La Sportiva Exum Ridge
The Exum Ridge has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best approach shoes for 2022.
This is the best approach shoe out there.
Price Paid: $89.95
Because I have narrow feet, it has been very difficult for me to find trail shoes that don't feel like loose-fitting concrete blocks. I had used La Sportiva climbing shoes in the past and really liked their good fit and construction. So when I spotted a pair of Exum Ridges on sale, I grabbed 'em.
The Exum Ridges have, so far, been terrific. They fit snuggly and craddle your feet; are very cool (lots of mesh); are very supportive without feeling blocky; and have a stick-to-the-wall sole much like rock-climbing shoes. Unlike other trail runners I've used, they don't seem overally tall in the sole. I don't feel like I'm going to tip over. Although they are slip-lasted, they have a full-length plate in the sole to armor your feet from punches and gouges from rocks. I have yet to take them on real steep stuff (5.7 or above), but I'm convined they will work well for scrambling and peak-bagging with a light load.
One note: buy them large. For some reason, they fit small, so try at least a 1/2 larger than normal.
Use: trail runners. approach shoes
Break-in Period: little or none
Price Paid: $29 at Campmor
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