Top 15 Best Approach Shoes in 2021

Many adventurers and sports enthusiasts must already be familiar with this type of hybrid footwear called approach shoes. Top 15 Best Approach Shoes in 2019However, outdoor novices may find themselves asking these questions: what is an approach shoe and do I need it? Initially designed to approach rock climbing, approach shoes are now considered as a versatile type of shoe with several functions, including hiking, walking, and rock climbing. When fitted correctly, approach shoes can even be worn for scrambling and low-grade climbing. So if you want to have just one pair of shoes for every outdoor adventure, this is the shoe to put in your closet.

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Approach shoes have many similarities to rock climbing or hiking shoes, such as the low-cut design and overall sturdiness. But what differentiates this shoe from other outdoor shoes? The answer lies in the sole and uppers. Approach shoes can be spotted through its rubber sole. While many outdoor shoes also use rubber sole, the rubber used to make approach shoes is formulated to be softer in order to create more friction on smooth surfaces. Softer rubber also feels sticky which will help the user’s feet to stay where they are. Thus, approach shoes tend to perform better on small rock edges as well as a wide variety of terrains you may encounter during a rock climbing expedition.

The second essential difference is the uppers. Approach shoes usually use durable uppers material, such as full leather, with reinforced toe protection that is also made of sticky rubber. A durable approach shoe can take on months of heavy activities that would otherwise destroy more lightweight outdoor shoes. The leather material brings another set of advantages rarely found in rock climbing or hiking shoes, such as comfort, lightweight, and breathability.

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Features of the Best Approach Shoes

Here are some of the components you should look for when shopping for approach shoes.

Sole

The sole pattern is one of the factors that will determine the quality and performance of your shoTop 15 Best Approach Shoes in 2019es. The most obvious pattern on a sole is the lugs. Approach shoes with smaller lugs are great for rock climbing and those with larger lugs are better for hiking. Another sole pattern that you should look out for is a smooth rubber patch at the toe region. This will help you with edging and smearing when climbing on low-class rock. High-quality approach shoes may also be equipped with heel brakes where the heel portion is designed to be somewhat flat to assist with downhill braking. Last but not least, the perfect sole should have adequate arch support in order to make your adventure more comfortable and tolerable.

Uppers

Various material can be used to create approach shoes’ uppers. This includes materials like canvas, mesh, and synthetics, but the most popular of all is leather. There are three main types of leather used for uppers: synthetic leather, lined leather, and unlined leather. Each has its own unique characteristics, and choosing the best one will depend on your personal preference.

Synthetic leather is durable, doesn’t stretch, but is the least breathable out of the three. The most breathable material is unlined leather and so, it will cause the least foot odor. It is also the material that stretches the most and will conform to the shape of the user’s foot. However, the dyeing process used to color unlined leather will most likely stain your feet for the first few days. Meanwhile, lined leather is perhaps the most comfortable type of leather to wear. It is moderately breathable and can stretch a little bit.

Design Attributes

Though the sole and the uppers are two most important factors you should look at when choosinTop 15 Best Approach Shoes in 2019g the best approach shoes, you should also note what else the shoe has to offer in terms of design and construction. A heel loop, for example, is an attribute that is present in nearly all approach shoes. This feature makes it easier for users to put their shoes on and off. It can also be used to clip the shoes to the rest of your gear if necessary.

Another crucial part of the design you should scrutinize is the lacing and cushioning system. While you could also opt for straps, most approach shoes use standard laces or BOA lacing. As for the cushioning system, look for a properly-cushioned midsole to add comfort to your outdoor experience. Additionally, approach shoes are sometimes equipped with rubber rands that encircle the shoe to increase durability and performance.

Additional Features

There are four main features that you may encounter when choosing approach shoes. They are breathability, durability, waterproof quality, and lightness. There are very few shoes that can do it all, so you should sort out your priorities and choose a pair of approach shoes that is most suitable for your needs and lifestyle.Top 15 Best Approach Shoes in 2019

If your foot tends to sweat a lot or if you often do activities in hot weather, choosing a breathable shoe should be your priority. Look for a breathable upper, such as mesh panels, to overcome this problem. The downside of mesh material is its lack of durability and protection. When rigorous hikes are a part of your active lifestyle, you will need a durable approach shoe. This can be achieved by choosing leather or synthetic uppers, but these materials are less breathable and may make the shoes heavier to wear.

A waterproof quality is essential for any adventures related that may be exposed to water. Gore-Tex (GTX) is the best material for water immunity, but it makes the shoes heavy and may cause foot odor. If you want your shoes to be light, choose lightweight upper materials such as canvas or mesh. However, this type of shoes offers less support and protection against wear and tear.

How to Choose the Best Approach Shoes

At the moment, there are numerous varieties of approach shoes in the market to choose from. Each has its own features, advantages, and drawbacks. The best approach shoes for one person may not be the same for another, which is why recognizing your personal preference and need is crucial. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you come home with the most suitable approach shoes for your outdoor adventure.

Find the Perfect Fit

No matter what features the shoe may have, it must fit your foot perfectly. There should be enough room for the length and width of your feet without any feelings of pain, discomfort, or pressure at certain points. Another sign of a perfect fit can be observed when you are walking. You should feel little if any heel lifts when you’re wearing the shoes for a test run.

Find the Right SizeTop 15 Best Approach Shoes in 2019

Believe it or not, you can find a lot of people walking around with wrong-sized shoes. When choosing the size for your approach shoes, you should know what kind of activities you will most often perform beforehand. If you’ll be doing mostly rock climbing, choose a size that will give you a snug fit. You don’t want your foot to be able to move around inside the shoe when climbing. On the other hand, choose a slightly roomy shoe when going hiking. This is because your foot will swell a little bit if you’re walking for a long period of time, so you need the extra space to accommodate this swelling. For an accurate fit, you can go shoe-shopping in the evening and wear socks when trying them on.

TOP 15 BEST APPROACH SHOES IN 2021

PictureNameFeaturePriceRating

Picture

NameFeaturePrice

Rating

1. Scarpa Men’s Mojito Casual Shoe

Vibram Spyder sole

$$4.8
2. Vasque Men’s Juxt Multi-Sport Shoe
1.6mm suede leather upper$$4.8
3. La Sportiva TX3 Approach Shoe

STB Control System

$$$ 4.7
4. Scarpa Men’s Zen Hiking Shoe
Injected EVA midsole$$$4.6
5. Evolv Cruzer Psyche Approach Shoe
Midsole: Soft microporous EVA$$4.6
6. Arc’teryx Men’s Acrux SL Approach Shoe
Vibram outsole$$$4.5
7. Vasque Men’s Grand Traverse Hiking Shoe Style 7314
Low-cut hiking$$ 4.5
8. Danner Men’s Camp Sherman 3” Hiking Boot
Shaft measures approximately ankle-high from arch$$4.5
9. Scarpa Men’s Gecko Approach Shoe
Sticky rubber sole$$$4.4
10. So iLL The Approach Shoe
Padded Dual Density Insole$$4.3
11. La Sportiva TX4 Approach Shoe
STB Control System$$$4.2
12. Arc’teryx Acrux FL Approach Shoe
PU-coated nylon upper$$$ 4.1
13. Scarpa Men’s Iguana Approach Shoe
Dual-density EVA midsole$$4.0
14. Scarpa Men’s Crux Approach Shoe

Lacing toe

$$4.0
15. La Sportiva Men’s Boulder X Approach Shoe

High-cushion LaSpEVA cushions foot

$$3.9

1. Scarpa Men’s Mojito Casual Shoe

Started in 1938 in Northern Italy, Scarpa remains a family-owned company that focuses on innovation and tradition. The MojitoScarpa Men’s Mojito Casual Shoe is Scarpa’s best-selling casual shoe that is designed for commuting and gallivanting around town. You can take this cult classic to go hiking, camping, and light climbing. This lightweight shoe is stylish but minimally cushioned, so it’s more appropriate for short distances rather than long hikes in the mountains.

Design

Scarpa Men’s Mojito Casual Shoe is available in size 39 to 47 in half sizes and size 48 (whole size). Most Scarpa footwears use European sizing. The colors offered for this approach shoe are Black, Dark Brown, Lake Blue, and Shark. The Mojito is designed with a prominent protective rubber toe cap. It also has a lacing system that goes all the way to the toe cap. This shoe is moderately lightweight at 345 grams or 12 oz at size 42. There are approach shoes lighter than the Mojito but given its upper material, this shouldn’t be considered as a downside.

Materials

The Mojito sports a 1.8 mm suede leather upper and a Vellutina lining. Leather is a durable and water-resistant material but may take some time to break into. The outsole is made of molded Vibram Spyder. It is a rubber material that is capable of superior grip. There are suction pads with a honeycomb pattern on the middle of the outsole that gives the Mojito its excellent traction. Meanwhile, the outer portion of the outsole is adorned with rough, large lugs to give users a good ground feel as well as strong grip on a variety of surfaces. The sole’s front portion is designed to provide a climbing zone area to assist with rock climbing movements.

Meanwhile, the midsole is constructed of a thermoform-molded EVA compound. This is to give users extra cushioning, arch support, comfort, and stability. The EVA foam has two layers of different density. The lower density foam below the heal functions as a shock absorber, while the full-length higher density foam provides anti-torsion properties.

Performance

This approach shoe is first and foremost known for its comfort. The Mojito’s lacing system provides flexibility to the upper and therefore, enables the shoe to accommodate any shape of the foot, whether it is narrow or wide. This shoe also has a superior ground feel which some people may interpret as the lack of cushioning. However, this kind of fit and feel is exactly right for rock climbing activities. Other positive features of the Mojito include its durability and waterproof quality. The Italian leather upper may add a couple of extra ounces to the final weight of the product, but it’s worth it as you will get durable and water-resistant shoes in return. Also, the Vibram outsole is resilient and more than capable to protect the shoe against wear and tear. On the other hand, many have commented that the Mojito lacks dedicated breathability features. The leather upper lends some breathability to the shoe but it may not be enough, especially in the summer months.

Pros

  • 8 mm Suede Leather upper
  • Vibram Spyder outsole
  • Dual-density EVA midsole
  • Honeycomb sole pattern for traction
  • Moderately light
  • Waterproof
  • Features protective rubber toe cap

Cons

  • Lacks ankle support and protection

2. Vasque Men’s Juxt Multi-Sport Shoe

With more than 50 years under their belt, Vasque Footwear has made a trail of trust and innovation in on-the-trail footwear. Vasque Men’s Juxt Multi-Sport ShoeThey manufacture hiking boots, backpacking boots, trail running shoes, and many more for both men and women around the world. The Juxt is a versatile trail shoe that is specially designed to do every outdoor activity imaginable. This comfortable, lightweight approach shoe is a great choice for hiking and backpacking. Thanks to its breathable construction, the Juxt will dry as soon as it gets wet.

Design

Vasque Men’s Juxt Multi-Sport Shoe sports a clean, low-key look. It has a casual design that is suitable for both hiking activities or simply hanging around town every day. This shoe is available in the color Aluminum / Chili Pepper and Peat / Sudan Brown. This model can accommodate both narrow and wide feet as it is available in Medium and Wide width. You can choose from size 7 to 15 for Medium and size 8 to 13 for Wide. One Juxt shoe weighs approximately 800 grams.

Materials

With 1.6 mm Suede Leather upper and a molded rubber toe cap, the Juxt is designed to resist high abrasion environments. This model has dual-density EVA footbed with molded EVA midsole which offers comfort and excellent ground feel. The midsole is also equipped with a TPU plate to increase arch stability. Meanwhile, the Vasque OTG (Off the Grid) rubber outsole features both broad and small lugs to provide the perfect traction in wet rocks or muddy conditions.

Performance

The Juxt features a lace-to-toe closure system with eight eyelets and webbing loops. It is flexible and quick to adjust. Another highlight of this model is its right-out-of-the-box comfort. This approach shoe has a supple collar foam that feels great around the ankle. The tongue is lined with mesh which prevents the lace to dig into the user’s foot. While the tongue is not waterproof and has only a few vent holes, the shoe feels quite breathable. The non-waterproof liner also helps the Juxt to keep its weight to a minimum despite it being a full-leather shoe. As for protection and durability, the leather parts and rubber cap to protector are able to handle abrasion due to rocky terrains. However, parts of the uppers that are connected with a single-stitching method may be quite vulnerable to wear and tear.

Pros

  • 6 mm Suede Leather Upper
  • EVA midsole and footbed
  • Vasque OTG outsole
  • Excellent comfort and arch support
  • Integrated lace-to-toe closure
  • Available in Medium and Wide

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • Weak seams construction

3. La Sportiva TX3 Approach Shoe

The TX3 belongs to the Traverse X Approach Collection from La Sportiva, a series that is designed for quick approach routes, La Sportiva TX3 Approach Shoesuch as walking on mixed terrain in the mountains. The TX3 is lightweight yet sturdy with superior grip, comfort, and protection. If you want to move around in the mountains comfortably with guaranteed speed and safety, La Sportiva TX3 Approach Shoe is the right model for you.

Design

La Sportiva TX3 Approach Shoe is available in various colors, including Black Yellow, Blue Papaya, Spicy Orange, and Sulphur. It is offered in half sizes starting from size 36 to 47.5. A half pair at size 42 weighs only 350 grams.

Materials

The TX3’s upper is composed of breathable fabric. The non-slip mesh lining also adds to the breathability of this approach shoe. For extra protection, there are also 1.5 mm PU TechLite rand and rubber toe cover. Meanwhile, the midsole consists of a shock-absorbing, injected EVA material with a 4 mm Ortholite approach along the footbed. The outsole is very durable thanks to the Vibram Mega-Grip material that is also designed with Impact Brake System.

Performance

This model features a Mythos lacing system that is specially made for climbing shoes. This lacing system allows users to adjust the tension and internal volume easily. The TX3 also offers improved stability, comfort, and precision thanks to its STB Control System where the upper material wraps around the midsole. For traction, the outsole is equipped with a climbing zone at the forefront and Trail Bite lugs at the heel to enhance grip when trekking downhill. The lugs on the Vibram outsole of this shoe will cling to either rock and snow, making this approach shoe very versatile in any environment. The TX3 is also one of the lightest approach shoes in the market thanks to its uppers. However, the mesh uppers will not hold water and will be less durable compared to leather material.

Pros

  • 350 grams per shoe
  • Breathable upper
  • EVA midsole
  • Ortholite footbed
  • Vibram outsole
  • Integrated PU TechLite rand
  • Mythos lacing system

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • The upper mesh lacks durability

4. Scarpa Men’s Zen Hiking Shoe

The Zen is another model from Scarpa that you can consider as your trusted approach shoes. With all leather upper and Vibram Scarpa Men’s Zen Hiking ShoeSpyder sole, the Zen is your forever companion in climbing adventures. The reinforced arch and EVA heel cushioning ensure comfort on your every step. Scarpa’s Zen is a lace-up hiking shoe that encourages you to get up and reach the peak of the mountain in peace.

Design

Scarpa Men’s Zen Hiking Shoe is available in Smoke/Fog color. It is offered in half sizes from size 39 to 47 and a whole size in size 48. A single size-42 shoe weighs 15 oz.

Materials

The Zen’s upper is a 1.8 mm supple Suede Leather. The lining is composed of Vellutina material that is known for its smooth and velvety feel. The injected EVA midsole with P-Flex footbed is the source of this shoe’s cushion. The Vibram Spyder II outsole is designed to grip any surfaces without retaining any debris.

Performance

Among reviewers, the Scarpa Zen earns the highest score for comfort. This shoe is quite lightweight which makes it feels great on the foot. Moreover, the synthetic tongue material adds a little breathability to this all-leather shoe. Another convenient point that you may find in this shoe is its customizable forefoot fit. Through the nine lacing eyelets and lacing system, you can adjust the fit anytime, anywhere. Just like the Mojito, the Zen sports a Vibram Spyder outsole. This type of sole is known for its great edging ability, especially on large edges. It is also the perfect sole you want to have if you’re exploring wet, rocky areas. The Zen also features one of the most durable constructions in an approach shoe. The suede leather upper is well-protected by an abrasion-resistant synthetic overlay. As a result, many consumers find the Zen to last against years of wear.

Pros

  • 15 oz per shoe
  • 8 mm Suede Leather upper
  • Vellutina synthetic lining
  • EVA midsole with P-Flex footbed
  • Vibram Spyder outsole
  • Nine eyelets lacing system

Cons

  • Less suitable for climbing activities

5. Evolv Cruzer Psyche Approach Shoe

The Evolv brand is a US-based company that manufactures outdoor footwear for rock climbing and casual use. Since 2003, this Evolv Cruzer Psyche Approach Shoecompany has grown to be one of the most trusted brands by professional athletes. The Cruzer Psyche is based on the Cruzer Classic model from Evolv. The Psyche boasts a wider toe box area and higher overall volume and therefore, gives user better balance and support. This casual-looking shoe sports a superior grip to walk on any trail and climb various surfaces.

Design

Evolv Cruzer Psyche Approach Shoe is available in the colors Granite and Night. Offered in sizes 8 to 13, users definitely can find their fit. A single shoe weighs approximately 6.2 ounces. The Psyche offers more support in longer journeys compared to the Classic Cruzer, and it is considered as one of the best climbing approach shoes thanks to its snug fit.

Materials

The Cruzer Psyche is made of canvas material which keeps the shoe breathable and reasonably strong. The footbed and midsole are both composed of smooth foam material, specifically microfiber-lined foam in the footbed and EVA in the midsole. The outsole is a Trax high-friction sole that provides reliable traction. This approach shoe is equipped with a rubber toe guard.

Performance

This Cruzer model is one of the most lightweight approach shoes ever thanks to its construction. The thin yet durable canvas material is floppy and can be compressed, which makes it a lot more transportable. However, the canvas upper is not very breathable, not waterproof, and may take a long time to dry. When compared to the Classic Cruzer shoe which has no midsole, the Psyche experiences a significant upgrade. The soft EVA midsole provides comfort for short approaches, though it is still lacking for long ones.

Pros

  • 2 ounces per shoe
  • Lightweight canvas upper
  • Soft foam cushion
  • High-friction outsole
  • Includes rubber toe guard

Cons

  • Lacks breathability
  • Takes a long time to dry

6. Arc’teryx Men’s Acrux SL Approach Shoe

Arc’teryx is an outdoor clothing and sporting goods company based in British Columbia, Canada. Founded in 1989, Arc’teryx Arc’teryx Men’s Acrux SL Approach Shoecontinues to design their products with unconventional construction. The Acrux SL follows this directive with its seamless, waterproof upper with overlays and a rubber protective toe cap. This model also delivers exceptional performance against heavy use in abrasive outdoor environments. The Acrux SL is a ridiculously light approach shoe that you can take with you to face rocky ridges and wild trails during the hot and dry summer months.

Design

Arc’teryx Men’s Acrux SL Approach Shoe is available in three colors, including Toreador / Pilot (red), Nocturne / Rigel (dark blue), and Black / Graphite. The sizes are offered from size 7 to size 13. The Acrux SL has a slightly narrower fit to prevent your foot from rolling around during hiking or climbing cracks. Each shoe weighs approximately 10 oz (reference size 9).

Materials

The SL’s upper material is seamless PU-coated nylon, accented with TPU high-abrasion protection films. The shoe has an integrated sticky rubber toe cap and an adaptive Fit Lite liner. The midsole consists of an injected EVA material with TPU chassis, while the outsole uses a Vibram Light Approach sole with MegaGrip compound.

Performance

The Acrux SL has a low profile design which allows it to fit into smaller cracks better than most approach shoes. The narrow fit, EVA midsole, and stretchy upper give tremendous breathability and comfort to the users. The feet will stay in place and it won’t sweat under the hot sun. The nylon upper also makes this shoe lighter than most, perfect for all-day climbs or a long hike. However, nylon isn’t a very stiff material which may compromise the shoe’s edging capabilities.

Pros

  • 10 oz per shoe
  • Nylon upper with PU coating
  • EVA midsole
  • Vibram outsole
  • Integrated rubber toe cap
  • Light and breathable

Cons

  • Vulnerable spots on the upper
  • Narrow fit

7. Vasque Men’s Grand Traverse Hiking Shoe Style 7314

Vasque has created a versatile lightweight hiking shoe in the Grand Traverse. The model 7314 brings forth a stable and balanced Vasque Men’s Grand Traverse Hiking Shoe Style 7314cushioning to give users comfort for miles. The Grand Traverse is ideal for light hiking, light climbing, and flat-pedal mountain biking.

Design

Vasque Men’s Grand Traverse 7314 Hiking Shoe is offered in three colors, and they are Magnet / Pesto, Navy / Flame Scarlet, and Bungee Cord / Rooibos Tea. The shoe is available in size 7 to 14 in Medium width. A pair of these weighs about 730 grams or 1 lb 10 oz. The design features a lace-to-toe closure with active heel strap so that users can easily adjust the fit.

Materials

For the uppers, Vasque combines 1.8 mm Suede Leather with PU textile mesh and a rubber toe rand. This combination will provide incredible durability in harsh environments. There is also a plush foam lining that will follow the contours of your foot and wick away moisture, giving you all-day comfort. Both the footbed and midsole portions are comprised of EVA foam material, while the outsole is a Vibram Ibex sole combined with the grippiest MegaGrip compounds. All of these configurations produce an approach shoe that has excellent durability, balance, and traction in a wet, rocky environment.

Performance

The Grand Traverse’s lightweight and breathable quality makes this shoe rated as one of the most comfortable approach shoes in the market. The upper is constructed of mesh panels instead of leather and thus, reducing the shoe’s weight and increasing its breathability. For people with sweaty feet or those who climb in warmer climates, these qualities are virtually irreplaceable. The sticky Vibram outsole creates good friction on any surface. Thanks to the eight-eyelets lacing system, the Grand Traverse also has an excellent, customizable fit that prevents the foot from slipping or moving around. Other features include a gusseted tongue and a flexible design. The tongue will keep dirt and sand away from your sock but due to its lower attachment inside the shoe, debris may be trapped inside and could be hard to remove. Meanwhile, the flexible design makes the Grand Traverse performs admirably in smearing but less so in edging or crack climbing. This approach shoe also provides very little arch support so it is not ideal for long walks.

Pros

  • 1 lb 10 oz per pair
  • 8 mm Suede Leather upper
  • 8-eyelet lacing system
  • Dual-density EVA footbed
  • Vibram outsole
  • Extra breathable
  • Secure, customizable fit
  • Integrated rubber toe rand

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • Lacks durability, especially against rough rocks
  • Minimal arch support

8. Danner Men’s Camp Sherman 3” Hiking Boot

Danner begins in 1932 and by the 1940s, this brand has successfully proven its worth. The Camp Sherman is a lightweight hikingDanner Men’s Camp Sherman 3” Hiking Boot boot designed with a low profile. It uses technology from some of Danner’s most popular hiking shoes where a combination of full-grain leather upper, a rubberized midsole, and a Vibram outsole is used. If you’re looking for a trail hiker that provides exceptional durability and traction, Danner’s Camp Sherman is a shoe you should try.

Design

Danner Men’s Camp Sherman 3” Hiking Boot is available in Gray / Green and Dark Brown / Orange. It is offered in D (Medium) and EE (Wide) in sizes 8 to 14. Each pair weighs 26 oz with 3 inches height. The Camp Sherman is designed with a low profile for versatility and everyday comfort.

Materials

The Camp Sherman sports a durable full-grain leather upper. Danner put various leathers through six different tests before selecting the one they want for this model so you can have the strongest and most durable form of leather. Danner also integrates a Plyolite rubberized midsole and a Vibram Approach outsole with multi-directional lugs to this shoe in order to create a durable trail hiker with incredible traction. The mesh lining and the footbed brings total breathability to this product. The removable Ortholite footbed is entirely made of open-cell PU material that accommodates heat dissipation and air circulation. This shoe is non-insulated and features a nylon shank.

Performance

The highlights of Danner’s Camp Sherman Hiking Boot are its precise width fit and comfort. This shoe is so comfortable from the get-go that it doesn’t need any break-in time. This footwear has also received praises in regards to its captivating design and lightness. However, Camp Sherman has a couple of problems. One of them is the lack of underfoot support and protection offered by its sole construction.

Pros

  • 3” height
  • D (Medium) and EE (Wide) fit
  • Lightweight
  • Full-grain leather upper
  • Vibram outsole
  • Breathable footbed and mesh lining

Cons

  • No arch support

9. Scarpa Men’s Gecko Approach Shoe

The Gecko will help you to hike and climb steep sandstone with its Reptilla rubber sole. This approach shoe has a good grip and Scarpa Men’s Gecko Approach Shoewill assist you in doing complicated technical moves the likes of fifth-class. It is equipped with a soft upper with a very short break-in period and a mesh lining that keeps your foot cool under warm temperatures. For a durable approach shoe with adequate cushioning and support, choose Scarpa’s Gecko.

Design

Scarpa Men’s Gecko Approach Shoe is available in the color Shark / Tonic which is a grey color with orange accents. This shoe is offered in half sizes, starting from size 40 to 47. One shoe in the size 42 weighs 13.5 oz.

Materials

The Gecko’s upper is constructed of 1.8 mm suede material with polyester mesh while the lining is made of recycled polyester. The midsole is a dual-density EVA foam, and the outsole is Vibram’s Reptilla SR.

Performance

With a medium stiff sole and dual-density EVA, the Gecko is the perfect approach shoes for blister-free long hikes. It is also the preferred shoe for scrambling thanks to the sticky Vibram rubber. The thin mesh tongue also provides great ventilation and keeps the foot dry, while the eyelet lacing system allows users to easily find the right fit anytime. However, the Gecko leans on the heavier side compared to other approach shoes. Its thick sole is also less sensitive which is not ideal for edging.

Pros

  • 8 mm Suede
  • Dual-density EVA midsole
  • Vibram outsole
  • Eyelet lacing system
  • Breathable upper

Cons

  • Narrow fit
  • Heavy

10. So iLL The Approach Shoe

Founded over 10 years ago, So iLL was created to bring breakthroughs for indoor climbers. Now, this brand has expanded and So iLL The Approach Shoeserviced more than 20 countries around the world. The Approach is So iLL’s effort to design a vintage climbing shoe with the strength of an approach shoe. This brand uses its signature Dark Matter rubber to build a durable, flexible, and incredibly sticky sole. So iLL’s The Approach will bring you from the crag to the streets in a smooth transition.

Design

The Approach is offered in only two colors, Dark Grey and Neon Green, with black sole. It is available in size 4 to size 13. The Approach has a unique, premium design with laces, a molded cupsole, and vintage style. This product is made in the USA.

Materials

So iLL uses a padded canvas material with suede accents for its uppers. The flexible, lightweight construction is supported by a padded dual-density insole and the sticky Dark Matter rubber cupsole. Dark Matter is originally developed for the Navy Seals to ensure a secure and fit foot placement. This sticky rubber also promises enhanced durability and superior flexibility.

Performance

The Approach features a supportive moderately-stiff midsole. This construction will protect your ankles while ascending or hopping from one terrain to another. However, the canvas material doesn’t provide a lot of opportunity for air circulation. If you have sweaty foot, this may become a problem. Moreover, the flexible construction of this shoe is not very reliable for edging and climbing cracks.

Pros

  • Canvas uppers
  • Dual-density insole
  • Dark Matter outsole
  • Flexible
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Lacks breathability

11. La Sportiva TX4 Approach Shoe

TX4 is another incredible product from La Sportiva. This approach shoe is capable to handle long approaches on harsh terrains La Sportiva TX4 Approach Shoethanks to its durable leather upper and Vibram outsole. The burly heel platform and Climbing Zone provides maximum grip in scree and mud. La Sportiva’s TX4 Approach Shoe was chosen as the Best Overall Men’s Approach Shoe in 2017.

Design

La Sportiva TX4 Approach Shoe is available in various colors, including Carbon / Flame, Blue / Papaya, Tangerine, Tropic Blue, and Taupe / Sulphur. It is offered in half sizes, starting from size 36 to 47.5. This is one of the lightest approach shoes in the market, weighing merely 380 grams per shoe at size 42.

Materials

The TX4 boasts a Suede Leather upper that is reinforced by a protective 1.5 mm PU TechLite rand and protective rubber toe. The mesh lining makes the shoe quite breathable, while the injected EVA midsole provides excellent comfort and shock absorption. The footbed is lined with 4-mm thick Ortholite Approach material, and the outsole is the MegaGrip Vibram sole with Impact Brake System and Climbing Zone.

Performance

La Sportiva made sure to equip the TX4 with a wider-than-average toe box. For those of you with wide forefeet, this surely is an appreciated feature. The sticky Vibram rubber and the stiff overall construction makes the TX4 able to handle crack climbing and edging quite well. Moreover, the sole is equipped with a sensitive Climbing Zone at the toe, resulting in heightened climbing capabilities and experience. One of the highlights of the TX4 is its extreme lightness, making it the perfect shoe to bring during long approaches with heavy packs. The TX4 also features a Mythos lacing system that allows users to adjust the fit and tightness of the shoe easily. The TX4 is La Sportiva’s most structured and durable boot, especially within the Traverse X collection. This is all thanks to the leather upper that can withstand high abrasion.

Pros

  • 380 grams per shoe
  • 5 mm PU TechLite rand
  • 4 mm Ortholite footbed
  • Suede Leather upper
  • Vibram sole
  • Mythos lacing system
  • Integrated protective rubber toe
  • Features Impact Brake System and Climbing Zone

Cons

  • The shoe feels bulky

12. Arc’teryx Acrux FL Approach Shoe

The Men’s Acrux FL Approach Shoe is imbued with Arc’teryx’s well-known quality and performance. Many climbers and hikers Arc’teryx Acrux FL Approach Shoeprefer the Acrux FL for the best ultra-light performance.

Design

Arc’teryx Acrux FL Approach Shoe is available in the colors of Tundra / Buttercup, Light Graphite / Big Surf, and Ruby Dusk / Mimosa. It is offered in sizes 7 to 13. The Acrux FL has a modern and fashionable style thanks to its Bright Flame liners. However, the peek of color may make it hard to wear this shoe for everyday casual use.

Materials

With PU-coated nylon upper, this shoe becomes extremely durable. The Vibram MegaGrip outsole is also durable, hard, and grippy. The footbed is lined with Ortholite material. The Acrux FL is offered in two versions, the one with GTX liner and the one without. This one is the non-GTX version which makes it non-waterproof.

Performance

The Acrux FL features a sole pattern that is specially designed for climbing. It has a flat area under the toe and the edges of the forefoot to increase friction during edging and smearing. The underfoot and the heel area are filled with circular tread so that the shoe can have a better grip in rocky and muddy terrains. As usual with Arc’teryx, the FL has a precise and solid construction. It is equipped with a stable sole, midsole, liner, and upper. However, some users feel that the sock liner can move freely underneath the upper at times. Meanwhile, the nylon-laminate upper is thick and strong. Therefore, you must make sure that this shoe feels comfortable right out of the box. The Acrux FL also has good perspiration management, comfort, and shock absorbing capabilities.

Pros

  • PU-coated nylon upper
  • Vibram outsole
  • Ortholite footbed
  • Breathable, comfortable
  • Climbing-specific sole pattern

Cons

  • Not waterproof

13. Scarpa Men’s Iguana Approach Shoe

Going for a long, difficult route, the crag, or a multi-pitch descent? Meet Scarpa’s softer and lighter approach shoe, the Iguana. Scarpa Men’s Iguana Approach ShoeThe shoe weighs merely 1.1 pounds a pair and the upper is collapsible so you can fit them in your pack. The EVA midsole gives you comfort throughout the journey, and the zonal weave upper gives you the breathability you need.

Design

Scarpa Men’s Iguana Approach Shoe is offered in Black / Lime. It is available in size 40 to 48 with half sizes available. This approach shoe is designed with a to-the-toe lacing so you can get a precise, secure fit. It is also equipped with heel loops so you can clip the shoe to your harness.

Materials

The Iguana sports a polyester mesh upper and recycled polyester lining. With slip lasted insole and dual-density EVA foam, this shoe offers adequate support during a hike. Last but not least, the outsole is made using Vibram Reptilla MG material.

Performance

This specialized shoe is designed for a comfortable walk-off and then tucked inside the pack when not being used. It has low bulk uppers and narrow profile. The breathable mesh uppers really cut the weight from the whole shoe. The dual-density EVA midsole will give you cushion and comfort even when carrying heavy loads, and the Vibram outsole will provide great traction and resist abrasions. The Iguana isn’t as durable as leather approach shoes, but they hold up quite well to regular use in various terrains.

Pros

  • Mesh uppers
  • Dual-density EVA foam
  • Vibram Reptilla MG outsole
  • Features heel loops
  • Lightweight, breathable

Cons

  • Lacks durability compared to leather shoes

14. Scarpa Men’s Crux Approach Shoe

The Crux is Scarpa’s most versatile and durable approach shoe. It has a streamlined design, a full-coverage toe rand, as well asScarpa Men’s Crux Approach Shoe ample support and many other protective features. If you’re going to do a rocky scramble and walk a rugged descent, this entry-level shoe is the one for you.

Design

Scarpa Men’s Crux Approach Shoe is available in half sizes, starting from size 40 to size 48. You can choose between the colors Light Brown / Mustard and Shark / Tonic. Each shoe weighs 383 grams at size 42.

Materials

The Crux sports a 1.8 mm suede and polyester mesh upper. The midsole is a dual-density EVA-MP, and the outsole is a Vibram Vertical Approach / MegaGrip.

Performance

In early 2018, Scarpa gave the Crux a few upgrades. The most notable change was its new outsole (from Vibram Idrogrip to Vibram MegaGrip) with increased lifespan and better grip. The shoe features a durable suede upper that offers ample support and protection for hiking activities. The flexible midsole provides great cushioning, agility, and comfort. When its performance was tested in the mountains, the Crux performed superbly. Its sole is equipped with sharp, varied tread that gives users great traction on wet terrain. However, the Crux isn’t very suitable for climbing technical rocks. The midsole isn’t rigid enough to offer stability. The foam compresses while edging and compromises the performance. Last but not least, the Crux is somehow more breathable than other leather shoes though it is equipped with suede uppers. It is also water resistant and wicks moisture well.

Pros

  • 8 mm Suede upper
  • Dual-density EVA midsole
  • Vibram MegaGrip outsole
  • Breathable
  • Water resistant
  • Flexible, durable

Cons

  • Heavier than most approach shoes
  • Not suitable for technical rock climbing

15. La Sportiva Men’s Boulder X Approach Shoe

LaSportiva Boulder X has won various Best Buy Award, as this is the shoe that delivers the most bang for your buck. La Sportiva La Sportiva Men’s Boulder X Approach Shoetweaked the previous designs of their shoes in order to make the Boulder X. This shoe has incredible grip thanks to the ultra-sticky Vibram sole, making it suitable for technical approaches especially crag climbing. It also has an Impact Brake System that assists with descents. Meanwhile, the sole will give users optimum shock-absorbing capabilities. The design and construction of this shoe provide maximum protection while climbing.

Design

La Sportiva Men’s Boulder X Approach Shoe is offered in half sizes, starting from size 37 to 48. You can choose between the colors Carbon / Opal, Mocha / Forest, Grey / Yellow, and Red. Each pair at size 42 weighs 1000 grams.

Materials

The Boulder X sports a suede leather upper with protective rubber rand. It has a mesh lining and Vibram Idro-Grip V-Smear outsole with Impact Brake System. For the midsole, Boulder X is equipped with micropore EVA. It also has a 2 mm Polypropylene SpEVA insole.

Performance

Boulder X is the best do-everything approach shoe. The Vibram sole used in this shoe may not be the latest technology, but it still provides a durable and supportive base for climbing, rough scrambling, and hiking in various surfaces, such as dirt, sand, and mud. This shoe also has a moderately stiff construction that makes it comfortable to wear on medium-sized edges. However, it lacks the sensitivity to perform well on small edges. It is also heavy, big, and clunky, so it is not suitable for edging. It is good for smearing, though, thanks to the flexible forefoot and sticky Vibram outsole. Moreover, Boulder X has a lower toe profile which makes it suitable for crack climbing.

Pros

  • Suede Leather upper
  • Mesh lining
  • Vibram outsole
  • Flexible
  • Simple lacing system
  • Suitable for hiking, crack climbing

Cons

  • Heavy and bulky

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