I’ve had the La Sportiva Trango Tower boots on a long-term test now for many months. We’ve hiked mountains together, scrambled spurs together, and traversed ridges together. Moreover, we’ve done this in all weathers and on a huge variety of terrain. They are simply awesome boots!
In all walks of life, various options incurring various costs and performance choices are thrown at us constantly. Take cars, for instance: I’d dearly love a Lamborghini. Short of a lottery win or mystery benefactor, it’s just not going to happen though. I fully realise that my car does the same job in getting me from A to B, but the performance advantage that a Lamborghini holds is simply undeniable. My car has a 0-60mph time of about eleven minutes and I’d need to book a week off work to complete the lap of a track.
Fortunately, where cars are concerned, I possess neither the skill nor determination to be a racing driver, so life without a Lamborghini is tolerable…just. Outdoor gear is exactly the same. There’s clothing and equipment out there for the budget- conscience and those just starting out. This is important as how else could newcomers to the outdoors build their skills and experience? There’s also a wealth of higher end stuff out there for those with more experience taking on greater adventures. The La Sportiva Trango Tower boots unashamedly fall into the latter category. For me, they are the Lamborghini of hiking boots.
Designed to replace the Trango S Evo, the La Sportiva Trango Tower boots had a lot to live up to. The S Evos were loved by those who wore and adventured in them. They were a great all-round, all-season mountain boot, which performed brilliantly on all manner of terrains and could be called upon to complete a wide variety of hikes, scrambles and climbs. So, how do the Trango Towers compare?
The first thing to note is the expected usage of the la Sportiva Trango Tower boots. These are not simply hill walking boots. They are stiff boots designed primarily for mountain hiking, scrambling, alpine trekking, via ferrata and mountain backpacking. That all sounds very serious and exciting, but many of you will be thinking that they come with a weight penalty to match their level of expected protection. You’re wrong. At 1400g for the pair, these are anything but heavy. This lightweight structure means that your feet remain nimble and agile, not tired and clumpy. However, don’t let their slender weight give you any impressions of lightweight performance or strength. Even on the slightest of scrambling footholds, the super-stiff nature of the La Sportiva Trango Tower boots means that grip is always there. Consequently, these are a really reassuring boot on sections of rock.
Having a stiff midsole also has other advantages. During the colder months or on visits to colder climates, the La Sportiva Trango Tower boots are B2/C2 crampon compatible. However, by utilising a graded heel section, they can also be used with either traditional or semi-automatic bindings. Furthermore, the construction of the uppers means that these boots are warm enough for alpine adventures or Scottish winters. Either way, you’ll be sure of a lot of fun in them. However, while these boots will get you out and adventuring in the white stuff, don’t for a minute think that they’re uncomfortable.
In days gone by, increasing stiffness usually coincided with increasing levels of aches and pains. Not anymore. As well as being very light for mountaineering boots, they also come with some other hidden talents. First among them is the combination of EVA and TPU cushioning. Using EVA in mountain boots isn’t particularly new but TPU is more often found in high-end athletic trainers. It essentially provides more comfort and cushioning while being more durable over time. Furthermore, it takes up less space and comes in lighter than alternative structures. What that means for you is a more comfortable, more supported adventure, in a more lightweight package. What’s more, they’re comfy straight out of the box, which will please previous Trango series owners who have come to expect this.
The la Sportiva Trango Tower boots have also addressed the minor gripe that previous Trango series owners had about wear on the uppers. This was never a huge issue, but areas more susceptible to abrasion on the old Trango series did wear slightly quicker than elsewhere on the boot.
Of course, as soon as you say that the area is more susceptible to abrasion there is an element of expectation there. That said, la Sportiva went away and developed the new Honeycomb Guard. Without adding unnecessary weight, this high tenacity nylon yarn is a significant upgrade. Despite many months of abrasions and knocks, mine are showing absolutely no signs of degrading. Some traditionalists will always opt for leather, but modern synthetic boots like these are so much more versatile. They also don’t come with the strength and wear issues of early synthetic boots and take far less looking after.
Underneath the 7mm super-tough nylon outers, the la Sportiva Trango Tower boots sport the trusty Gore-Tex Performance Comfort lining. These boots just won’t let the wet in unless, of course, you manage to go knee-deep in a bog and allow it to get in down your ankle. As with all Gore-Tex lined boots, they can be a little warm on hot, summer hikes. In all honesty, however, this is something that I’m happy to live with if they keep me dry all year round. Furthermore, given the lightweight nature of the boot, they’ll never feel uncomfortably warm.
As with any hiking boot, I’d really advise going to a reputable outdoor shop to get them fitted properly. There is no substitute for comparing different brands with slightly different fits. I have slightly wider feet than most and these la Sportiva Trango Tower boots fit me like a glove. They are also available in half sizes, which should make getting a correct fit that little bit easier.
Overall, the la Sportiva Trango Tower boots really are a Lamborghini of a mountain boot. When I say they’re a ‘do it all’ boot, don’t assume they’re a Jack of all trades, Master of none. They’re a Master of all. They really do excel in so many different areas. They’re insulated enough for summer Alpine escapes, while being supportive enough for UK winter ridges and gullies. They’re also light and sticky enough for long days scrambling up rocks. Ok, so the super-sticky sole wears a little quicker than most, but that is something that I’m more than happy to live with given the grip and weight advantages. Plus, you can always get them re-soled, thus saving you money over time. There’s a lot of competition out there for the crown of best all-round mountain boot. This is right, right up there!
Brand: La Sportiva
Product: Trango Tower boots