The TX3 is an approach shoe from La Sportiva that rides like a trail runner, yet provides the protection of a light hiker. With a breathable polyester mesh upper, a stable injected EVA midsole, and a super sticky Vibram MegaGrip outsole, there is a lot to love about the TX3.
The TX3 is built and designed as an approach shoe, but for this review, I’m going to focus on the performance of the TX3 as a dedicated hiker.
Fit and Feel:
Sizing and Weight: I wear a size 46 in the La Sportiva TX3, which is a full size smaller than I wear in the La Sportiva mountain running lineup. For reference, I wear a size 47 in the La Sportiva Mutant, Bushido, Akasha, and Akyra. My size 46 TX3 comes in at a hefty 15oz. The weight is definitely noticeable in comparison to most of my lighter weight trail runners, but the TX3 offers a lot of protection, durability, and stability with it’s slightly heavy feature set.
Heel: The TX3 has a deep and lightly padded heel cup that provides a very nice fit for my heel shape. The TX3 has a high rand that runs from the heel of the shoe to the toebox. La Sportiva calls this rand STB Control, as it provides a stability cage around the entire shoe. In the heel, it the STB Control provides a very stable and supportive counter.
Midfoot: The midfoot on the TX3 is an extension of the heel, with support from the STB Control rand. La Sportiva provides additional support using a flywire system that integrates with the lacing.
Toebox: The TX3 has a wide foot-shaped toebox that fits me better than any other La Sportiva shoe that I own. This allows me to wear the TX3 all day on hikes of any length.
The upper of the La Sportiva TX3 is a polyester mesh. This shoe tends to run hot for me, as the amount of materials used on the upper keep my foot from ventilating optimally. In temperatures under 85 degrees, it’s not noticeable at all. We had a very warm Fall here in So Cal, and my feet would sweat quite a bit on those 90+ degree days. The TX3 is also a bit of a sponge in wet weather, as the thick protective upper coupled with the STB Control rand doesn’t allow for drainage or quick drying. The TX3 is best suited for dry outings in temps under 85 degrees.
The tongue on the TX3 is a burrito wrap style with a gusset stitch only on the medial side of the shoe. The fit and execution of the tongue is close to flawless in terms of comfort and performance. I have never had to adjust the TX3 tongue or lacing on the go, and rarely have to empty my shoe of gravel.
The TX3 utilizes a climbing shoe lacing system with eight eyelets that extend down towards the toe. Much like the tongue design, the lacing design is just about perfect. I love that I can adjust and customize my lacing tension, based on my needs for the day.
The TX3 has a very rigid and protective toebox that makes it work like a hiking shoe. I’ve kicked rocks at full tilt without feeling a thing on my toes.
The midsole on the La Sportiva TX3 is a firm injected MEMlex EVA. Compared to a trail running shoe, this midsole feels very firm, and at first, almost a bit harsh. For hiking and backpacking though, this firm and stable ride is perfect for me. This shoe feels at home with a 30lbs pack on, and just as comfortable on fast days with just a hydration vest. If you like plush cushioning and thick midsoles, this shoe is not going to be for you. The TX3 is for those looking for a firm, stable, and supportive underfoot ride.
I can’t find the heel-to-toe drop of the TX3 listed online, but from my crude caliper measurement, it’s in the 10mm range. With around 24mm in the heel and 14mm in the forefoot.
The outsole on the La Sportiva TX3 uses a Vibram MegaGrip compound on the Vibram Traverse outsole lug pattern. This lug pattern uses circular dot lugs in the front of the shoe with a flat climbing zone, and gum drop shaped lugs on the heel. This outsole is ideally suited for rocky terrain where you’ll encounter a lot of talus and granite slabs. The amount of confidence and security I have with this outsole is amazing. I know that my foot is going to stick exactly where I’m placing it with each step. I’ve also worn the TX3 on sandy dirt trails, and a few muddy trails. The lugs don’t shed mud very well, but they were definitely serviceable.
The La Sportiva TX3 is an approach shoe by design that doubles as an all-day hiking shoe without missing a beat. The stable and supportive midsole coupled with the Vibram MegaGrip outsole handle a wide variety of trails over any distance. The upper on the TX3 isn’t the best at draining or drying, but on dry days under 85 degrees, these shoes have become my first choice in footwear. The amount of materials and protection on the upper also provide an amazing amount of abrasion protection and durability.
At $135.00 retail, the TX3 is priced very fairly given the durability and feature set being provided.
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