La Sportiva FC Eco 3.2 ReviewMarch 15, 2013
- Very stable on rocky off-trail hikes
- Great fit even for narrow feet
- My feet felt uncomfortably sweaty compared to others in this test
- Laces were a bit on the bulky side
One of our favorite boots of the year, the FC Eco 3.2 is a versatile light hiker that can withstand the most demanding terrain, but is still comfortable enough to feel at home on moderate day hikes. I thought this was an outstanding boot for any terrain, and it was very nearly our pick for Best in Class.
The FC Eco 3.2 is a Gore-Tex lined leather and mesh light hiker built for light hiking or backpacking, with a dual-density EVA midsole and stability shanks.
Tied with the Vasque Breeze 2.0 for second place out of eleven, the FC Eco 3.2 was one of my top picks overall.
Support & Stability
The FC Eco was one of the most supportive boots in the Spring ’13 test. The thermoplastic urethane stability shanks prevented the sole from flexing both torsionally and on heel-toe transfers. This kept my feel from fatiguing even after very long, difficult hikes. I experienced no heel slippage on steep ascents, and no jamming or sliding on descents.
From the cushy, padded cuff (which rises to just above the ankle) to the supple but supportive upper construction, I had no complaints about comfort. This boot possesses none of the clunkiness usually associated with high-performing boots, although it was among the heaviest in the lineup.
Quality and Construction
I love that the FC Eco is constructed with recycled nylon mesh panels, recycled nylon lining, recycled EVA midsoles, and recycled rubber outsoles. And there is no compromise in quality or durability: the nubuck leather upper, hardy outsole and rubber heel & toe caps should keep this boot kicking throughout multiple seasons of aggressive hiking.
A note on our durability ratings: Because we rarely have enough time in a field test to actually wear out a boot, durability is determined by the materials used (ex: full-grain leather lasts longer than mesh); features such as rubber toe and heel caps; and whether or not the upper is constructed out of one piece of leather, or multiple pieces and materials sewn together. Our ratings are based on general wisdom and we cannot guarantee that a boot with a higher durability rating will actually outlast those with lower ratings.
At $175, this boot boasted the second-highest price in the lineup. Although this often warrants a lower rating on our value scale, its steep price is mitigated by the boot’s impressive versatility. (In short, it’s worth it).