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What are the best Approach shoe?

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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby Daria » Mon May 23, 2011 6:55 pm

I have used running shoes for all of the following:

1. Sierra during vast stretches of harsh boulder fields, scree, and sharp rock, including free solo 4th class and low 5th class routes

2. Death Valley where there are super sketchy slopes, very sharp rock, general instability, and smooth, slick canyon rappels/downclimbs.

3. peaks and canyons in utah, like bridge mountain where you need that traction the most

4. thrashed through Inyo canyons where you are confronted with miles and miles of jungle-dense vegetation.

I speak from experience alone, and my asics running shoes have been tried and tested and they hold up surprisingly well and get objectives done when needed.

It may come not as a surprise to people, but all those fancy approach shoes special materials and advanced technology is a marketing ploy to get your $$$$$. It is not about what shoe you wear, its all about your technique and skill. You can get regular good quality running shoes to do what you want them to do if you know what you're doing.
Last edited by Daria on Mon May 23, 2011 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby Kai » Mon May 23, 2011 7:29 pm

Some of my experiences with various approach shoes on my blog here:

http://www.larsonweb.com/boots/id1.html
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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby MoapaPk » Tue May 24, 2011 12:42 am

Daria wrote:It may come not as a surprise to people, but all those fancy approach shoes special materials and advanced technology is a marketing ploy to get your $$$$$. It is not about what shoe you wear, its all about your technique and skill. You can get regular good quality running shoes to do what you want them to do if you know what you're doing.


Decent running shoes cost about as much as approach shoes; I got my last approach shoes for $25/pair. I prefer sticky rubber on sandstone, quartzite, and the really smooth rock in some limestone dryfalls. But when the rock is coated with sugar or algae, sticky rubber doesn't make a whole lot of difference; plus it loses a lot of grip when really cold.

Didn't I see you wearing 5.10 Canyoneers for wet canyons?

Some approach shoes are stiff enough for crampons; I've got a pair of mad rock ($75) that are stiff enough for front-pointing. They are great in limited circumstances, when you want to crampon to a cliff, climb the cliff, then crampon to the summit.

Most approach shoes are too hot for me. My favorite shoes were light mesh trail runners with sticky rubber soles; they aren't made any more (I got 2 pairs on sale for $50/pair). I wore both pairs to tatters. I have some new balance (made in the USA!) trail runners that are grippy, but they suck on edging; the flexible toes just bend. Plus, there is no stiff rand around the toe for jamming onto cracks, and the toe is really soft, so if you kick a stone, it really, really hurts.

A chacun son gout. Shop around. I've never paid more than $110/pair, and that was just to get wide Vasque toe boxes.
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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby SKI » Tue May 24, 2011 3:27 am

+1 for Moapa's post. Shoes do make a difference. If you do enough running you will understand quickly.

For what it's worth, I own a pair of Exum Guides (5.10) and I love them. Glaciers in the Tetons, sandstone at Red Rock, greasy granite in Yosemite, volcanic tuff at Smith- they do it all and are still in one piece.
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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby Nitrox » Thu May 26, 2011 2:27 am

I bought a pair of the Scarpa Dharma shoes. They have the same construction as the Zen only are a mid height and the front half has sticky dots. They fit identically to the Zen.

A couple of things that separate these shoes from a standard lightweight hiker or running shoe; Sticky dot half sole that can be resoled for as little as $30, more support than a low top approach or running shoe, more rigid than a running shoe and will not collapse laterally when using aiders.

I can see why someone would want a running shoe for cragging, it makes sense. However, if you need more support in the ankles and soles and need something sticky then the Dharma might be worth the extra expense. I also like that I can resole the shoe since that is usually where my shoes wear out first.
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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby CClaude » Thu May 26, 2011 3:04 am

The best shoe will be the one that fits you the best. For me I have really narrow feet and LaSportiva rule for me. The LS Boulder's rock if you are looking for sticky rubber shoes. If technical slabs aren't in your horizon, then any shoe that fits will do the trick. Since you are looking at technical slabs , and standing in aiders I'd go with the Boulder's.

And no offense to LaSportiva since they are by far my favorite shoes right now for just about everything, but what is up with a $215 pair of approach shoes (or rock climbing shoes that are $170, which I joke with my local shop if I take a pair of scissors and knock the last 2" of the TC Pro's would they knock $40 off the price. They may be a good shoe but for up to 5.13 cracks the Lady Muira's work fine for me, and thats for technical rock, god, there is no way I'd spend that on approach shoes.......)

Daria, just go into a shop that has a good selection and try on every shoe in both womens and mens and see what fits you the best. Hell, I wear womens rock shoes because of fit. If guys shoes work for you, so be it. Not knowing if you have a low volume or high volume foot makes it hard for anyone to make a suggestion.
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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby The Chief » Thu May 26, 2011 3:29 am

CClaude wrote:The best shoe will be the one that fits you the best.

Exactly.


For me...
Image

I do just about do everything in these. Including my guiding trips up Whitney, Russel, SW side of the Pals etc. I am on my third pair in six years. The first two generations were known as Big Wallers and then the Mtn Masters.
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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby Daria » Thu May 26, 2011 5:02 am

theres a little problem with me trying to purchase the 5.10's .................................................


They only go up to size 10 in women's and I need a size 11


wtf kind of company is that???


Also, I really don't get the whole concept of resoling a shoe--isn't the rest of the shoe kind of worn out by the time you head out to resole them?
I wonder if a male pair would fit me....
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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby The Chief » Thu May 26, 2011 5:15 am

Not according to the Five Ten web site..

Camp Four W's 5-11
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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby Nitrox » Thu May 26, 2011 5:54 am

Daria wrote:theres a little problem with me trying to purchase the 5.10's .................................................


They only go up to size 10 in women's and I need a size 11


wtf kind of company is that???


Also, I really don't get the whole concept of resoling a shoe--isn't the rest of the shoe kind of worn out by the time you head out to resole them?
I wonder if a male pair would fit me....


The Asolo hikers I just retired had worn out soles, the rest of the boot was perfectly fine. Aside from factory defects, I can't recall a shoe I've worn out on top.

Here's Ramuta's pricing, check out the approach 5.10 dot rubber for approach shoes. http://ramutasresoles.com/pricing.htm
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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby Daria » Thu May 26, 2011 6:28 am

I was more interested in these:

http://fiveten.com/products/footwear-de ... nie-womens

not quite sure why they stopped at 10
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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby The Chief » Thu May 26, 2011 7:04 am

The Guide Tennie suck in my opinion. The DOT rubber sole has absolutely no serations which is completely worthless on any dirt or decomposed granite trail while carrying any kind of load. Descending a typical steep very loose Sierra gully/couloir with them is downright dangerous. I have found they have Zero traction on any loose trail.

They are strictly designed for approaches to the crag with light to no loads or actually climbing.
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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby talusfinder » Thu May 26, 2011 10:25 pm

The Chief wrote:The Guide Tennie suck in my opinion. The DOT rubber sole has absolutely no serations which is completely worthless on any dirt or decomposed granite trail while carrying any kind of load. Descending a typical steep very loose Sierra gully/couloir with them is downright dangerous. I have found they have Zero traction on any loose trail.

They are strictly designed for approaches to the crag with light to no loads or actually climbing.


+1 . I hated those shoes. Almost killed myself a few times descending loose dirt and ballbearing covered rock. Even worse on leftover snow/ice patches.

I like the camp 4 for approaches and scrambling on rock, good trail runners for most everything else. Boots for when it's burly. Of course, I have so many pairs of shoes my wife is starting to call me "Imelda"....

I do think the rubber on some of the approach shoes make them well worth it over trail runners for scrambling and easy technical climbing on rock.

EDIT: Just wanted to post a disclaimer that the Camp 4's do not edge very well as they have a pretty rounded toebox (vertically and horizontally).
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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby Stegosaurus » Thu May 26, 2011 11:05 pm

Just to throw another 10 cents in there since the original poster mentioned they like Sportivas... I own a pair of Boulder-X's and love them. They make me feel like superman. Fit is great for a medium-width shoe that you expect to climb but also run in. Granted they aren't as light as a set of trail-runners or road-flats, you really can't approach any wilderness climb safely and comfortably across talus and scree wearing a set of super-light running shoes - there's simply not enough reinforcement in the sole and rand. Edging... check. Running, although I've only tested it out on multiple 3-5 mile stints between climbing on long enchainment days... check. Climbing up to 5.7... check.

The rubber's grip is excellent for all the rock I've put it on so far, but that very fact may have implications for the long-term durability of the sole. Personally, I have no problem trading long-term durability for outright grip and feel when climbing. If you are more concerned with durability and long-trail runability, I have heard great things about the Exum Guides and they apparently climb pretty well. While the Ganda Guide looks great, I fear it probably has the tenacious gripping rubber of the Boulder-X's (and hence quicker wearing). My dream approach shoe would have a mid-top for ankle support on descents, lace to the toe, have the sole of the Boulder-X's and weigh half as much... and yes, I realize I'm just dreaming.
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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby bearbreeder » Fri May 27, 2011 2:24 am

ive stopped using the guide tennies except on bone dry days

if theres any hint of mud or wet moss ... there aint much traction

i generally use my inov 330 terrocs now ... the rubber is extremely grippy ... i havent followed more than a 5.9 or led more than a 5.7 in them yet though ...
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