La Sportiva TX4

La Sportiva was founded in the 1920’s in Italy. Originally the company focused on manufacturing boots for farmers and lumberjacks. During the second world war, however, the founder provided the soldiers of Italy with custom-made mountaineering boots and that’s where the brand began to take form. After World War II, the company began to manufacture ski boots and then finally branded themselves as the La Sportiva we know today. Today the company provides footwear all over the world for all sorts of outdoor adventures like mountain climbing, skiing, and hiking, just to name a few.

Today we’re going to take a look at the La Sportiva TX4. The TX4 is considered to be an approach shoe. This is a type of hybrid footwear that combines characteristics of hiking boots and climbing shoes. This type of footwear typically performs really well for rock scrambling and traversing various types of terrain on your way to a climb, but can perform just as well as a replacement for a hiking boot. The TX4 has been widely-praised for the features it offers climbers and hikers alike so let’s take a deeper dive and see if the shoe is everything it’s cracked up to be.

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Where to Buy
Backcountry Link
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Where to Buy
Backcountry Link
See Deal
Pros & Cons
Pros

-Excellent quality leather

-Sole is sticky

-Provides a lot of control while scrambling

-Versatile

-Extremely comfortable

Cons

-Heavy and bulky

-Break-in period can be lengthy

-Wider forefoot (maybe a ‘pro’ depending on your foot shape)

-Not waterproof unless you buy the Gore-Tex version

Key Features
Outsole
The La Sportiva TX4 features one of the best and most grippy outsoles currently on the market. Vibram MegaGrip is advertised as a material that is “all-terrain” for “all conditions.” It was designed for the outdoor enthusiast who often finds themselves encountering slippery and unpredictable conditions and was made for all-season hiking, canyoning and mountain biking. It provides unparalleled grip, especially on wet and muddy surfaces and is often considered the best and highest performing rubber compound for outdoor adventurers. Also featured on the TX4 outsole is La Sportiva’s Trail Bite Heel Braking Platform which helps to prevent sliding and slippage on wet and difficult terrain.
Midsole
The midsole of the TX4 is made from La Sportiva’s traverse injection MEMlex material which provides a great amount of cushioning for your feet while you’re out on your adventures. This material is essentially a compression moulded ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) which will help to provide not only cushioning but durability as well, all important features to have in a climbing shoe. La Sportiva also uses their STB Control System in the midsole which helps to provide structure and torsional stability underfoot. There is a full-length mesh liner present in the midsole as well which provides breathability and a more secure feeling fit.
Upper
The upper of the TX4 is comprised mostly of leather. This material ensures not only a comfortable fit but also abrasion-resistance for the rugged terrain these shoes were designed to be taken on. Leather will not tear or break apart as easily as other materials and reviewers have attested to the durability of this material. The tongue is padded for an extra element of comfort while the lacing system provides a heel wrap that will allow climbers to adjust the fit to whatever the terrain they’re traversing calls for. These features provide a truly customizable fit. There are clip-in loops available on the back of the heel so you can clip the shoes to the back of your harness if need be.
Weight
If there is one weakness in the TX4, it is the weight of the product. Coming in at 13 ounces, this is not a lightweight shoe by any stretch of the imagination. If you’re hunting for something a bit lighter, the La Sportiva TX2 might be another great option for you. The added weight of the TX4 is mostly due to the added durability and stability features that most definitely serve a higher purpose for climbers, however. Without these extra features, the shoe won’t perform as well.
Breathability
Thanks to the leather upper, climbers and hikers alike should find that the TX4 lets their feet breathe. The leather will discourage nasty odors from harboring inside the shoes. The mesh lining in the midsole adds some ventilation as well. The TX4 is not a waterproof shoe, however, there is a Gore-Tex version available that will provide protection from water. The tongue is mesh and will allow your feet to breathe, but remember this is not a waterproof shoe so if you step in a puddle, the tongue will let water in.
Comfort
The TX4 strikes a very delicate balance of well-performing climbing shoe and a comfortable hiking and trail shoe. Climbers with wider feet as well as folks whose feet tend to swell in the cold or heat will appreciate the generous toe box. The padded tongue adds an extra element of comfort for the top of the foot while the Traverse Injected MEMlex midsole will add underfoot comfort. Hikes especially will find that the TX4 is an exceptionally comfortable option. That all said, however, there is one drawback that might be a deal breaker for some consumers. At 13 ounces each, the TX4 adds 1.6 pounds to your body and while that might not sound like much, when you’re hiking far distances or traversing over technical terrain, any extra weight will become uncomfortably noticeable quickly.
Style
The TX4 is a pretty standard looking shoe. There seems to be only one colorway available and it definitely will not suit everyone’s personal tastes and style. The colorway we were able to find in our research is a gray/blue/black/orange/yellow blend that will definitely stand out on your adventures. The bright orange laces and detail on the side of the shoe adds a pop of color that will not suit everyone’s tastes. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a muted color scheme for the TX4 – yet – so folks who prefer a more neutral colorway may want to search elsewhere for a climbing shoe that fits their style.
Durability
These shoes are designed to be put through the wringer. The leather material used in the upper is strong and can withstand most debris and terrain that it is faced with. The Vibram outsole is made from a strong rubber compound and should last a long while. That said, however, some reviewers felt that there were some issues in terms of durability. One wearer found that the outsole came apart much faster than it should have. This same reviewer mentioned that the upper of their TX4 tore quickly as well. We can’t be sure if this was just the product of one poorly made batch or not.
Protection
The TX4 provides a fantastic amount of protection for climbers and hikers alike. The durable leather upper will help to provide protection from debris on the trails and will ensure your shoes don’t fall apart as you’re shoving them into cracks on your climb. The TX4 also features a 1.5 mm PU TechLite rand and rubber toe that will give some high-abrasion resistance and protection on this sensitive area. The Vibram MegaGrip outsole provides fantastic grip on nearly every type of terrain which will help to make technical passages, be it up or downhill, safer.
Responsiveness
Typically, when we speak to the responsiveness of a shoe, we are referring to how snappy the shoe feels. A responsive shoe will make you feel like you’re close to the ground and that you’re being given energy back with every step. Being that the TX4 is relatively heavy and bulky, they might not be the most responsive shoe available. That being said, they do perform extremely well under the conditions they were designed for – climbing and hiking – and consumers shouldn’t let the lack of responsiveness sway their decision.
Support
The TX4 is a relatively supportive shoe. The MEMlex midsole and TPU stabilizer add a level of support necessary to provide comfort and protection during your hikes and climbs. The STB Control System in the midsole provides users with a torsional rigidity that is necessary when you find yourself in tight spaces. Though the midsole tends to be a bit stiffer than other similar climbing shoes, the TX4 is a fantastic approach shoe that performs well when you’re carrying heavy loads.
Terrain
The TX4 has the chops necessary to handle any terrain you throw their way. Whether you’re scrambling, hiking low or high grades, traversing dry, rocky or demanding approaches, or tackling talus, you’ll find that these shoes perform well. Some reviewers mentioned that they’ve taken these shoes on light jogs on trails and didn’t have any problems. The grippy outsole isn’t the best material for concrete, however, so one should take that into consideration. These are made for the hardcore adventurer and practically beg to be taken on your difficult hikes and climbs.
Price
The MSRP for the La Sportiva TX4 is $140.00. This is an incredibly reasonable price considering other similar climbing shoe options on the market are often much more expensive. While the price tag might seem a bit high at first, one must take into consideration all of the features that these shoes offer and how critically well-received they have been.
Traction
The outsole of the TX4 features large-size lugs that are designed to provide superior traction in terrains like slippery mud, dirt, and gravel. The outsole’s sticky Vibram Mega-Grip rubber compound provides unrivalled traction on slippery terrain and rocks. These lugs perform well when going downhill and wearers will find that instances of slipping and sliding will be greatly decreased while wearing these shoes. Pairing this unprecedented traction with the TX4’s stability and support features makes this one of the best shoes for climbing available on the market right now.

Read also about obstacle course shoes.
Flexibility
While there are some flexibility features in the TX4, this isn’t an overly flexible shoe. This is due in part to the stiff midsole. Though inflexibility isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The “climbing zone” found in the toe area of the shoe makes it easy to feel out small edges when climbing. The TX4 is just stiff enough to make use of these edges, though not technically made specifically for edging.
Stability
The MEMlex midsole provides some degree of stability for climbers, specifically when descending talus and scree. This is due in part to the stiffer material in the midsole, as well as the thicker outsole and the durable upper. If you remember from our ‘Upper’ section, the lacing system in the TX4 is incredibly customizable as well, which really adds to the overall feeling of stability that the shoe can provide. When you’re able to adjust and tighten your shoes in just the right places, you’ll feel much more secure on your climbs and hikes.
Drop
We were unable to find any specific numbers online regarding the drop of the La Sportiva TX4. Though we can say that the heel is slightly elevated which helps to provide grip in both scree and muddy conditions.
Key Features
-PU TechLite toe rand
-Full-wrap rubber rand
-Lacing system provides a customizable fit
-Leather upper for added comfort and durability
-Mesh lining in the midsole for breathability
-Vibram MegaGrip outsole
Bottom Line
The La Sportiva TX4 is a fantastic climbing shoe. We recommend it to anyone who is looking for a hybrid shoe that will perform just as well during their climbs as it does during the hike to their climb. The shoe is priced relatively low for the features that it provides wearers and we believe it is more than worth the investment. That said, we don’t believe the TX4 is to be treated as a sole hiking shoe. If you’re in the market for a new pair of hiking shoes, something like the Altra Olympus 3.0 might be a better choice. The TX4 should be treated as a climbing shoe and, as such, won’t necessarily check all the boxes for folks just looking for a solid pair of kicks to take hiking. If you’re a beginner or intermediate climber, we believe the TX4 will perform well for you and will be worth the small investment you’ll have to pay for the comfort, stability, and traction you will find in these shoes.
Where to Buy
Backcountry Link
See Deal
By Abbie Copeland
Last updated:
Marko
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Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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