Overview:

The La Sportiva TX2!!! For me this shoe beat out the Salomon Speed Assault (narrowly) for the piece of footwear I was most impressed with this year.  It’s definitely not my go to running shoe, technically it’s not even a running shoe at all, but for the purpose it was designed for I can’t imagine another shoe performing better.  The La Sportiva TX2 is an approach shoe, a category of shoes designed for rock climbers for moving through rocky technical terrain to get to their climbs.   These shoes basically take a hiking shoe or boot put a sturdy, sticky rubber sole on it and a climbing zone in the toe that mimics the toe of a climbing shoe and allows you to edge a little and work with small toe holds.

These types of shoes are great for covering miles of tough rocky terrain where the going gets technical enough that regular hiking boots are challenged, but you don’t want to be constantly changing in and out of uncomfortable rock climbing shoes.  For tough rocky mountain terrain there is nothing better, yet as the trend in mountain sports has shifted in many areas to further and faster gear has started changing as well.  Enter the La Sportiva TX2 which basically marries the sole of a typical approach shoe to the chassis of a lightweight trail running shoe, creating a shoe that can handle some running miles, tear up some challenging mountain terrain and even shine on some lower rated rock climbs.

The Technical Stuff:

 

Not too much of it, this shoe is really pretty simple,

  • One piece (seamless) polyester knit upper for amazing breathability, drainage, and comfort
  • Extremely lightweight and packable for harness attachment or throwing in a pack with the C2™ ComboCord around the heel
  • Uber-sticky Vibram® Mega-Grip™ rubber outsole
  • Flared fifth metatarsal area enhances stability and torsional rigidity

The TX2 is a lightweight approach shoe that stows easily. Enhanced support and sticky rubber keep you sure-footed in the mountains, while the one-piece knit uppers optimize drainage and breathability. C2™ ComboCord loops around the heel platform to allow easy pairing and storage on a harness or in a pack.

Personal Experience:

I put these through the ringer on the first test!  I wasn’t just looking for an approach shoe, I wanted an approach shoe I could run in.  It needed to run well on pretty much any terrain and shine on the steep rocky terrain primarily rock slides.  There are not a whole lot of those in Virginia so I took them out to Buzzard rocks/Elizabeth’s furnace.  The run started out on packed single track and the shoes felt mildly stiff out of the box but still light and smooth, overall a good running feel.  The trail soon became steep and rocky, and I was impressed with how nimble the shoes were as well as how well they held to the small awkward rocks on the trail.

After a couple miles I arrived at the top of buzzard rocks a line of 60-100 foot cliffs/slides at the top of a razor thin ridge above fort valley.  I set up a top rope above Anonymous Flake, a 5.8 friction climb and rappelled down in the TX2’s before swapping to my climbers.  They clipped easily onto my harness and I hardly noticed they were there as I made the climb.  Then I swapped back and hit 5 more miles of some of gnarly single track before the trail dropped me down to Elizabeth’s Furnace and 2 miles of road running to test out the shoes true running feel.  It didn’t disappoint.

Although slightly low on cushion in the forefoot (something I gladly give up for the lightweight package) I cruised the road miles comfortably even with the extra weight of my climbing gear on my back.  Soon I had reached the talking headwall, a favorite local crag in the shadow of buzzard rocks.  I clipped in and knocked out Pure Energy 5.10 before throwing the TX2’s back on and leaving the roadside for a direct shot back up to buzzard rocks.

The next half mile is one of my favorite climbs in Virginia and ground I couldn’t wait to touch with my new shoes.  For the next half mile your feel barely touch dirt as a steep boulder field climbs straight up into even steeper rock slides and then the cliffs.  This is the terrain this shoe was designed for and it handled everything thrown at it as I flew up the terrain and finished off with 3 amigos a 5.4 climb that didn’t require me to remove my TX2s.  I then roped in and knocked off Pulp Friction 5.9 before swapping back into my TX2’s for Rather be S8boarding a 5.8 friction climb that I tackled just for kicks.

They handled with little trouble before descending the final 2 miles back to my car.  I was in love.  After that I spent a week in Acadia National Park and a week back home in the Adirondacks.  Rockslides and slick rock everywhere.  Terrain these shoes were meant for from the rocky Maine coast to the mountain tops.  From hiking to sketchy jumps on the rocks, to as much running as I could fit in, I rarely removed these shoes, and they handled it all with very little wear.

Quick Summary:

You are going to be in the mountains for a few days and you don’t know what exactly what you will be doing, running, hiking, climbing, maybe a little bit of everything but you can only take on shoe.  Take the La Sportiva TX2, it’s technically an approach shoe, but it can handle just about anything.

The lighter cousin of the TX3, the TX2 is a lightweight approach shoe that stows easily. Enhanced support and sticky rubber keep you sure-footed in the mountains, while the one-piece knit uppers optimize drainage and breathability. C2™ ComboCord loops around the heel platform to allow easy pairing and storage on a harness or in a pack.

• One piece (seamless) polyester knit upper for amazing breathability, drainage, and comfort

• Extremely lightweight and packable for harness attachment or throwing in a pack with the C2™ ComboCord around the heel

• Uber-sticky Vibram® Mega-Grip™ rubber outsole

• Flared fifth metatarsal area enhances stability and torsional rigidity

ITEM NUMBER: 17Y
SIZES: 38 – 47.5 (half sizes)
WEIGHT: 9.80 oz (280g)
LAST: Traverse
CONSTRUCTION: Strobel lasted
UPPER: Zone knit polyester mesh / Liquid rubber rands / PU TechLite toe rand
LINING: Non-slip mesh
MIDSOLE: Traverse lite injection MEMlex / C2™ ComboCord
SOLE: Vibram® Mega-Grip™ Traverse-Lite

Material Disclosure

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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About The Author

Currently sponsored by the North Face as an ultramarathon runner. Jordan loves his family, running and makes time to stay fit. 2014 Bushido 2 Challenge, 1st place 2014 Spartan Super, Evergreen, 8th place Jordan has placed first in: North Face Endurance Challenge, New York 50 M Hells Hills 25 KM Rothrock Challenge 18 M North Face Endurance Challenge, Kansas City 50 KM North Face Endurance Challenge, Washington 50 M North Face Endurance Challenge, New York 50 M Nueces 50- 50 M Placed in top 3 in multiple endurance challenges. Attended Liberty University, majoring in Kinesiology and competed on the track and cross country teams. While at Liberty earned several conference titles and was part of the 2006 US Junior Cross Country team that competed at the World Cross Country Championships in Fukuoka, Japan. PR’s are 3:50 for the 1500m, 14:00.13 for the 5k and 29:34 for the 10k. Member of the North Face Team, McDougal rolled through the desert trails in 6:30 to earn the U.S. 50-Mile Trail Championships/Nueces 50 – Rocksprings, Texas. 2007 (R-Jr.):Five-time All-Big South performer (one cross country, two indoor track, two outdoor track) … finished as runner-up at the Big South Cross Country Championships … earned first all-region honor of his career at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships … finished 16th at the meet, in a personal-best 10K time of 30:27, narrowly missing a berth in the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships … became the first men’s runner to win three straight 5K titles at the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships, and also anchored the Flames’ distance medley relay squad to victory … garnered a pair of second-place finishes at the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the 5K. 2006 (R-So.):Five-time All-Big South performer (one cross country, two indoor track, two outdoor track) … Big South third-place finisher in cross country … Liberty’s No. 2 runner (32nd overall) at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships … defended his Big South indoor 5K title and finished as 3K runner-up … 1,500-meter and 10K runner-up at outdoor conference meet. 2005 (R-Fr.):Five-time All-Big South performer (two indoor track, three outdoor track) … finished second behind his brother Josh at each of the first three cross country meets of the year … ran an 8K PR of 23:46 to finish as the Stanford Invitational runner-up … placed fifth at the USA Track & Field (USATF) Junior Cross Country Championships, earning a trip to Japan for the World Championships … 5K champion and 3K runner-up at the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships … 5K and 10K champion and 1,500-meter runner-up at the Big South outdoor meet … finished second in the Penn Relays 5K. 2004 (Fr.): Redshirted the season … placed fourth at the USATF Junior National Championships in the 5,000 meters with a time of 14:29. Prep: Home schooled … placed 23rd at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional Cross Country Championships as a senior. Cross Country Bests: 8K – 23:46, 10K – 30:27 Track Bests: Steeplechase – 8:58, 5K – 14:00 Jordan subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.

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