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What are the best Approach shoe?

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What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby wamorris » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:49 pm

Alright so I finally need some new approach shoes and have no idea what to buy? I do everything from 20 mile backcountry approaches, bouldering, to big wall aide. So Im looking for a pretty versatile shoe. I've found that sportiva's fit me the best, but am open to any suggestions! Thanks
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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby MoapaPk » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:59 pm

wamorris wrote:Alright so I finally need some new approach shoes and have no idea what to buy? I do everything from 20 mile backcountry approaches, bouldering, to big wall aide. So Im looking for a pretty versatile shoe. I've found that sportiva's fit me the best, but am open to any suggestions! Thanks


What concern is weight?

Do you want to be able to attach strap-on crampons (if so, what crampons do you own?)

Do you want the stickiest rubber?

Are you concerned about durability? Approach shoes with multiple types of rubber on the sole are more likely to fall apart. Those with one-piece soles tend to last longer, and can often be resoled.

Is there anything special about your feet -- e.g. low-volume, wide toes, narrow toes?

Do you need some heel/ankle support? (Most approach shoes are low-cut, but some have burly heel counters.)
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Postby wamorris » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:07 pm

I would like them to be as light as possible without sacrificing to much stability.

I dont need them to really attach to crampons, I have the pro style of the sabretooth from BD

Really want good rubber quality.


Yah I want them to be as durable as possible. I have high arches and average toes, probably on the wider side. Ankle support would be nice for the longer approaches, so yes I do want ankle support.

THanks for the help
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Postby MoapaPk » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:14 pm

Look at the 5.10 Camp Four.
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Postby Hotoven » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:52 am

These might be a bit light for you, but I own a pair and really like them.

http://www.spgear.org/reviews/6990/FC-1-1-Hiking-Shoe-.html
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Postby sneakyracer » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:17 am

Hi, I have 2.

Scarpa Zen. Awesome shoe that is on the narrow side in design (in fit is is normal width) so it can go into smaller holes in rock and has a good vibram sole that is stickier than normal and offers just enough tread depth for hiking in. If laced tight one can rock climb easy routes in them no problem. The sole is somewhat lower profile and on the stiff side (maybe due to the plsatic sheet right under the insoles), they protect well from sharp rocks but are not ideal for long days out and about. They fit true to size (if you measure a 10 get a 43.5) if you use thin to normal socks. They look very nice and are very well built, the suade is tough and although I have not used them much they look like new.

5.10 Camp Fours. This is a wider shoe in design and fit. The sole is on the wide side and is VERY grippy, it sticks like glue. Fit is normal to wide but somewhat true to size. I ordered 1/2 size up and use a thick trekking sock to fill up the width better since I use it mainly for hiking, with a thinner sock I would have ordered my measured size. This shoe has strong heel stability and control and combined with the wide sole it feels planted to the ground but its harder to get into holes in rock. It hikes very well even with heavy loads, very comfortable shoe, awesome for all day use, every day. Build quality is somewhat sketchy but so far they are holding up.
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Postby scottmitch » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:35 am

guide tennies
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Postby kayakerSS » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:08 am

I have a pair of La Sportiva Boulder X approach shoes. They are really comfortable and climb very well. Definitely worth looking into if you already know you like La Sportiva.
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Postby spiritualspatula » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:28 am

I love the Zen's too. Probably one of the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn, period, as well. No complaints on them (but I should note that Scarpa tends to fit my feet well in general whereas La Sportiva doesn't).
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Postby zachary_dc » Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:09 pm

If price isnt an issue check out the La Sportiva Ganda
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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby Daria » Sat May 21, 2011 11:23 pm

how would the shoes suggested in this thread work for women?

I am looking for the ideal approach shoes-same criteria as mentioned by wamorris.
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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby DanTheMan » Mon May 23, 2011 6:04 am

I don't really get where approach shoes are supposed to fit in between climbing shoes and trail shoes and boots. Do they out perform any of these shoes at their job? Can they replace any of these shoes? It seems to me like if I'm hiking, I want real shoes, and if I'm climbing, I want climbing shoes, and if I will do both in one trip, I will want to bring both.
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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby Daria » Mon May 23, 2011 6:57 am

Seems like the best approach shoe on the market la sportiva ganda it is a $215 rip off, but its suppose to be the best approach shoe and most durable-but not good for long approaches. supposedly last over a year. (mostly used by climber types who limit their approaches to like 5 miles max, so no wonder it lasted longer than a year)

seems like the five ten guide tennie approach shoe and the la sportiva exum pro are the best choices for approach shoes. Exum pro are best for longer approaches, but they haven't gotten the best ratings.

My personal opinion from experience/research/consulting with other climbers is that the best choice is running shoes. I have used my asics gt 2160's for years and have worn out many pairs and can't seem to find a better replacement. They are super light and super comfortable (the five tennies are two times heavier!) and feel like a second skin. They are not as durable for peak bagging. But you would be surprised how long the asics last (they outlasted a pair of Vasque approach shoes that I tried and after 2 months, the approach shoes already had holes in them.) The asics can give you nearly a year of use, and I am talking about full-on very frequent outdoor abuse.

My plan is to continue wearing the asics and throw in my rock climbing shoes in the pack for when the going turns 5th class.
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Re: What are the best Approach shoe?

Postby MoapaPk » Mon May 23, 2011 6:43 pm

Running shoes don't edge as well as most approach shoes, and the soles are less sticky on sandstone and some other rock types. (Sticky rubber soles are too sticky on some limestones.) I know people who climbed Bridge Zion in running shoes, so a lot has to do with your comfort level.

5.10 tennies are resoleable. We used to get the discontinued 5.10 models for 1/2 to 1/4 retail price.
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