dustyj wrote:Has anyone used the LaSportiva Gandalfs? They look pretty sweet, maybe it's just a cool name though
There was a thread on rc.com
not long ago. Go to the second page for some first-hand (first-foot?) experience.
Notice that La Sportiva has changed the name to Ganda, presumably due to trademark problems. A high-top version of the Ganda is not available in the US yet, but is currently sold in Europe under the name Ganda Guide. The sole of the "Guide" is more akin to that of a hiking shoe or light boot than that of the low-top Ganda, which is typical of approach shoes.
From the accounts I've read so far, the Ganda is closer to a climbing shoe than the other approach shoes on the market. I'm not sure it's the best choice for long hikes with scrambling up to Class 4.
I've been considering the purchase of a pair, but I have not tried them yet. I'd probably end up using them for other things as well, but my intended application for the Ganda would be Flatiron link-ups, in which there's a fair amount of walking, but not too much. I'd like to carry one pair of shoes only; the Ganda might be the ticket. My Cirque Pro or my Garmont approach shoes don't feel secure enough for the climbing part.
Speaking of the Cirque Pro, I have a very low opinion of them, both in terms of performance and build quality. At the risk of oversimplifying, I'd recommend against buying any La Sportiva shoes or boots that are not made in Italy.
Finally, the main difference between the Trango and an approach shoe is the stiff sole of the former. That's more important than the weight difference. Of course, it's also the reason why the Trango is a good ice climbing boot. (Not very durable, though, in my experience.)