New to Skinny Skis this year is the La Sportive TX4 Approach Shoe. While it has some similarities to the venerable Boulder X, this approach and all around mountain adventure shoe has plenty of modern updates. It’s available at Skinny Skis, and Moosely Mountaineering.
One thing worth mentioning early on is the fit. Unlike some other offerings from La Sportiva, the TX4 has a wide forefoot or toe box. La Sportiva is known for having narrow fits in many of its other shoes, particularly trail running and climbing shoes. The TX4 still has a narrower mid-foot and heel cup, but the wider toe box will work for many with wider feet, and those looking for something that can handle swollen feet after long days in the mountains. It reduces discomfort on long downhill hikes out from a climb.
The Vibram® Mega-Grip™ traverse outsole has a Trail Bite Heel Braking Platform, which helps you put on the brakes as you head downhill. This is especially true in steep loose gullies (read: Teton descents). The shoes also have a full rubber rand for increased security while climbing and scrambling.
While I haven’t had mine for very long yet, I’ve had them out for a few approaches and moderate hikes. I’ve fit my Black Diamond Contact Crampons to them easily, so they should work well enough for easy snow approaches with climbing or scrambling above. For longer snow travel, I prefer my red Trango boots. I’ll be writing a part 2 review to this as I have more adventures in them.
WEIGHT: 13.0 oz/ 370 g
CONSTRUCTION: Strobel Lasted
UPPER: Leather / 1.5mm PU TechLite rand / Vibram® rubber toe rand
LINING: Non-slip mesh
MIDSOLE: Traverse injection MEMlex / STB™ Control System
SOLE: Vibram® Mega-Grip™ Traverse with Impact Brake System™
SIZES: 38 – 47.5 (half sizes)
– Andy Edwards