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The North Face Buildering

rated 4.5 of 5 stars

The Buildering has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best approach shoes for 2024.

photo: The North Face Buildering approach shoe

This is a great shoe for scrambling and approach hikes! It's not that great for typical hiking on trails because it doesn't have much tread on the sole, and has no ankle support. But I didn't buy it for trail hiking.

I have found this shoe more durable than the Montrail D7 which I destoyed in only a few months of use (wore the tread through to the sole in the heel and toe). The North Face shoe has more tread on the bottom of the shoe than the Montrail. It also has more durable upper fabrics. After one week of wearing the Montrail D7, I had ripped out the linning in the heel! I have had the North Face shoe for 4 months and it is still intact, the tread is getting thin, but it should hold awhile longer. As far as fit is concerned, the North Face shoe fits my narrow foot well when I have it laced down.

My main problem with the North Face shoe, as well as the Montrail D7, is neither shoe had a full rubber toe. What I mean is a rubber toe that wraps around the top of the shoe and connects all the way to the tread, like a climbing shoe. Instead, the rubber toe rand only goes to the midsole cushining and stops. If they would have brought the rubber down to the sole on the toe of these shoes it would have opened more technical climbing possibilities.

Materials: leather
Use: scrambling
Break-in Period: fast
Weight: I dunno
Price Paid: $50

Great approach shoe! Worked really well in the Black Hills and held up to the sharp granite really well. The Vibram sole is super sticky and rand on the toe and heel allow for better grip and a few more technical moves. Extra low cut allows for a better range of motion.

Doesn't make a good trail shoe because of the shallow tread and little support. Then again they're not really made for hiking so if you're wanting a hiking shoe, look elsewhere. They're ok for light hikes unless you have problem feet, they seem to put a lot of pressure on my heels. They're showing a little bit of wear but I've had them for well over a year and they've seen some hard use so it's understandable. Overall a very good and well crafted approach shoe.

Materials: Leather upper. Vibram sole.
Use: Approach and bouldering.
Break-in Period: Good out of the box.
Price Paid: $60

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Price Historic Range: $37.48-$75.00
Reviewers Paid: $50.00-$60.00
Price Historic Range: $13.86-$75.00

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