Comparable to La Sportiva Cirque Pros and a little more advanced than the Exum Ridge, these approach shoes from Evolv are priced at around $90, but you can usually find them cheaper. They were designed for multi-use applications in the approach from hiking, to scrambling, to climbing. They are powered with TRAX high-friction rubber soles and a full rubber toe rand for easy edging on the climb.
Please add comments you have about the shoe or personal reviews. This is just one man's opinion.
The ReviewI got these shoes last July in preparation for a climb of the Grand Teton. I needed a shoe that was lightweight (~16oz each), fit my wide feet and toes, and handle the elevation up and down without smashing my toes or heels. After a few tryouts, I finally settled on the Stryker. The wide toe rand gave me some room up there, which may bother some but can easily be fixed with getting 1/2 size down.
The insole that came with the shoes were quite comfortable, no need to get a more heavy duty set. On the 4000+ft approach to the Grand on well-established trails, the Stryker performed well. I uncinched the laces a bit for the hike in, giving a little freedom for movement but not giving any blisters. Once we hit the boulder fields, I cinched them down and the shoes gave great protection against stubbing as well as excellent grippage with the TRAX rubber. The Strykers are also just stiff enough to give support, but also flexible enough to feel like a trail runner.
The final approach to the start of the technical climbing on the Grand via the Upper Exum was cold, windy and uncomfortable. My feet, however, were doing fine, well insulated with one pair of wool socks with liners. My feet were not too hot or cold during any part of the trip. A we roped up for the final step around into the sun, I kept the shoes on, opting for comfort rather than my normal climbing shoes. With the smooth rubber under the toe rand, edging around the exposed arete was no problem. They did so well, in fact that I kept them on all the way until the crux pitch, which we made a 5.7. They probably could have made it, but it was a pretty thin crack.
All in all, the shoe has treated me well since then, taking numerous hikes in Yellowstone after the Grand, and I noticed no wear or separation on the toe or leather. Recently on a trip to Weavers Needle, AZ (5.5), I took these shoes on the 4 mile approach and up to the summit. The shoes stood up well through cacti and scree, and with a cinched down toe, these shoes can can really peform as all you need for a low fifth class multipitch climb.