Boulder X vs. TX2 Leather
I recently had the great pleasure of trying out two of La Sportiva’s approach shoes on a couple of hikes in Southern California. Fist up was the TX2 Leather shoes which I took up Cucamonga Peak in the San Gabriel mountains. I had previously worn them around town and was mighty impressed with how light they were. It did feel a little like walking on clouds. The trail up Cucamonga Peak was nice with a little bit of a scramble up a creek bed, and towards the summit the trail narrowed clinging to the hillside. The shoes did great, they were grippy and felt light and I did not get any hotspots despite the 4500 ft of elevation gain. They excelled on the rocky parts and I would happily use these instead of a full climbing shoe on easier routes. Coming back down from the summit they at times seemed a little to flimsy, there was very little ankle support and trying to go fast downhill felt unstable. Perhaps these are better used on shorter approaches were steep downhills are not required.
A few days later I headed back to the San Gabriel mountains, this time to hike up Mount San Antonio (Mount Baldy) at 10,064 ft. I took the Bear Canyon trail which tackles the 5700 ft of elevation gain over 6 miles. This time I was wearing my brand new La Sportiva Boulder X approach shoes. At first, I was a little worried of blisters as I had not previously worn the shoes. But, by the time I reached the summit my feet were blister free and warm despite the dusting of snow. These shoes felt sturdier than the TX2’s, at first perhaps a little clunky, but as I got moving, they handled the narrow trail and ridge walk perfectly and on the decent they felt stable and secure allowing me to run down without fear of twisting an ankle.
In summary, these are both excellent shoes that provided incredible grip. On shorter approaches I would pick the TX’s for their light weight and lower profile, while on longer days with steep downhills the Boulder X wins the race providing the required stability.