La Sportiva came out with a new line of technical approach shoes this past spring and the lightest of this new trio, the TX2, caught my eye and begged to be looked at in detail. This new shoe was designed to be lightweight and packable with a sticky sole. A great combination of features for a place like Squamish. When first testing them out I was blown away by the sole. Sure the shoes are comfortable and light but what really stands out is just how ridiculously sticky the sole feels! It was like my feet would stick to anything.
- Weight: 280g
- Sole: Vibram Mega-Grip Traverse-Lite
- Midsole: Traverse Lite Injection MEMIex
- Upper: Knit Polyester Mesh, Liquid Rubber Rands / PU Toe Rand
- Lining: Non-slip Mesh
- Construction: Strobel Lasted
- Last: Traverse
- Carabiner clip loops
- C2™ ComboCord
Fit & Feel: With the expectation of using the shoes for approaching multi-pitch rock climbs with walk-offs I went with a fit that left a little toe room for the descent. The combination of the soft one-piece knitted polyester upper and the to-the-toe lacing allows this shoe to wrap snugly and securely around the foot. The soft sole flexes and moves with the foot giving the shoes a very dexterous feel. Overall an extremely comfortable package that conforms to the foot and breaths well.
Performance: As I mentioned in the introduction the rubber on the TX2 feels ridiculously sticky which provides a lot of confidence in foot placements when climbing or scrambling. The combination of the secure and snug fit around the foot with the sticky rubber allows these shoes to climb well on friction slabs and larger cracks. However the sole is quite soft and flexible so with the extra toe room edging can be quite difficult. Overall the shoe is great for easier fifth class climbing and scrambling. The edging performance would be a bit better had I gone a half size smaller but this would have sacrificed some of the comfort.
Tongue: The thinly padded tongue is stitched to the upper behind the big toe such that only half of it is free to move. This does not make putting on the TX2 any harder but has the benefit of ensuring the tongue is always centered over the top of the foot. Now I’m a person that absolutely hates it when the tongue slowly shifts to the side so this simple and elegant solution goes straight to my heart!
Features: The TX2 sports a few features that work well with the intended use of the shoes. The carabiner loops at the back are made of a thin cord that wraps around the entire shoe making a very secure slipping point when hanging them off a harness. They also come with what La Sportiva is calling a C2™ ComboCord, basically a small bungee that holds the shoes together for easier packing.
The TX2 is a light approach shoe that works great for technical approaches, easy climbing and scrambling. It’s also a great light-weight descent shoe that can be clipped to the back of the harness or thrown in the pack. Not stiff enough for edging or burly enough for kicking into scree though. Think lightweight, exceptionally comfortable and sticky.
Pros: Very sticky feeling sole, secure and comfortable fit, lightweight, well thought out.
Cons: Soft sole and toe room make small edges unlikely.
Overall: Simply a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a shoe for those technical approaches and descents that won’t weigh the harness down. Not the shoe for muddy trails or scree slopes.
La Sportiva supplied a sample for review but this didn’t influence me in any way.