La Sportiva TX4 GTX Review Facts
The La Sportiva TX4 GTX approach shoe is a hybrid shoe that is a cross between a hiking boot, walking shoe, and a climbing shoe. Since the 1920s, La Sportiva has engineered shoes to help individuals conquer the outdoors efficiently and comfortably and this shoe is no exception. The company included a great number of excellent features in its makeup including a MEMlex EVA injected midsole, grippy Vibram outsole, and supportive suede leather upper. There are not a lot of downsides to trying out this shoe if you are looking to trek through technical terrain. They are supportive, comfortable, grippy, and great-looking.
La Sportiva equipped the TX4 GTX with a super grippy outsole which is necessary in order to traverse technical trail terrains. It is made up of Vibram MegaGrip which is a very sticky and durable rubber. Since this is an approach shoe, it is a hybrid combination of a hiking shoe and a toe-profile walking shoe and is made for walking long distances on trails. The outsole features a “climbing zone” at the front of the shoe that is designed to help you grip rocks and technical terrain on ascents while the rest of the shoe features an aggressive lug system
. The forefoot portion of the lug system has circular Vibram lugs while the rear features more a triangular-esque shaped lug system. This rear portion of the outsole is what is called the Impact Brake System and is made for navigating return routes without slipping. At the absolute rear of the heel, you will find a Trail Bite Heel which improves the grip while descending downhill. While the lug system is definitely aggressive, the profile of the shoe does not give you the impression that the lugs are overly porting since the silhouette is sleek and styled to look like more of a walker.
The midsole of the TX4 GTX is made up of an injected EVA foam which is designed to protect your feet and joints by absorbing shock. This material is called MEMlex and delivers cushioning and durability. The shoes’ midsole also boasts La Sportiva’s STB Control System which aids in stability and support. The mesh liner
featured in the midsole is full-length and delivers a secure fit by reducing negative space within the foot chamber and also provides breathability.
The Upper of this approach shoe is where it really shines. According to La Sportiva, this is the most structured and long lasting shoe in the company’s Traverse X series thanks to the leather upper and Gortex overlays. The STB Control System extends from the midsole and wraps around the middle of the shoe to enhance stability and delivers a snug fit for more comfort and precision. The upper is made up of suede leather with a protective 1.55 mm PU TechLite rand and a rubber toe for added protection. The lining of the shoe is covered with Gore-Tex
Extended Comfort material for added support which helps to keep your feet dry. The lacing system is reminiscent of the Mythos climbing shoe and helps to regulate tension and internal volume when you tighten it. At the rear of the shoe, you will see that the lacing system extends behind the heel, which allows to tighten and loosen the laces in one easy move.
Hiking and approach shoes tend to be a little heavier on the feet due to the heavy-duty outsole and supportive upper. This sneaker weighs a little over 14 ounces for a men's European size 42.
Although leather is not as breathable as other upper materials, such as an engineered mesh, it does allow for some airflow into and out of the foot chamber to some extent. However, because this version of the TX4 is lined with Gore-Tex, it is not quite as breathable as its sister sneaker, the TX4
. The Gore-Tex lining helps your feet to stay dry but obviously will not help with airflow. With that said, the upper’s tongue and ankle collar do have some mesh on it to aid in more breathability. By and large, hiking shoes tend to be a little less breathable than running sneakers or cross-trainers which means that the TX4 GTX is pretty standard in terms of breathability.
The La Sportiva TX4 GTX is a great hybrid shoe for trekking through the wilderness for a multitude of reasons and one of those reasons is the fact that they have been hailed as being very comfortable. Thanks to the EVA injected midsole found in the shoe, your foot will be cushioned and comfortable. One reviewer even remarked that this shoe felt just as comfortable, if not more so than some of his cross-training sneakers
. It is important to have comfortable footwear when traversing over technical terrain and the cushioned midsole will not only cushion your feet, but it will aid in shock absorption. The low-cut design of this approach shoe also aids in comfort because your ankles are freer to move around, as opposed to the boot version of this shoe. It may be recommended to go a half-size up, however, in order to aid in foot-swelling and to help prevent toe-jamming in the front of the shoe when descending.
Obviously, approach shoes aren’t meant to be extremely versatile so La Sportiva did not design these shoes to go from day to night with ease. However, because these approach shoes feature a low-top design, they look more like sneakers than hiking boots. They come in a variety of colors which all feature a bright touch of color. Even though the shoes feature an aggressive outsole, they have a sleek silhouette
. They may look a little different when you take them out of the box, but many consumers have said that they look great on foot.
Durability is definitely something you want your footwear to score highly on when it comes to important features found in a hiking shoe. The TX4 GTX is an extremely durable approach shoe for many reasons. The shoes' upper is made up of durable suede leather which includes the company’s STB Control System. This stability system helps the shoe maintain its structure and makes it a shoe that is built to last. Therefore, the upper is in no way flimsy. The Gore-Tex lining that lines the shoe also aids in the shoe’s durability in that if they get wet, your feet stay dry and the inside of the shoe maintains its shape and integrity. The PU TechLite all-around rand
tops off the upper’s durability because it not only helps the shoe to maintain its shape, but it also protects the leather from wear and tear. The front of the sneaker is covered in rubber, so you won’t have to worry about your toes getting hurt or the sneaker wearing at the front. Lastly, the Vibram outsole is both grippy and extremely durable. It will aid in traction and will protect the midsole and upper from damage.
Yet another feature you definitely want your hiking shoes to score highly on is protection. The La Sportiva TX4 GTX will not disappoint in this category. You will remain sure-footed on even the most technical of terrains thanks to the extremely grippy Vibram outsole and lug system. The climbing zone found at the front of the shoe will help you grip rocks
without sliding and the Impact Brake System at the heel of the shoe will help you descend terrain without injury. The Gore-Tex lining will protect your feet from getting cold and damp while the all-around PU TechLite rand will keep your feet safe and stabilized. The toe portion of the shoes’ upper is covered in this TechLite material and will help prevent toe bangs as well.
The La Sportiva TX4 GTX is not a responsive shoe in the typical sense of the word. In general, hiking shoes are not made to be springy and bouncy, rather, they are made to be supportive and protective. With that said, the TX4 GTX is responsive in that it has an EVA midsole that will cushion your foot and help you move through the terrain comfortably. The durable Vibram outsole will also respond well to underfoot conditions and help you traverse over dense terrain with ease and agility.
The La Sportiva TX4 GTX delivers support throughout your hike in a number of ways. Firstly, the STB Control System that extends from the midsole and wraps around the foot, helps to support you by delivering a high level of torsion rigidity. This means that the shoe will resist twisting and bending when pressure is applied, making the upper stiffer than your typical hiking shoe. The TechLite rand that encircles the sneaker is also a way the shoe supports your foot. This helps the shoe to maintain its shape and integrity and adds to the support. The lacing system also helps to support your foot because, with one easy pull at the heel, the shoe will hug your foot snugly and securely.
Approach shoes are designed to tackle tough terrain while also allowing you the freedom and comfort to walk through the trails with ease and comfort. The Vibram outsole of this approach shoe gives you the ability to tackle the most technical of terrains with its excellent grip and traction. The TechLite rand that wraps around the shoe helps you to traverse such terrains surely and efficiently by keeping your foot supported and dry. The low-profile design of these shoes will allow you to wear them on the trail and on asphalt easily but they are designed for trail hiking and walking.
Specialty shoes tend to be more expensive than typical athletic shoes because they are made with extra attention to details needed to excel at a particular activity. With that in mind, you will pay a little more for the La Sportiva TX4 GTX not only for that reason but for the quality materials included in its makeup. You can purchase these approach shoes for around $165.
Lack of traction will never be a concern in these shoes. Vibram rubber alone is designed to be extremely grippy
and helps to keep you stable and upright on any terrain, even in wet conditions and even snowy ones. The lug system is also multifaceted in that the lugs on the front, along with the climbing zone, will help you ascend technical terrain, while the lug system at the rear of the shoe will help keep you steady and sure-footed on the descent.
Due to the engineering of this shoe and the materials used to make it, the TX4 GTX is not the most flexible shoe out there. The suede leather upper, Gore-Tex lining, and TechLite Rand all make the shoe more supportive rather than flexible. The midsole is also not very flexible and works in conjunction with the Vibram outsole to provide traction and durability through technical terrain. Having a not-so-flexible shoe while hiking and climbing is not necessarily a bad thing, however, it is better to have more support and stability while doing so.
Although this is not a typical hiking “boot” in that it does not come up over the ankle, it does offer a good deal of stability. The midsole is made up of an EVA MEMlex material which is designed to keep you stable and supported while hiking and walking. The STB Control System featured in the midsole and upper of the shoe also wraps your foot securely to keep it stable. The lacing system is a combination of a typical lacing system and a climbing shoe lacing system and can be tightened in one quick move at the heel of the shoe in order to make it more secure around your foot, delivering adaptable stable support.
This shoe has a 4mm drop which makes it pretty low profile. Yet the midsole cushions and support your foot as you trek through treacherous terrain. Due to this midsole and the durable Vibram rubber outsole, you will not have much ground feel in this shoe.
- Durable Vibram rubber outsole provides traction
- Climbing zone at the front of the outsole will help you scale rocks faces and edges with ease
- All-around rubber rand supports your foot, protects the shoe, and provides stability
- Dual lacing system tightens at the rear of the shoe in one easy movement for extra support
- STB Control system wraps around the midfoot to secure the shoe to your foot
- Gore-Tex lining for durability and protection from wetness
Approach shoes are specially designed footwear for individuals looking to traverse through mild to technical terrain with ease. The La Sportiva TX4 GTX is a great shoe option for anyone looking for a great approach shoe that is supportive, water-resistant, grippy, and comfortable. Although it does not have ankle support as in the mid-ankle version of the shoe, it does deliver excellent stability and performance through the supportive upper and outsole materials. The MEMlex midsole will keep your feet comfortable as well as stabilized as you make your way through the trails. The shoe is a little pricey, but considering the high-quality engineering, it just may be worth your while.