La Sportiva Syborg Boot
This could be the one. The skimo race boot that you wouldn’t hesitate to use on your other adventures. Borrowing features from their award winning Stratos line of world cup race boots, La Sportiva has made the most complete and affordable race boot yet. With full coverage liner zips, a proven single-throw buckle system, durable soles, and amazing race weight, the Syborg (not Cyborg) boot could be the new standard in tour-able race boots.
The 75 degree range of motion is more than your ankle has, making this the leader in striding efficiency. The CavoBike lever is taken directly from the Cube and offers reliable one-motion transitions. The overlapping cuff and ratcheting lower buckle secure you nicely for the down. The zippered liner cover keeps the snow out while booting, and the LazerGrip sole (borrowed from the Spitfire/Sideral/Starlet) is touring ready. A 100.4mm last makes the Syborg comfortable for all day affairs. We can’t think of anything La Sportiva left out. Can you?
- Carbon-reinforced Grilamid® cuff is a unique combination of stiffness and lightness.
- LazerGrip2™ sole is borrowed from La Sportiva’s touring boots to provide durable grip.
- Optional power strap can be used for aggressive skiing or removed to save grams for a race.
- 35 degree backward and 40 degree forward range of motion is like not wearing a boot.
- Syborg EZ Thermo™ liner (119g) is designed to take advantage of the range of motion with flexible ankles.
- Forward lean is adjustable with four different options to choose from: 14°, 16°, 18°, or 20°.
- Lower “spider” buckles secure the Grilamid shell and lock your heel into place, preventing blisters.
- CavoBike lever provides effortless switching between ski/walk modes and won’t snag your pants.
- Ample 100.4mm forefoot width handles more than just skinny feet and keeps your blood flowing.
- Included optional insert plugs rear "Sportiva gap" to prevent snow from attacking your achilles.
|Weight (pair)||1660g 
||2 + power strap|
||14°, 16°, 18°, 20°|
||Grilamid shell, Carbon/Grilamid cuff|
||Syborg EZ Thermo|
|Skimo Co Says|
|Usage||Racing, speed touring|
|Notes||Zippered liner cover helps keep out snow|
|Bottom Line||Feature complete yet featherweight|
|Compare to other Race Boots|
Questions & Reviews
This is part review, part question.
Firstly, I've just realised that these huge vert. numbers people are posting are in feet! Us Europeans think in meters, so I was a bit intimidated!
I've had these boots 2 seasons, and for my feet they're by far the most comfortable ski boots I've tried. I have skinny ankles so I have some movement there, but I wear chubby ankle socks and that seems to do the trick.
I'll try not to repeat what's been commented before. Here's some of my experiences.
I use the grivel haute route crampons, and they work fine with these boots. I have the walk/ski locking mechanism adjusted to maximum out when in walk mode and I've never felt it catch.
I try to take as much care as I can when putting on/off the boots but, nevertheless, the leather upper and zip thing do take a beating. Both boots have about 1cm tears at the top rivet, and the zip on one of the boots is detached a bit.
I find that the velcro doesn't stay in place and I get snow collecting between the leather upper and the boot liner. Especially in races with fast transitions, the leather just flops out and then snow bundles in.
The boot liners are comfortable and warm, they've worn against the pivot rivets, so I need to patch them up. I find it takes a fair bit of effort to enter the boot with the liners on, but the boot seems to survive.
I've found the lower buckle is fragile, catching it on a rock can be curtains. I've bent two, and replaced them. I've also found the catch mechanism weak. Often it just releases to a looser position during the day/race.
I have the "new" blocking rod on the ski/walk lever to prevent it going up. I had this fitted after I accidentally caught the lever with a carabiner while putting away my via ferrata gear during a race! I decided to just finish the race with the boot loose which was a bad idea!
I have two problems with the ski/walk lever. One is that it seems to have stiffened; when I try to put it in to ski mode it doesn't spring in anymore without a helping hand. Any suggestions on how to fix that? I'll try some lube first.
Secondly, the little hook collects snow/ice, and ices up preventing it from locking. Both of these problems, particularly the last, have given me very stressful transitions in races. In my last race it was the main reason I lost a place.
The little metal hook holding the red heel flap in place has broken on one of my boots. I must have also once caught the red flap when putting the boot on, as it's bent a bit. Is it possible to get a replacement heel flap with metal hook?
Overall I find the boots ok - the most important thing is that boots are comfortable. Due to my weird feet most boots leave me in total agony, almost crying in pain and frustration. These are the only ones I've found so far that are comfortable. This is a heavy plus. The ski/walk locking mechanism is a heavy minus. The fact I sometimes have to spend a minute or so at transitions poking ice out of the hook is not good. Also, the leaver sticks out, and I'm waiting for the moment where I catch it on a rock and break it. The front buckle also doesn't hold the ratchet in well which isn't ideal either, but I have such a high arch my foot is snug enough.
If I can find an alternative that is comfortable, I'll probably switch, but here in Norway there's no skimo.co - gear selection is limited and tech knowledge is average, so until something changes I'll stick with these.
I've messaged you in the contact form about the red flap.
I've also bent one of the lower buckle. You said you replaced yours, can you tell me where can I order this spare part ?
Thank you, it would help me a lot, I love theses boots
Durability: Resort skinning and touring for two seasons in WA, CO, and New England. Well over 200K vertical and also quite a bit of hiking miles. Skied a few 14ers and a bunch of 13ers in CO, Baker and Shuksan in WA in these boots. The boots are still in pretty good shape. So far, the only obvious damage is to the gaiters. They started to rip near the rivet attachment. Zippers also started to separate on one gaiter so I had to fix it some thread and needle. The design and materials for those gaiters are not great. It but the design is weak. I think it can be repaired using some fabric patches and glue but I'm lazy and it does not really affect the performance. The liners show the use but no actual damage and still quite usable.
Comfort/Usability: Never had a blister even though my typical skinning session at the local ski resort is 8K vertical. I did not mold the liners. I like the cords system for adjusting the rigidity of the upper and find it easy to use. The ski/walk mechanism is amazingly easy to operate. On the flat downhill sections I often switch the modes on the fly without stopping to make things easier. However, when cold I at times I had some difficulties when locking in a ski mode due to icing of the hook. Similar to Colin, I like the red piece near the heel which keeps snow out works and I never had a problem with it as long as I was careful putting the boots on in the beginning.
Ski: I don't think I can contribute much on this topic as I haven't had enough experience with other types of boots for a proper comparison. I agree with what other reviewers said.
Skinning: Enough said, pretty awesome. I want to add that I liked to hike in them just fine, felt light and agile. On the snow it felt like the best footwear period, way better than regular plastic climbing boots.
Crampon fit: As was mentioned in the previous reviews, these will not fit your regular automatic crampons. My solution was a taking rear and upper parts from different crampons accumulated in my basement and coming up with a combination that fits perfectly. Not a solution for everybody but worked very well for me.
Overall: I would definitely buy these again. I think you have to realize what they are, and ski them in all conditions
I wanted to review these boots from a viewpoint of a moderate ski tourer. I'm not a racer, not an endurance athlete, not particularly strong guy. I've used these boots a lot, probably well over 200,000K vertical now. Resort skinning and touring for two seasons in WA, CO, and New England. To give you an idea, I've skied a few 14ers and a bunch of 13ers in CO, Baker and Shuksan in WA in these boots. Frankly, I doubt that I could get up those mountains in heavier boots! So basically,
Durability: I have had no issues. You do have to be very careful putting these on or you might very well break the zipper (this is not the best design). I don't really tension the buckle across the forefoot, so that was never an issue. And the red piece near the heel which keeps snow out works, some people have really disliked this - just put your thumb on it when you are putting your foot in, I have never had a problem with it.
Ski: Conditions dependent. I mean they are not my Lange RS130s. For me, I had to adopt a much more neutral stance, and frankly - ski better. They are not fun in breakable crust (but what is), on chopped up snow they require vigilance, they would be totally fine on groomer, and they do great in all densities of fresh snow.
Skinning: Pretty awesome. If you haven't skinned in a 'race-boot', it's kind of a game changer. For those that have, I really like throwing just one buckle, the range of motion is really good, and with the gaiter I don't have to worry about snow coming in. Also, with the range of motion I have never felt the need for a higher riser than the low-tech heel, even on stupid steep skin tracks.
Overall: I would definitely buy these again. I think you have to realize what they are, and ski them in all conditions.
Do you know where can I order one of the lower buckle as a spare part ?
1) How do you think the Syborg would hold-up in a mountaineering setting? (mostly I am worried about durability)
2) How does the fit compare to the Spitfire?
Despite their flimsy look, they ski great and tour even better. But today, after about 25 days on them, the lower plastic buckle snapped off. Really disappointing. It wasn't ratcheted too tight, just snapped in half on the uphill after 2 laps.
Something more durable is needed.
I've used them on race skis, as well as some Dynastar Mythics, and some Dynafit Carbonio 74s. For a race boot they are fantastic, and they work well with the Carbonios. I'm looking forward to using the Carbonio + Syborg combo for spring skiing objectives. I've skied the Mythics with the Syborg and a Dynafit Titan. The Titan definitely drives the ski a little better, but the weight advantage and comfort of the Syborg on the up is more than worth the trade off.
For waterfall ice, i'd say up to WI4 there's not much difference between these and an ice climbing specific boot. My boot size is 30.0 and I've been using a Black Diamond Cyborg crampon. This combo works fine, and there's no interference between the boot latch and the crampon latch.
As an added bonus, driving in your ski boots has never been easier! I will likely buy another pair when these wear out.
Looking at picking up a pair of Syborgs but none of our local retailers carry them. The Scarpa Alien in a 26.0 fits me perfectly, does anyone know how the fit between these two compares?
the zipper was frozen solid so i couldn't unzip it, not necessarily looking for a warranty though. do you have any advice on how to repair so that the entire upper doesn't rip off? gorilla glue and duct tape failed pretty quickly.
Was wondering if anyone could compare sizing between the Syborg and Scarpa's F1 Evo. I'm begrudgingly returning my warrantied pair and am looking for something to fill a similar niche. Thanks!
You are really are the best internet retailer I've ever dealt with (by a mile - even 10 miles!)!
I was mostly impressed with how stiff and responsive these were on the icecoast moguls we skiied last weekend at the Jay Peak rando race. I felt that they skiied as well, if not better, than my black diamond primes on the hardpack, and WAY better than the only other touring boot I've used - the scarpa flash.
The walk to ski mode switch is super easy. No straining to close the buckle at all. Pretty amazing compared to the beefier alpine and touring boots I've used where I need serious leverage to get a snug ankle fit.
I'm somewhat skeptical about the durability of these, given the plastic buckle, and plastic latches for the string that secures your ankle, but only time will tell on that. The skepticism may prove unwarranted - fingers crossed. I think the forefoot boa closure scarpa is using is probably the best design - I love the boas on my cycling shoes - but this ankle strap works well to secure the foot in place.
I'll add details as I ski them more!
One minor downside to the ski/walk mechanism is that the rear latch can interfere with some automatic crampons. The smaller the crampon lever (like the light camp ones) the better.
Mine fit well out of the box with some liner molding, but I've heard from folks that boot fitters have been able to easily modify/widen these boots. From what I understand that's a concern with many lightweight boots, but apparently these have been easy to work with.
It seems to solve your crampon issue if you want to go with steel ones:
2. ADJUSTING THE LOCKING SYSTEM
In the case of use of crampons, you will need to adjust the rear boot lock[E] so that it does not interfere with the crampon during walking. Then regulate the adjustment screw on the locking lever[F], thus varying the inclination of the locking system.
Lighter, skis better, and less bulky.
The 75 degrees movement range is amazing... It's like wearing a Pierre Gignoux.
If you have the choice between the Cyborgs, Aliens or PDG's, go for these!!!
Earn store credit by writing reviews. Learn more.