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Trail and Scramble Shoes

La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX Boot | Review

This technical climbing, scrambling and via ferrata shoe from La Sportiva stikes a great balance between weight, comfort and performance

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.

As the name implies, the line is designed to traverse mountainous terrain, whether that be via ferrata, mountain ridges, or easy trad climbing.

“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.

A suede leather upper has been used to create this lightweight boot. Photo: Chris Johnson
A 1.5mm thick TechLite rand surrounds the boot. Photo: Chris Johnson
The sticky compound coupled with a Vibram Climbing Zone makes this ideal for scrambling and easy climbs. Photo: Chris Johnson

It’s in this steep terrain where the Vibram sole is also going to be appreciated. A sticky rubber compound has been used for when you’re looking to smear and edge your way up steeper sections. On top of this, a climbing zone of slick, sticky rubber is used at the toe in order to provide improved friction where it’s required.

Given that the TX4 is designed for travelling over steep, rocky terrain, it makes sense that it has borrowed some of the lacing technology from its climbing shoe cousins. Like the Mythos for instance, a climbing shoe that has become iconic in the climbing world. The TX4 takes its patented Mythos lacing system – where the laces passes behind the heel – to provide a locked down fit for all-day performance.

Plenty of technology, a very lightweight feel and an overall great performance. We like this boot.

Tester’s Verdict

Anna Blackwell, record breaking kayaker

“These are really comfy and I love how soft they feel underfoot – I’ve found the sole moulds really nicely. The overall build is very lightweight and flexible, but there’s still plenty of protection and support around the ankle. The grip has been great over all of the terrain I’ve been testing them out on, and also the waterproofing has certainly been up to scratch. These are right at home on rocky routes, but are also a good option for easier hiking and hillwalking as well.”

The TX4 borrows tech from the Mythos climbing shoe lacing system – where the laces form part of the shoe itself and passes behind the heel, to help lock it in. Photo: Chris Johnson

Trade Secrets

La Sportiva Marketing Staff

“The La Sportiva designers like to cross-pollinate ideas from other categories, which is why the TX4 shoe ended up with the non-slip lacing system from their Mythos climbing shoe – they found it also works really well in an approach shoe.”

La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX

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