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
They sort of remind me of a slightly more aggressive, pointy version of the Moccasin. They are comfy and soft but are designed in a way that still gives them a secure feel and some precision, which makes them perfect for long, moderate climbs or all day mellow crag sessions
So, it was with great delight that I found out about the FC 4.1, or more aptly called FC ECO. A light weight La Sportiva hiking boot sold exclusively at REI. The sole is 15% recycled materials, the mid sol 30%, Laces and mesh nylon 100%, and the inside liner is 40 % recycled materials.
Before leaving to climb in the Himalayas my biggest concern was how to keep warm. I get cold easily and particularly my feet tend to suffer. My toes turn into ice cubes and no amount of wiggling them around will get them back to life. I don’t only get cold feet, but I also have rather tiny feet. Which meant my options for high altitude boots were limited. In fact, there was exactly one shoe that came in my size, the La Sportiva Spantik.
That might be an exaggeration, yet I still hold to the statement. If not for this boot my feet would have been soggy, sore, and blistered. That being said I have pretty rough feet that don’t blister very easy. I decided to break these boots in on a seven day trip into the Wind River Range to porter a guided trip for Montana Alpine Guides, up Gannett Peak (the highest point in Wyoming 13,804’)
I can spend hours in a skiing museum looking at old skis. I like the aesthetic lines that make up a ski’s shape. I wonder who skied on them and what stories that person could tell. I often think about a pair of my skis hanging above a fireplace in 100 hundred years. Who will look at them and what will they think? I spend a lot of time pondering skis, however mostly I like what they allow me to do…glide over snow.
Most of the time we think of cross trainers for trail runs, hikes, or scrambling. As a scientist who spend a lot of my time in field I also think of them as work equipment. I am a marine scientist who work as an expedition leader, leading Citizen Scientists in various conservation project around the globe.
Out here in the Pacific Northwest, we are no stranger to wet trails. Whether it’s crossing snow fields on the way to early season rock, jumping streams from summer run-off, or heading uphill in a downpour, we need shoes that can handle it all!
Italian designers usually end up dressing celebrities, or Bond girls. Suitable for riding a moped through the streets of Rome, perhaps, but not usually available for us mountain-ladies, riding skis up and down alpine mountains. Fortunately for us, the Italian team at La Sportiva has designed the equivalent for alpine ladies. The Storm Fighter GTX is a like a designer-styled jacket for the uphill athlete.
I while ago I wrote a blog post about how I occasionally enjoy a nice, easy, solo day out to test out new equipment. I never solo anything hard, but I find that the ability to spend time alone, without the need to uphold conversation or stick to/manage the group pace, allows me to focus intensely on technique or a new piece gear. So this weekend, when everyone with day jobs was out enjoying mega ultra rad adventures far from home on the long weekend, I took the chance to test out the new TX3 approaches from Sportiva on a quick little day mission.