La Sportiva TX Guide, if the shoe fits you’re going to like them. But you better have a narrow foot!
Whether you climb big walls, boulders, or something in between, one thing all climbers can agree on is that we need reliable approach shoes. You want a good fit, grippy soles, durability, comfort, not bulky or heavy, and the list goes on. To say this in simple terms “There are approach shoes, and there are approach shoes”. Some are only really good for walking on the sidewalk and will rip apart as soon as you head up a talus field, others are just designed for rock and have no grip on loose dirt or mud, some are stiff for edging while others are soft for smearing… La Sportiva’s TX Guide is one of the few approach shoes that can really ticks a lot of these boxes.
An early note:
The TX Guides are an amazing approach shoe I highly recommend for someone with a NARROW foot. They have a very breathable upper shoe and are ideal for areas like Indian Creek, Yosemite, Squamish. Less ideal for areas with scree fields, such as the Canadian Rockies. I haven’t tested them in these conditions myself but got reports the breathable upper gets cut with sharp rocks.
- SIZES: 38 – 47.5 (half sizes)
- WEIGHT: 12.3 oz / 350 g
- UPPER: Ultra-weave Jacquard / Minimal Sew TPU Reinforcements / PU-Tech-lite Heel & Toe Caps
- LINING: Non-slip mesh
- MIDSOLE: 4mm Ortholite approach Insole / Dual-Density Compressed EVA (35A Heel / 40A Forefoot) / TPU Torsion Shank
- SOLE: Dual Compound Vibram Mega-Grip & IdroGrip Rubber with Impact Brake System™
- LAST: Guide
Feel and Fit:
The La Sportiva TX Guide is made from an Ultra-weave Jacquard, sewn with TPU PU-Tech-lite Heel & Toe Caps. In English, a synthetic top reinforced with thermal plastic urethane. This gives the shoes much superior breathability compared to other approach shoes. I personally found they got much less stinky over a summer of use, a common problem many climbers can relate to.
Regarding sizing, I always recommend you try shoes on and don’t order online. That said, I found the TX Guide to fit small compared to other LaSportiva shoes (be sure to size up). These things are stiff, like very stiff, and they stay stiff. Keep in mind when sizing that the toe box does not “give” or “pack out” much. Unfortunately, I have a medium-wide foot and these shoes never really relaxed enough for me.
Considering these shoes are not the perfect fit for me personally, I would still highly recommend them. They perform amazing the Dual compound Mega-Grip (Heel) and Idrogrip (Forefoot) outsole give you great grip on all terrain. Climbing, scrambling, hiking and most importantly approaching with heavy loads. I used these shoes on a couple of overnight trips and 1 overnight aid climb. Approaching with a heavy haul bag, and judging fixed line for a couple of days.
Aid climbing is known to destroy approach shoes. The stiff sole and reinforced toe box hardly showed any wear, I was truly impressed with the performance of the TX Guide. If you look at the sole, they have 2 parts. In the toe area, you find a traditional approach shoe sole. Climbing Zone included ideal for scrambling and aid climbing. Toward the back of the shoe’s sole, you find the Mega-Grip heel. It grips great on granite slabs, mud, and the thick tread bites into the dirt for the downhill descents.
Inside, you find a standard footbed. The lining inside the TX Guide is a mesh construction, seems like it might get cut by some sharp rock in a scree field but I wasn’t able to test that in the Squamish area. However, they breathe great.
As mentioned above I haven’t had issues with the durability of these shoes. Overall I’m actually impressed, I have gotten some reports from friends in the Rockies who apparently ripped the sides of these shoes in sharp scree fields.
After taking these shoes out for a solid summer, and climbing several walls with them, they’re holding up amazing. I believe this due to the overbuild construction. But with the good, we get some bad. They are incredibly stiff and don’t break in much even after a season in them. Perfect if you have skinny feet and they fit well.
I noticed minimal wear on the lacing system, the tread wore down at a rate I was happy with considering the solid grip.
So, as a final verdict, you should get a long lifespan from these shoes. I just highly recommend keeping the sizing on the larger end and fitting them in-store, not ordering them online.
- Climb great
- Stiff / narrow fit
- Reports that upper shoes gets cut easy
The La Sportiva TX Guide is a solid approach shoe, and I would highly recommend them if they fit your foot, and you like a stiff shoe.
BlackSheep Adventure Sports was provided with a review sample but of course this didn’t influence us in any way.