By Morgan Cvetkovic-Jones
From the rugged trails of Yosemite to the sandy tracks of Fontainebleau, the La Sportiva TX2 have accompanied me across a summer full of adventures, becoming my favourite footwear companion in the process. Seamlessly combining the finest elements of a fast and light fell-running shoe with the stability, sensitivity and traction of a climbing boot. The TX2 is a uniquely well-rounded approach shoe, an ambulatory SUV, tenaciously tackling the toughest of approaches with ease.
Approaching in the TX2
At only 560g per pair (size 8/42), the TX2’s come in as one of the lightest options on the market. Combined with the ‘C2 Combo Cord System’, an innovative feature that allows you to store the shoes tightly together heel to toe, the TX2 is the perfect option for long multi-pitches with a tough descent, or for refining your travelling luggage. Impressive weight statistics can often leave a lot to be desired as far as build quality and support is concerned, but not here. A knitted outer lends the TX2 its slender, light profile and extremely breathable design whilst a synthetic leather skeleton ensures the shoe keeps its shape and doesn’t stretch after extended use. This brilliantly designed outer is complimented by a plush interior which features an Ortholite foot bed, a fleecey lining around the ankle and a cushioned tongue. The inside of this shoe is a particularly nice place to be for your feet.
What impressed me most about the construction was the durability and aptitude for long-term comfort; blissfully cradling my feet through long Lake District trails, providing me support when I needed it without feeling cumbersome or heavy in the process. Initially I was sceptical and thought that a good tussle with a few brambles might send the trendy new fabric outer back to the Sportiva drawing board. Six months later and they look as good as new, despite being put through their paces on technical fells, route setting indoors and even in the pub, the only minor casualty being the ‘V’ of the obligatory Vibram label!
Do they climb well?
Quality climbing performance is what sets the approach shoe apart from its walking boot and shoe counterparts, but it’s mastering the balance between proficiency on the rock and competence on the roughest of terrains where the TX2 really excels. With a dedicated climbing area at the front of the shoe and a lacing system derived from a La Sportiva climbing shoe classic, it’s clear this approach shoe isn’t just another glorified trainers.
The Mythos - a classic La Sportiva rock shoe - inspired lacing system, which runs all the way down to the toes, combined with the ‘Climbing Zone’, a smooth patch of rubber at the toe end of the shoe, give the TX2 a rather familiar, climbing shoe-like feel. This sensitivity translates onto the rock where the TX2 performed like a comfortable climbing boot rather than an approach shoe, edging confidently and smearing effortlessly up easier terrain. As a result, I’ve often found myself warming up at the crag in my TX2’s as well as frequently utilising them in my work as a climbing instructor to hop on the wall and demonstrate particular techniques. The ultra-sticky Vibram MegaGrip sole is a major contributing factor in the shoe’s assured climbing ability, yielding friction as easily on technical faces as it does on wet, grassy walk-ins.
An all-round approach weapon; lightweight, supportive, durable and technically excellent – the TX2 has it all and is still going strong after a fun filled, action packed summer. Whether I’m venturing out climbing, going for a walk or simply catching up with mates in the pub, the TX2 has become my go-to footwear choice. I've found it to be a classic, lightweight shoe ideal for a range of climbing/approach applications in dry conditions.