The Aequilibrium ST GTX by La Sportiva combines the lightness of an approach shoe with the qualities of a mountaineering boot. This makes it the perfect companion on technical excursions, glacier crossings or via ferratas. We have crossed the Altenalp towers with the ultra-light mountain boots and are thrilled.
For our after-work adventure in the Alpstein we have with that Equilibrium ST GTX La Sportiva hit the mark. It is very light and thanks to its double heel construction it walks very smoothly. A rolling behavior that you can expect from a Mountain shoe is less used to.
At the same time, its ergonomic shape ensures a stable hold and the striking outsole ensures sure-footedness in rough terrain. What also felt very good: the Aequilibrium keeps its shape and protects the foot well above the ankle, while at the same time providing very good feedback when climbing and enabling precise stepping on.
Video: The Aequilibrium ST GTX in its preferred habitat
The approach: A Tour d'Horizont of the alpine terrain
It's just after 16 p.m. when we leave our car in the parking lot and set off towards Gartenalp with light luggage. We parked the parking meter generously until late in the evening, because in addition to the tour itself we need time for photography and filming - and after the tour we want to enjoy a beer in the Schäfler restaurant after work. While we comfortably gained altitude, we tackle a wide variety of terrain with our yellow-red-black test pieces: gravel, earth, roots, loose scree below the Äscher-Nord climbing garden. Of course, this is not a problem for the equilibrium.
The Aequilibrium offers stability and comfort in the sole area thanks to Vibram SpringLug Tech
In the Schäfler we treat our dry throats to a first cold drink and enjoy the sight of the imposing Altenalp Towers. It's just before 19 p.m. when we leave the mountain inn behind us. Arriving at the saddle, we ditch a backpack and all unnecessary material and start climbing the steep grass and rock ramp. Here begins the terrain in which the Aequilibrium ST GTX can play its trump cards to the full.
Because you literally slip into the shoe, it covers the foot, instep, heel and ankle like a second skin, which makes it very comfortable to wear. Its distinctive sole bites reliably in grassy terrain and the sole provides the necessary friction in the rocky areas, which feels very comfortable given the increasing steepness. Nevertheless, we grab larger tufts of grass in between so as not to have to burden loose rock unnecessarily. A few drops of sweat later we are standing on the first tower.
The climbing: Compact and less compact rock
The actual climbing begins here from the east tower. The ridge becomes increasingly narrow and culminates a little later in the narrow and exposed rider ridge, the real highlight of the tour. But before that, there are still a few rock towers to climb over, the rock quality of which is a reminder that everything is ephemeral.
It doesn't take long before we take a short break before the short but extremely airy rock passage. It's just before eight o'clock and the evening sun casts its golden rays on the white-grey limestone, which is much more compact at this point. This increases the climbing fun immensely. The Aequilibrium also contributes to the overall experience. The ultra-light mountaineering boot is strong, yet flexible. If you stand on small steps in the flank, you can also feel them - especially here on the Reitergrad a pleasant advantage.
After the exposed ridge, which has experienced a renaissance thanks to social media since the turn of the millennium, the terrain becomes more fragile again. In other words: rock whose quality is not always beyond doubt, steep grassy slopes, loose rock on solid ground. The path up to the western summit remains exposed and once again offers the Aequilibrium an opportunity to demonstrate its strength. It almost seems as if we have discovered its natural habitat here in the heart of the Alpstein.
Airy over the ridge: The high-end mountaineering boot from La Sportiva enables precise stepping on and gives the climber perceptible feedback.
At this point, a small insertion is needed. The Aequilibrium ST GTX definitely feels at home in the terrain described so far. In addition, he is also on glacier crossings as well as easier high-altitude tours designed to be compatible with semi-automatic crampons. Thanks to its tongue with integrated bellows construction and the soft snow guard on the protective collar, it is well prepared for snow, ice and wet conditions.
We're glad we were able to skip the wet issue on this tour. At least the approaching thunderstorm still seems far away while we abseil for the first time. When we leave the narrow chimney and cheer each other on for a successful tour, it's just before 21 p.m. Happy hormones are still flooding our bodies and we agree: being able to climb in such perfect conditions in the golden evening sun is really a privilege.
The descent: Also possible at a run
The rope has been taken up, the climbing equipment stowed away. We're on our way back. But before we go back into the valley, we have to climb a few meters again. First to our material depot at the saddle, then to the Schäfler mountain inn.
We are making good progress, because the equilibrium is also good for running. This is ensured by the double heel construction of the mountain boot. The slightly slanted sole on the heel improves the braking properties downhill on the one hand and enables a smoother rolling motion on the other.
At a quarter to ten our glasses ring out over a well-deserved drink. We don't sit still for a long time, especially since the descent into the valley awaits us and a dull rumbling in the distance announces rain. We destroy the almost 800 meters in altitude alternately running and walking briskly. Shortly before eleven o'clock we are back at the parking lot, the first raindrops are pattering on the warm asphalt, the first lightning lights up the sky. precision landing.
The first thing you notice when you hold the Aequilibrium ST GTX in your hands is its low weight. And secondly, when you slip on for the first time - we deliberately say slip on and not step on - the wearing comfort. One has the feeling that the shoe has already been broken in. It is a successful mixture of support and flexibility. The foot feels tightly embraced and yet free to move. The lacing also allows you to adjust the Aequilibrium very precisely to your own foot shape.
With the first few meters under the sole, we quickly noticed the rolling behavior. When walking, you feel closer to an approach shoe, but you are wearing a full-fledged mountaineering boot. Other factors quickly come into play off-road: the stable structure, which supports sure-footedness, the good grip on different surfaces and the precise feedback that the shoe provides.
- 1260 grams/pair
- Conditionally suitable for crampons, suitable for semi-automatic crampons
- Double heel construction for natural rolling and assisted braking downhill
- Rubber Guard shell construction: raised rubber protective edge all around and generous toe cap
- Shaft end with a light gaiter as a snow guard
- Tongue with bellows construction
- Ergonomically shaped shaft with TPU reinforcements on the heel and toe
- 3D Flex System Evo rotation with TPU layer for optimal ankle support
- Upper: Nylon 60,6 highly resistant, water-repellent
- Lining: Gore-Tex Performance Comfort
- Insole: nylon carbon fiber
- Sole: Vibram with Impact Brake System