/ Whats the best approach shoe?
Any help gratefully received.
Also got a pair of La Sportiva Ganda Guides (yes I like La Sportiva) which are quite a bit more expensive but fantastic (if they fit, quite narrow). They also have the climbing zone toe and a slightly stiffer sole for better climbing performance. I used them for the cuillin ridge, amongst other things and were brilliant for walking and climbing.
La sportiva xplorer's
Can't beat the buggers
Wellington Boots are very underrated as a pure plod in item...cheap, keep your feet dry, good grip...not Cuillin Ridge material though...
Personally with mine, they have lasted well, although the laces did snap on me (both of them) and the loops on the back have ripped out. But that said, the show bit works well. I've managed to top rope English 6b routes in them so they do the job on rock and I've also done pretty long walks, 20 miles plus on paths and rocks and I've never had a blister from them.
I suppose it just depends if you get a well made pair or not.
I climbed Tower Ridge in a pair of 5.10 Camp fours. Found them comfortable and very grippy on the rock. Also for the descent and bog hopping back to the car. They were actually my wife's which I wore as my (very) old 5.10s fell apart at the start of the route.
So you made Michele do it bare-foot???
A pair of Walshes (fell running shoes) though you need to wear the studs down a bit before they are really good.
Garmont have made great shoes, tricky to find. El cap and skye ridge in same pair!
nar she had her climbing shoes. I was surprised that her Camp 4s fitted me though
Wow loads of useful stuff in the responses. I'm off to check out which brands actually fit as I have broad feet and have to use wide fit in most shoes. Thanks to all.
- Where are you going to use these shoes?
- How much hiking and how much climbing are you realistically going to do in them?
Some shoes have more padding than others making them better for hiking distances in, but the more padding they have the worse they'll be for climbing in, don't underestimate this.
Pay close attention to the tread on many approach shoes, the majority of them aren't really ideal for UK conditions (i.e. wet grass and mud!), the ones with a purely dotted sole will have better grip on rock but they are an absolute horror on grass.
The Camp 4 is in my opinion the best all round approach shoe for use in most places in the UK, it climbs reasonably well, it's durable, comfortable to hike in and the tread is lugged deeply enough to provide stability on loose ground.
There's a pretty good round up with some pros/cons of the major players on the US site outdoorgearlab.com here:
used to have a pair of garmont shoes, excellent value, good for the approach, even on wet / muddy slopes, and good for climbing. But I couldn't find these shoes anymore, the new Garmont ( red...) isn't as good in my opinion.
bought a pair of Kayland Vertigo k approach , same kind of shoe as the sportiva Gandalf but a bit wider for the toes, so more comfortable for walking , very good for climbing ( the best I have had so far)and cheaper than the Gandalf too. the sole of the shoe however is the same as 5.10 guide, gandalf.... so not very good for muddy terrain.
My wife's Garmont shoes (think we got them in the Dolomites?) have been very good.
I always watch these "which approach shoes" posts with interest in the hope that someone will have discovered the ideal combination of performance on rock and wet grass.
It appears that very like waterproof vs breathable for shells, performance on both rock and wet grass / mud are mutually exclusive characteristics.
I think I'll stay with my guide's - they're great on rock with added bonus of providing amusement for my partners when I fall on my arse on the walk out.
I'm reviewing these http://www.evolvsports.com/shop/approach-shoes/capitan/ for UKC currently. Thought they looked like light hikers really when I got them, i.e. not really a scrambling shoe but a deep tread for grip on mud/wet grass etc. But first time at the crag in them and I was really impressed how grippy the soles were on clean rock.
I used to have some Montrail approach shoes ,which I can't remember the name of, and they were awesome. I don't think they make them anymore but if they did i'd buy a few pairs!
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