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[T]hey literally stuck to everything from rocky outcrops and greasy slabs, to precarious bog and grassy verges.
-The TX4 GTX, the waterproof sibling of the La Sportiva TX4, is a technical approach shoe equipped with components that provide travel safety and comfort over tricky terrain (especially around the base of a mountain). It is part of La Sportiva’s Traverse X series—a collection of lightweight multi-function approach/hiking kicks.
-Thanks to the STB Control System, a technology developed exclusively by La Sportiva, wearers can perform twisting maneuvers in the shoe with an extra sense of security. This proprietary tech also reinforces key parts of the shoe, providing users with enhanced support where needed.
The TX4 GTX from La Sportiva promises footing security on virtually every type of outdoor surface with its Megagrip-based Vibram outsole. It comes with numerous protrusions, also known as lugs, for multi-directional sticking power, especially where loose soil is involved. Along the outsole’s borders, these lugs jut out slightly, translating to extra slip and skid resistance during lateral (sideways) maneuvers.
This grippy component features a climbing zone and the Impact Brake System or IBS. The former is the outsole’s lug-less front end, with which climbers can smear over boulder-type terrain with enhanced surface traction. The latter, on the other hand, lessens impact force by about 20%. This technology, as its name implies, also enables adventurers to go down slopes with additional braking power.
Where underfoot cushioning and stability are concerned, hikers-slash-climbers have the TX4 GTX’s injected midsole to thank. It is made of EVA or ethylene-vinyl acetate—a long-wearing material known for its ability to produce sufficient rebound, even under great pressure or the weight of a heavy pack. Its lightness and segmented construction contribute to the shoe’s overall flexibility, while its springy heel mitigates shock on ground impact.
La Sportiva designers turned to Ortholite to top the TX4 GTX’s midsole with a kind of footbed that is built specifically for approach endeavors. Its presence adds underfoot comfort as well as medial support. Overall, it comes at a thickness of 4 mm.
The La Sportiva TX4 GTX hides the foot in its mostly suede leather main shell. It is unapologetically protective thanks to its PU TechLite rand, which has a thickness of 1.5 mm, and rubberized toe bumper. A heavy-duty cord-like pull loop is engineered at its heel for easier on and off.
What sets this shoe apart from the base model TX4 is its Gore-Tex liner, called Extended Comfort. This lining technology provides a pair of benefits—it makes the hiker’s interior breathable and its exterior sufficiently waterproof.
The TX4 GTX’s upper equation comes full circle with the shoe’s Mythos-inspired lockdown system. It is comprised of combination eyelets, the top three pairs of which are plated, and a hardy synthetic lace.
When it comes to tackling approaches, the TX4 GTX is one of the kicks La Sportiva can easily recommend. That being said, the brand might also throw into the fray its other Traverse X baby—the TX3. If getting one is the only realistic option, getting to know the aspects that set the two apart is quite important. These distinctions are as follows:
Weather protection. Between the two La Sportiva offerings, only the TX4 GTX comes with proper waterproofing. The TX3, on the other hand, while lacking water protection, boasts enhanced breathability.
Price tag. On this front, the clear winner is the La Sportiva TX3. Indeed, it is less expensive than the TX4 GTX by approximately 40 U.S. dollars.
A matter of weight. Users who value agility and lightness above everything else in their footwear might find the TX3 the more appealing shoe in this comparison. Yes, it is lighter than the featured approach shoe by about 40 g.
Upper construction. The TX4 GTX, as previously discussed (see: Upper), sports a suede leather upper. Its rival, on the other hand, has a synthetic shell.