Approaching a crag to climb is a very exciting endeavor if you have the best equipment for all the challenges the trail has to offer. However, trekking to climbing in unsupportive approach shoes will only lessen your enthusiasm for climbing, injure yourself and you may end up ruining your hike. If you have an interest in climbing, then getting the right shoes is essential for you to enjoy your hobby safely.
Choosing the right equipment not only involves purchasing suitable pieces of equipment but also buying suitable approach shoes and clothing. The shoes you put on while hiking will have a great impact on your safety and comfort while hiking. Therefore, it is prudent to find shoes that are appropriate for the activity that can withstand tear and wear, fits you well and are comfortable.
One option in terms of footwear is climbing approach shoes. They are available in options for both men and women. Finding the best approach shoes is the first step to enjoying your climbing ventures especially when the climb includes hiking any length of unpaved trail. Approach shoes give a unique combination of climbing slippers, hiking shoes, and even mountaineering boots.
- 1 Factors to consider when selecting the best approach shoes
- 2 The 10 best approach shoes 2019
- 2.1 1. Vasque Men’s Juxt Multi-Sport Shoe
- 2.2 2. Scarpa Men’s Crux Approach Hiking Shoe
- 2.3 3. La Sportiva TX2 Women’s Approach Shoe
- 2.4 4. Salewa Men’s Wildfire
- 2.5 5. La Sportiva TX4 Approach Shoe
- 2.6 6. Vasque Women’s Grand Traverse Hiking Shoe
- 2.7 7. Garmont Men’s Dragontail MNT GTX Approach Shoes
- 2.8 9. Arc’teryx Men’s Konseal FL
- 2.9 9. Skechers Men’s Go Golf Elite 3 Approach Shoe
- 2.10 10. So iLL Approach Shoe
- 3 Frequently asked questions best approach shoes?
- 4 Conclusion
Factors to consider when selecting the best approach shoes
There are no approach shoes that can do it all, you can only go for what is essential to your lifestyle. With all the available varieties, it can be tiresome to find a pair that will suit you best, especially if it’s your first time. To ensure you get the best approach shoes that cater to your specific needs, here are the key factors to consider when making your selection.
1. Water Proof Capabilities
The first and the most important factor you should consider when selecting an approach shoes is whether or not the shoes are waterproof. If you get the wrong pair of shoes, it will get wet. For example, if the shoes have mesh upper materials then water will definitely flow in. Always go for shoes that are specifically designed for wet climatic conditions to keep your feet dry and out of water. However, you should know that waterproof shoes are less breathable and heavier.
2. Sole type
Better still, you must ensure the approach shoes you choose to have the appropriate sole. There are different types of approach shoes designed for different hikes. Like for instance the shoes meant for a climbing zone should be a smooth patch of rubber that covers the toe, shoes meant for heel brake should have flat heels that help in downhill braking and is crucial for steep descents.
Ensure you buy shoes that are made of grippy Vibram sole that is designed to achieve the maximum stickiness possible of the outsole to the rock hence you can freely and comfortably move. The grip is significant whether you are climbing or hiking. Wrong shoes can hinder your movement and cause undue harm.
3. Level of Protection
Another factor to consider before buying approach shoes is if it has a sticky rubber toe rand, which helps to guard the toe against getting hurt. You should ensure you find shoes with a very snug fit, more so if you are planning to do a ton of climbing. Shoes that the feet can be slid around easily are prone to causing injury. Find shoes that are not too loose to harm your feet and do not restrict your feet.
4. Climbing ability
The ability to approach shoes to climb well especially on technical rocks is also another important factor that you should consider before buying the shoes. Approach shoes that are best preferred for climbing should have thin lugs, should be grippy enough to scramble, should have a more narrowed toe box, should be very light and should have good edging. Without these qualities, it will be too difficult to find a secure foothold on the face of the rock.
5. Hiking ability
If you are a hiker, you should ensure you buy shoes that are flexible, stable, can support you when walking, can protect you from bumping into rocks and are comfortable enough to walk you for a long period of time. Stiffer shoes would cause a lot of discomfort when hiking especially if the hiker is carrying a heavier pack than the average on their shoulders. Weather-resistant shoes are also preferred to keep water and snow out.
6. Material of construction
The materials the approach shoes are made of are very key when selecting your ideal approach shoes because of a number of reasons. Foremost among the reasons is the durability, the overall performance of the shoes, ruggedness and lastly practicability. When you start hiking, you’ll need to consider the kind of approaches you’ll be doing most of the time to help you determine the material of the approach shoes you’ll need to buy.
For instance, do you prefer hiking in rugged terrain or scrambling across a boulder field? Or do you live in a dry climate, warm climate or somewhere that gets a lot of rain? Well then these are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before choosing the best material of the approach shoes that will suit your needs
While almost all the manufactures will highly advertise their shoes with each of these aspects, it is always prudent to read the user reviews from time to time before and even a few months after purchasing the approach shoes to see which ones have passed the test of time and which ones have not.
7. Overall fit
Another important factor to consider that is so obvious is the overall fit of the shoes you want to purchase. The fit of the shoes determines everything about the shoes, for example, the way the shoes fit you will determine how they perform, the level of comfort it provides and how long it will last.
It is essential to note that shoes are always known to run small or large if they are uncomfortable or if the toe box is tight or roomy. The good news is that most of the approach shoes are known to fit well enough making them last for a very long time and give support and comfort that is required.
8. Level of Durability
The second last factor that you should consider before buying approach shoes is their ability to last for a long period of time. Durable approach shoes can withstand lots of abuse though they are heavier and less breathable. If you want durable shoes then you should look for shoes that are made of leather or synthetic uppers to help fill the niche. The only disadvantage of leather is that it’s not breathable.
9. Weight of the shoes
Last but not least, it makes sense that weight is an important factor when buying approach shoes. Fairly heavy shoes, for instance, have added foot support and have aggressive tread patterns. Lightweight shoes, on the other hand, have good foot support, toe rand, cushioning and decent tread. Lightweight shoes are preferred when you want to carry less weight and are good for reducing fatigue though they have less durability and support.
If you are a hiker and you don’t anticipate wading through snows or boggy terrains, you can opt for lightweight shoes. Before choosing between lightweight and heavyweight approach shoes, you need to think twice about the weight worth to performance ratio and its utility.
When it comes to weight, there are a lot of trade-offs to consider so it narrows down to what you desire most in your approach shoes.
The 10 best approach shoes 2019
First in our review is this great brand of shoes. Just multisport shoes are high-performance shoes that can get you off the grid. These shoes have so much to offer you as the user. The lace-up closure is important for security fit. What’s more, the shoes have rubber toe caps for additional protection.
These shoes have suede upper coated in PU to help prevent abrasion resistance. If you desire approach shoes that can accommodate a higher arc while providing an extra toe room then these are the best shoes for you. However, they are not very excellent when it comes to how waterproof they are. They are also quite heavy.
The second approach shoes that you can consider buying are the Scarpa Crux approach hiking shoes. The best thing about these shoes is that they are a delightful, comfortable, lightweight and minimalist option especially if you want to do more on the way of scrambling, smearing and rock climbing other than trekking with heavy loads or long-distance hiking.
Moreover, these approach shoes are 100 percent leather and textile, therefore, durable, have to lace toe for a precise fit, rubber sole, and rubber toe rand to help protect your feet on the trail regardless of the conditions. For long-lasting grip, they have a Vibram vertical approach sole with sticky rubber and forefoot that helps in climbing precision.
Another approach shoe that will help your hiking experience rememberable is the TX2 women approach shoes. It is lightweight and stows easily. The enhanced support and sticky rubber ensure you are footed when climbing. The one-piece knit uppers optimize drainage and breathability.
The combo code loops around its heel platform allow easy pairing and storage in a pack or harness. These shoes are also quite lightweight and are therefore ideal for most people. The fact that they are also quite easy to pack is something that most people love so much. However, they are not quite durable and are also not excellent when it comes to being waterproof.
Salewa Men’s wildfire approach shoes are also perfectly designed to keep up with your next adventure. The Shell technology of this type of shoes creates a cage around your foot hence improved torsional stability and stability because of the 3D cage. These shoes provide a comfortable fit and a breathable mesh upper that is lightweight. The breathability and comfortability of these shoes are also enhanced by the footbed
The beauty of these approach shoes is that their outsole is made of rubber with lugs which enhances the grip and traction when hiking in wet and variable conditions. You can also easily dial in the fit for more technical terrain since the shoes feature climbing laces. The sole is made of MTN which is durable and also improves your grip and traction in different conditions.
La sportive TX4 approach shoes are made of durable leather together with Gore-Tex waterproof lining which guarantees maximum breathability hence can also be ideal for your hiking and climbing activities.
The approach shoes are made of the STB control system which increases their stability thereby enveloping the foot in a comfortable precision fit. It has a Vibram grip sole with an impact brake system. They are also quite lightweight like other best approach shoes and are also waterproof too. The soles of these shoes, however, are not made of rubber and are therefore not quite durable.
Here are other great shoes from Vasque. You can also consider buying the Vasque women’s grand traverse hiking shoes designed for speed over a variety of terrains. It has the comfort of an athletic shoe and its performance is as that of an approach boot.
Its sole is made of a Vibram compounded together with idrogrip and mega drop, has a TPU heel and a webbing heel lock. The shoes are also 100 percent synthetic. What’s more, these shoes will provide you with the kind of comfort you may be looking for so much when it comes to enjoying your outdoor moments. However, their waterproofing capabilities are questionable.
Another approach shoe brand that is worth your money is the Garmont men’s dragon tail approach shoes. They are very stable and have snug fittings. These shoes provide a very good technical last especially for climbers and hikers. The PU insert enhances the heel cushioning and shoe stability.
In addition, the Vibram Moton outsole is important for better performances in hiking and climbing. The best feature of these shoes is that they allow for a personalized fit. You can wear the shoes during most door activities such as the alpine guide training days, bouldering, approach, long-distance backpacking, and high alpine traverses since they have an excellent performance.
It has a Gore-Tex technology that provides comfort all throughout. The shoes are made of metallic eyelets and tape webbing closure, moreover, they are stiff and stable.
The Arc’teryx Men’s Konseal shoes step things up a notch in the quest for ideal approach shoes, especially for fast and light approaches. The gusseted tongue helps minimize debris collection. Besides, the integral lacing system is important for the creation of preferred and comfortable fit. The raised perimeter sidewalls are for additional protection.
The approach shoes are highly durable and have midsole delivers, reliable stability and can also absorb impacting shock. It has a square edge on its heels that improves agility and braking, especially on descents. Moreover, the TPU midfoot chassis helps in protecting the foot and the 4mm thick footbed ensures breathability, extended comfort, and arc support.
The second last approach shoes that you can consider purchasing is the Skechers Go Golf elite 3 approach shoes. These waterproof shoes are very light and have a durable grip bottom plate. They have a comfortable traction outsole and impulse sensors for multi-directional traction control.
The golf elite 3 shoes will keep you comfortable and stable. In addition, they offer cushioning and performance so that you can entirely focus on your game. They are made of pure leather and are therefore known to be quite durable. What’s more, these shoes are very stable and comfortable to wear and that is something that most people like about them.
Last but not least, So iLL Approach shoes will also give you a great experience during your hiking or climbing sessions. The shoes are unisex; males can wear the normal street size while the ladies will go for one and a half sizes down. It has a sleek and unique style that perfectly transitions from the back and crack of the streets.
The approach shoes have sticky dark matter rubber cup sole for durability while maintaining flexibility. These shoes are also known to be quite durable and also happen to be quite lightweight. However, the same cannot be said about their waterproof capabilities.
Frequently asked questions best approach shoes?
1. What is the difference between approach shoes and hiking shoes?
Hiking shoes and approach shoes have a lot of similarities, for instance, they are both used for climbing. However, approach shoes are low cut and sturdy, unlike the hiking shoes. One of the major differences between the two shoes is that approach shoes are better options for climbing especially if you are hiking between climbs or you are covering different terrains.
For instance, hikers hiking between climbs are purportedly encouraged to wear approach shoes instead of wearing hiking shoes because approach shoes are low cut, therefore, helps in strengthening the ankles, feet, and legs hence minimal chances of injury while hiking of climbing. Besides, approach shoes are preferred to hiking shoes since they are lightweight, offer the best comfort and are more often than not breathable.
2. How often should I replace my approach shoes?
There are various factors to put into consideration even before you think of replacing your approach shoes. For instance, how often you plan to use the shoes. Just like any other shoes, the more you are using the approach shoes the faster they will wear out. Always ensure you look at them regularly to notice even the slightest sign of a tear or wear, signs of deterioration, fraying that mostly occur around the seams and even tread loss.
You should also feel the overall fit of the approach shoes before you even think of replacing it. Remember approach shoes always need to maintain a snug and comfortable fit. The size of your feet and that of the shoes changes shape and size over time. You can change your approach shoes when the pair no longer fits you well or is too stretched.
3. What are the best uses of approach shoes?
Approach shoes are highbred shoes that combine the best features of both hiking boots and climbing shoes. The soles of approach shoes are made in such a way that they have good grips on almost all the rocky surfaces. Hence, they are the best choice of footwear for crags approaches since they can cover a wide range of terrains and in almost all weather conditions.
Approach shoes are also suitable for different terrains, for example when you want to travel to snowy slopes or even to larger ice sheets, to get the climb approach shoes will give you stiff stability that you require without having to increase your flexibility.
Moreover, approach shoes are also ideal when you need to travel to fields filled with boulders and rocks with various sizes since they will give you good ankle support while maintaining motion support.
There is indeed a great variety of approach shoes on the market that are meant for women, men and those that can be worn by both the genders. Each approach shoe type has its own unique features, advantages, and disadvantages. Also, there are approach shoes that match different individual preferences, which entail different styles and budgets. The brands of the approach shoes also vary from one individual to the next.
The best approach shoes are, therefore, different for everyone. As for us, we would like to recommend the La Sportiva TX4 Approach Shoe for the male because it is waterproof, durable, has a lining with guarantee maximum breathability, made of STB control system which increases its stability, Vibram grip sole with an impact brake system, lightweight and it is made of leather.
Ten pairs of remarkably the best approach shoes to choose from, unfortunately, there is only one pair of feet, what a dilemma! I hope this review will help you make a decision on which approach shoes will fit you by helping you narrow down from the millions of the available approach shoes available in the market. We are certain that whatever approach shoes you choose, you’ll happily stomp the trails and scramble to the peaks as you’ve never done before!