approach shoes

2:49 p.m. on June 22, 2015 (EDT)
7,665 reviewer rep
2,334 forum posts

i have reviewed 2 pair of these recently.  interesting/useful alternative to trail running shoes for some circumstances (not for running, but for rock scrambling or general walking/hiking).  curious to hear who uses approach shoes and their thoughts about them, pro or con (or do you just use an old pair of sneakers.....)

11:17 a.m. on June 24, 2015 (EDT)
7,173 reviewer rep
1,701 forum posts

I used to be a tall FGL boot guy and now I hike almost exclusively in these styles of shoes.  Last Summer when I climbed Mt Rainier I hiked to Camp Muir (halfway) in gore-tex trail shoes and loved it, I summitted in mountaineering boots of course.  

I am a firm believer that the increased dexterity and the reduced fatigue from trail shoes translates into increased safety.

12:02 p.m. on June 24, 2015 (EDT)
4,534 reviewer rep
6,037 forum posts

I have been using approach shoes for a number of years now. I have tried a couple of different brands. One of the brands got worn 3 or 4 times before I decided that the poor stitching at the toe was rubbing too much on the tops of my toes. OTOH, I have now had several pairs of La Sportiva approach shoes. I replace the first ones because of wearing them out. But then I tried getting re-soles from The Rubber Room (located in Bishop, CA). The shoe uppers are wearing very well, and Rubber Room does an excellent job of re-soling. I have used them on approaches up to 10 miles and on climbs up to 5.6 or so. They work very well on returns from alpine climbs where there is a moderate down climb or where the exit is a series of rappels.

I have also used trail-running shoes for approaches and exits. They wear better than approach shoes (especially since I get the approach shoes with sticky rubber, which does wear faster).

As for using FGL or other boots, it depends on the approach. If I am having to pack the heavy boots in, I sometimes will just hike the approach in the boots.

5:37 a.m. on June 25, 2015 (EDT)
1,994 reviewer rep
475 forum posts

Shoes are just another tool. Suit it to the terrain and they will perform well.

On well groomed trails, I don't even bother with approach shoes but instead use minimalist Merrells. On mostly dry alpine trails which involve scrambling, I use Salewa wildfires (great sole and rand for scrambling and not too technical climbing).

For wet muddy, boggy off-trail routes, it's still proper waterproof FGL boots.

I wish I could get away with the Merrells or even the Salewas all the time, but it is just not practical.

April 5, 2020
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: HIlleberg Nallo Newer: Backpacking quilts
All forums: Older: FS: Katadyn Mini Ceramic Microfilter Newer: FS: Simms Gore Windstopper Fleece Vest - Mens Small