La Sportiva Trango Guide GTX 2011

At first glance you’d think the La Sportiva Trango Guide GTXs were technical boots, ideal for balancing on small holds or jamming in cracks when scrambling. Pick them up, however, and their light weight suggests walking. Though light weight and technical features aren’t mutually exclusive, climbing boots generally tend to be a bit stiffer and heavier. So, if a boot is as light as this, you have to ask what compromises have been made.
From a walker’s perspective, they have a lovely rolling action and a progressive, light touch in terms of ankle support. They have an extremely comfortable tongue, and thanks to a Gore-Tex liner they’ll keep the worst vagaries of British mountain weather at bay.
For climbers and scramblers, the trimmed-down profile and stiff lateral support will allow you to take advantage of small holds and cracks, while the low profile ‘sticky’ Vibram sole offers excellent friction.
It’s an attractive package, but there are drawbacks. First, it’s crucial to get the lacing right for comfort and support, and you’ll need to monitor this all day. So, if you like to put boots on and then forget about them, they’re not for you. Second, you need to ensure you look after them: wearing gaiters in rain, and – at home – drying and cleaning them at the end of each hill day.
So yes, the La Sportiva Trango Guide GTXs will cover all mountain situations, but with that low-profile tread take care on mud and snow. They’ll provide a platform on small holds, as long as you lace them well. And as a bonus, they’ll also take lightweight crampons – but don’t expect to tackle overly steep snow or ice.

Price £200
Upper leather, stretch fabric, Lorica reinforcements
Lining Gore-Tex
Sole Vibram
Sizes 37-48, inc half sizes
Weight 1360g (pair, size 46)
Made in Italy
More info www.lyon-outdoor.co.uk

The La Sportiva Trango Guide GTX is a very lightweight mountain boot that pushes the season boundaries while still delivering great support and a high level of precision.

Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine September 2011