/ Approach shoes vs running shoes

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Stone Muppet - on 11 Oct 2012
What's the difference between approach and running shoes - besides the intended use, obviously? How does that translate to actual features, and are one type more durable than another?

I'm currently looking for new approach shoes, durable and value for money, any suggestions on what to buy and where to buy it would be appreciated.
AlanLittle - on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to Stone Muppet:

Approach shoes tend to be more stiffer & more supportive and also need to have a rather less roomy fit in the forefoot for climbing - which can however also make them somewhat less comfortable for long days / multiple days.

My mountain footwear these days is 5.10 Camp 4's if I'm expecting a lot of rock, e.g. alpine ridge scrambles, Inov-8 Flyrocs otherwise. The Inov-8s are lighter and more comfortable, but the 5.10s feel much more secure on rock.

Would only wear boots if I'm expecting snow. Totally don't understand the idea of big boots for scrambling / via ferrata, approach shoes are better in every way.
Fraser on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to AlanLittle:
> (In reply to Stone Muppet)
>
> Totally don't understand the idea of big boots for scrambling / via ferrata, approach shoes are better in every way.

I'd definitely agree with this. I hardly ever wear bots now, unless I'm expecting lots of water or snow. Current approach shoes are Scarpa ? (black goretex) which have been great but the soles haven't lasted as long as I'd expected, due to my using them as winter "commuter shoes".

I don't understand why you're asking about running shoes compared to approach shoes - it's really an 'apples and vegetables' situation!

Nick Russell on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to AlanLittle)
> [...]
> I don't understand why you're asking about running shoes compared to approach shoes - it's really an 'apples and vegetables' situation!

Funny you say this - I actually tend to use lightweight, minimalist running shoes for climbing approaches these days. That way I can clip them to my harness during the climb and forget about them until the top. Of course, this wouldn't be ideal if the approach is particularly technical or muddy, but seems mostly ok
Carolyn - on 11 Oct 2012

Fell shoes ;-)

But thoroughly agree - boots are for snow, and possibly scree. Or long searches in heavy rain, although I suspect wellies may be the best option here.....
andic - on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to Stone Muppet:

cross country type running shoes are quite good for climbing as they have thinner soles than your average nike air chav+ etc and so can be quite good for inside edge etc I have done quite a bit in my mizuno wave harriers which I got for fell running.

Can also recomend La sportiva bouldererXs but they are quite pricey compared to other approach shoes but probably better support and really sticky rubber
AlanLittle - on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to andic:
> Can also recomend La sportiva bouldererXs

La Sportiva Gandas seemed to be all the rage this summer in the Dolomites, but (a) very expensive) and (b) seem to be very much towards the "rock shoe you can walk in" end of the approach shoe design scale. Although I did see a guide walk up to the Madonna hut, do the Scarf Arete and walk back down in them again the same day, so they can't be *that* uncomfortable.
edinburgh_man on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to Nick Russell:

Yeah a pair of Walsh's PBs are great for approach and climbing with. They are SO light, and very grippy.

I find 5.10 approach shoes e.g. Guide Tennies are almost suicidal on wet / dry grass above crags / ledges.

AlanLittle - on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to rosmat:
> (In reply to Nick Russell)
>
> Yeah a pair of Walsh's PBs are great for approach and climbing with. They are SO light, and very grippy.
>
> I find 5.10 approach shoes e.g. Guide Tennies are almost suicidal on wet / dry grass above crags / ledges.

Depends a lot on what you want to do with them. My usage of "approach" shoes is mostly in drier environments than the UK and generally includes not only approaching but also doing the route in them, up to about UIAA IV or so. For UK crag approaches I agree, Walshes / Inov-8s / similar are a much better bet.
Roberttaylor - on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to Stone Muppet: 'Approach shoes' are a con.
Solaris - on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to Stone Muppet:

All the approach shoes I have owned have been too wide at the heel to accept crampons; fell running shoes are usually narrower and can. Also, as someone else has pointed out, some fell running shoes have stickier rubber and most will be far more grippy on snow and wet grass than approach shoes; they are lighter, too. Snow? Woolly socks and plastic bags.
Stone Muppet - on 11 Oct 2012
Thanks all for the replies. @RobertTaylor... approach shoes are a con... last time I checked ordinary trainers were no cheaper though so I might as well buy the outdoor version. Unless someone can tell me where to get good quality trainers on the cheap!
The New NickB - on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to Stone Muppet:
> Thanks all for the replies. @RobertTaylor... approach shoes are a con... last time I checked ordinary trainers were no cheaper though so I might as well buy the outdoor version. Unless someone can tell me where to get good quality trainers on the cheap!

Running shoes are a lots cheaper, RRP is usually 20-30 less and usually have better discounts available.

Sport shoes direct is a good place.
Nath93 - on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to Stone Muppet: good place for cheap running/outdoor shoes is Decathlon !
xoran - on 11 Oct 2012
In reply to Stone Muppet: pete blands sale?
Fraser on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to Nick Russell:
>
> Funny you say this - I actually tend to use lightweight, minimalist running shoes for climbing approaches these days. That way I can clip them to my harness during the climb and forget about them until the top. Of course, this wouldn't be ideal if the approach is particularly technical or muddy, but seems mostly ok

I can see the beneft in this - I'm often undecided about taking a pair of descent shoes on a multi-pitch route: extra weight on the way up, as opposed to incresaed comfort on the way down. I'd never thought of fell/ running shoes, but they sound like a good compromise.

AlanLittle - on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to Nick Russell:
>
> Funny you say this - I actually tend to use lightweight, minimalist running shoes for climbing approaches these days. That way I can clip them to my harness during the climb and forget about them until the top. Of course, this wouldn't be ideal if the approach is particularly technical or muddy, but seems mostly ok

I use Merrell Trail Gloves for this if I know/expect the approach & descent are straightforward and I'm more concerned about saving weight on the route.

Patzl - on 12 Oct 2012
In reply to Stone Muppet: I was looking for an approach shoe for easy climbing in while in the Ecrins this summer and can highly recomend La sportiva as i managed to climb french 6a granite in them, far better than 5 ten tennies as they have a better edge.

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