La Sportiva Trango Tech GTX Review
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La Sportiva Trango Tech GTX
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|Pros||Exceptional climbing ability, supportive, great for covering distance in an alpine environment||Top-level hiking boot performance, excels in all metrics||Lightweight, comfortable, excellent traction||Best choice for rock and snow travel, durable, breathes well||Very comfortable, supportive|
|Cons||Expensive, too stiff for an average hiker||Expensive, not as great for hot and dry climates||Narrow fit, slightly small sizing||Wider fit, not the best lace locking system, price||Average waterproofing, fair traction|
|Bottom Line||A technical hiking boot that excels in mountain environments. A specialized tool, this is not an all-around model||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||For rocky alpine approaches and moderate snow travel, this model is a lightweight mountain boot disguised as a hiking boot||This super comfortable hiking shoe is one of our favorite budget-friendly models|
|Rating Categories||La Sportiva Trango...||Salomon Quest 4 Gor...||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX||Merrell Moab 3 Mid...|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||La Sportiva Trango...||Salomon Quest 4 Gor...||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX||Merrell Moab 3 Mid...|
|Weight (per pair)||2.90 lbs (size 11)||2.90 lbs (size 11)||2.08 lbs (size 45 EU)||2.65 lbs (size 11)||2.36 lbs (size 11)|
|Boot Type||Lightweight mountaineering boot||Midweight hiker/backpacking boot||Lightweight hiker/day hiker||Midweight hiker/backpacking boot||Midweight hiker/backpacking boot|
|Width Options||Regular||Regular||Regular, Wide||Regular||Regular, Wide|
|Waterproof Lining||Gore-Tex Performance Comfort||Gore-Tex||GORE-TEX extended comfort||Gore-Tex||Waterproof membrane|
|Upper||QB3 waterproof fabric, thermo-tech injection coating||Leather and nylon||AirMesh, microfiber, TPU||1.8mm suede perwanger||Pigskin leather, mesh|
|Last Board/Shank||Trango||4D Chassis||Nylon molded flex TPU||BZ last||Molded nylon|
|Midsole||PU Light and PU protective skin w/ heel TPU crampon insert||EnergyCell||Injection-molded MEMlex||PU + 3D EVA-MP||Super Rebound Compound|
|Sole||Vibram La Sportiva Cube||Contagrip||FriXion XF 2.0||Vibram Drumlin / Mont||Vibram TC5+|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The burliness of this boot translates to amazing performance on climbing and technical hiking objectives, but it also makes them a bit harder to break in. These are comfortable out of the box in terms of fit, with a medium volume sizing, but when snugly laced around the foot, they are not as forgiving as other models, and the stiff sole feels less comfortable when on the trail for miles at a time.
But think about the difference between driving a sleek Porsche 911 and a Cadillac - you're going to give up some comfort in the race car, but you do so in favor of vastly improved performance. Rocky, alpine, technical trails involving 3rd and 4th class climbing are where the comfort-for-performance tradeoff is clearly worth it. The stiff soles that aren't very comfortable on flat, smooth trails protect your feet in rocky terrain, which is actually more comfortable in this environment. Comfort is contingent upon the terrain, exemplified with this boot.
These are very stable boots. We feel in total control while hiking and climbing in these boots, thanks to a snug lacing system that makes the upper feel like it is part of the foot, rather than allowing the foot to slide and twist inside. Offering a very stable edging platform based on a Trango 2 last, they feel precise and confident. The tall 7.25-inch cuffs give great support around the ankles, making them useful in off-trail situations. Torsionally very stiff, they maneuver through rocky terrain quite well.
We can't get over how well these boots climb! Featuring the same Vibram Mulaz rubber compound found on many high-performance, lightweight mountaineering boots, they can travel effortlessly through many varied surface conditions. On the approach, they hold their own on the trail, easily tracking over muddy, slick, and wet surfaces, but off-trail is where they really begin to shine. Meant for technical endeavors, the Trango Tech GTX finds its stride in 3rd and 4th class terrain where rock and snow climbing may be encountered. In these situations, they are one of the top performers in this review.
By including a Gore-Tex Performance Comfort membrane, these boots do a great job of keeping water on the outside where it belongs. And thanks to a tall ankle cuff that has this waterproof-breathable membrane sewn in all the way up to the top, it boasts an impressive flood height. We did not experience any issues with water seeping in. Relating to durability, though, the fabric on the sides of the upper are susceptible to wear. Over time and if worn in rough terrain, we expect this to be the first area that would start letting in moisture.
The Trango Tech GTX weighs in at 2.9 pounds in US men's size 11. This is almost twice the weight of the lightest hiking boot we reviewed, but it is by no means the heaviest boot in our review. It is also much lighter than some equivalent lighter weight mountaineering boots, and so judged on its merits as well as its weight, it is a good choice.
As noted above, these are light boots made from light materials. The upper is comprised of proprietary QB3 Waterproof fabric with Thermo-Tech injection coating, meaning that they are very high-tech, but don't offer the same durability that full-grain leather boots do. When abraded, this fabric has a tendency to fray and wick water in. It is worth being careful if you plan on climbing in harsh terrain.
Should You Buy the La Sportiva Trango Tech GTX?
The Trango Tech GTX is an expensive, niche hiking boot, or a relatively inexpensive mountain boot, depending on how you look at it. This is one of the best boots when it comes to technical terrain, making it a perfect choice for hikers that may venture out onto challenging cross-country routes that may see travel over rock, snow, and ice.
What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?
If you're in the market for a tough boot that can go between moderate and alpine terrain, this is a great option. We'd also recommend the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX, which is also designed for some snow travel and rock scrambling but scores a bit higher overall, especially in the durability metric. If you don't need a boot quite this burly, the Salomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex is an overall excellent hiking boot and our favorite model.
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