It's light and cool for summer, but though the Fuel is Black Diamond's most capable approach shoe, it's not a great choice for scrambles or mountain crags in the slippery UK hills, says Dan Bailey. Best saved for less demanding days, or hot rock trips (remember those?).
So, like a slightly worse version of the Guide Tennie...
Why does it seem impossible for someone to make an approach / scrambling shoe with shallow/sticky front half and a deep/grippy back half?
It's not as though we want to heel-hook in them
La Sportiva TX Guide.....
(If they fit obvs)
> Why does it seem impossible for someone to make an approach / scrambling shoe with shallow/sticky front half and a deep/grippy back half?
See the recent review of the AKU, it would appear to have the ideal sole for UK conditions.
And it's bloody ugly.
I was just thinking that, looks like something left on the Decathalon cutting room floor.
I’ve got the Mission LTs and love them; first time out were first ascents (for me, obviously) of Elbow and Matterhorn ridges in Winnats followed by a 20 mile walk and whilst it was extremely muddy under foot, they were faultless. I’ve been really impressed by the sole, especially on grass − a heel breast being a must after some nightmares in Guide Tennies! They made the sketchy approach to Needle’s Eye Arete *almost* stress free 🙂
They’re incredible for scrambling in Snowdonia but could do with a firmer rock plate and can be fatiguing if making a long traverse of the side of a hill as the upper offers no support. Wore them to climb Idwal Staircase and can report that they also dry out really quickly!
P.S. I’ve got wide, high volume feet and they fit. Just about. All La Sportiva TXs are too narrow and low volume for me, so I was thrilled to find that the LTs fit. They get a big foot recommendation 😉
− a heel breast being a must after some nightmares in Guide Tennies!
For such a popular approach shoe Guide Tennies are bloody lethal! Particularly once they've worn smooth.
Basically, don't wear them on wet grass unless you're a particularly good ice skater 😀
> So, like a slightly worse version of the Guide Tennie...
Except that you can apparently burn them in an emergency, which is useful feature. Do Black Diamond do a compatible stove?
+10 points for getting the word "flaccid" into a shoe review. Chapeau, Dan!
£140. And its fine for getting to a roadside crag. And its not bad on dry ground.
It’s a lot of money to look like a climber - you could have 3 Moon hoodies, or a fair selection of Alpkit stuff for that price.
Think I’ll stick with German para boots (bit of ankle protection on a motorbike, waterproof, grippy on wet rock, £40 ….an good weight training). Or Magnums (£50-60) for summer use.
EDIT: I do own a pair of Haglofs approach shoes for indoor or car/cycle-enabled climbing. £25 off Gumtree about 3 years back. Does make me look like a climber tho!