La Sportiva is primarily a mountaineering brand, and the Trango S Evo sits very comfortably among its range of rock boots and mountaineering boots. It is surprisingly lighter than it looks and far more of an all-round mountain design than some others in this test. The question is, does the performance warrant the price tag?
The La Sportiva Trango S Evo GTX has an upper of Cordura and Flex Tec synthetic materials to keep the weight down plus a Gore-Tex waterproof lining to keep the feet dry. A good rubber rand provides protection for this upper construction when the boot is taken onto the harsh rock and scree of a mountaineering day. The ankle cuff is particularly interesting as it provides support but it’s also articulated so that it does not restrict movement too much. The outsole is reasonably aggressive and benefits from the smooth rubber ‘climbing zone’ under the big toe for better performance when scrambling and climbing. The boot can be fitted with crampons that use a heel clip too, making this ideal for mixed mountaineering terrain, where some walking is combined with a rock ascent. There is cushioning underfoot too, to take the strain out of a long descent on rock. This appears to be a good all-round mountain boot.
On the hill
The La Sportiva Trango S Evo GTX is comfy straight from the box with a flex that sits in the middle ground of those tested, so it’s stiffer than some and softer than others. This makes it feel about right for a rocky mountain day. The toe profile is slightly tapered, but for me it’s not enough to make this boot uncomfortable for walking. There is good lateral stiffness too and this really comes into its own when scrambling, as even the smallest footholds feel stable and secure. The ‘climbing zone’ under the toe is ideal for smaller holds too and generally the forefoot provides a good ‘feel’ for the rock, making this great for more challenging mountain scrambles. The ankle cuff is quite high, which helps to support the ankle as well as offering valuable protection on scree. Better still, that ankle cuff flexes forward very easily, making walking very comfortable. These boots felt ideal for scrambling up Pinnacle Ridge in the Lakes, and I would expect them to be equally at home on the Cuillin Ridge on Skye for example and other mountain days that are a mix of scree, rock and scrambling terrain. This boot can also be worn with C1 crampons that take a heel clip, making them ideal for easier traverses of snow during a mountaineering day. A lighter and more flexible boot would be better for shorter via ferrata or easier scrambles though.
Upper waterproof Cordura with hydro treatment + Flex Tec 2, water-repellent Lorica reinforcement, Gore-Tex waterproof lining
Sizes 41-48 (men’s); 37-43 (women’s)
Crampon compatibility B1
Weight 1776g (pair, size 11)
Made in Italy
Stores in the UK 75
Stockist details tel. (015396) 25493; www.lasportiva.com
The La Sportiva Trango S Evo GTX features excellent stiffness for rock and easier snow; good crampon-compatible heel welt; relatively light for its performance and features; good ankle flex. There are, however, lighter and lower-priced alternatives.
It’s a superb all-round mountaineering boot for rock scrambles if the price is not a turn-off.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine June 2010