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Question on Approach Shoes

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Question on Approach Shoes

Postby psykokid » Fri May 06, 2016 12:06 pm

I normally hike in Altra Lone Peak 2.5's but have thought about picking up a pair of approach shoes such as the 5.10 Guide Tennies or Scarpa Crux to switch into when doing passes and climbs that are more in the upper class 3 lower class 4 range. I've found the Lone Peaks are plenty grippy on trails and smaller loose stuff but when hitting slabs, boulders & large talus hopping I find the grip of the Lone Peaks to be a bit lacking. Does anyone here suffer the weight penalty and take a pair of approach shoes in their pack to give more grip on the more technical bits?
Last edited by psykokid on Thu May 12, 2016 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Question on Approach Shoes

Postby maverick » Fri May 06, 2016 2:00 pm

If I know that a route will involve some very technical sections, then some rock shoes come along, otherwise my La Sportiva Ultra Raptor's have pretty decent grip, they have their sticky FriXion climbing rubber injected into there out outsoles, which can handle some pretty steep slabs (smearing).
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Re: Question on Approach Shoes

Postby psykokid » Fri May 06, 2016 2:29 pm

I wish I could fit into La Sportiva's trail runners. I wear a size 13 and have a wider forefoot but with a normal midfoot and heel. I tried the Ultra Raptors, Bushidos and Wildcats all in a 47.5 which is the largest size they come in. The only ones that came remotely close to fitting were the Wildcats, and they were too tight in the toebox. Supposedly the new Akasha's are supposed to have a roomier toe box compared to all the other La Sportiva trail runners, but I'm not holding out hope there..
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Re: Question on Approach Shoes

Postby maverick » Fri May 06, 2016 2:32 pm

I wear a size 13 and have a wider forefoot but with a normal midfoot and heel.


Ok, that is why you wear the Altra's.
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Re: Question on Approach Shoes

Postby maverick » Fri May 06, 2016 2:37 pm

HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Question on Approach Shoes

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri May 06, 2016 3:37 pm

When I was doing a lot of Alpine technical climbing, my preference was walking in with regular light hikers and then switching to oversized rock shoes on the actual climb. These sticky rubber shoes were sized for a tight but comfortable fit with mid-weight wool socks. If you are on a 10+ hour route tight rock shoes worn barefoot are just too painful. A smooth sticky rubber sole is better as the difficulty gets in the 5.7-5.8 range. If you are sticking to class 3-4 climbing, approach shoes may work fine. An approach shoe will be narrower than a regular hiker, so I would be reluctant if the approach were really long, such as 10+ miles.

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Summiting Bear Creek Spire- with my comfy oversized rock shoes!
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Re: Question on Approach Shoes

Postby psykokid » Fri May 06, 2016 3:50 pm



Thanks, I actually remember reading a couple of those threads before I set on trying the Altra's. For 90% of the time the Altra's are perfect. Just checking to see if anyone bothers with bringing a shoe that is a bit more sticky for the technical bits.
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Re: Question on Approach Shoes

Postby maverick » Fri May 06, 2016 4:43 pm

Just checking to see if anyone bothers with bringing a shoe that is a bit more sticky for the technical bits.


As WD mentions, if you do not have a difficult/long approach, then an approach shoe would work, on the other hand, if you have a long approach, then finding something from La Sportiva would be a better alternative, a rock shoe like the Mythos or Katana would be useful if you had some technical routes at your destination. Would wear my Raptors for example to the starting point of Snake Dyke in YV, then change over to my Katanas to climb to the top of Half Dome, then change back to the Raptors to hike down Half Dome to Happy Isles.
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Re: Question on Approach Shoes

Postby longri » Fri May 06, 2016 6:22 pm

For class 4 I think comfortable but well fitting approach shoes are the perfect thing. I've worn approach shoes in the Sierra for years both for hiking long distances as well as scrambling up to easy fifth class.


(edited: for brevity and to eliminate a link to a merchant website that I didn't explicitly add)
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Re: Question on Approach Shoes

Postby LightRanger » Wed May 11, 2016 2:44 pm

longri wrote:For class 4 I think comfortable but well fitting approach shoes are the perfect thing. I've worn approach shoes in the Sierra for years both for hiking long distances as well as scrambling up to easy fifth class.


(edited: for brevity and to eliminate a link to a merchant website that I didn't explicitly add)


This.

I've done 50+ milers in Salewa Wildfire GTXs quite happily and without blisters/major foot issues. I've happily climbed class 3/4 in them, but would switch to rock shoes for fifth class stuff. If I was back in college and climbing shape, I'd probably climb up to 5.7 or so in them without complaint.
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Re: Question on Approach Shoes

Postby maverick » Wed May 11, 2016 3:32 pm

I've done 50+ milers in Salewa Wildfire GTXs quite happily and without blisters/major foot issues.


Those are highly rated approach shoes, but with the OP having a wider forefoot, the Salewa's will probably not fit him with its slim toe box.
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Re: Question on Approach Shoes

Postby mitchellisdumb » Sat May 14, 2016 5:14 pm

Approach shoes by nature are sort of a hybrid between trail runners and climbing shoes, and you'll find that where they fall on that spectrum varies widely by the model. Typical approach shoes tend to have a thick suede or canvas upper for durability in cracks and a tight forefoot, but there are a few (too few) models that lean further toward the minimalist trail runner end of the spectrum.

My favorite shoes by far are my Patagonia Rovers, which IMO are the perfect shoe for High Sierra scrambling. They have the minimalist trail runner features that really matter to me—a highly breathable, quick-drying mesh upper, a wide toebox, low heel-toe drop (4mm IIRC), and light weight (20.5 oz for a men's 10.5). But they also have some great approach shoe features—a very sticky sole with a wrap-around toe rand, durable reinforcements in sections of the upper, and to-the-toe lacing so I can cinch down the toebox in technical sections.

Protip: put an extra twist in the laces right above the toe box, it'll keep slack in the toe box from migrating up.

Image

Unfortunately, the Rover got discontinued with the rest of Patagonia's footwear line. Last I checked there were a few sizes still available on Amazon. Until recently there was nothing else like them, but La Sportiva's new TX3 and TX2 models look very promising.
Last edited by mitchellisdumb on Sun May 15, 2016 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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