LA SPORTIVA FC ECO 2.0 GTX SHOES
TEST SERIES BY CHARI DAIGNAULT
INITIAL REPORT - May 05, 2010
FIELD REPORT - July 26, 2010
REPORT - September 28, 2010
||Chari Daignault |
||Orlando, Florida U.S.A.
||5' 6" (1.70 m) |
||135 lb (61.20 kg)
I've been a light hiker for 36 years. I take
the minimum I can with me and prefer a pack close to 15 pounds [6.80 kg]. I've
hiked all the Florida State Forest trails in Central Florida, backpacked the Na
Pali coast on the island of Kauai and climbed Mt. Fuji in Japan. I have hiked
dry & sandy, rough & rocky and wet & boggy trails and as a result,
have found what does and doesn't work for me in terms of equipment and clothing.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: La Sportiva
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.sportiva.com/
Listed Weight: 14.14 oz (401 g)
Measured Weight: 15.5 oz (439
Available Sizes: EU 36 - 43 (half sizes)
Size Tested: EU 40 (US Women's
Types Available: Men's and Women's
Type Tested: Women's
Available: (Women's) Mocha/Mint, (Men's) Stone/Grey
Further information (Per the manufacturer's website):
Women's Trango 2
CONSTRUCTION: Board Lasted
UPPER: Nubuck Leather/ 100%
recycled Nylon Mesh/ Uretech
LINING: Gore-Tex®/Dri-Lex® Bristol 40% Recycled
MIDSOLE: Dual-density ECO Trailon/ 2mm LaSpEVA/ TPU shank
Vibram® River with Impact Brake System™ Eco-Step
The FC ECO 2.0 GTX shoes fit perfectly right
out of the box. They looked so nice, I had to put them on immediately. They are
very sturdy shoes, much heavier than running shoes, but lighter than a hiking
boot. Even though they are very sturdy, bordering on stiff, the inside felt very
soft and cushiony to the touch. The shoes, per the manufacturer, are a "hiker, a
shoe for cruising the market, a workhorse for getting the landscaping done or
the perfect casual office shoe".
The laces on the shoes are round and the
stylistic eyelets are oval-shaped. These shoes are very sharp-looking and the
color combinations meld well together. The tongue is well-padded and secured
along the sides inside, which should help keep debris from entering around it
into the shoe.
|Top and Inside Side|
leather part of the upper is very soft to the touch and has a design of small
dots all along it, except on either side of the shoe, where there are mountain
peaks. On the outside, the mountain peaks contain the La Sportiva logo. The
parts of the upper not made of Nubuck are made of 100% recycled nylon mesh. The
mountain peak design follows through onto the nylon mesh with Uretech, a rubber
compound which I assume is used not only for looks, but also to keep moisture
from coming in through the nylon mesh near the bottom of the shoe. The toes of
the upper are covered with a stiff, black rubber, which should protect my toes
from rocks and when I jam them into things. The back of the heel is protected
with more black rubber and has a nice loop which I can use to pull the shoes on
|Back and Bottom|
The inside of
the shoes is made from Gortex, which is waterproof and breathable. It feels
soft, yet stiff along the sides inside and the footbed insert is also stiff, yet
it gives when pressed and is nicely cushioned without being mushy. The insert is
stamped with "Fit-thotic" and indicates it is a "Performance fit system" for
"Stability and Cushioning". It has good arch support; but not too high -- which
is good, as I supinate and have a moderately high arch and don't need arch
The sole is made of
Vibram interlaced with a harder rubber and plastic labeled as an "Impact Brake
System". The Vibram is black and the Impact Brake System is a nice moss-green
color (maybe mint?). The Vibram part of the sole feels almost slightly sticky
and seems like it will have good traction on the trail.
|Bottom and Outside Side|
TRYING IT OUT
The shoes fit just right when I wore them with
a light, cushioned crew sock. The toebox is roomy without allowing my foot to
slip forward. The cushioning feels great, but the shoe is also extremely sturdy.
They're stiff, without being so stiff as to make it difficult to bend forward on
my toes. The Nubuck leather uppers keep their shape and so far have not wrinkled
at all. I've worn the shoes every single day to work since I received them, 5
days in all, and they still look just like they came out of the box.
laces -- being round -- are probably the only issue I have with the FC ECO 2.0
GTX shoes. Because they're not flat, they have the tendency to untie.
Double-knotting is not an option for me, as the laces are not long enough -- and
I prefer not to double-knot my hiking shoes so I can remove them quickly and
easily in an emergency. So far, either one or the other shoe has come untied at
least once every day I've worn them. Luckily I can tell almost immediately when
it happens, as the secure comfort the shoes offer suddenly releases its grip on
I really like the oval-shaped eyelets they use for the laces.
This actually seems to keep from putting too much strain on the laces when
they're tied, as the shape of the eyelet allows the tightened laces to lay
So far, the La Sportiva FC ECO 2.0 GTX Shoes
are very comfortable and offer a stable, cushioned and secure fit. They're very
nice-looking and have gotten good comments from both male and female co-workers
when I've worn them to the office. My feet haven't overheated in them, they've
stayed nice and dry, even when I had to run through a thunderstorm to get into
the grocery store.
My only complaint at this point is with the shoe laces
and the fact that they're round. Oh -- and that I wasn't allowed to wear the
shoes to the theater when we went to see Xanadu.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
The locations where I've worn the La Sportiva
FC ECO 2.0 GTX shoes have been in Central Florida; the Little Big Econ state
park, on trails in the Hal Scott Nature Preserve, at work in an office building,
and in my yard at home. Conditions have been hot; averaging 95 F (35 C) with
humidity that makes it feel 105 F (40.5 C), and sunny with the occasional
thunderstorm in the afternoon. The terrain has been mostly dry sand; some
hard-packed, gravel, tall grasses, as well as some mud and wet, boggy
|Little Big Econ State
Activities during which I've worn the
shoes have been hiking, backpacking/camping, walking around the office and yard
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
As light as these shoes are for hiking, they
are a bit too heavy for me for trail running. Given the extra energy and muscle
work it takes to trail run, I don't want to expend even more energy just trying
to lift my feet up and move them forward. However, I do love these shoes for
hiking and backpacking. I've not experienced any issues with stability even
though the shoes are low cut and I have weak ankles. The Vibram soles grip
nicely on almost every surface and they stay in place well in loose, dry sand --
which is the main terrain I experienced.
The main issue I've had with the
shoes is that they are by no means waterproof. In order to have the shoes afford
breathability, the uppers are partly breathable mesh. Since air can get into the
shoe from the top mesh areas, water can as well. It does take a while before the
water starts to seep in, and I noticed it most when I was hiking on a trail near
home and ended up being out during a downpour. At first, I thought my feet were
going stay dry, but as I walked on for an hour or so, I could feel my socks
getting wet. They weren't soaked, but were definitely moist. The shoes took
several hours to fully dry; which I did by hanging them up. I also pulled the
laces out, yanked the tongue of each shoe as far out as possible and stuffed
them with newspaper.
The laces, being
round, didn't stay completely tight when tied after a few miles. They didn't
come completely undone while hiking, but the knots did loosen a bit. I found
myself stopping, reaching down and tightening them up a lot. As I mentioned
earlier in the report, I prefer not to double-knot my shoes, so double-knotting
them may prevent the loosening I was experiencing.
Cleaning them up was
easy; they wiped right off using a soft microfiber cloth. Any mud stuck to the
soles rinsed off easily with water. The insides of the shoes stayed relatively
clean and debris-free. Although some fine grit and sand did get in, none of it
was enough to become bothersome and tapping the shoes while holding them upside
down cleaned them right out.
The shoes are very sturdy, providing great
traction and stability. Although they're not waterproof, they are water
resistant and do a good job of keeping my feet protected. They're great for
hiking and backpacking, but are not light enough for me to do any trail running
The shoes have held up well, even with two four-day, three-night
backpacking trips, several day hikes and considering I've easily put 150 miles
(242 km) on them so far. The tops of the shoes still show no wrinkles or bends
in them and look almost new. Although the shoes are easy to clean, they do take
a very long time to air dry.
They are comfortable, and work well with my
lightweight and medium weight socks. My feet haven't over-heated in them and I
haven't experienced any issues with blisters or hot spots even after long treks
lasting several hours.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
During the Long Term testing period, I've worn
the shoes in the Central Florida area. This includes the metro Orlando area and
also up in the Ocala National Forest. Conditions in the Orlando area during this
time were hot, humid and strangely drought-like. Even though we had extremely
humid conditions, weather patterns that would normally bring us daily afternoon
and evening thunderstorms never materialized. Temperatures in the Orlando area
ranged from 74 F (23.3 C) to 92 F (33.3 C) with heat indexes making it feel like
it was over 102 F (38.9 C). In the Ocala National Forest, temperatures were a
good five to 10 degrees cooler, but it was still oppressive without the cooling
The terrain consisted of hard-packed and loose sand, mud, grit,
gravel, pine and oak roots, some water crossings and scrubby vegetation. Three
nights and four days were spent in Ocala on a short backpacking weekend, and in
Orlando, the shoes were worn on at least 15 day hikes of three to five miles
(4.8 km - 8 km). The shoes were also worn (after clean up) to the office and
during four Saturdays as I worked to clean up my yard for autumn (cleaning up
the compost pile... blech).
All total, I've put around 180 miles (290 km)
day hiking, 63 miles (101 km) backpacking and an unknown amount of just walking
around town, the office and my yard on the shoes. Due to being on call for work
most of the summer, I wasn't able to travel as far and wide as I had wanted. So
I have no exotic locations to report on and I wasn't able to take any long treks
that could possible break the connection to my electronic tether.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
During my day hikes and the backpacking trip
we took out to Ocala, I got in the habit of double-knotting my laces. This
helped immensely with the issue I was having with the laces coming untied.
However, I still feel that double-knotting should be a choice and not the
standard when lacing shoes. If I were to be injured and unable to use one of my
hands, removing my shoes with the laces double-knotted could be almost
The shoes performed fantastically on our hikes, except when
we did water crossings. Wet rocks, even when not covered with green slime, gave
me difficulty and I often felt slippage. Water entered fairly easily through the
top of the foot, soaking my socks. It felt as though my socks and feet dried out
pretty fast; possibly due to the inside lining of Gore-Tex®. And once wet, it
did take several hours for the shoes to dry completely. Since waterproofing the
shoes is recommended and I didn't waterproof them, I can't fault the shoes for
The shoes were very comfortable while backpacking. My pack
weighed approximately 25 lbs (11.3 kg) (lots of water) and I felt no difference
in my heels or the ball of my foot when pushing off. Although the inside of the
shoes are very sturdy, they're still cushioned well and over time and use they
began to loosen up a bit.
Cleaning up my yard, the shoes worked out
great; almost like work boots. Dirt and grit can get inside through the top, but
that's to be expected with a low-top shoe. But still, when cleaning out and
removing a compost pile, that's a good time to invest in a pair of
The insides of the shoes still look good; there's a bit of
pilling from my socks, but not much wear showing. The outsides are a bit water
and mud stained, and are starting to show some wrinkles in both the sides of the
soles and the tops. The laces are not showing any real wear, except for a couple
of pulls where I had to remove some vine thorns while hiking.
These shoes have held up very well and are
super comfortable. I've said it before, but still feel the best way to describe
them is "sturdy". They slip a bit on wet, hard surfaces, but overall offer great
traction on virtually any terrain.
There was no break-in period needed,
and with medium thickness socks, I experienced no blisters or hot spots during
the entire test. They look great for trail running, but for me are quite heavy
for that endeavor, so it's not something I could recommend.
They clean up
well, and even without waterproofing held up well in all conditions to which I
exposed them. These shoes are really nice-looking and stylish, which made them a
hit at the office as well.
I'll continue to use these shoes for my day
hikes, and as soon as I'm allowed to leave the general area, I plan on taking
them on some backpacking/camping trips we've got queued up for
This concludes my Long Term Report. My sincerest thanks to
BackpackGearTest.org and La Sportiva for allowing me to test these hiking shoes.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org
Version 1.5 Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.