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La Sportiva Trango Tower Extreme GTX Review

These light, versatile boots are good for all-around performance
la sportiva trango tower extreme gtx mountaineering boot review
Credit: La Sportiva
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $475 List | $475.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Light, versatile, great for rock climbing
Cons:  Not very warm, minimal calf support
Manufacturer:   La Sportiva
By Ian McEleney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 14, 2022
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58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 10
  • Climbing - 25% 6.0
  • Weight - 20% 7.0
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 4.0
  • Warmth - 15% 3.0
  • Hiking - 10% 8.0
  • Lacing - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The La Sportiva Trango Tower Extreme GTX is our Best Buy Award winner. What makes this boot a good value isn't just its low price. Though it's the strongest at rock climbing, it also puts forth a satisfactory performance on steep ice or mixed ground. Low weight enhances its versatility, as it won't punish you on long routes or long approaches. However, this boot doesn't give a lot of calf support or a ton of warmth. For some climbers that won't be an issue, but for others those are dealbreakers. This is a good choice for year-round mountaineers who want one boot to do it all. For alpine rock climbs where the movement is easy, but boots are still necessary for snow or ice on route or the approach and descent, this pair is a great solution.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award     
Price $475 List
$475.00 at Amazon
$650 List
$649.95 at Backcountry
$500 List$460 List
$321.93 at REI
$579 List
$579.00 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Light, versatile, great for rock climbingWeather-resistant, warmWeatherproof, fits big feetGood laces, does well on all mediumsGood all-around climbing performance, secure lacing system
Cons Not very warm, minimal calf supportHeavy, old-school lacing systemHeavy, thick soleHeavy, snow comes in the topNot as light or warm as other options
Bottom Line These light, versatile boots are good for all-around performanceNo fancy tech here, but this heavy boot gives wider feet weather protection and warmthClimbers with wide or otherwise unusual feet could find a great fit with this bootA decent all-around boot that's good for those with wider feetThis traditional single leather boot is a reasonable value
Rating Categories La Sportiva Trango... Lowa Alpine Ice GTX Salewa Vultur Verti... Lowa Alpine Expert GTX Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro
Climbing (25%)
6.0
7.0
4.0
6.0
6.0
Weight (20%)
7.0
4.0
5.0
6.0
5.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
4.0
8.0
8.0
3.0
5.0
Warmth (15%)
3.0
8.0
6.0
3.0
4.0
Hiking (10%)
8.0
5.0
4.0
7.0
6.0
Lacing (10%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
Specs La Sportiva Trango... Lowa Alpine Ice GTX Salewa Vultur Verti... Lowa Alpine Expert GTX Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro
Style Single Single Single Single Single
Weight 1lb 13.6oz (835g) 2lb 2.2oz (969g) 2lb 1oz (935g) 2lb (907g) 2lb 1.7oz (955g)
Sizes Available 38-48 EU 5-14 US 39-47 EU 7-14 US 39-48 EU
Upper Nylon 6.6 with Honey-Comb Guard and FlexTec 3 Synthetic Microfiber/Superfabric Split leather/microfiber 3mm silicone impregnated Perwanger leather, S-Tech fabric
Waterproof Lining Gore-Tex Performance Comfort Gore-Tex Duratherm Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort Gore-Tex Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort
Shank 9mm Insulated IBI-Thermo Hard winter stabilizer Nylon and Fiberglass Nylon Pro-Fiber XT20 insole
Midsole 6-7mm TPU/ Dual-density micropore EVA DuraPU TPU DuraPU PU + TPU
Sole Rubber Vibram "One" Vibram Alp Trac Ice Vibram Salewa Pro Vibram Alp Trac Ice Vibram Essential AC / Mont

Our Analysis and Test Results

La Sportiva has been using the Trango last to build mountaineering boots for a long time. Many of those boots have had long or complicated names, and the Trango Tower Extreme GTX is no exception. Climbers and mountaineers familiar with the silver Trango boots of the early twenty-teens will be pleased with what is essentially an updated version of that lightweight and great all-around boot.

Performance Comparison


la sportiva trango tower extreme gtx mountaineering boot review - the trango tower extreme in action.
The Trango Tower Extreme in action.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Climbing


Overall the La Sportiva Trango Tower Extreme GTX is a slightly above-average climber, but it has some distinct strengths. This is the boot to reach for if your route involves climbing on bare rock without crampons. It's got ample range of motion built into the ankle and a good amount of rocker in the sole. It would be an excellent choice for the North Face of Mount Edith Cavell, which involves loads of 4th class scrambling, a glacier crossing, many pitches of 5th class rock, and some moderate ice. On a route like this, confident rock climbers can skip the rock shoes and simplify their day by just bringing these boots.


Our testers also liked this boot on mixed pitches and for dry tooling. The ankle flexibility helped us with tricky footwork, and the rigid sole was supportive. This is also an excellent boot for French techniques.

la sportiva trango tower extreme gtx mountaineering boot review - our lead tester making it happen on weird rock. this boot climbed...
Our lead tester making it happen on weird rock. This boot climbed rock well.
Credit: Kevin McGarity

Its climbing weakness is steep ice. This shouldn't be a problem for folks with strong calves and good ice technique, but the chicken-legged or new ice climbers may feel the calf pump more with this boot over others.

Weight


This is one of the lightest boots we tested. One size 43 boot weighs in at 1 lb 13.6 oz (835g). Part of the reason for that is that there's no leather in the upper of the boot; it's all synthetic. It also has no extra frills. There are no zippers or weird flaps on this boot. In many ways (including the muted color scheme) this boot looks a lot like a traditional mountain boot.


No rock climber ever wants to have a pair of boots in their pack (or, god forbid, clipped to their harness) while climbing, but the low weight of this boot made it a favorite for our testers who were carrying more than one pair of footwear, like if we were skiing in to an alpine climb.

la sportiva trango tower extreme gtx mountaineering boot review - on lead in the trango tower extreme. not our favorite boot for steep...
On lead in the Trango Tower Extreme. Not our favorite boot for steep ice, but it got the job done.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Weather Resistance


As we mentioned above, the Trango Tower Extreme is built with modern waterproof materials, including Gore-Tex. The top of the cuff has a grippy gaiter-like finish that does a pretty good job keeping the snow out on extended post-holing sessions.


This boot's weak point for water resistance is its relatively low "water line". The grippy gaiter-like part of the cuff is not waterproof, and the top of the cuff has a deep cut-out for your Achilles tendon. This means that the point where liquid water can enter the boot is just under 7 inches (about 17cm) off the ground. Below this, it's watertight.

la sportiva trango tower extreme gtx mountaineering boot review - under water in the tub test.
Under water in the tub test.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Warmth


As you would expect for a boot that's so light, it also offers the least amount of warmth. The low cut doesn't run insulation up your leg, the boot is fairly thin, and the mid and outsole aren't unusually thick. This isn't the boot we'd recommend to cold-footed climbers nor the one we'd reach for on bone-chilling days on the ice in Cody. If taking these out when the temperatures drop, make sure you're wearing thicker long johns.


Those qualities make this boot uniquely suited for year-round performance. Most other boots in our review could leave your foot really sweaty on a mid-summer ascent of a Cascade volcano. The Trango Tower Extreme is much more suited to summer romps, while still being warm enough to suffice for most winter days.

la sportiva trango tower extreme gtx mountaineering boot review - the gasket-style cuff, shown here from the inside (top) and outside...
The gasket-style cuff, shown here from the inside (top) and outside of the boot (bottom), keeps snow out during all but the most sustained post-holing.
Credit: Jessica Haist

Hiking


This is one of the higher performers for hiking in our review. The low weight certainly helps; you won't feel like you're clomping along the trail in a pair of alpine ski boots with the Trango Tower Extreme on your feet. They are not as comfortable or light on approaches as one of the best trail running shoes, but they will perform better on hikes than most other boots.


We also appreciated the rocker built into the sole of this boot; it seemed to encourage a more natural and efficient gait. This boot also has a cut-out in the back of the cuff for your Achilles tendon. We felt like this lessened the resistance when we were stepping forward.

la sportiva trango tower extreme gtx mountaineering boot review - we appreciated this boot's ankle mobility when moving fast on easy...
We appreciated this boot's ankle mobility when moving fast on easy ground.
Credit: Aaron Richards

Lacing


The Trango Tower Extreme has a simple, secure lacing system. It's a pretty traditional setup with lace hooks on either side of the ankle to let you lock in different amounts of tension for the upper and lower boot. Our testers will often lace the top two hooks more loosely on approaches or for rock climbing. Any climber who has worn a boot will instantly figure out how to lace these up.


Should You Buy the La Sportiva Trango Tower Extreme GTX?


These boots are a good value not only because of their price point, but because they do everything decently well with year-round versatility. They're lightweight and comfortable for hiking, and climb reasonably well overall, with an above-average showing at mixed climbing and dry tooling, and on rock without crampons.

la sportiva trango tower extreme gtx mountaineering boot review - the low weight and hike-ability of this boot made it a favorite for...
The low weight and hike-ability of this boot made it a favorite for alpine pursuits.
Credit: Ian McEleney

What Other Mountaineering Boots Should You Consider?


If you're looking for an affordable supergaiter style boot, check into the Lowa Alpine Ice GTX. Our favorite boot of the bunch is the Asolo Eiger XT GV Evo for its low weight, excellent climbing prowess, and good weather resistance. For supreme warmth, take a look at the Arc'teryx Acrux AR.

la sportiva trango tower extreme gtx mountaineering boot review - the gaiter-like cuff kept snow out even when post-holing through...
The gaiter-like cuff kept snow out even when post-holing through breakable crust.
Credit: Kevin McGarity

Ian McEleney
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