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.
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.
Rock and Ice vigorously tests all gear it reviews for either 50 days or 50 pitches. This is a time-consuming process and limits the amount of new equipment we can present to our readers. Every year hundreds of new products hit store shelves, and most of these aren’t reviewed due to our stringent selection and review process. To better keep you more up to date on what is new, we present First Look. Gear in First Look has not always been field tested, but is gear we think you’d like to know about as soon as it is available. Some of the gear will be reviewed using our 50 days/50 pitches criteria, in future print and online editions of Rock and Ice. We have opted to use affiliate links in our gear reviews. Every time you buy something after clicking on links in our gear articles you’re helping support our magazine.
La Sportiva Trango Tower Extreme GTX
MSRP: $475 BEST FOR: Ice climbing The Trango Tower Extreme GTX is the latest offering in La Sportiva’s popular Trango line of alpine boots. With a bit more insulation than the Trango Ice Cube … Continue reading “La Sportiva Trango Tower Extreme GTX”
Garmont Tower Extreme LX GTX Mountaineering Boots
MSRP: $419.95 BEST FOR: Mountaineering A first look at any new pair of mountain boots always consists of the following question: “Are these boots made for walking or climbing?” The hypothesis is that mountain … Continue reading “Garmont Tower Extreme LX GTX Mountaineering Boots”