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.
That's a rediculous statement. You can climb 5.10 in double plastics if you know what you're doing, but that doesn't make it sane.
Approach shoes fill a niche, which many climbers appreciate. But there seems to be this idea that just because you're approaching a climb, you need an approach shoe. That's luridcrous. In many cases the approach is one-dimensional, and you probably already own suitable footwear.
If you're walking along the carriage trail at the Gunks, Old Navy flip-flops are probably the best way to go.
If you're hiking 20 miles of trails, trail runners or light hikers would be the tickets.
If you're covering miles of snowfields and talus slopes, maybe you should bring your mountaineering boots, eh? The Trango S climbs pretty hard as an approach shoe.
For most cragging I do, there's a moderate walk-off, and I climb with shoes for the descent. I bring the lightest shoes I own, right now NB Minimus trail runners - they don't down-climb like Guide Tennies, but they are half the weight hanging on my harness on the way up. Some places (Gunks) I just down-climb barefoot. Even lighter.
Where approach shoes come in is when the approach (and/or descent) is some of everything, but largely 3rd and 4th class rock. If there's no 4th or easy 5th, then approach shoes make little sense, since for the most part they are just light hikers with sticky rubber.
Also, Guide Tennies and the Ganda are on the extreme climbing performance end of the spectrum. You can easily climb mid-5th class in them, so they work best for things like aid climbing where you want to come out of the aiders and pull some free moves, approaches with lots of 4th class or easy 5th class, or entire mountaineering days where the whole climb is easy enough that you can ditch the rock shoes altogether.
The Camp 4 and similar shoes offer real tread, so you can do serious hiking in them. Why anyone would look at the Guide Tennie's sole and think "boy, let's take this on a snowfield!", I have no idea. If you need sticky rubber AND a comfy hiker that can handle mud and snow and such, they probably need to look like a hiking sole.