Best Approach Shoes 2023 – For Climbers and Hikers


best approach shoes

Approach shoes are a type of footwear that is designed for hiking and scrambling on technical terrain.

They are typically a hybrid between a hiking shoe and a climbing shoe, offering the comfort and support of a hiking shoe with the grip and precision of a climbing shoe. Whether you’re approaching a climbing route, scrambling up a rocky trail, or just hiking through rough terrain, a good pair of approach shoes can be an essential piece of gear.

But with so many options on the market, it can be tough to know which approach shoes are the best. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best approach shoes available today, and what makes them stand out from the rest.

What Are Approach Shoes?

Approach shoes are a type of outdoor footwear that is designed to provide a combination of grip, support, and comfort for hikers, climbers, and mountaineers when approaching or descending from a climb or route. When it comes to rock climbing, these shoes provide an alternative to wearing your rock climbing shoes (or being barefoot) when walking towards your problem.

Approach shoes typically feature a stiffer midsole than other types of hiking or climbing shoes, providing support on rugged terrain.

What Makes Approach Shoes Different From Other Types of Shoes?

Approach shoes are specifically designed for technical approaches and descents, with features like sticky rubber soles, low profile designs for better foot control, durable construction, and a blend of materials for good breathability and protection.

Best Approach Shoes 2023 – Full List For Everyone

La Sportiva TX3

La Sportiva TX3 Approach Shoes

The La Sportiva TX3 is one of the best approach shoes on the market, and for good reason. These shoes are lightweight and breathable, making them a great choice for warm-weather hikes and approaches. They also feature a sticky Vibram outsole, which provides excellent traction on a variety of surfaces, including wet rock.

One of the standout features of the TX3 is the lacing system, which extends all the way to the toe. This allows for a precise fit and helps to prevent your foot from sliding forward when you’re on steep terrain. The shoes also have a protective toe cap, which helps to protect your toes from bumps and impacts.

The only real downside to the TX3 is that they may not be as durable as some other approach shoes on the market. If you plan to do a lot of rough scrambling or climbing, you may want to opt for a shoe with a more durable upper.

Scarpa Crux

The Scarpa Crux is another one of the best approach shoes, which is popular among hikers and climbers alike. These shoes have a sticky Vibram outsole that provides excellent grip on rocky terrain, and a suede and recycled polyester upper that is durable and breathable.

One of the standout features of the Crux is the heel construction, which is designed to provide extra support and stability on steep terrain. The shoes also have a protective toe rand, which helps to protect your toes from impacts.

The Crux is a little heavier than some other approach shoes on the market, but this added weight provides extra durability and support. Overall, the Scarpa Crux is a great choice for anyone looking for a durable, supportive approach shoe that can handle a variety of terrain.

Black Diamond Five Ten Guide Tennie

Black Diamond Five Ten Guide Tennie

The Five Ten Guide Tennie is a classic approach shoe that has been a favorite among climbers for decades. These shoes feature Five Ten’s signature Stealth C4 rubber outsole, which provides incredible grip on both wet and dry surfaces. The upper is made from durable suede leather, which provides excellent support and protection for your feet.

One of the standout features of the Guide Tennie is the extended lacing system, which allows you to get a precise fit all the way down to your toes. The shoes also have a protective toe rand, which helps to protect your toes from bumps and impacts.

Salomon XA Pro 3D

Salomon XA Pro 3D approach shoes

The Salomon XA Pro 3D is a hybrid shoe that is designed for both a trail runner and approach hiking. The reason why this is one of the best approach shoes is that the breathable mesh upper is durable and comfortable, and a Contragrip outsole provides excellent traction on a variety of surfaces.

One of the standout features of the XA Pro 3D is the Quicklace system, which allows you to quickly and easily adjust the fit of the shoe. The shoes also have a protective toe cap, which helps to protect your toes from impacts and abrasions.

The XA Pro 3D is a little heavier than some other approach shoes on the market, but this added weight provides extra durability and support. The shoes also feature a 3D Advanced Chassis, which provides extra stability and support on rough terrain.

Overall, the Salomon XA Pro 3D is a great choice for anyone looking for a mountain running shoe and approach hiking boots.

Arc’teryx Konseal FL

Arc'teryx Konseal FL approach shoes

The Arc’teryx Konseal FL is one of the lightweight best approach shoes that is designed for fast and light hiking and scrambling. These shoes have a Vibram Megagrip outsole that provides excellent traction on both wet and dry surfaces, and a synthetic upper that is both durable and breathable.

One of the standout features of the Konseal FL is the Adaptive Fit Lite liner, which conforms to the shape of your foot for a custom fit. The shoes also have a protective TPU toe cap, which helps to protect your toes from impacts and abrasions.

Mammut Wall Guide Low GTX

Mammut Wall Guide Low GTX approach shoes

The Mammut Wall Guide Low GTX is a low-cut approach shoe that is designed for technical hiking and scrambling. These shoes have a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, which keeps your feet dry in wet conditions, and a sticky Michelin outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces.

One of the standout features of the Wall Guide Low GTX is the Base Fit lacing system, which allows you to adjust the fit of the shoe for maximum comfort and support. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe rand, which helps to protect your toes from impacts and abrasions.

The Wall Guide Low GTX is a little heavier than some other approach shoes on the market, but this added weight provides extra durability and support. If you’re looking for a low-cut approach shoe that can handle wet conditions and technical terrain, the Mammut Wall Guide Low GTX is a great choice.

Salewa Wildfire Edge

Salewa Wildfire Edge climbing shoe

The Salewa Wildfire Edge is a highly technical approach shoe designed for climbers and mountaineers. These shoes feature a Pomoca outsole with a climbing zone at the toe for excellent grip on rock, and a durable and breathable mesh and suede upper.

One of the standout features of the Wildfire Edge is the Exa Shell Over Injected 3D Cage, which provides a high level of lateral stability and support without adding extra weight. The shoes also have a protective toe cap and heel cap for added durability and protection.

The Wildfire Edge is a little stiffer than some other approach shoes on the market, but this added stiffness provides excellent support and protection on rough terrain. If you’re looking for a technical approach shoe that can handle steep and technical terrain, the Salewa Wildfire Edge is a great choice.

Black Diamond Technician

Black Diamond Technician approach shoes

The Black Diamond Technician is a lightweight approach shoe designed for technical hiking and scrambling. These shoes feature a BlackLabel-Street outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a durable and breathable knit upper.

One of the standout features of the Technician is the Engineered Knit Technology, which provides a high level of breathability and comfort without sacrificing durability. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap for added protection.

The Technician is a little less supportive than some other approach shoes on the market, but this is intentional in order to keep the shoe lightweight and flexible. If you’re looking for a lightweight approach shoe that can handle technical terrain, the Black Diamond Technician is a great choice.

La Sportiva Boulder X

best approach shoes La Sportiva Boulder X

The La Sportiva Boulder X is a classic approach shoe that has been a favorite among climbers and hikers for years. These shoes feature a Vibram Idro-Grip V-Smear outsole that provides excellent grip on rock, and a durable and water-resistant leather shoes upper.

One of the standout features of the Boulder X is the Mythos lacing system, which allows you to adjust the fit of the shoe for maximum comfort and support. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and heel cap for added durability and protection.

The Boulder X is a little heavier and less breathable than some other approach shoes on the market, but this added weight and durability provide excellent support and protection on rough terrain. If you’re looking for a classic approach shoe that can handle a variety of terrain, the La Sportiva Boulder X is a great choice.

Scarpa Zen Pro

The Scarpa Zen Pro is a highly technical approach shoe designed for climbers and mountaineers. These shoes feature a Vibram Spyder 2 outsole that provides excellent grip on rock, and a durable and water-resistant suede upper.

One of the standout features of the Zen Pro is the Sock-Fit Plus technology, which provides a snug and comfortable fit without adding extra weight. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and heel cap for added durability and protection.

The Zen Pro is a little stiffer and less breathable than some other approach shoes on the market, but this added stiffness provides excellent support and protection on rough terrain. If you’re looking for a highly technical approach shoe that can handle steep and technical terrain, the Scarpa Zen Pro is a great choice.

Best Men’s Approach Shoes

The best men’s approach shoes are those that provide the most support, durability, and protection for a variety of terrain. Here are a few of my recommendations:

La Sportiva TX4

The La Sportiva TX4 is one of the best approach shoes for men, it is designed for technical hiking and scrambling. These shoes feature a Vibram Mega-Grip outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a durable and water-resistant leather upper.

One of the standout features of the TX4 is the STB Control System, which provides excellent support and stability without adding extra weight. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and a lace-up closure for a secure and customizable fit.

The TX4 is a little heavier than some other approach shoes on the market, but this added weight and durability provide excellent support and protection on rough terrain. If you’re looking for a rugged and durable approach shoe that can handle a variety of technical terrain, the La Sportiva TX4 is a great choice.

Mammut Alnasca Knit Low

The Mammut Alnasca Knit Low is a lightweight and comfortable approach shoe that is designed for hiking and scrambling. These shoes feature a Michelin outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces and a breathable and stretchy knit upper.

One of the standout features of the Alnasca Knit Low is the Base Fit 2.0 technology, which provides excellent support and stability without adding extra weight. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and a lace-up closure for a secure and customizable fit.

The Alnasca Knit Low is a little less durable than some other approach shoes on the market, but this added flexibility and comfort make it a great choice for long hikes and scrambles. If you’re looking for a lightweight and comfortable approach shoe that can handle moderate terrain, the Mammut Alnasca Knit Low is a great choice.

Scarpa Crux Air

The Scarpa Crux Air is a lightweight and breathable approach shoe that is designed for hiking and scrambling. These shoes feature a Vibram outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a breathable and durable mesh upper.

One of the standout features of the Crux Air is the EVA midsole, which provides excellent cushioning and support without adding extra weight. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and a lace-up closure for a secure and customizable fit.

The Crux Air is a little less durable than some other approach shoes on the market, but this added flexibility and breathability make it a great choice for hot and dry climates. If you’re looking for a lightweight and breathable approach shoe that can handle moderate terrain, the Scarpa Crux Air is a great choice.

Five Ten Access Mesh

The Five Ten Access Mesh is a lightweight and breathable approach shoe that is designed for hiking and scrambling, perfect for when you’re not wearing your rock climbing shoes on a trail. These shoes feature a Stealth S1 outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a breathable and durable mesh upper.

One of the standout features of the Access Mesh is the extended rubber toe cap, which provides added protection and durability. The shoes also have a lace-up closure for a secure and customizable fit.

The Access Mesh is a little less supportive than some other approach shoes on the market, but this added flexibility and breathability make it a great choice for long hikes and scrambles. If you’re looking for a lightweight and breathable approach shoe that can handle moderate terrain, the Five Ten Access Mesh is a great choice.

Salewa Mountain Trainer

The Salewa Mountain Trainer is a durable and versatile approach shoe that is designed for technical hiking and scrambling. These shoes feature a Vibram outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a durable and water-resistant suede upper.

One of the standout features of the Mountain Trainer is theSalewa’s 3F System, which provides excellent support and stability without adding extra weight. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and a lace-up closure for a secure and customizable fit.

The Mountain Trainer is a little heavier than some other approach shoes on the market, but this added weight and durability provide excellent support and protection on rough terrain. If you’re looking for a durable and versatile approach shoe that can handle technical terrain, the Salewa Mountain Trainer is a great choice.

Adidas Terrex Solo

The Adidas Terrex Solo is a lightweight and versatile approach shoe that is designed for hiking and scrambling. These shoes feature a Stealth rubber outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a breathable and durable mesh upper.

One of the standout features of the Terrex Solo is the EVA midsole, which provides excellent cushioning and support without adding extra weight. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and a lace-up closure for a secure and customizable fit.

The Terrex Solo is a little less durable than some other approach shoes on the market, but this added flexibility and breathability make it a great choice for long hikes and scrambles. If you’re looking for a lightweight and versatile approach shoe that can handle moderate terrain, the Adidas Terrex Solo is a great choice.

Black Diamond Technician

The Black Diamond Technician is a durable and versatile approach shoe that is designed for technical hiking and scrambling. These shoes feature a Vibram outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a durable and water-resistant suede upper.

One of the standout features of the Technician is the Black Diamond’s own proprietary molded EVA midsole, which provides excellent cushioning and support without adding extra weight. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and a lace-up closure for a secure and customizable fit.

The Technician is a little heavier than some other approach shoes on the market, but this added weight and durability provide excellent support and protection on rough terrain. If you’re looking for a durable and versatile approach shoe that can handle technical terrain, the Black Diamond Technician is a great choice.

Salomon XA Pro 3D V8 GTX

The Salomon XA Pro 3D V8 GTX is a waterproof and breathable approach shoe that is designed for hiking and scrambling in wet and muddy conditions. These shoes feature a Contagrip outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a durable and water-resistant Gore-Tex upper.

One of the standout features of the XA Pro 3D V8 GTX is the EnergyCell EVA foam, which provides excellent cushioning and support without adding extra weight. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and a lace-up closure for a secure and customizable fit.

The XA Pro 3D V8 GTX is a little heavier than some other approach shoes on the market, but this added weight and waterproofing provide excellent support and protection in wet and muddy conditions. If you’re looking for a waterproof and breathable approach shoe that can handle moderate terrain in wet conditions, the Salomon XA Pro 3D V8 GTX is a great choice.

Best Womens Approach Shoes

Whether you’re looking for a lightweight and versatile option or a durable and protective shoe, there are plenty of great women’s approach shoes on the market. Here are some of my recommendations:

La Sportiva TX2

The La Sportiva TX2 is a lightweight and versatile approach shoe that is designed for hiking and scrambling. These shoes feature a Vibram MegaGrip outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a breathable and durable knit upper.

One of the standout features of the TX2 is the C2 Combo Cord system, which allows you to quickly adjust the fit of the shoes for a customized fit. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and a lace-up closure for added security.

The TX2 is a little less durable than some other approach shoes on the market, but this added flexibility and breathability make it a great choice for long hikes and scrambles. If you’re looking for a lightweight and versatile approach shoe that can handle moderate terrain, the La Sportiva TX2 is a great choice.

Scarpa Gecko

The Scarpa Gecko is a durable and versatile approach shoe that is designed for technical hiking and scrambling. These shoes feature a Vibram Reptilia outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a durable and water-resistant suede upper.

One of the standout features of the Gecko is the Scarpa Sock-Fit DV construction, which provides a snug and comfortable fit without added bulk. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and a lace-up closure for a secure and customizable fit.

Five Ten Guide Tennie

The Five Ten Guide Tennie is one of the best approach shoe for hiking and scrambling. These shoes feature a Stealth C4 rubber outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a durable and water-resistant suede upper.

One of the standout features of the Guide Tennie is the compression-molded EVA midsole, which provides excellent cushioning and support without adding extra weight. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and a lace-up closure for a secure and customizable fit.

Arc’teryx Konseal FL

The Arc’teryx Konseal FL is a lightweight and versatile approach shoe that is designed for hiking and scrambling. These shoes feature a Vibram MegaGrip outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a breathable and durable mesh upper.

One of the standout features of the Konseal FL is the adaptive fit liner, which molds to the shape of your foot for a comfortable and secure fit. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and a lace-up closure for a customizable fit.

The Konseal FL is a little less durable than some other approach shoes on the market, but this added flexibility and breathability make it a great choice for long hikes and scrambles. If you’re looking for a lightweight and versatile approach shoe that can handle moderate terrain, the Arc’teryx Konseal FL is a great choice.

Mammut Hueco Low GTX

The Mammut Hueco Low GTX is a waterproof and breathable approach shoe that is designed for hiking and scrambling in wet and muddy conditions. These shoes feature a Michelin rubber outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a durable and water-resistant suede upper.

One of the standout features of the HuecoLow GTX is the Gore-Tex Extended Comfort Footwear lining, which provides waterproof and breathable protection in wet conditions. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and a lace-up closure for a secure and customizable fit.

The Hueco Low GTX is a little heavier than some other approach shoes on the market, but this added weight and durability provide excellent support and protection on rough terrain.

If you’re looking for a waterproof and breathable approach shoe that can handle wet and muddy conditions, the Mammut Hueco Low GTX is a great choice.

Salewa Wildfire Edge

The Salewa Wildfire Edge is one of the best technical approach shoes, designed for hiking and climbing. These shoes feature a Pomoca outsole that provides excellent grip on rock and a durable and water-resistant synthetic upper.

One of the standout features of the Wildfire Edge is the Exa Shell technology, which provides a precise and customizable fit for added security on technical climbs. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and a lace-up closure for added customization.

Adidas Terrex Solo

The Adidas Terrex Solo is a lightweight and versatile approach shoe that is designed for hiking and scrambling. These shoes feature an Adidas Stealth rubber outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a breathable and durable mesh and synthetic upper.

One of the standout features of the Terrex Solo is the EVA midsole, which provides excellent cushioning and support without adding extra weight. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and a lace-up closure for a secure and customizable fit.

Lowa Approach Pro GTX Lo

The Lowa Approach Pro GTX Lo is a waterproof and breathable approach shoe that is designed for hiking and scrambling in wet and muddy conditions. These shoes feature a Vibram outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a durable and water-resistant synthetic and mesh upper.

One of the standout features of the Approach Pro GTX Lo is the Gore-Tex Extended Comfort Footwear lining, which provides waterproof and breathable protection in wet conditions. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and a lace-up closure for a secure and customizable fit.

Salomon X Alp Mid LTR GTX

The Salomon X Alp Mid LTR GTX is a mid-height approach shoe that is designed for hiking and scrambling. These shoes feature a Contagrip outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a durable and water-resistant leather and synthetic upper.

One of the standout features of the X Alp Mid LTR GTX is the Gore-Tex Extended Comfort Footwear lining, which provides waterproof and breathable protection in wet conditions.

The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and a lace-up closure for a secure and customizable fit.

Best Lightweight Approach Shoes

If you’re looking for a lightweight approach shoe, there are several options on the market to consider. These shoes prioritize weight reduction and breathability over durability and support, making them ideal for quick hikes and scrambles on moderate terrain. Here are some of the best lightweight approach shoes available:

La Sportiva TX2

The La Sportiva TX2 is a lightweight approach shoe that weighs only 8.8 ounces per shoe. These shoes feature a Vibram MegaGrip outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a breathable and water-resistant knit upper.

One of the standout features of the TX2 is the C2 Combo Cord system, which allows you to quickly and easily secure the shoes to your harness when you’re not wearing them. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and a lace-up closure for a secure and customizable fit.

Scarpa Crux Air

The Scarpa Crux Air is a lightweight approach shoe that weighs only 9.5 ounces per shoe. These shoes feature a Vibram LiteBase outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a breathable and durable synthetic and mesh upper.

One of the standout features of the Crux Air is the EVA midsole, which provides excellent cushioning and support without adding extra weight. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and a lace-up closure for a secure and customizable fit.

Black Diamond Technician

The Black Diamond Technician is a lightweight approach shoe that weighs only 10.4 ounces per shoe. These shoes feature a Black Diamond BlackLabel outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a breathable and durable synthetic and mesh upper.

The Technician stands out with its EVA midsole, providing maximum cushioning and support without any additional weight. Safely secured by a lace-up closure for optimized fit, these shoes also have an added protective rubber toe cap to ensure the best possible protection of your feet.

Five Ten Guide Tennie

The Five Ten Guide Tennie is a lightweight approach shoe that weighs only 12 ounces per shoe. These shoes feature a Stealth C4 outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, and a durable and water-resistant suede and synthetic upper.

Mammut Alnasca Knit Low

The Mammut Alnasca Knit Low is a lightweight approach shoe that weighs only 10.6 ounces per shoe. These shoes feature a Michelin outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces and a breathable and water-resistant knit upper.

One of the standout features of the Alnasca Knit Low is the Base Fit technology, which uses free-sliding webbing to transfer power from the lacing area to the sole, providing a snug and comfortable fit. The shoes also have a protective rubber toe cap and a lace-up closure for a secure and customizable fit.

Best Approach Boots

While approach shoes are great for shorter hikes and scrambles, sometimes you need a bit more support and protection for longer and more technical approaches.

That’s where approach boots come in – they provide the same grip and technical features as approach shoes but with added ankle support and protection. Here are some of the best approach boots on the market:

La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX

The La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX is a high-performance approach boot that features a durable leather upper and a Gore-Tex membrane that provides waterproof and breathable protection.

The boot also has a Vibram Megagrip outsole that provides excellent traction on a variety of surfaces.

One of the standout features of the TX4 Mid GTX is the STB Control System, which wraps around the midsole and provides torsional stability and a snug fit. The boot also has a lace-up closure and a protective rubber toe cap.

The TX4 Mid GTX is a great choice for longer and more technical approaches where ankle support and protection are important. It is a bit heavier than some other approach shoes and boots, but the added durability and support make it worth it.

Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX

The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX is another high-performance approach boot that features a durable suede upper and a Gore-Tex membrane for waterproof and breathable protection. The boot also has a Vibram Drumlin outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces.

One of the standout features of the Zodiac Plus GTX is the Scarpa Sock-Fit Plus technology, which provides a snug and comfortable fit by wrapping the foot with a stretchy and breathable fabric. The boot also has a lace-up closure and a protective rubber toe cap.

Mammut Ducan High GTX

The Mammut Ducan High GTX is one of the best approach shoes that features a durable textile upper and a Gore-Tex membrane for waterproof and breathable protection. The boot also has a Michelin outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces.

One of the standout features of the Ducan High GTX is the Mammut Georganic 3D technology, which provides a natural fit and freedom of movement by following the shape of the foot. The boot also has a lace-up closure and a protective rubber toe cap.

The Ducan High GTX is a great choice for those who want a versatile approach boot that can also be used for hiking and backpacking. It is a bit lighter than the TX4 Mid GTX but still provides excellent ankle support and protection.

Arc’teryx Konseal FL GTX

The Arc’teryx Konseal FL GTX is such a lightweight shoe that features a durable synthetic upper and a Gore-Tex membrane for waterproof and breathable protection, making it one of the best approach shoes on the market. The boot also has a Vibram Megagrip outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces.

One of the standout features of the Konseal FL GTX is the Adaptive Fit Lite technology, which provides a snug and comfortable fit by wrapping the foot with a stretchy and breathable fabric. The boot also has a lace-up closure and a protective rubber toe cap.

The Konseal FL GTX is a great choice for those who want a lightweight and versatile approach boot that can also be used for hiking and scrambling. It is the lightest boot on this list, weighing only 12.3 ounces per shoe, but still provides good ankle support and protection.

Best Hiking Approach Shoes

Approach shoes are great for scrambling and shorter hikes, but sometimes you need a shoe that can handle longer hikes and backpacking trips while still providing the grip and technical features of an approach shoe. Here are some of the best hiking approach shoes on the market:

Salewa Mountain Trainer Lite GTX

The Salewa Mountain Trainer Lite GTX is a lightweight hiking approach shoe that features a durable suede and mesh upper and a Gore-Tex membrane for waterproof and breathable protection. The shoe also has a Vibram outsole that provides excellent traction on a variety of surfaces.

One of the standout features of the Mountain Trainer Lite GTX is the 3F System, which connects the instep area with the sole and heel to provide a precise and comfortable fit. The shoe also has a lace-up closure and a protective rubber toe cap.

The Mountain Trainer Lite GTX is a great choice for those who want a lightweight and versatile shoe that can handle longer hikes and backpacking trips. It provides excellent grip and traction on a variety of surfaces and is comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time.

Scarpa Crux Air

The Scarpa Crux Air is one of the best approach shoes if you’re looking for a lightweight hiking approach shoe that features durable suede and mesh upper and a Vibram Megagrip outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces. The shoe also has a breathable and quick-drying upper that is perfect for hot and humid conditions.

One of the standout features of the Crux Air is the Adaptive Fit Lite technology, which provides a snug and comfortable fit by wrapping the foot with a stretchy and breathable fabric. The shoe also has a lace-up closure and a protective rubber toe cap.

La Sportiva TX2

The La Sportiva TX2 is a lightweight hiking approach shoe that features a durable and breathable polyester knit upper and a sticky Vibram Megagrip outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces. The shoe also has a C2 Combo Cord closure system that allows for quick and easy adjustments.

One of the standout features of the TX2 is the ultra-lightweight design, weighing in at only 8.8 ounces per shoe. The shoe also has a protective rubber rand that provides extra durability and protection.

The TX2 is a great choice for those who want an ultra-lightweight and versatile shoe that can handle longer hikes and approaches. It is also comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time and provides excellent grip and traction on a variety of surfaces.

Five Ten Access Mesh

The Five Ten Access Mesh is a lightweight hiking approach shoe that features a durable and breathable mesh upper and a Stealth S1 outsole that provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces. The shoe also has a lace-up closure and a protective rubber toe cap.

One of the standout features of the Access Mesh is the lightweight and breathable design, making it perfect for hot and humid conditions. The shoe also has a flexible and low-profile design that allows for good sensitivity and control on technical terrain.

The Access Mesh is a great choice for those who want a lightweight and breathable shoe that can handle longer hikes and approaches. It is also comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time and provides excellent grip and traction on a variety of surfaces.

Approach Shoe Buying Advice

Approach shoes are a type of footwear designed for hiking and climbing on technical terrain. They offer the best of both worlds, providing the support and traction of a comfortable hiking shoe with the edging and climbing ability of a climbing shoe. Here are some things to consider when buying a pair of approach shoes:

What is an Approach Shoe?

An approach shoe is a hybrid between a hiking boot and a climbing shoe. It is designed to be versatile enough for hiking on rocky terrain and scrambling over boulders while also providing enough stiffness and grip for technical climbing.

Approach Shoe Categories

There are three main categories of approach shoes: light hiking, technical hiking, and climbing. Light hiking shoes are best for easy trails and scrambling, technical hiking shoes are for more difficult trails and climbing, and climbing shoes are designed specifically for rock climbing.

Outsoles and Traction

The outsole is one of the most important features of an approach shoe. Look for a shoe with a sticky rubber sole that provides good traction on both wet and dry surfaces. Vibram soles are a popular choice for approach shoes because they offer excellent grip and durability.

Edging

Edging refers to the ability of a shoe to hold onto small edges and footholds. Look for a shoe with a stiffer sole and a thin edge around the toe area for better edging ability.

Waterproofing

Waterproofing is important if you plan to hike in wet conditions or cross streams. Gore-Tex is a popular waterproofing material that is breathable and keeps your feet dry.

Breathability

Breathability is important for keeping your feet cool and dry in hot weather. Look for shoes with mesh uppers or breathable materials that allow air to circulate around your feet.

Weight

Approach shoes can be heavy, so it’s important to find a pair that is comfortable to wear for extended periods. Lightweight shoes are more comfortable and can reduce fatigue, but they may sacrifice durability and protection.

Fit and Sizing

A proper fit is essential for both comfort and performance. Approach shoes should fit snugly without being too tight or too loose. Be sure to try on several sizes and styles to find the best fit for your feet.

Stiffness and Stability

Approach shoes should provide enough stiffness and stability to support your feet on uneven terrain. Look for shoes with a stiff midsole and a supportive heel cup.

Toe Protection

Toe protection is important for protecting your feet when scrambling over rocks and boulders. Look for shoes with a reinforced toe box or rubber bumper.

Upper Materials

The upper material of an approach shoe can affect its durability, breathability, and waterproofing. Leather is durable and offers good protection, but it may not be as breathable as mesh or synthetic materials.

The Mid-Height Approach Shoe

Mid-height approach shoes offer more ankle support than low-cut shoes and are a good choice for hiking on rough terrain. They provide better protection from rocks and debris and are more supportive for technical climbing.

A Word Approach Shoe Care

Sure, taking care of your approach shoes is important to ensure they last as long as possible and perform at their best. Here are some tips for caring for your approach shoes:

  1. Clean them regularly: Dirt and debris can wear down the materials in your shoes and affect their performance. Use a soft brush or cloth to clean your shoes after each use, and wash them with mild soap and water as needed.
  2. Dry them properly: Allow your shoes to air dry after each use, away from direct heat or sunlight. Stuff them with newspaper or a shoe tree to help them retain their shape and absorb moisture.
  3. Apply to waterproof: To maintain the waterproofing of your shoes, apply a waterproofing spray or wax regularly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.
  4. Store them properly: When you’re not using your approach shoes, store them in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and heat sources. Avoid folding or crushing them, as this can damage the materials.
  5. Replace worn-out parts: If the outsole or other parts of your shoes become worn out, consider replacing them. This can help extend the life of your shoes and ensure they continue to perform at their best.

Summary

Approach shoes are designed for the technical terrain of mountain trails and can be a great asset for hikers, climbers, and mountaineers. Look for shoes with good traction, edging ability, waterproofing, breathability, and lightweight construction to maximize your performance on the trail.

Make sure you get the right fit and take care of your approach shoes to ensure they last as long as possible. With the right approach shoes, you’ll be ready to take on any terrain!

FAQ’s Best Approach Shoes

What are approach shoes?

Approach shoes are a type of outdoor footwear that are designed to provide a combination of grip, support, and comfort for hikers, climbers, and mountaineers when approaching or descending from a climb or route.

What makes approach shoes different from other types of shoes?

Approach shoes are specifically designed for technical approaches and descents, with features like sticky rubber soles, low profile designs for better foot control, durable construction, and a blend of materials for good breathability and protection.

Can approach shoes be used for hiking or trail running?

Yes, approach shoes can be used for hiking or trail running as long as the terrain is technical or rocky. They are designed to provide good grip and control on technical terrain, so they may not be as comfortable or suitable for flat or easy trails.

Are approach shoes waterproof?

Some approach shoes are waterproof or water-resistant, but not all of them. It depends on the materials used and the specific design of the shoe. If you plan to use your approach shoes in wet conditions, look for models that are specifically designed to be waterproof or have water-resistant materials.

How do I choose the right size of approach shoes?

The best way to choose the right size of approach shoes is to try them on in person. Make sure you have enough room in the toe box, but not too much that your feet are slipping around. Also, make sure the heel is snug and the shoe feels secure overall. If you are buying online, make sure to check the sizing chart and measure your feet before making a purchase.

Can I use approach shoes for climbing?

Yes, approach shoes can be used for climbing, but they are not designed for technical climbing routes. Approach shoes can be used for easy to moderate climbing routes or for scrambling, but not for more advanced climbing routes that require specialized climbing shoes.

How do I care for my approach shoes?

To care for your approach shoes, it’s important to keep them clean and dry. Brush off any dirt or debris after each use, and avoid exposing them to extreme heat or direct sunlight. If they get wet, let them air dry in a cool, dry place. You can also apply waterproofing spray to keep them water-resistant.

How do I break in my approach shoes?

To break in your approach shoes, wear them around the house or on short walks to let your feet get used to the fit and feel. You can also try wearing them with the socks and insoles that you plan to use on your outdoor adventures. Avoid wearing them on long hikes or climbs until they are fully broken in to prevent blisters or discomfort.

Can I use approach shoes for approach and descent on snow or ice?

Approach shoes are not designed for use on snow or ice. The rubber soles may not provide enough traction or grip on icy surfaces, which can be dangerous. If you plan to do approach and descent on snow or ice, it’s best to use specialized mountaineering boots or shoes that are designed for those conditions.

How do I know when it’s time to replace my approach shoes?

You should replace your approach shoes when the soles are worn out, the upper is torn or damaged, or the shoe no longer provides adequate support or protection. Signs that it’s time to replace your approach shoes include excessive wear on the soles, loss of grip or traction, or holes or tears in the upper. It’s important to replace your shoes before they become a safety hazard or cause discomfort or injury.

Can approach shoes be resoled?

Some approach shoes can be resoled, depending on the specific design and construction. If you have a favorite pair of approach shoes that you want to keep using, it may be worth contacting a shoe repair service to see if they can be resoled.

What is the difference between approach shoes and hiking boots?

Approach shoes are designed specifically for technical approaches and descents, while hiking boots are designed for longer hikes on various terrains. Approach shoes are typically lighter and more flexible than hiking boots, with lower profile designs that provide better foot control and grip on technical terrain.

Can I use approach shoes for everyday wear?

Yes, you can use approach shoes for everyday wear if you like the look and feel of them. Some approach shoes are designed with more casual styling that can work well for everyday use. However, keep in mind that approach shoes are designed for outdoor use and may not be as comfortable or durable for everyday wear as traditional casual shoes.

What are the benefits of using approach shoes?

Approach shoes provide several benefits for outdoor enthusiasts, including good grip and control on technical terrain, durability and protection from rocks and debris, and comfort for long approaches and descents. They are also versatile enough to be used for hiking, scrambling, and easy to moderate climbing routes.

How much do approach shoes cost?

The cost of approach shoes varies depending on the specific model, brand, and features. You can expect to pay anywhere from around $50 to over $200 for a pair of approach shoes. Higher-end models may have specialized features like waterproofing or extra cushioning, while more budget-friendly options may have simpler designs and fewer features.

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