La Sportiva Trango Ice Cube GTX

The La Sportiva Trango Ice Cube GTX is a lightweight alpine boot, perfect for mixed climbing or light and fast missions.

MSRP: $550

BEST FOR: Mixed climbing, light and fast alpinism

 

The La Sportiva Trango Ice Cube GTX is a lightweight alpine boot, perfect for mixed climbing, light and fast missions and Alps-genre mountaineering adventures.

At 25.64 ounces (727 grams), the Ice Cube GTX is on the lighter side for a boot of its class, which typically tends to be around 800-900 grams. It’s a good cross between the sturdy, solid protection of heavy-duty, big mountain Sportiva models like the G2 SM and the G5, while still managing to keep the boot flexible and agile like the 3-season Trango Tower GTX (720 g). 

Emblematic is the Vibram rubber on the sole that continues to rise above your heel (not typical for all their models), which indicates it was designed for performance. The Ice Cube GTX sports a below-the-calf elastic gaiter for a snug feel, cinched upon by a non-creeping zipper (a pet peeve of mine). Ankle articulation is profound, and feels quite flexible, but this would punish you on long, steep ice, which isn’t what this boot was designed for. And yet, the insole is supportive and well-structured; a boon for approaches. The boot is priced at $550, which isn’t cheap nor expensive, and sizing for the Ice Cube runs from 37-48 Euro in half sizes.

Of interest is that the laces thread through the gaiter for the last two latches, which means you have to unzip to tighten up the boot. This can be a pro or con, depending on if you are serial re-tightener, which I am. The boot’s small tongue is velcroed in, and when you get this boot, you will undoubtedly pull it right off until you get used to it, but the option further helps to dial down the fit. The toe-box performs above average for back-stepping or matching feet, and its narrow profile, while not cramped, is excellent for punching into spring snow. I typically have a lot of heel lift in alpine boots, but not for this one. I attribute it to La Sportiva’s experience in making best-in-show climbing shoes, where, when it comes down to it, all that matters is how the thing climbs. To that end, this boot climbs beautifully.


 

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