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La Sportiva Trango Cube GTX - Women's Review

La Sportiva Trango Cube GTX
Top Pick Award
Price:   $390 List | $320.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Lightweight, excellent edging and rock climbing ability, flexible and comfortable for walking, gusseted tongue tightens well
Cons:  Not the best for strait ice-climbing doe to lack of toe-welt
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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  • 5
 
Manufacturer:   La Sportiva

Our Verdict

The La Sportiva Trango Cube GTX is a boot that could be absolutely perfect or absolutely rubbish, depending on your objective. In the hiking and climbing realms of mountaineering, this award winner crushes! It has excellent edging capabilities and is comfortable to wear on those uber long days in the mountains. That being said, this was the only model tested that doesn't work with step-in crampons. It is the lowest performing boot when it comes to straight ice climbing. Designed with a slightly different purpose in mind than the other full-shank boots contained in this review, this three-quarter-shank boot is ideal for alpine climbing that involves long hikes, a great deal of rock scrambling, and travel over snow and ice. The other boots we evaluated are designed specifically with vertical ice climbing in mind. The Trango wins our Top Pick award for its versatility and its outstanding performance in its particular use.

Update - September 2017
The La Sportiva Trango S Evo - Women's is now the La Sportiva Trango Cube GTX - Women's. The new version is pictured above in Light Grey/Mint! There are more particulars about this update listed below.




RELATED REVIEW: The Best Mountaineering Boots For Women Review


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
McKenzie Long
Senior Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Wednesday
September 6, 2017

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The New La Sportiva Trango Cube GTX Vs The Older La Sportiva Trango S EVO


The Trango S EVO - Women's have morphed into the Trango Cube GTX - Women's. The new version comes in a Light Grey/Mint color option and looks a little more modern than its predecessor. The sole is comprised of "One" Vibram rubber (which is lighter and has a lower profile than the previous sole material) and the upper features a leading-edge, seamless, waterproof technology. The insole is also switched from 7 mm TrangoFlex to 4mm graded Nylon. With these fresh aesthetic and technical updates, the total cost increases by $70.

Check out the two models next to one another below, with the latest Trango Cube GTX on the left, and the previous model on the right.
La Sportiva Trango Cube GTX
La Sportiva Trango Evo - Women's
 

Here's a summary of the key differences between the Trango Cube GTX and the previous version:
  • Different Sole Rubber — The sole of the Trango Cube GTX is made with a lighter and lower profile Vibram rubber named "One". The prior model featured Vibram Mulaz.
  • New Color — Light Grey/Mint is the only color option for this new model. It looks clean and modern.
  • Lower Weight — The new version weighs 21.98 oz (versus 23.3 oz).
  • Higher Cost — The Trango Cube Gtx Women's will set you back $390 (compared with $320).
  • Updated Upper — The upper is made with seamless, waterproof technology which you can see if you look closely at the side-by-side comparison photos above.

We're psyched to get our hands on a pair of these boots! Until we do so, the ratings and text below this paragraph refer to the older La Sportiva Trango S EVO.

Hands-On Review of the La Sportiva Trango S EVO - Women's


Since this is the only boot we tested that does not have a toe-welt for crampons, this is the lightest mountaineering boot and best for hiking, though it is not ideal for straight ice climbing.


About to cross the glacier to reach the Torres in Patagonia while wearing the La Sportiva Trango S Evo with strap-on crampons. Cerro Torre rises in the background.
About to cross the glacier to reach the Torres in Patagonia while wearing the La Sportiva Trango S Evo with strap-on crampons. Cerro Torre rises in the background.

Weight


At 23.3 ounces per boot for a size 39.5, these are by far the lightest boot we evaluated, which is an enormous bonus if you plan to hike long distances. Particularly when our heaviest boot weighs more than 10 ounces per boot more! This boot is able to skimp on weight by having a ¾ shank instead of a full shank, eliminating the front toe-welt, using synthetic materials instead of leather on the upper, and using webbing-reinforced lace-loops in place of metal lace grommets.

Warmth


The Trango Evo is not a particularly warm boot, and is the least warm in this review. (Skimping on insulation is another way this boot saves weight.) If you need an insulated boot to keep your toes from freezing, check out the Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX - Women's or the La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX - Women's

Water Resistance


A wet and rainy hike in the Gore-Tex lined La Sportiva Trango S Evo.
A wet and rainy hike in the Gore-Tex lined La Sportiva Trango S Evo.
Lined with Gore-Tex, this boot is reliably waterproof, even when hiking through rain or snow.

Rock Climbing Ability


La Sportiva Trango S Evo does not have a front toe-welt  which makes it excel at rock climbing  but limits its ice climbing ability. The large area of rand rubber also adds to climbing ability.
La Sportiva Trango S Evo does not have a front toe-welt, which makes it excel at rock climbing, but limits its ice climbing ability. The large area of rand rubber also adds to climbing ability.
Rock climbing is the category where the Trango really shines. The lack of a front toe-welt allows for more sensitivity and precision in the front of the boot as opposed to bulkier mountaineering boots. The flexible ankle cuff gives your foot full range of motion for rock moves.

We tested this boot on a multi-pitch rock climb in winter conditions and found that it edges exceptionally well. Though smearing takes some getting used to if you typically climb in climbing shoes, we were pleasantly surprised at how confidently we could climb in these boots.

Ice Climbing Ability


Due to the lack of a front toe welt for step-in crampons, and the lack of a full shank, this boot is not the choice for vertical ice climbing. The bottom of the boot is too flexible to provide enough support while front-pointing, and strap-on crampons tend to break when kicking into vertical ice repeatedly. This boot does have a rear welt for a crampon bail, and works well with semi-automatic crampons for traveling over glaciers or ascending a snow couloir on the way to your summit.

Hiking Ability


The La Sportiva Trango S Evo are the most comfortable boots for hiking in our review. They are flexible and lightweight while still being waterproof and supportive.
The La Sportiva Trango S Evo are the most comfortable boots for hiking in our review. They are flexible and lightweight while still being waterproof and supportive.
With a ¾ shank instead of a full shank, the sole of this boot flexes in a way that other mountaineering boots do not, which makes for comfortable hiking and a more natural stride. The lightness combined with the support offered by this boot makes for footwear that hikes exceptionally well. While not as comfy as a light day-hiker, this boot strikes a balance between a burly and protective mountaineering boot and a lightweight hiker.

Durability


This boot holds up surprisingly well for such a lightweight product. The rand rubber protects a lot of the synthetic upper, and the Vibram sole withstands a lot of abuse. Not as long lasting and an all-leather boot, other testers have found this boot will last several seasons of hard wear.

Best Application


This boot is ideal for three-season alpine climbing that involves long hikes, frequent rock scrambling and climbing, and occasional travel over snow and ice.

Value


At $320, these boots cost almost as much as the full-shank Lowa Mountain Expert GTX EVO - Women's, our Best Buy winner. However, the Trango Evo serves a different purpose, and if you are looking for a three-season alpine climbing boot, this is the best there is.

Other Versions


La Sportiva Trango S Evo - Men's
La Sportiva Trango S Evo
  • $320
  • Men's version
  • Ideal for hiking in the early season when hiking or backpacking when you might have to deal with both snow and regular trails

Trango Cube GTX
La Sportiva Trango Cube GTX Boot - Men's
  • Cost - $375
  • Have a seamless waterproof upper
  • Lower profile (less weight) sole
  • Boot weight - 24 oz

La Sportiva Batura 2.0 GTX
La Sportiva Batura 2.0 GTX - Editors' Choice Winner
  • Cost - $650
  • A highly evolved and tested super-gaiter boot
  • Made from top-shelf materials
  • Wins our Editors' Choice Award for climbing ice, rock, and mixed well
McKenzie Long

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Most recent review: September 6, 2017
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