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La Sportiva TX4 - Women's Review

If you're heading into the alpine or big walls, this durable and supportive model is well-suited for your endeavors
La Sportiva TX4 - Women's
Photo: La Sportiva
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Price:  $140 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Supportive, comfortable, durable
Cons:  Heavier, moderate climbing ability
Manufacturer:   La Sportiva
By Lauren DeLaunay and Jane Jackson  ⋅  May 26, 2021
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 10
  • Climbing Ability - 35% 7
  • Hiking Comfort - 25% 7
  • Support - 20% 8
  • Weight & Packability - 20% 6

Our Verdict

The La Sportiva TX4 is a burly, all-leather boot that is ready to put up with the abuse of gnarly approaches and heavy loads. While other models outperformed the TX4 in a number of metrics, the TX4 is one of our all-time favorite shoes and is a great option for alpine endeavors and big walls. These shoes are some of the more comfortable options we tested, with great support while maintaining decent climbing ability. And while we think its burly frame might be overkill for some climbers, it makes sense on long approaches where comfort is key.

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66
61
Star Rating
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Pros Supportive, comfortable, durableLightweight, great climbing ability, comfortableDurable, stiff, great climbing abilityBreathable, lightweight, climbs wellComfortable, supportive, inexpensive
Cons Heavier, moderate climbing abilityNot as durable as someLacks cushion, expensiveLess comfortable for long hikesHeavy, poor climbing performance
Bottom Line If you're heading into the alpine or big walls, this durable and supportive model is well-suited for your endeavorsThis is an all-around awesome shoe with excellent climbing performance and a comfortable, lightweight designThese shoes are confidence-inspiring, durable, and designed for alpine scrambles and other rugged missionsA great all-around shoe with above-average breathability and weight to keep feet feeling freshAn awesome budget option that covers the needs of most climbers, especially equipped for hiking comfort and long-term durability
Rating Categories La Sportiva TX4 - W... La Sportiva TX2 - W... La Sportiva TX Guide Scarpa Crux Air - W... La Sportiva Boulder X
Climbing Ability (35%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
4.0
Hiking Comfort (25%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
9.0
Support (20%)
8.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
Weight & Packability (20%)
6.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
4.0
Specs La Sportiva TX4 - W... La Sportiva TX2 - W... La Sportiva TX Guide Scarpa Crux Air - W... La Sportiva Boulder X
Weight per Pair (in oz) 21.0 oz 16.8 oz 21.5 oz 19.1 oz 28.6 oz
Sole Rubber Vibram MegaGrip Vibram MegaGrip Vibram Mega-Grip Vibram Vertical Approach, Megagrip Vibram Idro-Grip V-Smear
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Upper Leather Polyester mesh Synthetic knit polyester mesh Suede
Midsole Traverse Injection MIMIlex Traverse Lite dual-density compressed EVA, TPU Torsion Shank 2D EVA-MP 2mm polypropylene, 2mm LaSpEVA

Our Analysis and Test Results

The La Sportiva TX4 received high scores in every metric but particularly stood out for its combination of durability and weight.

Performance Comparison


Our test team, pictured here, looking for a more comfortable...
Our test team, pictured here, looking for a more comfortable all-leather approach shoe, but not finding anything that beats the TX4.
Photo: Alexa Flower

Climbing Ability


On fifth-class rock, we often have to trust small edges to support us. And while this is easy in rock climbing shoes, it can be unnerving in approach shoes. We found the TX4 to have a decent edging capability due to its stiff toe, precise lacing system, and firm edge. The flat sole is this shoe also added to its sensitivity, enhancing our ability to trust our feet. While not as precise as some slimmer shoes, we were impressed with the TX4's ability in this arena.

Edging is possible but not ultra-secure in the TX4.
Edging is possible but not ultra-secure in the TX4.
Photo: Lauren DeLaunay

This shoe also did well smearing, with an excellent rubber tread. We felt confident on smooth Yosemite slabs and rugged talus alike. This shoe is not super wide in the forefoot, making it a decent choice for crack climbing. That said, some shoes are much slimmer, fitting more easily into small cracks, and more nimble and capable of refined footwork.

Hiking Comfort


On the other end of the scoring spectrum is comfort. This metric mostly describes a shoe's upper, toe, and fit, while the "support" metric described below was used to judge a shoe's sole and latter support. We found the TX4 to be above average in comfort and plusher than many of its competitors. The TX4 has a mesh inner and leather exterior. This material is less breathable than the mesh of some of its competitors and not quite as cozy once we start packing on the miles.

The mesh lining makes the TX 4's a little more breathable in hot...
The mesh lining makes the TX 4's a little more breathable in hot weather.
Photo: Alexa Flower

The lacing system adds to the shoe's overall comfort score. The laces reach far down toward the toe, letting us customize the fit. We can tighten up the laces when we need to travel in technical, demanding terrain, or we can loosen them a bit for walking on established trails or bouncing around at the crag. The TX4 is stiffer than other products, but this adds to its overall support score, which we'll describe next.

Support


The TX4 is one of the most supportive shoes that we tested for this review. The stiff sole is great for traveling on uneven terrain. Additionally, the heel is much wider than others, making for better stability and protection from sharp surfaces. While this shoe doesn't have quite as much arch support as some of its competitors, we found the blend of support and climbing ability to be impressive, since we generally find that a shoe can only excel in one of these two categories.

The leather upper on the TX 4 molded to our feet quickly, making...
The leather upper on the TX 4 molded to our feet quickly, making them comfortable, snug, and supportive.
Photo: Jane Jackson

The leather upper is an excellent addition for traveling in alpine terrain. We found these shoes to be reasonably water-resistant, and the robust toe and heel do very well when kicking steps in snow or strapping on a crampon for glacier travel.

Weight and Packability


The TX4's was not one of the lightest shoes that we tested but was still better than average. At 21 ounces per pair, we found this to be on the upper end of things that we would consider clipping to our harness. Compared to its competitors that come in under twenty ounces per pair, the TX4 is a bit behind. However, compared to shoes with similar support scores, the weight-to-support ratio is one of the best.

We brought these shoes up on walls in Yosemite Valley, where they...
We brought these shoes up on walls in Yosemite Valley, where they stood up to the abuse of wall shenanigans. The leather upper makes them durable, but you'll definitely notice the weight when climbing with them clipped to the back of your harness.
Photo: Alexa Flower

Value


The TX4 is definitely on the more expensive side of the shoes that we tested for this review. We do feel that it is most likely worth that price, however, if you frequently travel in the backcountry and on a variety of types of terrain. After a month spent in Argentine and Chilean Patagonia, we were so happy to have a shoe that could keep up with us. The expected longevity of this shoe over other competitors should increase its value, provided you need a shoe this beefy. If you mostly spend your time at easy-to-access crags or climbing multi-pitch routes that require a walk-off descent, you can likely get away with a less expensive shoe that will get the job done just as well.

Vibram soles, leather uppers, and great all-around performance makes...
Vibram soles, leather uppers, and great all-around performance makes the TX 4 a shoe of great value.
Photo: Jane Jackson

Conclusion


The TX4 is an incredibly well-rounded shoe that excelled in terms of comfort and support. Our main hang-ups with this model were due to its heavier weight and less-than-stellar climbing ability. That said, for long missions in the mountains, these burly, comfortable shoes are a great choice.

Lauren DeLaunay and Jane Jackson