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Approach / trail running shoe recommendations

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Approach / trail running shoe recommendations

Postby fruitflyman » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:26 am

Hey folks, I am looking for something in between trail running and approach shoes. Something lighter, more flexible, more running shoe-like than Guide Tennies - but still suitable for scrambling and climbing 4th/low5th class rock. Something very much like Salewa Firetail. I got a pair of said Firetails and they were great for both hiking and climbing, and super comfortable - but they fell apart on the very first day of proper climbing (granite, cracks, scree descent). The stitching on the sides of both shoes was completely blown out by the end of the day. I understand that light shoes are not going to be as durable as heavy boots, but one day??? So - can anyone recommend something similar in character, but with better durability? Thanks!
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Re: Approach / trail running shoe recommendations

Postby Matt Lemke » Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:47 am

Not sure if this will help you but I have been very suprised how well my Nike Flex Show TR shoes have held up. Here's a link:
https://www.google.com/search?q=black+nike+trail+running+shoes&oq=black+nike+trail+running+shoes&aqs=chrome..69i57.7715j0j4&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8#tbm=shop&q=00823229526164&spd=3708567267050221966

I bought them almost a year ago and although I have not used them for any actual crack climbing, I have used them dozens of times on long scrambles (Class 3-4), lots and lots of scree and talus, as well as long rough trails. I also use them around town and they actually grip decently well on snow/ice. They don't look like much but they have done very well for me and not one piece of stitching has come undone yet, and it's nearly been a year. My only complaint about them is that rocks will sometimes get stuck in the sole at the bottom, and they are not even slightly waterproof. They are only 50-60 bucks though so I think they are well worth the money. They grip very well on all kinds of rock...better than stiff hiking boots for sure. Plus, they make them up to a size 15 to fit my monster size feet!
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Re: Approach / trail running shoe recommendations

Postby Dave B » Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:05 pm

Look into the Scarpa Rapid LT. It is basically their Ion trail runner with rubber rand on the toe and strategically placed reinforced canvas and leather and with heavy duty stitching.

The sole is more trail runner style with aggressive lugs but the rubber is surprisingly sticky. I've done the east slabs downclimb (5.2) in Eldorado Canyon with them and never felt insecure. I'd call them 50% trail runner, 50% approach shoe.

I should note that I am quite partial to Scarpa since the fit as if they were made for my foot but I know the fit isn't for everyone - I have a very wide forefoot, long toes and fairly narrow heel.

So, with that said, you might also want to look into the La Sportiva Xplorers which will fit a more narrow foot well. They are a bit more approach shoe focused so maybe 60% approach shoe, 40% trail runner.
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Re: Approach / trail running shoe recommendations

Postby fruitflyman » Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:32 am

Thanks for your advice, guys! I wish I could try some of these in person...
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Re: Approach / trail running shoe recommendations

Postby ozarkmac » Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:58 pm

You might consider the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor. Great for a variety of terrain. Used them on the JMT last year with many side scrambles. Still wearing them!
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Re: Approach / trail running shoe recommendations

Postby surgent » Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:42 pm

bump
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Re: Approach / trail running shoe recommendations

Postby fruitflyman » Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:27 pm

I ended getting Salewa Wildfire, which are supposed to be based on the Firetails but don't have the stitched details that fell apart on my Firetails. Only tried them on at home so far. They feel a good deal stiffer than Firetails, don't have the same sock-like feeling. Let's see how they work in real life. Maybe they will soften with use.
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