REVIEW: Approach Shoes

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 UKC Gear 15 May 2015
Submersion is not a problem for the Mammut Redburn Low GTX, 3 kbThe UKC Test Team take on eight pairs of approach shoes to find out which one will get you to the crag in comfort, style, with good grip, dry feet and no blisters.

And can you climb in them too?

Approach shoes, tested...


 MischaHY 15 May 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

I'm amazed that Guide Tennies didn't feature in this test. Personally the best climbing specific approach shoes I've ever owned.
In reply to MischaHY:

Must agree. There's a hot new version of this approach shoe and it's omitted for some reason? Little odd.
In reply to MischaHY:

I had a pair of the old ones, and their longevity was sooo low. I'd say by far the least value for money I've ever had out of an approach shoe. By comparison my Sportiva explorers I used nearly every day for two years. The laces are now utterly trashed and I need to get some new laces, however they have done some serious duty. I bought them snugish, and I say they climb aswell as the tennies, possibly even better, and in terms of support and hiking, they are simply streets ahead. I haven't tried the new tennies - maybe they are better?
 PPP 15 May 2015
In reply to MischaHY:

Usually reviews include things sent by manufacturer/distributor, so reviewers can't really decide on what to include in the review. As long as the reviews are not biased when things are compared against competitors, that's fine for me. I even disabled Adbl0ck* for UKC exclusively so they get couple extra bucks from me.

As I used to write articles for an IT company, sometimes things are a little bit more biased than in the UKC (though we did not compare different products and did not even review company's products either - more general stuff about concepts of Cloud Computing). Our intentions were different and we had an ultimate freedom what to write, but obviously, you still have to write some nice stuff.

OP: I spend more and more time in La Sportiva Crossover GTX which I really love. They have an internal gaiter which make them a little bit more mudproof and cleaning is very simple. I also paid only 30 quid for them, so can't fault them anyway. I also have Karrimor Austin ( ) since September which I use everyday. The sole is starting to wear out, but still okay shoes which don't cost the fortune.

>* - Your post wasn't submitted because of the following error(s):
>Sorry, posting links about Ad bl0ck isn't allowed. The only site exists thanks to the support of it's advertisers. Please consider whitelisting us.
That's strange...
 andrewmc 15 May 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

Snow and Rock are (were?) doing La Sportiva Xplorers for £66 (you may need to order them in).
In reply to MischaHY:

> I'm amazed that Guide Tennies didn't feature in this test. Personally the best climbing specific approach shoes I've ever owned.

Maybe five ten dont pay UKC for advertising so are conveniently left out of these "reviews"?
 1poundSOCKS 16 May 2015
In reply to snoop6060:

> Maybe five ten dont pay UKC for advertising so are conveniently left out of these "reviews"?

The Camp 4 are reviewed, and they're 5.10.
 JuneBob 16 May 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

As guide tennies come up in any discussion about approach shoes or scrambling shoes (e.g. Which shoes for cuillin traverse) they really are the benchmark for all approach shoes. Without them in this comparison I feel this review is largely useless.
 petestack 16 May 2015
In reply to JuneBob:

Thought it's pretty useful myself when a quick skim says to me 'go try Scarpa Crux' (which sound spot-on for the Cuillin if they fit)! No pressing need for comparisons to some mythical standard when there's a clear assessment of every shoe and I'd need to see them/try them on anyway...
 Raskye 16 May 2015
In reply to petestack:

I'd try Zens before the Crux... I've had 3 pairs of Zens and only one Crux while the Zens were discontinued and I found the Crux very disappointing. The sole to upper attachment on the new Zens is a bit more blocky than the old ones, but I still use them confidently on up to 5a footwork. On a plus side, the wear points at toe creases on the old Zens seems to be sorted.
The Zens are my everyday footwear so I can happily go scrambling after work etc.
In reply to JuneBob:

> Without them in this comparison I feel this review is largely useless.

They don't fit me very well and I know a few people who were very disappointed with longevity. On the other hand, I down climbed the normal route on Stetind in my 6 year old Montrail CTC and they were absolutely perfect. I reckon they are the perfect approach shoe for big mountain days and easy climbing and its silly not to include them in any review of approach shoes*. In reality, to a great extent you review what the companies want reviewed - maybe 5.10 sell plenty of Tennies without sending them out for review, while they want more people to know about the Camp 4s.

OK, they have been made for years but otherwise...
In reply to UKC Gear:

I have a pair of Scarpa Crux. Very comfortable but poor quality. The heel lining wore through in less than 6th months of light use and the metal eyelets started falling out within a few weeks. My most robust approach shoes have been pairs of Zamberlans picked up from TKMaxx.
 MischaHY 17 May 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

Longevity is an interesting one with the tennies. I've found some pairs last considerably longer than others - however, Five Ten have always been very gracious about replacing prematurely damaged pairs. Personally I've not found anything that climbs as well as them. I've climbed an 8 pitch 6b multipitch in them in the past.
 ERU 17 May 2015
Where are the 5.10 Guide Tennies??? They're better than everything in that review!
 cmr132 17 May 2015
In reply to phizz4:
I also have had a pair of Scarpa Cruxs and the heel lining is going after 10 months, I have only used them a handful of times. My old Guide Tennies lasted at least 6 years.
Post edited at 21:10
In reply to cmr132:
Scarpa Crux are fantastic shoes. I like the fit and they've been good but the heel started to come away after 5 months. So I returned them without hassle and got a shop credit note.

I tried some Scarpa Zen on today as well as some 5 10 guides. I knew the Zen's would fit and I'd like them but was more interested in the 5 10's and they felt really comfortable admittedly only around the shop and the wee climbing ramp in the shop and they were £40 cheaper than the Zen's.

Reckon I'll try the 5 10's this time and see how they fair over summer.
Post edited at 21:45
In reply to UKC Gear:

What sort of shoe review doesn't have pictures of the soles?!!
 nutme 18 May 2015

5.10 are manufactured in both USA and in China. The difference is astonishing! Unfortunately here, in EU, we get mostly chinese production and it's horrible. It's true for both climbing shoes and trainers.

I think review should cover cheaper brands as well. Those are great shoes, but at same time difference is not that huge between La Sportiva and cheap Decathlon trainers.
Post edited at 23:13

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