La Sportiva TX2 Approach Shoes – Ideal and Light
For me, the La Sportiva TX2 Approach Shoes are the ideal light approach shoe. They are low-profile, hike really well, and climb as well I’d expect a shoe to climb (I’ve climbed up to 5.8 in them). I wore the burlier TX4 shoes for a few seasons, and these just feel like a lighter, more compact version – 280 grams instead of 370 grams.
I’ve used them to approach climbs in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and to ramble around the Enchantments in Washington and my feet were happy the whole time. At one point we got mired in a bog and I totally soaked my feet, but these have mesh uppers like a running shoe and dried out after an hour of walking. I’m comfortable wearing these shoes on 4th class and low 5th-class ‘approach pitches’ and feel that they edge, smear, and jam as well as any approach shoe I’ve worn.
The big plus for me is that these shoes have enough tread and cushion to feel good on long hikes with a loaded backpack, but can hang as a compact package on your harness. In fact, they have a unique system of built-in elastic straps that you can use like rubber bands to attach the shoes together and hang them as one item on your harness – AWESOME. There are a few other low-profile approach shoes on the market, like Evolv Cruzer Psyche ($80), but they don’t have enough substance to be comfortable for me for 10+ miles of hiking.
Review of La Sportiva TX2 Approach Shoes
The TX2 shoe is probably not ideal if you’re going to be walking through lots of snow and/or covering lots of ground with crampons on, like in the Bugaboos. For more alpine travel I wear TX4s, which fit better in strap-on crampons, and treat the leather with snow-seal. But for 3-season use that’s not on glaciers or steep snow, TX2 is the best approach shoe I’ve yet owned after trying shoes from La Sportiva, Five Ten, and Scarpa. Note that La Sportiva tends to run narrow, so folks with really wide feet might not prefer them. $130