La Sportiva TX Hike Mid GTX Review

La Sportiva TX Hike Mid GTX Review

La Sportiva TX Hike Mid GTX boots are lightweight waterproof/breathable hiking mids with mesh uppers, a soft and sticky sole like a trail runner, Vibram lugs like a hiking boot, and a lacing system like a mountaineering boot. While I normally shun such hybrid product constructions, these mids are really outstanding for hiking in mountainous terrain and provide an excellent balance of protection and agility. They have a well-protected toe kick and heel box and have a surprisingly spacious toe box, both in terms of width and height. Surprising, because in my experience these are areas where La Sportiva shoes are usually quite cramped.

Specs at a Glance

  • Gender: Available for men and women
  • Sizes 34-49.5 (EU)
  • Weight: 16.2 oz (460g) / shoe (men’s 44 EU)
  • Waterproof/breathable: Yes, Gore-tex Extended Comfort
  • Lug depth: 5mm
  • Drop: 10mm
  • Can be resoled: Yes!

Sizing

The La Sportiva TX Hike Mid GTX boots are true to size although they have a noticeably wide and high volume toe box so you toes have plenty of room to splay out and relax. There’s isn’t a separate wide model size in this boot; its just how they’re normally sized. In addition to added width, the toe box is noticeably high, so the tops of your toes don’t rub against the inside. I’m experiencing this problem with another pair of boots I own, so this added toe box height provides a welcome relief.

La Sportiva sizes their footwear, including these TX Hike Mid GTX boots in European EU sizes, which are finer grained than US sizes which can be very helpful for dialing in a good fit. For example, I wear a 44EU men’s which is equivalent to something a “little larger” than a men’s 10.5 US size, while an EU 43 corresponds to a “small” 10.5 US size. While it may take some experimenting for you to switch sizing paradigms, it is a way to get a much better fit.

Toe Kick Protection
Toe Kick Protection

Construction

The uppers on these La Sportiva TX Hike Mid GTX boots are a durable mesh fabric for breathability with a rigid heel box and tpu overlays for protection along the sides. The front toe kick is also well protected with additional tpu overlays along the sides. The tongue is gusseted to ankle height for added water protection but lightly padded and quite comfortable even if you crank the laces down.

The lacing system uses a special ankle lock loop that can be optionally used to lock your heel into position and eliminate heel lift and the blisters that it can cause. There are two loops on either side of the ankle that you can run the laces through, much like you would on a mountaineering boot. This extra ankle support, in addition to the wide toe box, makes these boots very stable and helps reduce any tendency to rolling your ankle on uneven terrain.

Side lacing loops help to secure the ankles and prevent heel lift
Side lacing loops help to secure the ankles and prevent heel lift.

The outsoles are made by Vibram with a slightly modified waffle-stomper lug pattern that incorporates La Sportiva’s impact brake system, which are just lugs that have been reversed to improve stopping power. The sole, which is replaceable, is a soft flexible rubber, that gives the boots great traction and what you’d expect from a company known for its climbing shoes.The soles have a slight rocker in the front to make them easy to hike with and the arch is deep enough to secure a gaiter strap. But the sole under the ball of the foot is well protected from sharp rocks, much like a trail runner with a rock plate.

The heel is also well protected with a reflective pull up strap
The heel is also well protected with a reflective pull up strap.

The boots come with the cheap foam Ortholite insoles that La Sportiva packages with their footwear. I’ve replaced mine with a Treadlab insole with a rigid arch and metatarsal pad but still have plenty of room inside the shoe for my toes. Treadlab sells footbeds in multiple thicknesses, which is nice, if you need to shim out the boots to reduce the interior room, since they are so spacious inside.

La Sportiva TX Hike Mid GTX

Foot Protecton
Traction
Sensitivity
Water Resistence
Sizing
Weight
Durability

Wide Hiking Mids with a Big Toe Box

The La Sportiva TX Hike Mid GTX is a wide waterproof/breathable mid-height hiking boot with a large toe box so your toes and feet can relax and spread out inside. It has a special lacing system to lock in your heel and prevent blisters.

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Waterproof/Breathable Membrane

The La Sportiva TX Hike Mid GTX boots are waterproof/breathable mids with a Gore-tex Extended Comfort membrane and mesh uppers which is very porous to help with breathability. There are many grades of Gore-tex, some more breathable than others, but this Extended Comfort membrane is one of the best performing and designed specifically for use in performance footwear.

Vibram outsole with a classic lug pattern
Vibram outsole with a classic lug pattern

So far I have no complaints with these boots in terms of breathability, but I haven’t hiked with them in 90 degree weather yet…although I may be tempted to try since they are so comfortable. La Sportiva does not offer this style without a Gore-tex membrane yet, but who knows, maybe they will eventually.

Recommendation

La Sportiva TX Hike Mid GTX boots are mids designed for hiking and backpacking in mountainous terrain. While they look like chunky hiking boots, they’re anything but, with the lightness of trail runners packaged as a mid-height boot. If you’ve been looking for a lightweight and nimble mid that provides ample protection and good breathability, I recommend you give the La Sportiva TX Hike Mid GTX boots a go. They require about 5 miles of break-in, but after that you’ll be off to the races. That said, you’ll notice the large volume of the forefoot as soon as you put them on and the benefit of the enhanced lacing system.

Disclosure: La Sportiva donated these mids for review.

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15 comments

  1. does the ankle lock loop seem like a weak point to you? from the photos the stitching looks strong, however it is attached to mesh. that aside these might be a viable replacement for my aging Salomon Quest 4s.

  2. Thanks for the fitting info. Do you prefer the TX Hike to the Nucleo High GTX?

  3. I’ll be trekking in Nepal high mountains for 23 days this September/October and looking for the best footwear … these look great from your description but don’t know if they are too light. I’ll be carrying 15-20lbs I’m told. Thanks Philip! Love your writing and thoughtfulness!

    • It will depend on terrain. If you’re mostly going village-to-village, or camp-to-camp on maintained routes, relatively light footwear is ideal. If, on the other hand, you will cross moraines and/or snowfields (much less glaciers) then you might want more support. If you’re going with an organized group, ask for more info on conditions. More advice: Be prepared for extreme variations in temperatures and intense sunlight. Think high altitude combined with low latitude.

    • On the fence. Read where you described sharp rock protection. How do you find they hold up for ongoing foot protection against white mountains rocks & roots grind?

      • They’re definitely up to that. I find putting a better insole in them with more cushion makes them a little easier on the feet. I can’t remember all the peaks I climbed using them, but I definitely remember wearing them up Wildcat A.

  4. Ok thanks, good to know.

  5. How does this compare to the TX 4 Approach shoe? I’ve heard people raving about them as hiking/backpacking shoes even they are approach shoes. I saw like 4 people using them on Zealand yesterday so they made me curious.

    • Never tried them. I assume it’s about the same minus the ankle coverage.

    • TX Hike GTX shares some styling similarities with TX4, but TX hike is geared toward all purpose hiking vs the TX4 approach shoe. LS also made TX Hike more specific to the US market with a roomier toe box area (both height and width) rather than offering regular and narrow models. If you ever tried on a pair of Ultra Raptor II you will know what I mean. The TX4 feels more like a climbing shoe slipper and the TX Hike feels more like a hiking shoe. The outsole on the TX Hike is also beefier lugs.

      • @timbab, could you please clarify your comment? Did you mean the Ultra Raptor II has a roomier toe box area? I am confused because the Ultra Raptor II is offered in regular and wide sizes.

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