Sometimes the approach is tougher than the climb.
You always want your foot to feel prime on the climb, but sometimes there are miles of steep switchbacks, rough rocks, and twig-riddled trails. That's where the La Sportiva Men's TX4 Mid GTX Approach Boot comes in handy. It has the stiffness, stability, and support needed for hauling a lot of climbing gear over rough terrain, and Gore-Tex Extended Comfort applies reliable waterproofing just in case you come across mud or light showers. Extended Comfort also enhances breathability, and Vibram's MegaGrip sole features an Impact Brake System for a safer descent.
- Burly approach boot built to traverse high mountain ranges
- Waterproof Gore-Tex with Extended Comfort for enhanced breathability
- Strong leather upper with TechLite rand for rock protection
- STB Control System maintains support and stability on rough terrain
- Vibram MegaGrip sole with Impact Brake System
- Item #LSP00D9
- Q & A
Not convinced worth price tag
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: 37 womens
- Height: 5'0"
- Weight: 120lbs
I decided I needed waterproof approach shoes. This was a bit of an issue finding in Mazama. The main criteria I guess for approach shoes for me are: comfort walking, comfort scrambling, comfort climbing fifth class, waterproofness, durability. I put probably a hundred miles and a lot of vertical pitches on these this summer.
Comfort Walking: These walk much like hiking boots, without the bulk and weight. I appreciate that they have ankle support as I’m a klutz on trails. They haven’t quite broken in (though I’ve put some decent miles on them) so this question will be answered soon. They are amazingly light and not quite as stiff as other approach shoes.
Comfort Scrambling: They are fine on non-technical rock. It’s been a bit of a test getting used to a new shoes limit. But they preform fine on scrambling.
Comfort fifth class climbing: They don’t climb quite as well as some other approach shoes, the flexibility I mentioned earlier contributes to this. They also don’t have quite as sharp of an edge on the shoe as other approach shoes. I could climb pretty hard in my old ones. These I’m not sure I’d be comfortable much past 5.6.
Waterproofness: This is the big downfall of these shoes. They are not Gortex as advertised. In my mind, a Gore-tex boot should not get wet unless you a) capsize the boot or b) are in wet conditions for an unreasonable amount of time (example: spend all day in really wet snow). These boots, when fully dry, will let water in at the tongue after stepping in a small puddle. It’s super unfortunate because I really need to keep my feet dry as I have a foot problem.
Insane traction. Top-grade everything.
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
- Fit: True to size
This is my second pair of these boots that I have purchased. These are very well-designed boots. They fit similar to a Salomon Quest 4D2 crossed with a Salomon X Ultra Mid 2, but with a better lacing system and vastly superior traction over slick surfaces. My go-to boots for hiking, bushwhacking, backpacking, and light rock climbing were the Salewa MS Firetail EVO mid GTX boots. They are no longer being made, so I have spent the last year looking for something worthy of their replacement. The TX4 Mid GTX boots are not only worthy, but much better in every conceivable way.
It's very important that you give these boots a couple of miles before having any idea of how they will finally fit. They come out of the box very stiff and tight, but loosen up and stretch more than any boot I have owned before. Mine were brutally tight around the balls of my feet like a climbing shoe and then after just 2 miles or so on the trail, they loosen up to where I had to retie them from being too loose.
This is the highlight of the TX4 boots, as you will see in every review of the La Sportiva TX series. They grip like magnets to any hard surface, even if wet and slimy as snot. I find them to be close to how the Five Ten impact MTB shoes grip to stuff like wet roots and slick rock slabs. Just incredible and confident. While they do not hold to steep and loose dirt and mud like a boot with taller lugs, they do well enough if you have strong feet and can kick the toes into the hillside hard.
The uphill traction is great, but the downhill traction is even better. The heels just dig in and hold like mountain goat hooves. When the boots are tightened down, they provide a crazy amount of multi-directional control and hold onto loose and firm surfaces no matter how slick or steep.
These are every bit as comfortable as my Salewas or any of the highly rated Salomon boots. In fact, I think they feel better than any of those when tied down tight for technical footwork. No pressure points and just an even and firm hold over the entire foot, except for the tips of the toes which still get to wiggly in freedom.
I have read many review which state the cushioning isn't as thick as some shoes, but I don't find this true at all in my experience. They feel just as well cushioned as any good trail runner with a rock plate. If you've ever worn a hard mountaineering oriented boot , the TX4 will feel like walking on marshmallows in comparison. If you have strong feet, like I do, then you will easily get away with using the TX4 boots for backpacking heavy loads. The boots also flex pretty well compared to standard backpacking boots and make for much happier knees due to a more natural stride.
The toe box has a very nice shape for those of us with more Egyptian shaped feet. The big-toe area goes straight forward and unlike many other boots the TX4 won't push your big toe in and hurt it's joints. It can stick straight out and do its thing.
The lacing system is strange compared to most shoes and boots, but it isn't a gimmick at all. I'm not quite sure how all of the mechanics and physics are working in this system, but the effect is a very even spread of the lacing tension.
These boots feel like slippers and are very light for the support and durability they provide. Easy on the knees!
For a boot that isn't very high up the ankle, the TX4 mid is very stable due to the wider footbed that sits low to the ground. You can hike with the laces loose and still have control over the boot from rolling over on edges.
They don't seem like it, but the lacing cord system and rubber rand are much more durable than they appear. Just read the many reviews online. The TX3 and TX4 shoes and boots are very hard to ruin and provide long use for their price.