La Sportiva TX3 Approach Shoes- The Jack (or Jill) of All Trades
The La Sportiva TX3 approach shoes are versatile and ready for anything you throw at them. From scree to rafting to canyoneering, these shoes can handle it. As the saying goes, “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” (Most people don’t know that last part although I find it vital.)
This shoe truly can go everywhere. Of course, nothing is perfect, I’ll get to that, but I would like to front-load this review by saying that I am comfortable and confident taking these shoes just about everywhere.
La Sportiva TX3 Approach Shoes
These shoes have a really plush footbed making them ultra-comfy. They have a mesh upper which gives you great breathability and the rand comes farther up than on a traditional shoe giving you more protection. The Vibram® Mega-Grip™ rubber outsole has what they call a “climbing zone” on the toe to give you extra purchase if you find yourself in a place where you need to make some moves. The sole also has a Trail Bite™ Heel Braking Platform to give you some extra stability.
La Sportiva TX3 Approach Shoes put to the test
The first time I really wore these shoes was on a 10+ mile day up a 13er. I was pleasantly met with a comfortable and lightweight companion for my feet. The whole ridge going up to the summit had a lot of scree. I found these to be stable and supportive enough to perform well on that surface.
They have a very low-profile look and feel. I like to think this keeps me nimble. I tend to trip with chunky, clunky shoes and found these to be a svelte solution. They aren’t as stiff as some approach shoes but I didn’t find that to be an issue. They have enough torsional rigidity to maintain their stability on uneven surfaces.
One of their listed uses on the tag, but not on the website, is water shoes. I took these rafting, shoved them under thwarts, scouted rapids, walked in eddies…etc. The mesh helps the shoes drain water so you don’t have little bathtubs on your feet. The rand, however, holds in some water since it is non-permeable.
It’s nothing catastrophic, but it does make it a little harder for all the water to get out. And, since the footbed is so thick and squishy, it does hold some water in there. So, yes, if you’re walking in water, your feet will get wet and stay wet. Gasp! This will happen with every shoe, the TX3s just hold a little extra water in the footbed.
These shoes really stand out while scouting. Often you are jumping between rocks when scouting your rapids and the outsole rubber that I mentioned prior really shines here. It is designed not just to stick to rock, but to stay sticky even when the shoes are wet. I find this feature very desirable in a pair of water shoes. No one wants to slide off their scouting spot into the rapid, no bueno.
These would be great shoes for canyoneering because of their water shoe qualities, their sticks-to-rock-when-wet tread, and their comfort. These could handle anything from soggy potholes to high stemming to a long approach or exit slog.
If you’re looking for 3 season hiking shoes, lightweight approach shoes or shoes to take on the river, you found ‘em.
Growing up snowboarding and hiking in the bitter cold winters and humid summers of northern Vermont, Eliza learned how to beat up gear and quickly became infatuated with new technologies. After moving to Colorado in 2015 to pursue a degree in recreation and outdoor education at Western Colorado University, her passion for the outdoors grew exponentially. Soon after, she picked up rock climbing, telemark skiing, backpacking, canyoneering, and is slowly learning to love rafting. Through these learning processes, Eliza began to understand the importance of the right gear and hopes to share her experiences and knowledge with others through Engearment.
Now working for Beacon Guidebooks as the ‘Wearer of Many Hats’ (yes, that is her official title), Eliza has learned the ins and outs of the outdoor industry. She has also worked on marketing teams, as a photographer, media coordinator, outdoor instructor and as a wrangler. She is especially excited to encourage other women in the outdoors and is an advocate for diversity and inclusion.
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