La Sportiva Trango Guide
These are pretty good shoes - enough support to carry a heavy load, but sensitive enough to scramble pretty well.
The fit is narrow and especially so on the toes. I have a wide toebox, and the Guide tends to squash my little toe inward.
They don't have any waterproof liner, and after a few miles in a sort-of-unexpected snowstorm, my feet were soaked.
They climb rock decently, but it's also obvious that they're an aid shoe with the support under the arch rather than the toe. So, they grease off small edges if I toe in, and I have to remember to edge with my mid-foot.
They're also pretty supportive - my ankles don't feel wobbly and naked when I'm carrying a 60-lb climbing load in.
The break-in period was pretty fast for me, maybe 15 field days.
There are a few reasons I gave them 4 stars rather than 5...
First, the rear side of the hightop rubs against my achillies and results in...near instant blisters without liner socks. I think that stiffness of the dip in the back which creates the friction is pretty unnecessary, so I wish La Sportiva would make it more heel-friendly.
And second, the rubber is pretty darn sticky, but only in ideal situations. When wet, or gritty, the rubber can be downright slick. I've had other shoe rubbers stick great in similarly bad conditions (for example: 5.10 stealth, FriXion, etc), but not this shoe rubber (Vibram something-or-other). And on ice, forget it. My mountaineering boot soles offer at least some remote ghost of grip, but these boot land me flat on my butt if I so much as lean forward or backward on icy spots.
When all is said and done, these boots are great, but they're pretty specialized. For me, they're too narrow and squashed in the toe for backpacking, too soft to kick snow steps, and have too wide a range of frictional results to hike in variable terrain. The best application I've found is long summer scrambles in the Sierra (short backpack in, lots of easy climbing, durability for off-trail hiking).
Hope this helps.
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Here's what other sites are saying:
Free Shipping. La Sportiva Trango Guide Shoe (Fall 2006) A technical high top approach shoe, the Trango Guide by La Sportiva is for guiding, aid routes, burly bushwhacks and hauling the pig.Features Full coverage sticky rubber rands with a beefy (double thickness) toe cap for big wall jugging abuse Dual-density Micropore midsole is cut narrow to bring the forefoot edging platform of the outsole directly underneath the edge of your foot real climbing shoe performance The 2-5mm tapered lasting board gives support for long approaches and is thickest under the arch for extra support when standing in aiders Vibram Spider (sticky TC4+ rubber) outsole for excellent traction and rock climbing performance Upper 1.6mm Nubuck Leather/1.6mm Rough Construction Board Last Trango Approach Lining Mesh (heel only)/Cambrelle (forefoot) Sole Vibram Spider (sticky TC4+ rubber) Midsole Dual-density Micropore EVA Insole 2-5 mm tapered polypropylene Weight 1 lbs. 14 oz.
Like any good technical approach shoe, the Trango Guide offers good edging, laces down to the toes, and a low-profile midsole that gives you better purchase on the rock. What makes this difference is the mid-top ankle design that gives you more support when hauling heavy loads en route to the crag. 1.6mm nubuck leather upper. Full-coverage sticky rubber rands with a beefy (double thickness) toe cap for big wall jugging abuse. Dual-density Micropore midsole is cut narrow to bring the forefoot edging platform of the outsole directly underneath the edge of your foot. The 2 to 5mm tapered lasting board gives support for long approaches and is thickest under the arch for extra support when standing in an aid sling. Vibram Spider (sticky TC4+ rubber) outsole for excellent traction and rock-climbing performance. Mesh lining in heel; Cambrelle lining in forefoot for comfort and absorbency. Narrow instep offers greater climbing performance.