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-The La Sportiva Boulder X Mid GTX, the waterproof and ankle-supportive brother of the Boulder X, is built specifically for technical approach journeys. Its brawny yet lightweight build provides wearers with a combination of agility and protection over rocky terrain.
-Walking comfort in the Boulder X Mid GTX, especially on level surfaces, is courtesy of the boot’s toe-rockered sole unit. This unified component is made of the hiker’s cushy midsole and Vibram outsole.
An over-the-ankle approach shoe for men is the La Sportiva Boulder X Mid GTX. Its lace-up closure, which is inspired by the lockdown system of the Mythos rock climbing shoe, delivers a secure fit. The ankle-to-toe construction of this lacing system provides owners with multi-zone configurations.
The Boulder X Mid GTX’s Vibram outsole is the shoe’s source of surface grip. On it, users can move across a variety of surfaces with enough tenacity thanks to its circular studs and ridge-like lugs. La Sportiva designers gave it a climbing zone—its semi-smooth front tip—to grant hikers added stickiness on edges.
It comes engineered with IBS or Impact Brake System, which promises improved latching power, especially during downhill traversals. This imbuement also reduces negative force due to impact by approximately 20%.
A graded microporous midsole is what provides ample stability and cushioning underfoot in the La Sportiva Boulder X Mid GTX. The extra-thick construction of its heel translates to adequate shock absorption, delivering safe landings as a result. It is paired with a 2-mm insert made of EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) for increased shock mitigation and additional comfort.
Sporting the Boulder X Mid GTX means being seen in its mid-cut suede leather upper. Slipping in and out of its plush confines is made more convenient by a heavy-duty pull tab stitched to its heel. As its name suggests, this boot-type approach hiker comes with a Gore-Tex liner called Extended Comfort, making it sufficiently breathable and watertight at the same time. Enough randing is crafted around its lower perimeter for terrain protection and extra grip on low-grade climbs.
Most of the boot’s eyelets are made up of lace tunnels made of leather. They work hand in hand with a stout synthetic lace to keep the foot in place.
The Boulder X Mid GTX is yet another high-quality La Sportiva approach boot. As such, getting one seems like an easy choice to make. That said, the featured shoe is not without competition—yes, it has a rival in the form of the TX4 Mid GTX. To know which La Sportiva product to bag and which one to let go, pore through the points listed below.
A matter of affordability. Hikers-slash-climbers who prefer not to spend too much on approach gear might find more value in the Boulder X Mid GTX. Indeed, the featured product is cheaper than the La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX by roughly $30.
Weight. The La Sportiva Boulder X Mid GTX loses to its rival in this round. This is because it is heavier than the TX4 Mid GTX by about 40 g.
Underfoot grip. Both approach kicks in this comparison are powered by Vibram when it comes to surface traction. That said, the lugs on the Boulder X Mid GTX’s outsole are engineered more aggressively than the ones seen on the TX4 Mid GTX’s. The competitor’s outsole, on the other hand, has a wider climbing zone coverage than the featured approach shoe.
Randing. In this area, the La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX appears to have the upper hand. Yes, its protective rand is noticeably thicker than the one found in the Boulder X Mid GTX. It also has grooves and ridges, which can produce extra climbing traction on tricky surfaces.
Cuff design. The collar zone of the Boulder X Mid GTX is highly contoured, allowing for freer lower leg mobility. The TX4 Mid GTX’s padded ankle cuff, on the other hand, has an arch design, which provides enhanced ankle security and support.