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MBMG Reviews the La Sportiva Trango S Evo

The West Ridge of Forbidden Peak is one of the North Cascades most classic alpine routes. Easy accessibility, a glaciated approach, and stellar rock climbing make for a stunning experience. What’s not so awesome about the West Ridge is the amount of footwear it might require. Trail shoes are ideal on the hike into Boston Basin. Boots are nice for cramponing up glacier to the base of the route, and sticky rubber rock shoes definitely make the climbing easier.

Enter the La Sportiva Trango S Evo. I recently acquired a pair of these so called “Red Boots,” and I have been quite pleased. These one-boot wonders have simplified multi-footwear endeavors, like the West Ridge of Forbidden Peak, and countless other Cascade routes.  Not only do they cut down on pack weight, but they’ve also eliminated the “dreaded” shoe swap, before, during, and after your climb.

The secret to the Trango S Evo lies in its generality. It sports a half shank, instead of a full shank, which keeps your feet comfy, and reduces impact and fatigue on those long approaches and descents. The half shank isn’t as ideal for vertical ice climbing, but that’s not what these boots were made for. The light insulation keeps your feet warm on fall nights and much cooler on those baking hot, mid-summer days. Again, if you’re going to be standing around in the snow all day long, you might want something warmer. While not true “sticky rubber” the Vibram sole is much softer than what you would find on a bulkier ice climbing boot. I’ve determined that I can comfortably climb up to about 80% of my normal grade in my Trango S Evos – Perfect for long, moderate, Cascade rock routes.

The Trango S Evos are obviously crampon compatible as well, but keep in mind that they only have a heel welt. If you currently have step in crampons, you’ll need to get something with at least a toe hood. Full strap-ons will work as well, although I like having a heel throw to lock my boot into the spikes and simplify transitions.

There you have it! The La Sportiva Trango S Evo is an MBMG choice pick. If you’re looking for a boot that does one thing really well, look elsewhere.  If you need something that does everything decently, grab yourself a pair of the Red Boots and get outside. We’ll see you out there.

John Minier

Owner, Mt. Baker Mountain Guides