe and gives it a sporty look, far from all leather shoes. The shoe looks pretty light. We still ask the question of its robustness by looking at it before trying it.


Comfort and protection of the shoe 4/5

A slipper. That’s the feeling I had in putting it the first time. I just put them around once at home before starting on the Via Alpina in Bolzano and crossing the Dolomites. I was a little scared for light blisters but in the end, nothing in 16 days of hiking in roaming with more real long days (more than 10 hours of walking sometimes), many rocks and sometimes thunderstorms and therefore moisture.

On long days, I still felt that the soles of my feet warmed a little at the end of the day. Whether on rolling terrain or on more technical terrain, especially in some long Italian scythes, the shoe performed very well and I did not feel any particular discomfort.

On the protection side, the toe guards did the job. Well efficient! Despite everything, after 3 weeks of hiking and more than 350 kilometers traveled, I felt that the shoe was tired on some aspects especially on the top cloth which, by rubbing with some stones and rocks, started a little to fray.


Foot support and lacing 5/5

Lacing is simple, no frills. It’s effective.

The maintenance of the foot is very good. I never felt insecure for my ankle either in the scree and in the land. The Nucleo is perfectly suited to any type of terrain.

The shoe has the right height. It is not too high and just a good compromise between foot maintenance & good walking dynamics.

Sole 4.5 / 5

The Vibram® sole with Impact Brake system is perfectly effective. Good grip on all types of terrain that I could test.

In the fall, when I put the shoes back in Gorges in the Vercors, I was able to retest in more delicate conditions with rain, wet roots and stones covered with moss. Despite the difficulty of the field, I found that the shoe still behaved very well.

Waterproofness / breathability 4/5

The Nucleo GTX is equipped with a GORE-TEX® SURROUND ™ member. Perfectly waterproof, they did not disappoint on the crossing of the Dolomites. Of course, when I had a whole afternoon of big thunderstorms near Tre Cime, they had to admit their weakness. Well, it’s true that I had to make real water pipes that day. The test conditions were so extreme and I had that day wet feet.

Respirability side, I was a little afraid with the Nubuck rod and especially the beautiful summer heat of the Dolomites. Nevertheless, the shoe performed very well with good breathability. I did not sweat more than that finally throughout the trek despite the long hot days.


Strong points

  • Foot protection
  • Stability of the shoe
  • Fastening of the sole
  • breathability
  • Sports look
  • Lightness

Weak points

  • Fragility of the upper stem
  • Price

The model La Sportiva Nucleo GTX is a perfect pair of shoes for hiking in the mountains. Relatively light, well breathable, perfectly stable on any type of terrain and with a little atypical look, this shoe offers very positive characteristics.

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