La Sportiva TXS GTX Review
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La Sportiva TXS GTX
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|Pros||Excellent traction, lightweight performance||Top-level hiking boot performance, excels in all metrics||Lightweight, comfortable, excellent traction||Very comfortable, supportive||Inexpensive, great waterproofing, quality material|
|Cons||Diminished comfort||Expensive, not as great for hot and dry climates||Narrow fit, slightly small sizing||Average waterproofing, fair traction||Heavy, clunky, uncomfortable|
|Bottom Line||This is a cross between an approach shoe and a hiking boot, well-suiter for the hiker with alpine adventure objectives||The gold standard of what a great hiking boot should be, and we heartily recommend it for those seeking the best possible performance on and off the trail||This high-performing hiking boot tears up technical terrain with maximum precision and is at home far from the trail||This super comfortable hiking shoe is one of our favorite budget-friendly models||This is a classic hiking boot that uses traditional materials and is an inexpensive option for someone who wants a beefy boot|
|Rating Categories||La Sportiva TXS GTX||Salomon Quest 4 Gor...||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Merrell Moab 3 Mid...||Timberland Mt. Madd...|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||La Sportiva TXS GTX||Salomon Quest 4 Gor...||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Merrell Moab 3 Mid...||Timberland Mt. Madd...|
|Weight (per pair)||2.47 lbs (size 11)||2.90 lbs (size 11)||2.08 lbs (size 45 EU)||2.36 lbs (size 11)||2.31 lbs (size 11)|
|Boot Type||Midweight hiker/backpacking boot||Midweight hiker/backpacking boot||Lightweight hiker/day hiker||Midweight hiker/backpacking boot||Midweight hiker/backpacking boot|
|Width Options||Regular||Regular||Regular, Wide||Regular, Wide||Regular, Wide|
|Waterproof Lining||Gore Tex Extended Comfort||Gore-Tex||GORE-TEX extended comfort||Waterproof membrane||TimberDry|
|Upper||High-abrasion resistant mesh||Leather and nylon||AirMesh, microfiber, TPU||Pigskin leather, mesh||Full-grain leather|
|Last Board/Shank||Traverse||4D Chassis||Nylon molded flex TPU||Molded nylon||TPU shank|
|Midsole||Injection molded EVA/STB control inserts/2.5mm polypro stiffener||EnergyCell||Injection-molded MEMlex||Super Rebound Compound||EVA|
|Sole||Vibram Megagrip w/ Impact Brake System||Contagrip||FriXion XF 2.0||Vibram TC5+||Rubber|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The La Sportiva TXS GTX could be considered a very comfortable approach/mountain climbing boot, or a bare-bones hiking boot, depending on how you look at it. La Sportiva developed this model to bridge the gap between a standard hiking boot and an approach shoe, and in this sense, they did a great job.
This boot is more comfortable on long hikes than some other contenders in this review built with ascents in mind. This is due to the fact that the upper material is not as rigid, so it flexes with the foot better, and the midsole is not as stiff, making for a more comfortable experience on the trail.
When we compare them to some of the comfort-forward models that top the comfort charts, however, these boots come up short. They feel like a high-top approach shoe, in that the minimal padding gives them a rough, jarring feel when pounding out the miles on firm trails or rock slabs. We really like the lacing eyelets that keep the laces secure and stop them from jumping out if they get loose.
Stability is a metric in which the TXS GTX shines. They have an adequately high-cut ankle to support those carrying heavy loads or traveling in rough terrain. This boot's outsole is 4.5 inches at its widest point, making them stable enough to avoid rolling ankles but narrow enough that they can hold their own when edging on steep slopes. The upper material itself does not provide a lot of structure, but it produces more rigidity when laced up snugly. The combination of a molded EVA midsole with a polypropylene stiffener and STB control inserts gives this boot a very stable platform that you can depend on while climbing or scrambling in exposed sections of off-trail travel.
La Sportiva is no stranger to the climbing world, having long produced rock shoes and approach shoes known for being some of the stickiest around. In designing the TXS GTX, they employ an outsole made from Vibram Megagrip rubber compound that is sticky enough to smear on rock slabs but does best when in wet or loose conditions where it can use its durable and thick lugs to bite in and grip securely. These were some of the best performing hiking shoes when it comes to versatile traction.
The TXS GTX uses Gore-Tex Extended Comfort to ensure a waterproof and breathable barrier, much like many of the boots in this review. We found that it did well and kept our feet dry up to a flood height of 4.25 inches. Something to keep in mind when looking at boots that use mesh uppers, even when it is abrasion resistant, is that when the material starts to get a bit fuzzy from wear, it will start to wick water. This tends to impact the Gore-Tex liner's usefulness negatively, so you might find the water resistance diminish as you wear these boots.
The La Sportiva TXS GTX weighs in at 2.47 pounds per pair in size 11 US, which is right in the middle of the pack compared to the rest of the boots we reviewed. If you are looking for a lightweight hiker and only plan on hiking on the trail and relatively simple terrain, then the added weight that this boot tacks on might not be worth it. But if you're considering this boot, you are probably looking for something that will let you climb confidently and securely on more challenging routes. Then, this model starts to look pretty good. Of the boots that we would want to wear on 3rd and 4th class mountain scrambles, the TXS GTX is the lightest we tested.
The upper material is a combination of high-abrasion resistant mesh fabric and a molded Vibram toe cap and rand. We feel that the mesh fabric is a worthwhile weight-savings for most 3 season scrambling trips into the backcountry, though if you really want a durable boot, we would recommend something with a more robust outer. The extra rand helps keep the upper from getting nicked and abraded by rocks, so should help them last a bit longer.
Should You Buy the La Sportiva TXS GTX?
The TXS GTX is a hybrid boot that blurs the lines between approach shoes, mountain boots, and hiking boots. It climbs better than most hiking boots and is more comfortable than an approach shoe. It is a niche product, but we feel that it offers a lot to a wider range of users, especially those who want their hiking boots to do more than just pounding out the miles on the trail.
What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?
If you know you'll be scrambling and climbing a bit in your boots, the TXS is a great option. For even more traction and durability, we'd recommend the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX. If you're just looking for an all-around great trail boot for backpacking and hiking trips, the Salomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex is our go-to, and we also like the Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof as a more budget-friendly option.
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