Trango Tower Boots

Review: La Sportiva Trango Tower Boots

The newest addition to La Sportiva’s Trango line is the Trango Tower.  A 3-season mountaineering boot that replaces the aging Trango S Evo, a long-time favorite of alpinists and mountaineers worldwide.  This new generation boot improves on the Evo by shedding weight while providing better grip and water resistance.  However, as it’s built on the same Trango last the fit is similar and should be an easy transition for all the die-hard Evo fans out there.

Features:

  • Weight: 768g (each for size 43)
  • Last: Trango (ideal for people with medium width feet)
  • Upper: Panels of high tenacity Nylon, Honey-comb Guard™, Flextec3 and Microfibre.
  • Insole: 4mm Nylon
  • Midsole: PU at the toe & heel with some EVA through the arch and heel and a TPU insert for the heel crampon attachment.
  • Sole: Vibram One sole with the Impact Brake System™ at the heel.
  • Crampon Compatibility: Hybrid
  • Male and female versions available
La Sportiva Trango Tower
The new La Sportiva Trango Tower keeps the fit of the classic Trango S Evo but is lighter, has better traction and is more water resistance, definitely a step in the right direction.

Fit & Feel

Based on the Trango last, the sizing and fit of the Tower is consistent with the other boots in the Trango Line as well as the old Evos.  And while they’re comfortable right out of the box I found the fabric on the uppers a bit stiff and unforgiving around the foot.  Of course the feel of a boot is quite personal and you’ll have to try them on yourself.

The dual zone lacing system utilizes a locking metal eyelet at the ankle to separate the lace tension between the upper and lower parts of the boot.  I didn’t find it to be very effective on the test pair as the tension would slowly equalize over time.  A surgeons knot back-up at the eyelet quickly fixed the issue.  Below the ankle the laces feed through fabric loops providing a snag-free, low profile surface for climbing and scrambling while protecting the laces.

La Sportiva Trango Tower
The Trango Tower boots have a standard dual zone lacing system though I found it required a surgeons know to stop the lace tension from equalizing over time.

Performance:

The fabric combination and Gore-Tex® lining used on the uppers performed amazingly well in wet conditions.  The boots have stayed dry during long slushy snow slogs (with the help of gaiters) keeping my feet warm and comfortable.  Quite a feat for a 3-season boot!

La Sportiva Trango Tower
I sometimes think that the hardest part of writing these reviews is getting photos of the gear getting tested.  It’s hard to wear the gear and photograph it at the same time.  Anyway, a friend grabbed this cell phone photo of the Trango Tower boots getting put to the test on some alpine rock.

The Trango Tower boots have the same Vibram™ One soles as the Cube and Ice Cube. This soft rubber provides amazing grip giving the boots a very secure feel.  When combined with the stiff sole, this grippy rubber allows the Trango Tower to excel at climbing and scrambling.

La Sportiva Trango Tower
The sole of the Trango Tower. It’s seen about 3 days of use in this photo.

Durability:

As I got the boots late in the season I’ve only been able to put 12 days of hiking, mountaineering and scrambling on them to date. Not enough time to wear them out and provide a detailed durability assessment but I can predict how they’ll perform based on what I’ve seen so far.  That being said, the abrasion resistant fabric on the uppers has stood up amazingly well and shows almost no wear.

La Sportiva Trango Tower
The Honey-comb Guard™ and Microfibre uppers on the Trango Tower boots is quite durable and, combined with a Gore-Tex membrane, kept my feet dry despite some long slushy glacier hikes.

The boot soles are a slightly different story though.  The Vibram One soles provide exceptional grip providing the boots with a very secure feel when scrambling and climbing.  Unfortunately they’re not very durable if abused and the soft rubber can wear out quickly depending on the type of use.  Rock climbing and scrambling will limit the lifespan of the soles while kicking steps in scree will simply euthanise them.  Of course you can always get the boots resoled, especially given the durability of the uppers.  I recently resoled a pair of the Trango Cubes and am looking forward to testing them out.

Summary:

Pros: Feel secure when climbing, lightweight, very water resistant, stiff

Cons:  Soft rubber soles can wear out quickly depending on use

Overall:  If you liked the old Trango S Evo boots I think you’ll like these as well.  They’re lighter and more secure feeling with a very similar fit.  Personally I prefer the Trango Cube over the Trango Tower for summer alpinism and mountaineering though.