Approach shoe quality

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 jim jones 23 Sep 2021

Anyone else have a problem with “approach” shoes wearing out rapidly? I keep wearing through the heels inside the shoes very quickly. It doesn’t seem to matter on the manufacturer, La Sportiva, Scarpa, Salomon etc. I must’ve worn a hole through on about eight pairs at least over recent years, no problems with walking boots or ordinary shoes; just (very expensive) approach shoes. I’m pretty sure I didn’t have the problem when they first came out, as an alternative to trainers years ago. 

 HeMa 23 Sep 2021
In reply to jim jones:


so I now don’t use approach shoes. Regular sneakers and trailrunning shoes seem more robust, lighter and often better grip on mud and grass. 

I still have a really good climbing approach shoe, but I’m saving those for proper easy long climbs. 

 Babika 23 Sep 2021
In reply to jim jones:

Agree with HeMa.

I've worn out 3 - not just the soles but the uppers split after less than 1 year.

It's back to robust trainers for me, but annoyingly they're rubbish on scrambling.


 abr1966 23 Sep 2021
In reply to jim jones:

Yep agreed!!!

After giving up on approach shoes and trail running shoes I'm back in boots!

In reply to jim jones:

I had some La Sportive TX4 that lasted for about 5 years and thousands of miles. Sole where properly knackered beyond repair when I binned them, uppers were still fine. Got a pair of Salawa Wildfire, which got the same treatment, soles went quicker, but upper wire very quickly. Knackered in less than a year.

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKH Supporter 23 Sep 2021
In reply to jim jones:

I stopped buying expensive Approach Shoes (aka 5.10s) years ago and now usually buy Decathlon's best - as a rule they cost about 1/3 of the 'names' and last just as long,


 ian caton 23 Sep 2021
In reply to jim jones:

Gaffer tape on inside wear points from new. Regularly replaced. Doesn't stick long at first but improves. 

 Hooo 23 Sep 2021
In reply to jim jones:

Not me. I bought a couple of pairs of 5.10 Access when they were £25 at Rock and run a few years ago. The first pair lasted a couple of years as pretty much my only shoes, I wear them for everything and they are by far the longest lasting shoes I've ever owned. I'm on the second pair now, but I've got a year or two to look for their replacement. I wonder if they still make them?

My trail running shoes on the other hand are a joke. I'm doing well to get 500km out of them before the uppers fall to bits. I would never waste their short life on using them for anything other than running.

Post edited at 20:42
In reply to Hooo:

They make something they call 5.10 guides but unfortunately in the last 12 months they have got noticeably worse as the design is improved. On Saturday I tried to do a little bouldering in them and they were treacherous, far worse than trainers. Huge regret having bought them to replace my old ones

Mammut Hueco are the nearest I think to the old tennies, maybe La Sportiva tx2 an alternative, but don't buy the current (Addidas)5.10 guides!

Post edited at 22:17
In reply to jim jones:

I’ve had 4 pairs of Scarpa Zen pro. They have lasted for a couple of years each having repaired the heels once or twice. The upper last forever. Although I love the Zen’s, I bought a pair of La Sportiva TX4 this summer to experience what the hype is all about. The climb better and are lighter, but the upper lasted two months only, and I’m in the process of claiming a refund. 

 nniff 24 Sep 2021
In reply to jim jones:

When mine start to look 'experienced', they must acquire a certain something that is 'just so'.  At this point, the dog takes them to a quiet corner to improve them.   The last pair lasted two months before improvement was necessary.  He has so far improved two pairs of approach shoes, one pair of running shoes, one pair of squash shoes, two pairs of carbon-soled cycling shoes and three pairs of high heels (not mine).  He is happy to bide his time until opportunity and need for improvement coincide.  If the shoes do not meet his exacting standards, he leaves them a while longer until they are, as above, 'just so'.

The obvious solution would be to teach him a lesson he won't forget.  However, castration and shoe improvement seem not to be correlated....

 jim jones 24 Sep 2021
In reply to ian caton:

Good tip Ian thanks for that. That could solve the problem I’m having with the insides. I don’t usually have problems with exterior wear. 

 Iamgregp 24 Sep 2021
In reply to jim jones:

I have a pair of Arc'teryx Acrux approach shoes that I bought about 5 or 5 years ago and they're still going strong, they're absolutely bombproof.

However, I only bought them as they were half price, eye wateringly expensive otherwise. 

In reply to jim jones:

Dunno, my experience has been different. I'm only on my second pair of La Sportiva Boulder X and I use them for everything. For reference here is what my first pair looked like when I dumped them under a bin outside Venice Airport as they stank too much to put in my hand luggage, at that point they had walked, run and climbed thousands of miles.

 wbo2 24 Sep 2021
In reply to Hooo:  If you're really worried about trail running shoe uppers getting trashed put them in the washing machine regularly.  Gets grit and organic acids out.  Or don't buy particular makes (Hoka, Altra...)

Most durable shoes I've got are some Scarpa Zen.  They aren't light though. I don't really bother with approach shoes over trail running shoes tho'

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