Why We Chose The La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX: Lightweight, sticky rubber suited for climbing and scrambling, locked in feel.
La Sportiva set the standards in approach shoe design with their Boulder X model. It was the go-to shoe for climbers looking to upgrade their approach shoe collection, or even to replace their battered 5-year-old Boulder X – we even know of people hoarding pairs of Boulder X in fear that they might one day become discontinued.
The Boulder X set the bar extremely high as the gold standard of approach shoe. But La Sportiva has been quietly tweaking designs and stealing bits from their Boulder X and climbing boot lineups to create the all new Traverse X series of approach shoes and boots.
“The overall build is very lightweight and flexible, but there’s still plenty of protection”
The TX line is broken up into three models: TX2, TX4 and TX5, with the number depending on the weight and stiffness of the shoe (TX2 being lightweight). TX4 and TX5 models are also broken up into a low and a mid version, so that you’re able to fine tune the fit, stiffness and weight based on the intended use.
If it’s ankle support that you’re after, then you may be suited towards the TX5, which offers a higher cuff and stiffer leather upper. But whilst the TX4 may be lacking in ankle support with its low cuff and softer build, it’s also lacking in the weight department (and we mean that in a good way, by the way).
The TX4 Mid comes in at 485g per shoe – that’s trail-running shoe territory. This lack of weight is going to be appreciated on long scrambles and easy climbs through mountainous terrain where you’re covering hundreds of metres of vertical – such as Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis, perhaps.