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La Sportiva TX4 - Women's Review

An excellent choice for those looking to navigate popular trails that feature polished granite or slippery sandstone
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La Sportiva TX4 - Women's Review (Great for long hikes or approaches, the TX4 is built to impress.)
Great for long hikes or approaches, the TX4 is built to impress.
Credit: Trish Matheny
Price:  $159 List
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Manufacturer:   La Sportiva
By Trish Matheny ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 11, 2023
78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 18
  • Comfort - 25% 8.0
  • Support - 20% 9.0
  • Traction - 15% 9.0
  • Water Resistance - 15% 5.0
  • Weight - 15% 7.4
  • Durability - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

Although the La Sportiva TX4 is billed as an “approach shoe,” it is a high-performing hiker built for more than just long climbing approaches. Our testers loved the out-of-the-box comfort the spacious toe box offers and the incredible support and stability this lightweight yet firm design provides. This shoe has outstanding traction, thanks to super grippy Vibram Megagrip Traverse outsoles, as well as a quality nubuck leather upper and a Techlite rand that protects your toes when traversing technical terrain. Though not a fully waterproof design, we think this could be considered a good thing if you're planning to hike during the hot and dry months of the year. If you want top-tier performance on polished and popular trails, this shoe will inspire confidence with every grippy step. Check out our article on the top-rated women's hiking shoes to see how it ranks versus competitors.
REASONS TO BUY
Excellent traction
Very supportive
Breathable design
Comfortable for various foot shapes
REASONS TO AVOID
Not waterproof
Minor durability issues

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Bottom Line These shoes will encourage confidence with every step thanks to incredible grip and sticky Vibram rubber outsolesFeaturing high-quality performance technology, this hiking shoe is designed to handle any backcountry challenge you dream upA comfortable, high-performing hiking shoe that's versatile enough to tackle everything from well-maintained trails to technical and steep terrainThis affordable hiking shoe offers great support for those with high archesThe lightweight design and sneaker-like feel provide ample comfort under foot
Rating Categories La Sportiva TX4 - W... La Sportiva Spire G... Salomon X Ultra 4 G... Merrell Moab 3 - Wo... Columbia Crestwood...
Comfort (25%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
7.5
Support (20%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.5
Traction (15%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Water Resistance (15%)
5.0
9.0
9.0
4.0
3.0
Weight (15%)
7.4
5.5
6.5
5.3
6.8
Durability (10%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.5
6.5
Specs La Sportiva TX4 - W... La Sportiva Spire G... Salomon X Ultra 4 G... Merrell Moab 3 - Wo... Columbia Crestwood...
Measured Weight (per pair, size 8.5) 1.42 lbs 1.68 lbs 1.54 lbs 1.70 lbs 1.50 lbs
Upper Nubuck leather/1.5mm polyurethane TechLite rand/Vibram rubber toe rand Abrasion-resistant mesh Synthetic textile Pigskin leather, mesh Leather, mesh, and webbing
Lining Nonslip mesh Gore-Tex Surround Gore-Tex Recycled mesh Omni-Tech
Flood Level 3.5" 3.75" 3.75" 3.5" 3.5"
Midsole Traverse Injection MEMlex EVA EVA Super rebound compound Techlite
Outsole Vibram Megagrip Traverse with Impact Brake System Vibram XS Trek Rubber Contagrip Vibram TC5 Omni-Grip
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular, wide Regular, wide

Our Analysis and Test Results

The La Sportiva TX4 isn't just for climbers with heavy packs shuttling over mountainous terrain — this shoe is also a solid choice for hikers looking for more stability and sticky traction. The out-of-the-box comfort is suitable for either wide or narrow feet, the STB Control System offers a ton of stability without allowing for excessive torsional flexion, and the Vibram Megagrip gives some of the best traction on the market. This isn't a fully waterproof option, but depending on where and when you plan to hike, that could be a good thing. This durable and long-lasting design is perfect for those seeking added traction and stability, whether cruising down a groomer trail or charging through rugged off-trail terrain.

Performance Comparison


Offering fantastic traction with every step, this is our favorite shoe for navigating slippery and technical terrain.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Comfort


The TX4 offers ample comfort from day one for those with wide or narrow feet. The roomy toe box includes enough space for the feet to expand when hiking in the heat while also allowing the toes to stretch out rather than be restricted in a cramped design. For added comfort and protection, the shoe features a Techlite rand that increases the shoe's traction and prevents any discomfort when accidentally striking a rock or tree stump.


While our testers found this shoe to be incredibly comfortable for narrow feet, some people could find the spacious toe box too roomy for their liking. And while we love the somewhat rigid structure of this shoe, others may prefer a springy cushion that other shoes in this review can offer. Still, we were impressed by the out-of-the-box comfort that kept us going both on and off trail throughout our testing period.

la sportiva tx4 for women - the techlite rand of the tx4 absorbs impact and prevents any...
The TechLite rand of the TX4 absorbs impact and prevents any discomfort when accidentally striking rocks or tree stumps along the trail.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Support


Though comfortable right away, the Sportiva TX4 still offers a ton of support and stability. The highly structured design features an STB Control System with notable torsional stability, which is basically a fancy way of saying that the structure doesn't allow excessive torque or twisting in the midfoot. Without an excessive range of motion side to side, your feet can focus on propelling you forward rather than becoming fatigued from the extra effort required to support the weight of your body.


The TX4 also features a Traverse Injection MEMlex for even more stability in the midfoot and a 4mm Ortholite footbed for enhanced comfort. It's difficult for us to complain about this high-performing shoe, and we are confident in recommending it for its excellent stability, especially when moving through technical and slick terrain.

la sportiva tx4 for women - this shoe locks your foot into place so as to prevent excessive...
This shoe locks your foot into place so as to prevent excessive lateral range of motion, thereby preventing ankles rolls or blistering during big days on or off trail.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Traction


The TX4 really outshined its competitors in this metric and quickly became our first choice when navigating slippery boulders on popular trails. The shoe features a Vibram Megagrip rubber that is different from other shoes we tested for this review. This rubber doesn't have the aggressive lug pattern you might be used to with your traditional hiking shoe, but rather incredibly grippy circles under the forefoot to maximize traction. The design also offers a Trail Bite Heel for added traction and stability.


During our testing period, we couldn't believe how well this shoe performed on slippery and polished granite, in addition to a surprising amount of grip when we had to cross the occasional melting snow patch. Whether you're navigating the slippery stone on the way to the top of Yosemite Falls or hoping to see a moose on the ever-popular Cascade Canyon trail in the Tetons, this is our favorite hiking shoe, thanks to its stand-out traction and grip in demanding terrain.

This shoe features outstanding traction that is perfect for those slippery and polished trails when you're seeking confidence under foot.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Water Resistance


The TX4 is not fully waterproof, but it still performs well when moving through snow patches, mud puddles, and shallow creek crossings. The design features a flood height of 3.5 inches above the sole of the shoe before water can penetrate the inner material. We also found the nonslip mesh lining on the interior increased breathability, allowing for more airflow rather than hot and “pruny” toes.


If you're hiking in warmer climates, considering a more breathable shoe rather than a fully waterproof Gore-tex design could keep your feet more dry and comfortable. However, if breathability is not as important to your hiking needs, we recommend treating the nubuck leather upper with products such as Sno Seal or Nikwax to increase the water resistant capability long term.

la sportiva tx4 for women - though not a fully waterproof nubuck leather design, we still found...
Though not a fully waterproof nubuck leather design, we still found the TX4 to effectively keep water out when navigating snow patches and large puddles.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Weight


The TX4 weighs only 1.42 pounds per pair for a US women's size 8.5, which is pretty darn light considering the range of shoes that we tested.


While this shoe doesn't offer the same lightweight agility as other shoes that feature more of a running and hiking shoe hybrid design, we appreciate the additional support, structure, and durability offered by the nubuck leather construction.

la sportiva tx4 for women - the tx4 is relatively lightweight, weighing only 1.42 pounds per...
The TX4 is relatively lightweight, weighing only 1.42 pounds per pair for a US women's size 8.5.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Durability


The TX4 shoe features a durable nubuck leather upper with a functional, substantial rand and PU Techlite uppers that offer protection and stability when navigating burly trails. Unlike some other hiking shoes in this review, we highly recommend this one for technical and slippery trails in addition to cross-country travel, thanks to the well-built and high-quality design.


Our testers are pleased to report that we experienced no durability issues during our testing period. However, because this is such a popular shoe, we have noticed some wear and tear on our friends' shoes that are a little older. Specifically, we've noticed that the thin orange cord surrounding the lacing system and the pull tab on the heel can fail after significant use. If the cord becomes compromised near the lacing system, it is still reinforced with either the leather upper or metal eyelets, while the pull tab simply loses its function or requires alternative repair. We found the pull tab more essential when attaching the shoe to a harness or backpack and more of an inconvenience (once broken) if simply using the tab for ease of on and off. We've also noted that the leather upper is prone to blowing out near the flex of the shoe near the base of the big and little toes. La Sportiva stands behind their shoes and therefore offers customers a one-year manufacturer warranty should you experience either of these issues during that timeframe.

la sportiva tx4 for women - while we did not experience any durability issues with this...
While we did not experience any durability issues with this outstanding shoe, we couldn't help but notice the potential for the orange cord to fail on both the lacing system and the pull tab near the heel.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Should You Buy the La Sportiva TX4?


If you plan to spend a lot of time hiking on popular trails featuring sandstone or polished granite, this shoe is a solid option. The TX4 will definitely offer a ton of return on your investment. Our testers were immediately impressed with the out-of-the-box comfort, the high-performing support and stability, and the outstanding sticky rubber traction. While not a fully waterproof option, this could be a good thing depending on where you plan to hike and the time of year. Not just for rock climbers and off-trail approaches, we're confident the TX4 will enhance your hiking experience, especially on popular trails.

la sportiva tx4 for women - not just for climbing approaches, the tx4 provides ample support and...
Not just for climbing approaches, the TX4 provides ample support and stability for extended hikes and backpacking trips in slippery and technical terrain.
Credit: Trish Matheny

What Other Hiking Shoes Should You Consider?


If you are interested in the incredible traction offered by the La Sportiva TX4 but prefer a fully waterproof option, check out our number one shoe in the lineup, the La Sportiva Spire GTX. If you're looking to pick up the pace and want a shoe that can keep up, we also recommend the The North Face VECTIV Fastpack FUTURELIGHT. And finally, if you're after a hiking shoe that offers reliable performance without breaking the bank, check out the Merrell Moab 3 WP.

Trish Matheny