La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX | Review
La Sportiva's Trango TRK has distinctive climbing-style looks, but is a super comfortable, high tech, lightweight hiking boot.
'Like the rest of the La Sportiva Trango clan, the TRK is aimed at climbers, but in this case it's a hiking boot with added mountaineering DNA and seamless lightweight comfort credentials'
Outdoors Magic: Light and super comfortable, decently tough, seamless tech, good grip, ankle flex, alpine good looks.
Outdoors Tragic: Snugger forefoot than some, garish colour scheme won't suit everyone.
Outdoors Grabbit? Despite the signature Trango alpine looks and colour choice, the TRK is a pure hiking boot with some scrambling ability thrown in. Neat technology includes seamless uppers with a protective, but light TPU overlay, a Gore-Tex liner and flexible ankle cuff. It all adds up to a superbly comfortable lightweight mountain hiking boot that hits a sweet spot between underfoot support and comfortable flex. Fit is based on La Sportiva's Trango mountaineering boot and while the styling won't suit everyone, its target market is climbers who also walk a bit. If that's you and it fits, this is a cracking lightweight boot.
Lightweight mountain walking and scrambling boot / TPU Thermo Tech Application™ reinforcements / Rubber toe rand and heel rand / AirMesh insert (tongue only) / Gore-Tex waterproof liner / Trango 2 last / Dual-density MeMlex EVA midsole / Vibram® Mulaz outsole
Full Review Below
La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX | Performance
Italian brand La Sportiva has always been best known for its cutting edge rock shoes and the proven Trango mountaineering boot range - not to mention excellent mountain running shoes like the excellent Mutant - but its hiking footwear has always lived in the shadows.
Not any more: the Trango TRK GTX is every bit as bright and technically advanced as its climbing namesakes, but is an unashamed, lightweight mountain hiking and occasional scrambling boot even if it doesn't look that way.
The fit - Trango 2 lasting - is borrowed from the climbing range and slimmer in the forefoot than most rivals, with excellent heel hold. The colours are signature bright yellow and black. And there are protective rubber toe and heel caps along with a Vibram Mulaz sole unit complete with blocked-out 'Climbing Zone' toe.
Where it steps away from its stablemates is with the lightweight fabric uppers. They're seamless for added comfort and get a lightweight, protective, TPU overlay to add abrasion resistance. Also cutting grammes is the EVA midsole cushioning. All of which adds up to a pair of boots weighing just 1200g in a size 43.
We found them instantly comfortable. The well-padded uppers cinch down neatly with the help of down-to-toe climbing-type lacing and are snugger in the forefoot than most for a precise fit. The padded, 3D ankle cuff gives good scuff protection and support without impeding mobility - nowt worse than a splinted ankle in a walking boot - and there's plenty of underfoot cushion on harder surfaces.
The grip from the Vibram sole is good too on anything except really soft ground. There's just about the right amount of underfoot support for mountain walking. Plenty of lengthways flex, but enough lateral stiffness to cope with the rocky stuff.
They'll scramble too, not on a stiff-soled mountaineering boot way - you'll need a full-on Trango for that - but competently enough on Grade 1 classic ground like Crib Goch or Striding Edge.
La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX | Verdict
Think of the Trango TRK as a pure walking boot aimed at climbers and you won't go far wrong. It's light, super comfortable, with a slightly narrower than average vibe, and has enough underfoot support, grip and cushioning for all-day outings.
It'll tackle easy scrambles too, though not with the assurance of a mountaineering Trango, which La Sportiva probably expects you to own already, and has enough lightweight reinforcement to be somewhat tougher than you might expect from the 1200g weight.
The seamless upper is blissfully comfortable, aided and abetted by the flexible ankle cuff and the TPU overlay looks the part in a shiny, futuristic sort of way.
Which leaves the slightly garish alpine-esque styling, which you'll either love or hate. We like it, but more discrete walkers might find the bright yellow a little bit too much in your face. Mind you, if you think the TRK is bright, check out the rest of the range and the likes of the Hyper Mid in particular...
In a nut-shell: a cracking walking boot for climbers who aren't afraid to show it...