La Sportiva Trango Tower Extreme GTX Review
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La Sportiva Trango Tower Extreme GTX
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|Pros||Light, versatile, great for rock climbing||Super lightweight, climbs well, simple laces||Good laces, does well on all mediums||Good all-around climbing performance, secure lacing system||A dream on steep ice, durable|
|Cons||Not very warm, minimal calf support||No lace lock, could be warmer||Heavy, snow comes in the top||Not as light or warm as other options||Heavy, not the most nimble|
|Bottom Line||These light, versatile boots are good for all-around performance||This lightweight boot is our go-to choice for challenging climbs on ice, rock, and snow||A decent all-around boot that's good for those with wider feet||This traditional single leather boot is a reasonable value||This boot slays steep ice, but carries a high weight penalty|
|Rating Categories||La Sportiva Trango...||Asolo Eiger XT GV Evo||Lowa Alpine Expert GTX||Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro||La Sportiva Nepal C...|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Specs||La Sportiva Trango...||Asolo Eiger XT GV Evo||Lowa Alpine Expert GTX||Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro||La Sportiva Nepal C...|
|Weight||1lb 13.6oz (835g)||1lb 10.8oz (760g)||2lb (907g)||2lb 1.7oz (955g)||2lb 2.7oz (983g)|
|Sizes Available||38-48 EU||40-47.5 EU||7-14 US||39-48 EU||37-48 EU|
|Upper||Nylon 6.6 with Honey-Comb Guard and FlexTec 3||High tenacity nylon with Schoeller Soft Shell||Split leather/microfiber||3mm silicone impregnated Perwanger leather, S-Tech fabric||3.2mm silicone impregnated leather with abrasion resistant fabric|
|Waterproof Lining||Gore-Tex Performance Comfort||Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort||Gore-Tex||Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort||Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort|
|Shank||9mm Insulated IBI-Thermo||Carbon Fiber||Nylon||Pro-Fiber XT20 insole||Carbon Tech honeycomb insulation|
|Midsole||6-7mm TPU/ Dual-density micropore EVA||Dual color microporous midsole||DuraPU||PU + TPU||3 mm Polyurethane|
|Sole Rubber||Vibram "One"||Vibram Litebase with Mont compound||Vibram Alp Trac Ice||Vibram Essential AC / Mont||Vibram Matterhorn|
Our Analysis and Test Results
La Sportiva has been using the Trango last to build mountaineering boots for a long time. Many of those boots have had long or complicated names, and the Trango Tower Extreme GTX is no exception. Climbers and mountaineers familiar with the silver Trango boots of the early twenty-teens will be pleased with what is essentially an updated version of that lightweight and great all-around boot.
Overall the La Sportiva Trango Tower Extreme GTX is a slightly above-average climber, but it has some distinct strengths. This is the boot to reach for if your route involves climbing on bare rock without crampons. It's got ample range of motion built into the ankle and a good amount of rocker in the sole. It would be an excellent choice for the North Face of Mount Edith Cavell, which involves loads of 4th class scrambling, a glacier crossing, many pitches of 5th class rock, and some moderate ice. On a route like this, confident rock climbers can skip the rock shoes and simplify their day by just bringing these boots.
Our testers also liked this boot on mixed pitches and for dry tooling. The ankle flexibility helped us with tricky footwork, and the rigid sole was supportive. This is also an excellent boot for French techniques.
Its climbing weakness is steep ice. This shouldn't be a problem for folks with strong calves and good ice technique, but the chicken-legged or new ice climbers may feel the calf pump more with this boot over others.
This is one of the lightest boots we tested. One size 43 boot weighs in at 1 lb 13.6 oz (835g). Part of the reason for that is that there's no leather in the upper of the boot; it's all synthetic. It also has no extra frills. There are no zippers or weird flaps on this boot. In many ways (including the muted color scheme) this boot looks a lot like a traditional mountain boot.
No rock climber ever wants to have a pair of boots in their pack (or, god forbid, clipped to their harness) while climbing, but the low weight of this boot made it a favorite for our testers who were carrying more than one pair of footwear, like if we were skiing in to an alpine climb.
As we mentioned above, the Trango Tower Extreme is built with modern waterproof materials, including Gore-Tex. The top of the cuff has a grippy gaiter-like finish that does a pretty good job keeping the snow out on extended post-holing sessions.
This boot's weak point for water resistance is its relatively low "water line". The grippy gaiter-like part of the cuff is not waterproof, and the top of the cuff has a deep cut-out for your Achilles tendon. This means that the point where liquid water can enter the boot is just under 7 inches (about 17cm) off the ground. Below this, it's watertight.
As you would expect for a boot that's so light, it also offers the least amount of warmth. The low cut doesn't run insulation up your leg, the boot is fairly thin, and the mid and outsole aren't unusually thick. This isn't the boot we'd recommend to cold-footed climbers nor the one we'd reach for on bone-chilling days on the ice in Cody. If taking these out when the temperatures drop, make sure you're wearing thicker long johns.
Those qualities make this boot uniquely suited for year-round performance. Most other boots in our review could leave your foot really sweaty on a mid-summer ascent of a Cascade volcano. The Trango Tower Extreme is much more suited to summer romps, while still being warm enough to suffice for most winter days.
This is one of the higher performers for hiking in our review. The low weight certainly helps; you won't feel like you're clomping along the trail in a pair of alpine ski boots with the Trango Tower Extreme on your feet. They are not as comfortable or light on approaches as one of the best trail running shoes, but they will perform better on hikes than most other boots.
We also appreciated the rocker built into the sole of this boot; it seemed to encourage a more natural and efficient gait. This boot also has a cut-out in the back of the cuff for your Achilles tendon. We felt like this lessened the resistance when we were stepping forward.
The Trango Tower Extreme has a simple, secure lacing system. It's a pretty traditional setup with lace hooks on either side of the ankle to let you lock in different amounts of tension for the upper and lower boot. Our testers will often lace the top two hooks more loosely on approaches or for rock climbing. Any climber who has worn a boot will instantly figure out how to lace these up.
Should You Buy the La Sportiva Trango Tower Extreme GTX?
These boots are a good value not only because of their price point, but because they do everything decently well with year-round versatility. They're lightweight and comfortable for hiking, and climb reasonably well overall, with an above-average showing at mixed climbing and dry tooling, and on rock without crampons.
What Other Mountaineering Boots Should You Consider?
If you're looking for an affordable supergaiter style boot, check into the Lowa Alpine Ice GTX. Our favorite boot of the bunch is the Asolo Eiger XT GV Evo for its low weight, excellent climbing prowess, and good weather resistance. For supreme warmth, take a look at the Arc'teryx Acrux AR.
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