/ How Long Should a pair of Approach Shoes last?
I've just started to go through the soles on my Meindle approach boots (brown suede type ankle boots , can't remember the name of them). Both pairs have suffered stitching coming undone, and bits of the polymer (not sure whether they're Vibram or Polyurethane material) falling to bits, coming away from the heels etc. This is my second pair in 4 years. Before I ask the question "is this reasonable" I'll give some details of what they normally go through;
I don't use them on the hills even in summer but I do use them for normal walking around towns / cities, country parks, valley walks etc. and also on approach to climbing crags both in the UK and abroad (e.g. Kalymnos, Spain etc.)
I also have a pair of Scarpa Mantra's which I've had for 5-6 years and have been used extensively hill walking in the UK and winter climbing in Scotland up to Grade IV and these appear pretty much bomb proof.
So, at how long should a pair of approach shoes last and what type of terrain should they be able to cope with? Anyone else suffered form this and do you think 2 pairs in 4 years is reasonable? (incidentally I bought both pairs together - trainers and ankle boots - and have worn them at an equal rate).
I get through about 4 pairs a year. I do live/work in mine so I am happy with 3 months ish per pair.
I wore a pair of Aku shoes out in 12 months. I wore them all summer walking into routes, around town, parks, woodland walks etc.
I pretty much ruined them in one outing a few months after buying them. After a day on The Napes we decided to run all the way down the screes to Wasdale. I was disappointed to find that I had worn a lot of the stitching through on the toe and the heel. They slowly fell apart after this.
This was probably abuse outside of the design brief for that particular shoe and I am now much happier with my new Scarpa Crux.
I'd be happy with a couple of years use from a soft everyday shoe. Any longer and they will be out of fashion after all! !-)
I use the cheapest possible fabric boot from sports direct or similar rather than trainers though, keep out the wet out a bit better. The build quality of modern boots, with maybe the exception of Scarpa Mantas, is appaling.
I bought some Hi Gear approach shoes from Go Outdoors back in the summer for £19:95 - mainly cos I didn't want to trash my 5.10ies on Kalymnos as the rock is so sharp. I assumed they would fall apart quickly, but they have been great.
I'll be looking to get another pair to stash away when I am next there.
For a pair of shoes that I wear all the time, I would only realistically expect them to last a year or 18 months in good condition. However, I would wear them in a trashed condition for much longer than that.
I have used approach shoes for all sorts of things, from approaches to crags in all weathers to walking in the alps and the British hills in summer (although generally not scotland as I prefer higher boots to give me more chance of keeping my feet dry).
I would always expect fabric shoes and boots to wear out much faster than a pair of leather boots.
I guess then that general quality of "named" approach shoes aside mine haven't been too bad it's just that at a minimum of £90 I would have though the manufacturers would have tried to make them last a bit longer.
I will get my next pair from Go Outdoors or a Quecha / Decathlon shop the next time I'm abroad.
From any of the 'big name' brands, mine always 'fail' by wearing down the heel to the point of not giving enough support. About a year to 18 months, worn all the time (except ironically for crag approaches since I'd rather wear boots)
Decathlon are in the UK now too - and they do mail order, if you know what you want/what size you are.
Where are the well documented cases of burma pros being sh*t. Every third pair we sell are repeat customers coming back after 8-10 years for another pair. i can't remember the name of the ones the OP has but I know the ones he means and they wear very well, from what i've heard. Better than Meindle's newer lightweight approach shoes anyway.
La sportiva approach shoes
Used for a year and a half around all of New Zealand, Australia, Tasmania, Pakistan on multi day treks, approach walks to climbs/ base camp
Need new ones now
My 5.10 quarter domes are falling apart now but I've had them more than 4 years. Not the only approach shoe I've used in that time but certainly used them loads.
I generally get about 18 months out of mine and use them every day. The most persistent problem is the sole unit coming adrift (merrels & salomon) - which I guess could be fixed with some glue.
The best pair I ever had were Keens - lasted about 2 years but most importantly they stayed waterproof throughout (I always get gtx shoes) which is more than I can say for the others.
I wore some TNF Hedgehogs out within 6 months (sole wore through, material started breaking up on the tops, and had gone through 3 sets of laces) and complained, but they wouldn't listen because I had done more than 250 miles in them!!
I couldn't believe it - 250 miles is nothing when you are doing 5-10 miles per day walking for my job! £80 wasted in my opinion - went for £35 ones after that, and now work supply shoes so i'm sorted!
Decathlon in the UK? that's good, I'm hoping they're selling those cool rope / crag bags that have a rack for your quickdraws which UK / USA manufacturers seem to want 4 times the price for (I paid 14.50 Euros for mine in September form one of the Barcelona Decathlon stores)!
I think the big issue for me Ben ( and maybe some of the other posters here) is that the heels and rubber / polymer bits of the soles are just falling apart as if a dog has chewed them (no, before you ask, my dog only pisses on the carpet and eats my 1-kilo pan of Bolognese!).
Burma Pros were going to be my next choice when my Scarpa Mantra's died. The ones I was referring look maybe (after checking out Meindle's website) the Nebraska ones, they have suede type outers.
My pair of 5/10 Camp Fours are almost indestructible, I wear them at least one day a week for walking around town, as well as very frequent walks to crags, bouldering, etc, and I've had them for over 4 years.
The stitching around the back of the shoes is starting to go and obviously the tread is wearing out, but they're still perfectly useable. I am reluctantly going to invest in a new pair in the near future and I'm hoping the quality hasn't changed...
My Camp Fours have only just been retired after four years of abuse, and only because the sole has worn through. The running shoes I now wear as replacements are dangerous in comparison as I have had a few slips as I am so used to the super-sticky grip of the Camp Fours. Will definitely buy another pair once I can afford them again!
I wear mine every day for walking cycling etc and the odd via ferratta/ easy trail and usually a pair last 12-18 months before the sole is dead/split/ worm through.
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