The TX4 Mid GTX is the best approach shoe I’ve ever owned, coming equipped with extra protection and bog proofing. Sounds impressive and maybe a little over cooked but I can find little fault with these boots.

To start with, they are a broad fit in the toe box with a snug heel. The boot is rounded through out the toe box so your little toes don’t get a hard time and I have found them to stretch a little, quite quickly. I sized them snug, I usually wear an EU 44.5 street shoe or 45 walking boot and I bought these in a 44. This was partly because they felt a little large for size and partly because I am accustomed to tight shoes and wanted to be able to climb in them.

With the above in mind, a 6 hour day in the hills is fine. Their first day out was up over to Amphitheatre Buttress (vdiff) for a team solo on a hot bank holiday (it wasn’t quiet). The boots were amazing, soft and trainer-like to walk in, grippy on the wet muddy gully to drop into the start of the climb and as sticky as rock shoes for the route itself. I don’t think a rock shoe would have handled the polish any better but they are still approach shoes so on little edges you need to employ a little finesse and drop the heel or just smear around it.

I’ve had them out for a dozen or so days in the hills now, scaling a few easy climbs and scrambles and the only notable change is the fading of the bright yellow suede. I’ve seen many battered TX4s that are well over a year old and still have intact uppers. The sole is obviously wearing down, sticky rubber always does, but it is better than the alternative. Compared with a lot of approach shoes, TX4s have a substantial heel wedge which means even when you’re running low on tread you’ve still got some grip going down hill on grass and mud.

Another nice thing is that they are made in a few iterations. A low cut mesh, a low cut leather, slightly thicker sole mesh, same thicker sole leather, the same again with Gore-Tex, this Mid version and a sturdier trekking boot with more heel support. So if you fit one you’ll pretty much fit all and have an arsenal of shoes and boots for anything the hills (in summer) can throw at you. All we need is for them to make a stiff insulated winter boot in the same last!

The price is also reasonable at £165 RRP considering what some brands are charging for a waterproof shoe, currently.