ProView – La Sportiva TX3
For me the best approach shoe is like a unicorn, you hear a lot of rumors about it existing, know what it looks like, but can’t ever seem to find it for yourself. For me, the ideal approach shoe should be wrapped in rubber that you can climb through 5.8 with, fit just roomy enough not to give you black toes on the hikes, and allow your feet to breath. The closest I have ever found were the La Sportiva Ganda Guides, but these too never checked all the boxes for me, and since they are no longer available, maybe not enough for others too.
The TX3 definitely looks and feels like an attempt to fill the hole left by the Ganda, with a new and improved model. Out of the box they are exactly what you would expect from La Sportiva, with one major cavet: the sizing is drastically different than anything I have ever worn by La Sportiva before, so make sure you try them on first to get the sizing right! I went off my traditional size and experiences and ended up with a fit that is less than ideal. Even without a great fit I was able to run the TX3’s through their paces and put in some ok miles in them this summer and was very pleased with what I found.
La Sportiva made a good choice in the rubber used by these. Going off feel it is closer to the dot rubber used by the Gandas, and offers up a confident grip on a variety of surfaces. From Yosemite to The Front Range, the grip on these felt great and was a dramatic improvement over my Xplorers from last season. The mid sole feels a little dead and doesn’t offer up much cushion, but protects well and allows good feel through the shoe.
The upper looks inspired by La Sportivas running shoes, and offers a very breathable padded mesh that is minimally supported through the mid foot. Padding is present but not overkill and is vented well. The breathability of these is great, and when paired with good socks my feet felt comfortable and breathed well all day. Lacing on the TX3’s is more like a traditional shoe then the extended lacing that La Sportiva is generally known for, but the lace lock system keeps everything in place all day. Despite my poor fit, I found the uppers to wrap and hold my foot well enough.
- Sticky and confidence inspiring on all surfaces
- Heel loops. How some shoes don’t have these doesn’t make sense
- Mesh uppers are breathable and keep the weight down.
- Great packability
- Lacing will not slip and holds tight all day
- New fit and sizing mean they must be tried on
- Mesh won’t take the same beating as a leather shoe
- Lace lock system may eat laces over time
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A native Vermonter and former bike and ski racer, Dan Boozan was involved in a bike accident that left him with a paralyzed right arm and other injuries. After moving to Colorado in August of 2013, Dan connected with Paradox Sports in June of 2014 has been hanging around since. Always at home in the mountains, Dan can be found skiing, hiking, and climbing with friends when ever possible. Although still a noob, he has an affinity for multi pitch slab climbing and is a “stalwart” of the Front Range Adaptive Climbing club. As an ambassador he looks forward to helping introduce and share with other all the great things he has experienced and gained since becoming a member of Paradox Sports. – Paradox Sports