An approach shoe is designed to be a hybrid between a hiking shoe and a climbing shoe. The idea is to provide a piece of gear that will allow a person to hike a few miles and then climb technical rock, hence the name "approach shoe". Of course, a shoe that's designed to do each of these very specific and different activities will be compromised in its ability to do one in order to facilitate the other. The cushioning and support required for long hours of hiking will undermine the ability of the shoe to provide the sensitivity and edge rigidity necessary for advanced climbing. The tread pattern, construction, materials and fit are also very different for each type of shoe and the compromise always results in a shoe that's less than optimal for either one of these activities. In addition, everyone who buys a pair has different expectations for the shoes and uses then in different ways. Some people use them to get to a crag and then climb there, others use them for alpine scrambling while still others use them mostly for canyoneering. One person's recommendation of the ideal approach shoe will reflect their expectations and may not be applicable to everyone in the market for this type of shoe. With all of these variables, "getting it right" can be nearly impossible for a manufacturer. Keeping all of this in mind, the approach shoe section of SummitPost Gear should be able to provide a person in the market for a new pair a lot of different perspectives on a lot of different shoes. Hopefully this information will make it easier to find just the right shoe for what any particular individual wants to do.