/ Approach shoe advice
Just wondering what sort of fit and features you need to look for in a approach shoe? Mainly going to be used for walking to the crag but may occasionally be called upon for easier routes
be careful with waterproofing. if your shoe is going to be used mainly in summer, dont buy a waterproof shoe cos it will be far too hot! vibram is a good sole unit for rocky walking, not so good on grass and mud, but its really hard wearing too. a toe rand or full rand will be useful if your planning on giving these shoes a beating too
Trainers will do you fine, but I really rate crocs and have climbed up to VS in them. For approaches where I know that it will be a bit boggy, like the Etive Slabs, I'll wear wellies, but find them hot in summer, so use crocs which dry out quick once you are out of the wet stuff. They smear quite well, but have poor edging, due to the suppleness of the sole they are great for little pockets and nubbins as you can put real toe strength behind them. The added advantage at the crag is that there are no socks or laces to faff with as you put them on and off in between climbs and your feet can breathe.
The best IMO is the 5.10 'guide tennie' which are a super stickie sole type shoe, walk and climb in the same shoe no problem, the laces go right down to the toe and i like to tighten mine right down when climbing. nowhere near the feel you get off proper rock shoes though. Plus they are lethal on wet grass and the flat sole don't give you much traction. There was an issue with the soles disintigrating on these shoe but 5.10 seem to have it sorted now. The 5.10 'camp four' andre another good pair, my feet roll a bit in these though but a much better sole for walking and heel support but not as good for climbing. You need to get to try various on, the guide tennies had the market cornered at one time but I understand that scarpa and la sportiva have similar offerings now and just as good if not better.
Aye, but the 5.10 guide has no cushioning in the sole, so it is bad for your knees and ankles. As the sole is made from climbing rubber it wears out super fast too.
I'm no expert but my approach shoes (La Sportiva Trango lo's) fit well as in comfy & not tight . I don't want to be leaving the crag in tight shoes after wearing fairly tight rock shoes for most of the day .
For me its a bit of a luxury getting into these after poncing around in toe squishing things for a few hours. Totally agree that vibram is good for dusty , rocky environs but crap on mud & grass etc . They are well designed with a softer stickier toe rubber (sole) for easy routes (I've done a few F5's in them with no concerns at all) . They are ideal for buildering too which is a bonus . 80)
Stay safe .
Yea fair points with the tennies but you have to take cons with the pros, you simply can't have both. If you want shoes that'll do what shoes are supposed to do then accept the fact you'll be carrying climbing shoes too.
I would argue though that a wander up Tryfan, a route or 2 and a wander back down isnt going to f*ck up your legs and ankles because you are wearing tennies... I suppose the tennies are a great shoe for those like me who are happy to be either walking, scambling or climbing, all in the one day and often all 3. The camp fours sound more suited to the OP. I can only comment on what I actually wear on my feet though and those 2 are it! <Had 5.10 accents before the camp4 and these were good, very similar to the camp4>
I've had Montrail D7's (awesome, but a bit warm,) and La Sportiva shoes, but find the comfort and durability of trainers better. Nike rubber is sticky, Asics and Brooks is deadly in the wet. A perfect approach shoe IMHO is trainers with waterproof edges to keep dew out when walking across grass. Andy K takes that further and recommends getting trainers resoled with climbing rubber, but that is too much faff for me.
For mountain stuff, for the rest I'll wear crocs.
If you're going to do any climbing in them, then look no further than 5.10s. Tennies, Insights, Camp 4s are all good. I do most of my seconding in them and lead up to VS/HVS on grit as long as there's not too much edging.
Have owned other brands that last longer, are waterproof yadda yadda, but nothing beats 5.10s for climbing in.
My mate has a pair of Sportiva Ganda's and says they are the dogs..
Pretty expensive, but i guess as the adage goes. You get what you pay for.
I've been wearing a pair of La Sportiva Boulder Xs for the past 6 months or so and I honestly can't fault them. Great fit, very comfortable, good tread on the sole to give enough grip on mud and loose rock but very sticky and will be fine for scrambling or low-grade climbing. Not as nimble as a proper rock shoe, though, of course.
However, I've been wearing them pretty much every single day as a day-to-day shoe and the sole is wearing down quickly. I expected this, and I can get them resoled, but it's still a bit of a pain.
I just picked up some 5.10 Guide Tennies to replace my Boulder Xs for day-to-day wear. They're a little lighter, feel less rugged and the tread isn't as good on all terrain, but they look a little more presentable (should be able to get into bars with them on, hopefully!) and they're cheaper. They also look like they'd be easier (and probably cheaper) to resole. I'm going to save my Boulder Xs for proper approach use and knacker these every day instead now. Most normal people would go for a regular trainer or something for regular use but I'd like a shoe that lets me pop down to the bouldering gym on a whim any time and not have to lug my climbing shoes around every day.
They are comfortable but the insole needs replacing - the stock one in the Boulder Xs is good but the one in the Guide Tennies seems pretty poor.
In short, I think the Boulder Xs are probably better shoes. They maybe take a little longer to break in but they're very comfy once they've moulded to your feet. They're good out of the box. They're a little more expensive than the Guide Tennies but climb excellently while also offering good all-terrain traction. Highly recommended.
On the other hand if you want a cheaper shoe to beat up regularly and wear around town, with occasional climbing, maybe get the Guide Tennies. I guess time will tell here.
> Pretty expensive, but i guess as the adage goes. You get what you pay for.
The Gandas are on offer for £120 at Ultimate Outdoors at the moment. They weren't in the shop in Lancaster today but they're on the site. Down from £150-off so probably a good deal if you want to lay out that much for an approach shoe - they're pretty much universally acclaimed as being awesome.
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