La Sportiva TX2 Evo - Women's Review
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La Sportiva TX2 Evo - Women's
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|Pros||Lightweight, great climbing ability, comfortable||Durable, stiff, great climbing ability||Climbs incredibly well, lightweight, durable, breathe well with mesh uppers||Excellent traction, very supportive, breathable design, comfortable for various foot shapes||Comfortable, supportive, affordable|
|Cons||Not as durable as some||Lacks cushion, expensive||Narrow fit, stiff midsole||Not waterproof, minor durability issues||Heavy, poor climbing performance|
|Bottom Line||This is an all-around awesome shoe with excellent climbing performance, a sock-like comfortable fit, and a lightweight design||These shoes are confidence-inspiring, durable, and designed for alpine scrambles and other rugged missions||A shoe that excels in climbing but lacks the comfort for long approaches||An excellent choice for those looking to navigate popular trails that feature polished granite or slippery sandstone||Built for the typical climber with long approaches in mind, this shoe is a great budget option|
|Rating Categories||La Sportiva TX2 Evo...||La Sportiva TX Guide||Arc'teryx Konseal FL 2||La Sportiva TX4 - W...||La Sportiva Boulder X|
|Climbing Ability (35%)|
|Hiking Comfort (25%)|
|Weight and Packability (20%)|
|Specs||La Sportiva TX2 Evo...||La Sportiva TX Guide||Arc'teryx Konseal FL 2||La Sportiva TX4 - W...||La Sportiva Boulder X|
|Weight (per pair)||18.7 oz||21.0 oz||19.7 oz||21.4 oz||28.9 oz|
|Sole Rubber||Vibram Idrogrip||Vibram Mega-Grip and IdroGrip||Vibram Megagrip||Vibram MegaGrip Traverse||Vibram Idro-Grip V-Smear|
|Upper||Recycled knit||Ultra-weave Jacquard||60% PA, 40% polyethylene mesh||Leather||Leather|
|Midsole||Traverse lite injection MEMlex with co-molded TPU shank||OrthoLite, dual-density compressed EVA, TPU Torsion Shank||TPU chassis||Traverse Injection MEMlex||Micropore EVA|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The La Sportiva TX2 Evo is a fabulous blend of a lightweight style and sleek climbing performance. It has a sock-like ankle cuff and a Vibram Idogrip outsole, which is designed to be easily re-soled once it wears out. Though not as cushioned or durable as some of its competitors, we found the balance of comfort, support, and weight to be unparalleled.
A lot goes into technical climbing performance, and it's the main feature that makes an approach shoe so much more than a hiking shoe. As climbers, we're often boulder-hopping, talus-scrambling, or kicking steps in snow to reach our objectives, whether they're alpine peaks or hidden boulders. Climbing performance often comes with diminished comfort, as a cushier shoe is much less sensitive to precise movements. Our testers found the TX2 Evo to excel in climbing performance without sacrificing any comfort.
With a firm edge and a rigid sole, the TX2 Evo has excellent edging abilities, making it a fierce competitor in this category. This shoe has few competitors with comparable climbing ability, soaring away from most of the pack. With its updated sock-like fit, the shoe fits like a glove and gives the desired sensitivity for scrambling on rock. The mesh uppers are stretchy and allow your foot to move and breathe, all the while giving the precision of a climbing shoe without the discomfort. The TX2 Evo is lightweight with a thin toe, which significantly aids in its competency at crack climbing.
Whether scrambling around Yosemite or running up peaks in the High Sierra, the TX2 Evo surpassed our expectations for this scoring metric, earning one of the highest scores of any of its competitors.
To separate "comfort" from "support," two closely linked metrics, our expert testers decided "comfort" would refer mostly to the top of the shoe, leaving "support" to describe the bottom. We looked at fit, sizing, materials, breathability, and lacing to determine the overall feel of each product.
One of the first things our testers noticed about the TX2 Evo was its stretchy mesh lining around the heel and tongue. The heel sits at a perfect height and is incredibly comfortable, and the stretchy mesh conforms to your heel. The width is ideal, and the toe is narrow enough for excellent climbing precision but wide enough for hiking comfort.
The TX2 Evo has a knit-mesh upper that is lighter and more breathable than its predecessor, the TX2. The shoe slips on like a sock, requiring two hands, but once it's on, it's easily adjustable with the lacing extending all the way down to the toes. You can pull the laces tight for moving on technical terrain or loosen them up for more casual outings.
Overall, our testers found the TX2 Evo to provide a significant amount of comfort, especially for its weight, making it a great approach shoe for moving fast and light over technical terrain in the mountains.
For our reviewers to judge support, we looked at each shoe's stiffness, arch fit, stability, and ability to protect your feet from the elements. These are approach shoes, after all, and what good would they be if they couldn't carry us through talus, up snow slopes, or on loose trails? The TX2 Evo has an above-average amount of support due mostly to a solid and rigid base.
The TX2 Evo's sole is very rigid, especially when considering that it's one of the lightest approach shoes we've ever tested. Dense, stiff rubber soles tend to add significant weight, but somehow, these shoes are surprisingly supportive and light underfoot. Compared to other lightweight shoes that tend to have floppy constructions, this shoe is a much better fit for variable terrain. While it still may not be the #1 choice for high-alpine terrain, many of our reviewers found the TX2 Evo to be a good fit for rocky scrambles and loose talus approaches.
The toe is well-protected when compared to many of its competitors, but the TX2 Evo lacks the lateral support of some stiffer, heavier shoes. The lightweight design comes at a cost; the mesh knit uppers won't protect your feet as well from sharp rocks or rolling boulders. The shoe also has zero waterproofing capabilities, though they do dry quickly. While this may not be our first choice for prolonged wetness, we wouldn't mind getting them a little damp, knowing how quickly we'll be dry again.
Weight and Packability
Weight in an approach shoe is important for a few reasons, and to make sure we got the right measurements, we put each shoe on our scale to see how it stacked up. We didn't need a scale, however, to be immediately impressed with the TX2 Evo as soon as we took it out of the box. Its low weight makes it an incredible shoe for multi-pitch climbing, and it is much more comfortable in casual settings for this reason as well.
Weighing in at a remarkable 18.7 ounces (size US Women's 8), the TX2 Evo is impressively lightweight. We've tested shoes in the past that were up to two ounces lighter, but they lacked the structure and comfort of the TX2 Evo. We'd happily strap these shoes to our harnesses or stuff them in our packs for long days, especially if the descent route requires a lot of hiking, scrambling, or boulder-hopping. Another climber-friendly design worked into the TX2 is the C2 Combo Cord heel loop on each shoe. This feature acts as a rubber band and allows the pair to be strapped together and stuffed away in a pack or clipped to the back of a harness without flopping around.
We often suggest using weight as a secondary category once you've established which of the other metrics is more relevant to you and your objectives. With approach shoes, the ratio of weight to stability is an important consideration, especially if you participate in the full spectrum of climbing types and environments. This ratio is the thing that is so impressive about the TX2 Evo. No other contender that weighs less than 10 ounces per shoe has even close to the amount of comfort and support of the TX2 Evo, which makes its weight even more impressive. If you frequently climb in areas like Yosemite and Red Rocks that require technical descents off long routes, we can't imagine a better shoe.
Should You Buy the La Sportiva TX2 Evo?
It didn't take long for our testers to recognize the awesomeness of the La Sportiva TX2 Evo, and as the weeks of testing went on, we only found more things to love. It climbs excellently, is astonishingly lightweight yet comfortable and supportive, and is suited just as well to the crag as it is to the alpine. We also like the eco-friendly aspects like how the shoe uses recycled materials and the new ESS Resoling platform that allows for easy sole replacement. The TX2 Evo scored high marks across the board, and although it may not be our first choice for hiking in the snowy alpine, it will cover the needs of most hikers and climbers out there looking for a technically sound and comfortable approach shoe.
What Other Shoes Should You Consider?
If you're looking for a burlier shoe that climbs well and is comfortable, check out the TX2's big sister, the La Sportiva TX4. It's slightly heavier and bulkier, but it makes up in other realms like durability and travel in alpine terrain. The stiffer midsole makes it slightly more supportive for standing in ladders while aid climbing or kicking steps in snow. The TX Guide and the Arc'teryx Konseal FL 2 also scored high in climbing ability and are more specialized approach shoes for technical scrambling.
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