La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX Quick Guide
Category: Waterproof Mid-cut Hiking Boot
Weight: 16.2 oz (460g)
Upper: Leather with 1.5 mm PU TechLite rand and rubber toe cap
Sole: Vibram Mega-Grip Traverse with Impact Brake System
What We Like: Comfortable and lightweight for all-day use; awesome on rocky terrain, particularly scrambling; breathable and dries quickly.
What We Don't Like: Slightly expensive; not great in thick mud; mid-top not suitable for new backpackers.
Best for: More experienced backpackers and hikers; rocky terrain.
Final Verdict: A comfortable pair of lightweight mid-tops that excel in rocky, technical terrain.
The La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX are a mid-top take on a classic approach shoe design.
Although “approach shoes” are commonly used by rock climbers as they make their way towards the day’s climb. This type of footwear is becoming popular among hikers and backpackers due to their comfort, yet durable features.
To learn more about the different types of hiking boots, check out our expert guide here - Best Hiking Boots - Find the Right Pair for You.
Sleek and stylish, the TX4 Mids are a do-anything hiking boot, but are they right for your needs?
Coming up, we'll give you an in-depth review of the TX4s, providing an honest take from our experience using these boots in a real-world setting.
About the La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX Hiking Boots
The TX4 Mid GTX boots are part of La Sportiva’s line of “approach shoes.” This includes the TX2, TX3, and the TX Guide.
The naming system might seem a bit weird. Basically, TX2 is the lightest weight model, while the TX4 is the burliest. The TX Guide falls somewhere in the middle.
What’s unique about the TX4 Mid GTX is that they’re La Sportiva’s only mid-top approach shoe. Indeed, they are one of the only mid-top approach shoes on the market today. Since Five Ten discontinued production of the Guide Tennie Mid.
If you’re not a climber, you might be wondering why you’d even consider buying a mid-top approach shoe, especially when there are so many great hiking-specific boots around.
It's because the TX4 Mid GTX provides unparalleled traction in rocky terrain, as well as an all-day comfort in a lightweight package.
And while the TX4 Mid GTX is technically an “approach shoe,” due to the shoe’s mid-top design, we like to think of it as more of a hiking boot/approach shoe hybrid.
One of our team members have used the TX4 Mid GTX for over two years. Including hundreds of days of backpacking.
Initially, what drew her to the TX4 Mid GTX was the combination of lightweight, comfort, breath-ability, and traction. Also, they offered ankle support on rocky scrambles.
Since, she realized that the boots are super useful in most types of terrain, from Alaska to the Rocky Mountains.
La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX Performance
When you wear a shoe for hundreds of miles of walking, you learn what you like and don’t like about them.
La Sportiva describes the TX4 Mid GTX as “a mid-cut, leather, waterproof, access boot designed to excel in tricky, technical terrain.”
Here’s how the shoe lived up to these expectations over two years of field testing:
Weighing in at just over one pound per pair, the TX4 Mid GTX are some of the lightest mid-top hiking boots on the market today. Especially when compared to traditional hiking boots.
When you put on the TX4 Mid GTX, it’s like you aren’t even wearing shoes.
After hours and hours on the trail, the TX4 Mid GTX felt as light as ever. Our team member never once felt like they were dragging her down. The boots stayed light even when they were soaking wet after a river crossing.
The TX4 Mid GTX are made with a lightweight, breathable leather upper. This provides both durability and comfort after 12+ hours of hiking.
Any hiker knows that an uncomfortable pair of shoes can ruin a backpacking trip. Thankfully, the TX4 Mid GTX fully lived up to our expectations of comfort on the trail.
These lightweight shoes have a generous cut. This means it doesn’t feel like your foot is being squeezed as you walk. This is especially true at the front of the shoe since the TX4 series has quite a wide toe box. There’s plenty of wiggle room for your toes as you walk.
Even though the TX4 Mid GTX have a wide toe box, your feet will never slide forward when descending downhill. This is due to their STB Control System, which wraps around the middle of the foot.
Our team member stated that when wearing the TX4 Mid GTX shoes, it felt like, "I was walking on clouds."
It’s important to keep in mind that what the TX4 Mid GTX gains in comfort, it loses in ankle support. These boots aren’t designed to support really heavy loads.
If you’re new to backpacking, it’s a good idea to opt for a more supportive hiking boot instead.
The shoe was initially designed with climbers in mind. Thus, the most impressive feature is the Vibram Mega-Grip rubber outsole. This offers climbing shoe-like grip on even the slickest of rocks.
However, since they don’t have big lug soles, the TX4 Mid GTX can slip around a bit in the mud.
These boots are what you'd expect from climbing shoes. Needless to say, the TX4 Mid GTX lives up to the hype when it comes to their traction capabilities.
The La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX comes with a Gore-Tex lining. Yet, they are less desirable in the realm of waterproofing.
Since these are mid-top boots, they only protect you from puddles and streams that are no more than 4-5” deep. Above that, water will fill in over the top of your boot, and your foot will get wet anyway.
However, this is a shortcoming of all mid-top hiking boots, not just the TX4 Mid GTX. If you plan to buy a mid-top hiking boot, it’s important to accept that your feet will get wet, especially if you hike off-trail and do a lot of river crossings.
We found that the TX4 Mid GTX dried out incredibly fast after river crossings and heavy rainstorms.
Our team member stated that the boots were more or less dry before she was on the trail again the next morning. So they’re a great companion for off-trail travel when even a Gore-Tex liner isn’t going to cut it.
Are the La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX Good Value for Money?
With an MSRP of $190 a pair, the La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX hiking boots aren’t cheap. However, they are a well-designed piece of technical footwear that provides incredible performance in the mountains.
If you’re working with a budget, or you’re new to backpacking, see below for our recommendations.
These are more affordable and perhaps more appropriate hiking boots that may fit your needs. But, if your main factor is performance, it’s hard to beat the La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX.
Who Are the La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX Best Suited For?
They’re not specifically designed for backpacking with heavy loads. So they’re not an ideal choice for a new backpacker that’s getting used to carrying a heavy pack.
Instead, the TX4 Mid GTX are a better choice for experienced backpackers and hikers. People who want performance and comfort, but want more ankle support than a low-top hiking shoe can offer.
How Do the La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX Fit?
For sizes, the TX4 Mid GTX are pretty true to size, at least when compared to other La Sportiva boots. This brand is a European company, so their US shoe sizes are converted from European sizes.
If you do plan on getting any of their footwear, it’s good to find out what your EU size is before you buy.
While La Sportiva does make the TX4 in a low-top version for women, they only offer the TX4 Mid GTX in a “men’s” design.
Our team member rated them to perform equally well after two years of using the low-top TX4 women’s shoe and the TX4 Mid GTX men’s shoe. Even though the TX4 Mid GTX isn’t marketed as unisex, they work for people of any gender.
While we love the La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX, we understand that they’re not perfect for everyone. So, here are some other great alternatives:
- Best Backpacking / High-Top Hiking Boots: Salomon Quest 4
- Best Day Hiking Boots: Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid
- Best Hiking Shoes: Merrell Moab 2 Vent
- Best Trail Runners: Salomon S Lab Ultra 2
- Best Budget Hiking Boot: Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof
- Best Technical Mid-Top Hiking Boot: Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX
- Best Hiking Boot for Wide Feet: Keen Targhee III Mid
The La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX are a pair of lightweight mid-tops that excel in rocky, technical terrain.
They provide a good mix of functionality and style. While being versatile enough for use in a variety of conditions on a longer backpacking trip.
They’re not the most waterproof boots our team member have ever worn. However, when it comes to comfort, traction, and performance, it’s hard to beat the La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX.
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