approach shoes

2:49 p.m. on June 22, 2015 (EDT)
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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.....)

https://www.trailspace.com/gear/treksta/granite/#review33601

https://www.trailspace.com/gear/oboz/teewinot-low/

11:17 a.m. on June 24, 2015 (EDT)
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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)
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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)
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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
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