La Sportiva Trango S Evo GTX
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $350
- Not for cold weather
Great traction when rock climbing, considering they are boots. Had them last summer in Chamonix, France. I had the Trangos for trekking and glacier crossing with crampons. When wet the Trangos did perform well, very little chaffing.
Use: Glacier climbing, backpacking
Break-in Period: None needed.
Weight: 2 lbs, 10 oz per boot
Price Paid: $280
This is the greatest overall boot I've found in 30 years of climbing. It is amazingly light and comfortable (no blisters out of the box) yet it provides all the stability you can ask on scree, rocks or with a hinged crampon. I don't front-point, so I don't know about its ability there, but it has been just great for medium-angle glacier travel.
I was looking for an alternative to the heavy, uncomfortable plastic boots with totally rigid sole. With the Trango's three-quarter shank, I couldn't be happier about the way it feels walking in on approach. Absolutely like a running shoe, but still with really good support. Do yourself a favor and try a pair!
Price Paid: $200
I have used these boots on numerous climbs to Mt Blanc, mixed ice/snow mostly with crampons. Overall, they are very sturdy, though I still get blisters on both heels on long hikes. They are light and perfect for dry conditions where you need good stability with the added flexibility of strapping on a pair of crampons.
HOWEVER, Not well insulated. My feet froze badly on any assent above 4500m. I'm stuck with them for now, but will upgrade to a better isolated model once these wear through.
Materials: lorica, nylon, synthetics
Use: not for crampons
Break-in Period: n/a
Price Paid: $289
This is a very light boot. Feels more like a climbing shoe--BUT NOT AN ICE CLIMBING BOOT. Mtn Hardware claims it has "frointpointing stability." It does not. It flexes at the ball like a pair of heavy sneakers and I can't imagine what kind of crampons could front point up anything but low angle spring snow in these boots. Maybe footfangs, but there is no toe bail rand.
This is not what I call an alpine boot--it is not suitable for crampons.
I sent them back; maybe OK for someone else, but I wanted a crampon platform. This is my first synthetic boot. I was snowed by the light weight. I suspect that you can't find a stable crampon platform under 4lbs.
If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know. I have nice leather ALPINE boots with a rocker sole and rigid enough for crampons, but they weight 5 1/2 lbs. I have plastic double boots. I was looking for something for mixed climbing in the Tetons etc. This ain't it.
Use: Trekking, Climbing
Break-in Period: none
Weight: a little over 3 lbs.
Price Paid: $310
Used these boots twice - once for climbing Huayna Potosi in Bolivia, and then for the Annapurna Circuit. Too cold for Huayna - had to turn around at around 5700 meters as I couldn't feel my toes. They were superb for the Annapurna trek - comfortable, lightweight for a climbing boot (a bit of overkill for the trek perhaps) and never anything even close to a blister. Great boots - trim, not at all clunky. Plan to use them a lot more this spring and summer, but only below 5500 meters.
Break-in Period: no
Price Paid: 189 OMC
After climbing for 35 years I have finally found the perfect boot. Great fit out of the box. This boot is comfortable for any kind for climbing including long approaches. I have never had a problem with cold feet and have used these boots at -20 ice climbing with no problem.
I just returned from a fairly challenging glacier ascent and was so impressed with the preformance of these boots again that I had to write this review. So far I have put in 10 Pacific Northwest ascents all on glaciers some with vertical ice and have had no blisters or foot issues at all with my Trangos.
Use: normal trail with steep elevation gain, light class 3 climbing, snow fields
Break-in Period: ongoing, at least 5 hikes and counting
Price Paid: $300
This boot came highly recommended, but after 4 to 6 decent hikes I'm still getting heel blisters. Either they take forever to break in, or there's something else wrong...they may be too stiff for the light hiking I've done so far, or they're flawed.
I'm sure the size is right, and I've tried different single and double dry sock configurations. I'm not sure what else to do, but I'm dreading some longer multi-day backpack/climbs coming up if I can't get the heel blisters to stop. Otherwise a great boot...super light, narrow.
Use: long day hikes with medium pack
Break-in Period: zero! and I'm serious!
I bought this boot to supplement my old school heavy leather hiking boots, and after a couple of uses I only wear these! I was used to prepping my feet for blisters from the old boots, but that isn't a concern here. Even out of the box, these boots fit like tennis shoes yet are supportive and rugged. They were totally comfortable on days of 8-10 hours nonstop hiking. I even did a little bouldering, and even slipped once crossing a river but thanks to their support, didn't twist anything. Carrying a medium weight pack my feet were fine!
I've read other reviews and can't understand the blisters others have received. I use a silk liner sock and a heavy wool boot sock... and now gone are the days of moleskin and molefoam on my heels! I'm a convert to this style of boot. I do wonder about the use of leather lace loops vs metal, but so far haven't had any trouble. They've been warm enough in mild snow (~4 inches) and I'm anxious to see how they work during the upcoming summer). So far I think they're great!
Use: mountain climbing
Break-in Period: 3 months
Price Paid: $250
I bought these boots for a mountain climbing trip (Rainier). After three months of "breaking in," I'm still getting blisters on my heels. Now one lace eyelet has ripped out.
I called Sportiva and of course they offered to repair it under warranty. What happens if another eyelet blows out on the mountain or in the middle of a multi-day trip? Well, they'll waranty that too. A lot of good that will do me on a glacier on Rainier.
I don't really want these boots anymore (three months of break-in and still painful), so I asked if I could return them even for a partial credit towards a different model (I'd take the Storm, which cost half as much - I need light day hikers anyway). They won't do that.
On the upside, they are very lightweight, completely waterproof, newmatic crampon compatible, and the virbam rubber on the soles provides excellent traction - even with a heavy pack, I never had to worry about losing traction climbing rocks and boulders.
In summary, although this boot has some good features, it's painful, not sturdy enough, and for the $$ Sportiva charges they should be more responsive to dissatisfied customers.
Price Paid: $250
I must say that after being a mountaineer for 30+ years it is nice to see they can still teach an old dog new tricks! This goes for boots as well.
At the ripe old age of 56 my body, including feet, just does not take the abuse like it once did. These boots are the most comfortable out of the box I have ever slid onto my feet!
First trip was into Goat Rocks in Washington state on a 3 day solo. Not a hot spot or any other issues.
If this boot fits your feet give it a shot Light and comfortable all rolled into one.
Materials: leather and Gore-tex
Use: ice and snow covered mixed routes
Break-in Period: What break in period? Didn't need one!!!
I bought these boots to get into more winter hiking and climbing. These boots were completely comfortable for everything from late fall through spring climbing and hiking. I even managed to spend a very comfortable climb on ice when the air temperature was over 60.
I've used them on steep ascents in crampons or hiking in snowshoes without any problem and with the fact that they are so light, it makes a world of difference when having to move quick when the weather turned south. The boots aren't completely rigid, so crampons that can deal with a little flex is not a bad thing.
Needless to say, I'm very happy with these boots...
Price Paid: 170 euros
Great boots... I've always been loving leather, but if you think of an incredibly lightweight product with a perfect construction highly engineered... this is the Trango Trek.
Great for approaching, fit as a gaunt...and last but not least: not made in China!
Where to Buy
Compare prices from 7 outdoor retailers: