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.
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.
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)
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
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.
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