Gear Review

La Sportiva Trango S EVO

La Sportiva Trango EVO GTX

La Sportiva's Trango S EVO GTX Alpine Mountaineering boot delivers a mighty punch of versatility and performance.

What truly makes the Trango S EVO special, however, is its outstanding out-of-the-box fit. The Trango EVO GTX seems to fit like a running shoe when you first try it on. Even without a break-in period, I found the boot remarkably comfortable—and after a full workout of trail hiking, talus scrambling, and ice and rock climbing on North Palisade, I came home delighted (and blister-free).

Rapelling North Palisade Climbing the U-Notch Couloir

For a fully-functional mountaineering boot, the Trango qualifies as light, at a reasonable 55.5 ounces per pair.

Despite the light weight, however, the Trango features a stiff, crampon-compatible sole (for new-matic or strap crampons).

I was perfectly happy front-pointing up low to moderate-angle ice in the Trango, and I was also very impressed with its effectiveness when using French (flat-footing) technique.

No, the Trango doesn't provide the support of a hard plastic mountaineering boot or ski boot when using crampons, but it remains a confident and comfortable climber.

Unlike a plastic boot, you can actually wear the Trango on the approach as well. I put quite a few miles on the EVO GTX with a full pack on my back. While the extra stiffness of the sole was certainly noticeable, the boot was easily comfortable enough to make me glad I wasn't lugging an extra pair of boots up the hill.

On the rock, I found the Trango's sole gripped well (though it did not feel nearly as sticky or tacky as a climbing shoe), and the stiffness of the sole allowed me to easily stand on small edges. Obviously, you are giving up a lot of rock climbing performance when you wear an alpine shoe (unless you are a mixed climber by trade), but once again, the Trango EVO's versatility will often allow you to leave the rock shoes at home.

As the name implies, the Trango uses a GoreTex GTX laminate layer to achieve waterproofness and breathability. This is not an insulated shoe, so it will not be suitable for all climbers in midwinter. Still, the Trango provides a fine balance between warm-weather performance and cold weather warmth.

All in all, the La Sportiva Trango S EVO GTX did everything I asked of it—and did it well. If you are looking for a crampon-compatible alpine boot that you can wear on the approach, on the ice, and on the rock, this versatile lightweight boot is hard to beat.

About SierraDescents

When there is snow, SierraDescents is Andy Lewicky's California backcountry skiing and mountaineering website. Without snow, sierradescents becomes an ill-tempered hiking and climbing blog.

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