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This story originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of our print edition.
“Fast and light is the best description for the TX2,” one tester said after lapping Boulder’s First Flatiron a few times. Scrambling approaches, climbing up to 5.6, hauling up a long multi-pitch, the TX2 shines for all these situations. “This shoe was one of the closest-fitting I’ve used thanks to a knitted polyester upper that really wraps around the foot and to-the-toe lacing that cranks the whole shoe securely down.” Although the lacing system did provide added stability when smearing, one tester found the laces “really thin and a bit tricky to handle.” A Vibram Megagrip sole has dot rubber on the whole foot, with a flat section under the asymmetric toe for climbing. Testers found the toe box a little too roomy for feeling really comfortable on harder fifth class moves, but it was a welcome addition when plodding down steep hills on the descent and for putting on after a long day of climbing. Designers also put a slight flare on the outside of the foot near the pinky toe for more control during twisting motions. The low profile and flat sole make them a great fit for folks with low-volume feet and low arches.
These slimmed-down approach shoes have a design and climbing-specific sole for approaches and objectives where weight and speed are the main concerns. However, consider a more supportive shoe for heavy packs and high arches.
Review: Our Top 5 Approach Shoes for 2016