/ GROUP TEST: Approach Shoes

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Approach shoes group test Whether you're approaching a mountain crag or out on a scramble or via ferrata, an approach shoe will be lighter and more nimble than a boot, yet more supportive and technically capable than a running shoe. In this group test we check out ten models from big brands.

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Paul Sagar 13 Aug 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

i’m on my second pair of TX4 and I don’t think I’ll ever buy a different model of shoe whilst these are on the market. They are just so good. I even used them with crampons to get across snow patches in the Bregaglia earlier this year!

In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Is there any sticky rubber that IS good on wet grass?

kevin stephens 13 Aug 2019
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant: yes the five ten camp 4, popular in UK but strangely excluded fro the review

Wil Treasure 13 Aug 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

> yes the five ten camp 4, popular in UK but strangely excluded fro the review

I don't think they make them any more.

Wil Treasure 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

> i’m on my second pair of TX4...

Same here. I've never had such a well fitting pair of shoes, and they've taken a lot of abuse. Lasted me 3 years before someone nicked them from a campsite earlier this year! My regular approach shoes tend to last 18 months before they're barely hanging together.

MischaHY 13 Aug 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Konseal is my choice as you can really get the miles in but they climb well when required, plus the light weight doesn't make you weep when clipping them to the back of your harness. I've used them on mud, scree, snow etc and felt solid the whole time. Pricey, but worth it. 

snoop6060 13 Aug 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

I've honestly never worn a shoe of any type (even actual climbing shoes) that are as uncomfortable as 5.10 tennies. I was forced to buy them as my approach shoe got ripped to bits in the states and all they had in my size were those. It brings a tear to my eye just thinking about some of the 2 hour approaches and descents I had to do in them. Bloody horrific. 

DubyaJamesDubya 13 Aug 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Perhaps it's a 'one only from each manufacturer' thing but The Sportiva TX2 and Boulder X should be in there.

DubyaJamesDubya 13 Aug 2019
In reply to snoop6060:

> I've honestly never worn a shoe of any type (even actual climbing shoes) that are as uncomfortable as 5.10 tennies. I was forced to buy them as my approach shoe got ripped to bits in the states and all they had in my size were those. It brings a tear to my eye just thinking about some of the 2 hour approaches and descents I had to do in them. Bloody horrific. 

Mine were awesome, until recently, when the midsole seems to have given out and it's impossible to walk on even slightly rough/stony ground.

snoop6060 13 Aug 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

I can only assume you have Dutch genes in you then  

afx22 13 Aug 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Great review.

Any suggestions on what might be best for a dry traverse of Aonach Eagach?

I already have;

Old Guide Tennies - Great going up on rock.  Lethal when decending anything that isn't rock.

Arcteryx Arakys - Perfect for getting around while outdoors bouldering.  I love the fold down backs.  I wouldn't want to take them up a mountain though.

Boulder X - Look perfect mountain use but the fit is terribly uncomfortable for me in the toe box.  Sock fit if poor too.  I thought they'd bed in.  Years later I've accepted that they never will.

Dave Garnett 13 Aug 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> Mine were awesome,

Mine too.  I've worn little else for the last 20 years, although it's only in the last couple of weeks that I've tried them with crampons.

captain paranoia 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Second pair of TX4 here, too. Instantly comfortable; wore them for the TMB after just one day prior wear, with no problems at all. First pair has worn the sole though to the EVA midlayer, but I'm still wearing them for casual use (work). Leather upper is still intact and in good condition, with no holes at the flex points. Been through the washing machine on a number of occasions when they've been wading in bog. Inner also in good condition.

Second pair bought discounted in GoOutdoors. Flex point may not be so robust on this pair, as it looks like the rand is starting to come away, after not much use. May have been in stock at Go for some time, perhaps?

Price has gone up a lot since the first pair (bought July '17). Was £88 with 20% DofE discount, so retail £110. Now £130 rrp. Dare I say 'Brexit'...?

Stefan Jacobsen 13 Aug 2019
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

> Is there any sticky rubber that IS good on wet grass?

I’m in my third pair of Scarpa Zen, and they are fine on wet grass. To be honest, I have not used any of the more sticky approach shoes. When I need more sticky, I put in my climbing shoes. 

maxsmith 13 Aug 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

another very happy tx4 user here, much lighter than the boulder x, which is a great shoe as well

kaiser 13 Aug 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

I'm a scrambler, rather than any other use-case and for me, Stealth rubber (C4 or S1) pisses on vibram megagrip.  

Tennies are bizarrely not given any sort of heel brake (as per the review) and Camp Fours were a bit floppy so the best scrambling / mountain / approach shoe for me was the Adidas Terrex Scope.  Sadly not made any more and were only ever  available with goretex which I don't like in a shoe.

Still waiting for the 'One Ring to Rule Them All'...  

Post edited at 20:47
Hat Dude 14 Aug 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

They'll all have sticky soles after standing around in spilt beer in pubs where they'll be worn the most ;-)

C Witter 14 Aug 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

I picked up a pair of the Mammut Alnasca shoes and, unfortunately, I think they're quite poor. They're quite high volume and sometimes roll, e.g. when contouring a steep slope. The fit is too imprecise and the sole too flexible for precise footwork on rock; in addition, the laces loosen off, however you tie them. Worst of all, though, is durability - inside the heel has already worn through the padding, after a couple of months of light use and using the 'pull on' tab has ripped out the stitching on  the back of one shoe.

The worst approach shoes I've had recently, though, were the Salomon X Alp Spry - not included here, but still on sale. The build quality was awful and they fell apart over the course of a few trips. The heel wore through on the inside and the fancy laminated uppers delaminated. The real problem, though, was that the soft uppers completely tore where the shoe met the stiff rubber toe cap. In addition, the rubber was crap.

Between them, I've become convinced that most of the claims made for approach shoes are complete BS and that build quality is very poor - especially relative to price.

Post edited at 09:50
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TobyA 14 Aug 2019
In reply to C Witter:

> Between them, I've become convinced that most of the claims made for approach shoes are complete BS and that build quality is very poor - especially relative to price.

I'm not sure if (with a sample size of 2 out of hundreds of models) that's a particularly fair conclusion to draw!

I just put my favourite approach shoes in a bin on a campsite in France after standing on lots of via ferrata ladder rungs proved to exert more turning force than the gorilla glue I had used to reattach the soles could stand! But they were 13 years old and had done a lot of Norwegian mountain approaches and descents, along with being my general outdoor trainers/going to the crag shoes for much of that time so that seemed fair enough.

Of course Montrail stopped making them about decade ago! So not really sure what to replace them with next.

Doug 14 Aug 2019
In reply to TobyA:

I had to bin my favourite Millet shoes after the repairs started to fail & the soles were becomming as smooth as a climbing shoe about a year ago. Unfortunately Millet no longer made that model & I spent a long time looking for a replacement pair in both France & Spain. Not helped by most shops not stocking smaller sizes. In the end I bought another pair of Millet's but a newer model which seem OK so far but as I needed them in a hurry (when the older pair started to rapidly disintegrate ) I could only find the gore tex lined model which are a bit hot much of the time here in the southern French Alps.

As noted in the review, most companies produce both goretex & non-goretex versions of most models but here in France I can only find the lined versions in the shops - is it the same in the UK ?

C Witter 14 Aug 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> I'm not sure if (with a sample size of 2 out of hundreds of models) that's a particularly fair conclusion to draw!

Rationally, I'm sure you're right - but it is disappointing to fork out for a pair of shoes that claim myriad "high tech" features, only to find out that you've basically bought an ugly pair of trainers with the ruggedness and lifespan of a gnat...

kevin stephens 14 Aug 2019
In reply to C Witter:

It would have been good to include a pair of traditional leather walking boots in the test for comparison purposes 

In reply to C Witter:

> I picked up a pair of the Mammut Alnasca shoes and, unfortunately, I think they're quite poor. They're quite high volume and sometimes roll, e.g. when contouring a steep slope. The fit is too imprecise and the sole too flexible for precise footwork on rock; in addition, the laces loosen off, however you tie them. Worst of all, though, is durability - inside the heel has already worn through the padding, after a couple of months of light use and using the 'pull on' tab has ripped out the stitching on  the back of one shoe.

> Between them, I've become convinced that most of the claims made for approach shoes are complete BS and that build quality is very poor - especially relative to price.

Being that it was me that reviewed the Mammut Alnasca I thought I'd respond, as I'm not sure whether you've actually read what I've written...

Firstly, I make the matter of its fit pretty clear: "it's got a good width to it too so will naturally favour those with medium-high volume feet". I use the phrase 'good width' because I have wide feet, but clearly this would be an undesirable feature if you did indeed have narrow feet, which may/may not explain why yours are rolling. The laces, which I am particualrly damning of, don't help this either, because their thin nature makes them awkward to use + tighten.

When it comes to the sole, "the bendiness doesn't come as a surprise, because ultimately for a shoe this light the weight savings had to be made somewhere" and "on rough ground it feels like it provides a little less torsional support than some".  If you buy a lightweight shoe to deliver heavyweight levels of support and/or durability you are going to be disappointed. The Alnasca Knit is the lightest on test at 660g, so its not entirely surprising that it is a) the least flexible  and b) one of the quickest to wear out. For what it's worth I didn't have the same problems with wear, but everyone is different - weight, pronation, foot shape, intended use, and actual use are just some of the factors at play.

As such, it sounds like we have both voiced the same concerns - hence if we are indeed guilty of talking BS...well...I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions ;-)

David Barlow 14 Aug 2019

I'm providing another vote for TX4. Great shoes.

In reply to kevin stephens:

Thanks, that's an interesting suggestion. But I'm not sure that would have been particularly informative since this is an approach shoe review, not a boot review. A comparison would probably have told us that the boot was heavier, clumsier, stiffer, longer lasting, more protective, warmer, better for walking through bogs, better for fitting a walking crampon to, and more expensive... things you can confidently infer without actually having to physically compare them.

With big comparative tests there simply isn't time or space to be that eclectic, or where would it end? We pick a category of gear and then look at models within that band.

And on the basis that every model is different in some way, which boot should we have included anyway?

  

Stefan Jacobsen 14 Aug 2019
In reply to TobyA:

13 years?? You must be threading light..! How many times did you get them resoled?

I get my approach shoes resoled two times on the heels before the entire soles are worn through after three years. Ok, I wear them all the time and not only in the field.

Doug 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

If you were going to have one or more 'outliers' I'd suggest other shoes which are similar in many ways but not advertised as 'approach shoes' - for example for many years I used a pair of Walsh fell running shoes for most of my hill walking & scrambling and IMHO they fit your review criteria fairly well, depending on what 'technical rock' means - I used my Walshes for a traverse of the Cuillins & other classic scrambles which I assume is the sort of terrain you had in mind.

In reply to David Barlow:

I'm adding my vote too. I was very tempted to give these Best in Test. They're very hard to fault.

But not having worn all these shoes myself (an impossible task) I really wasn't qualified to make that call.

Plus, and it's a big point, a Best in Test is close to meaningless when it comes to footwear. If a given shoe doesn't fit you personally then it doesn't matter how good we say it is!

That said, the TX4 is (for me) the best approach shoe I've worn.  

In reply to Doug:

Even that's too much of an outlier I'm afraid.

'Footwear you could conceivably use to approach crags/do the Cuillin ridge' is potentially an open-ended category, depending who you are. This review is very specifically billed as approach shoes. It's a slightly nebulous category but I'm fairly sure that most of us would prefer most of these over Walshes on Naismith's Route etc. 

flaneur 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

> 'Footwear you could conceivably use to approach crags/do the Cuillin ridge' is potentially an open-ended category, depending who you are. This review is very specifically billed as approach shoes. It's a slightly nebulous category but I'm fairly sure that most of us would prefer most of these over Walshes on Naismith's Route etc. 

Assuming a decent fit, I'm fairly sure that most of us would prefer Walshes over most of these to approach a UK mountain or seacliff crag! 

As an aside, I wore Walshes on a Cuillin traverse and they climbed fine, certainly better than the Boreal shoes I've had (not Sendais but they were also 'heavy...clumpy and imprecise').

1
TobyA 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Stefan Jacobsen:

No re-sole. It's not like they are the only pair of shoes I had though, but they did get used a fair amount for scrambling and walking to crags.

In reply to flaneur:

Yes, I often use running shoes too. But assuming a good fit in both cases I'm still pretty confident most people would prefer a decent approach shoe on actual scrambling/climbing ground. It does take all sorts though.

We did a trail shoe group test in 2017:

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/gear/footwear/running_shoes/trail_running_shoes-9368

I don't think we will ever contemplate doing an all-in-one running AND approach shoes bumper group test in future. It would be far too nebulous... and impossibly massive

In reply to flaneur:

Whilst I’m all up for a bit of nostalgia, Walshes weren’t even the best product on the market 20 years ago - let alone now. Yes, they were good on muddy/grassy terrain, but that’s about it. It speaks volumes that even within their own market barely any fell runners are using them anymore.

It’s almost like saying Ronhills are the pinnacle of mountain legwear...

Post edited at 14:22
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Southvillain 14 Aug 2019
In reply to afx22:

> Great review.

> Any suggestions on what might be best for a dry traverse of Aonach Eagach?

> I already have;

> Old Guide Tennies - Great going up on rock.  Lethal when decending anything that isn't rock.

> Arcteryx Arakys - Perfect for getting around while outdoors bouldering.  I love the fold down backs.  I wouldn't want to take them up a mountain though.

> Boulder X - Look perfect mountain use but the fit is terribly uncomfortable for me in the toe box.  Sock fit if poor too.  I thought they'd bed in.  Years later I've accepted that they never will.


I did it in May, in a pair of Salewa Firetail Mids. Frankly you don't need any great grip/precision in the dry. If the choice is between the three you've already got, I'd do the Guide Tennies. The walk up (going S to N) is on gravel/stone path, the ridge is all rock/gravelly path, and the descent is all gravelly/stone path.

C Witter 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

I didn't accuse you of talking BS, Rob - I was referring to the marketing of the shoes. Perhaps I should have made that clearer!

I'd add, though, that I don't think I've really made heavy demands on the shoe, however lightweight it is... I reckon my usage so far could amount to: approaching a few crags in the Lakes, wandering up to and around a bouldering spot two or three times, two weekends walking and climbing in Ogwen and three days of summer walking (about 40km overall). It's up to the designers to work out how to balance weight and durability up to a reasonable limit, which they've certainly not met in my mind...
 

Post edited at 16:45
Presley Whippet 14 Aug 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Re the salewa shoes:

These perform very well on all terrain, I have climbed up to E1 in them. They do not wear well, after an estimated 75 days use in 12 months, the waterproofing on my giretex lined pair failed. I returned these to salewa who said I had worn them out. 

75 days, worn out. So much for the advertised 2 year guarantee. 

Good fit, poor longevity and a dishonest warranty. 

1
In reply to C Witter:

Ahhhhhhhh, that makes a lot more sense - thanks

Robert Durran 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> Whilst I’m all up for a bit of nostalgia, Walshes weren’t even the best product on the market 20 years ago - let alone now. Yes, they were good on muddy/grassy terrain, but that’s about it.

But if that is that you want them for, then why look beyond them (or at least something very similar). I certainly haven't found anything which performs better, are so readily resoleable and are so hard wearing that it is worth resoleing them repeatedly.

 For mountain cragging where you are going to be carrying your shoes on your harness once off the muddy/grassy approach, lightweight fell running shoes seem absolutely ideal to me. Anything else is going to give less grip on the approach and be much heavier on the climb (especially when wet).

If you're not going to be carrying your shoes on the climb, then something heavier, more waterproof and more supporting when carrying a sack might be preferable, but unfortunately, as far as I can see, nobody makes such a thing with a sole which gives grip on mud and grass which comes anywhere near that of Walshes (or something very similar).

Edit: And fell running shoes are the only thing which make the approach to the Main Cliff at Gogarth anything other than a near death experience!

Post edited at 17:44
Robert Durran 14 Aug 2019
In reply to flaneur:

> As an aside, I wore Walshes on a Cuillin traverse and they climbed fine, certainly better than the Boreal shoes I've had (not Sendais but they were also 'heavy...clumpy and imprecise').

I actually think the Cuillin are the only hills in the UK where Walshes or similar would not be my first choice for safe and efficiant movement!

2
angry pirate 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I had a pair of the older Wildfires, which had a Vibram sole, and had exactly the opposite problem: the sole wore beautifully well but was like glass! I think one of my most terrifying experiences was the North ridge of Tryfan with a mate when I couldn't trust a single foot placement. I still have a scar from that one.

I certainly couldn't have climbed in them and struggled to change direction pushing a shopping trolley round the supermarket without sliding.

Conversely my old Scarpas wore out really quickly on the sole but stuck like the proverbial to the blanket.

In reply to Robert Durran:

> But if that is that you want them for, then why look beyond them (or at least something very similar). I certainly haven't found anything which performs better, are so readily resoleable and are so hard wearing that it is worth resoleing them repeatedly.

Rob, if you're happy - I'm happy

Jokes aside, this is probably a good illustration of how if something fits you then it's ultimately the best product out there for you.

Hope you've managed to get out/about lately, mixed year for the Highlands eh?!

Presley Whippet 14 Aug 2019
In reply to angry pirate:

Cool username, I salute you. 

Robert Durran 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> Rob, if you're happy - I'm happy

Great!

> Jokes aside, this is probably a good illustration of how if something fits you then it's ultimately the best product out there for you.

Absolutely.

> Hope you've managed to get out/about lately, mixed year for the Highlands eh?!

Apparently. But I've been in Namibia; no rain, no midges, no mud, almost no grass, no need for Walshes...... and fantastic climbing - I might even write an article for UKC

angry pirate 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Thank you!

The goretex liner on my pair lasted two wears. To their credit Needle Sports replaced them asap.

angry pirate 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Thank you!

The goretex liner on my pair lasted two wears. To their credit Needle Sports replaced them asap.

phizz4 14 Aug 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

My favourite approach shoes are zamberlans., but they are quite difficult to find in the shops. However, my biggest problem is that I tend to wear the heels out before any other part of the shoe, especially if they have a goretex lining. With the goretex lining there is always a horizontal seam across the upper part  of the heel that this usually fails. My current pair of Scarpa Crux (not the current design) don't have a lining and are lasting much better than the original design. I must have very bony heels.

Raskye 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Stefan Jacobsen:

I’m on my 7th pair but I think I’m ready for a change now. 

danm 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> Whilst I’m all up for a bit of nostalgia, Walshes weren’t even the best product on the market 20 years ago - let alone now. Yes, they were good on muddy/grassy terrain, but that’s about it. It speaks volumes that even within their own market barely any fell runners are using them anymore.

> It’s almost like saying Ronhills are the pinnacle of mountain legwear...

The thing is Rob, most climbers overstate the amount of rock climbing and scrambling they will actually do in their approach shoes. For getting to most mountain crags or sea cliffs on steep wet grass then fell shoes totally piss over any approach shoe on the market. When I lived in the Lakes nobody local wore anything other than Walshes or Innov8s on walk ins, and with good reason. The best shoes I ever had were some La Sportiva black and yellow trail shoes - deep pointed lugs, a low profile sole unit and sticky rubber. Weighed naff all too. Good enough on rock but amazing on the stuff where they really need to be good - when you have to descend a convex slope. Gutted they no longer make them! The only thing most approach shoes are any good for is wearing to the pub, and showboating on easy grit routes (or hard ones if you are Adam Long).

Edit: also, for those in the know, back in the day you could get Walshes in a sticky rubber which were considerably better on rock than the usual ones.

Post edited at 21:50
1
Robert Durran 14 Aug 2019
In reply to danm:

>  The only thing most approach shoes are any good for is wearing to the pub.

They are actually also good for approaching climbs in dry, rocky countries (not uncoincidentally where most are made), but are rubbish in damp, grassy countries such as the UK.

petemeads 14 Aug 2019
In reply to flaneur:

Walshes on the Cuillin ridge - another vote from me. Plenty of grip, nice and light. Having said that, 30 years on I find them a bit too harsh for long days. TX4s have filled the gap nicely, very pleased except they rub my talus bone on prolonged contours (double socks helps), they got me round the Welsh 3000s recently. Now trying Scarpa Crux, not reviewed here, because they perhaps fit a little better and are well padded. Good grip from the sole, even on steep grass.

RBK 15 Aug 2019
In reply to danm: Sportiva Mutants are the current equivalent Dan, brilliant approach shoes, just add waterproof socks for getting to Esk Buttress! 

pasbury 15 Aug 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

I've got a pair of the Hanwag Makra Low and agree with what's written in the review (at first I wanted to throw them in the bin but now get on with them really well).

I've never been able to work out if they're lined though - there's no Goretex label on them. Did Hanwag used to do an unlined version?

Waterproofness hasn't really been tested yet.

danm 15 Aug 2019
In reply to RBK:

> Sportiva Mutants are the current equivalent Dan, brilliant approach shoes, just add waterproof socks for getting to Esk Buttress! 

Cheers, I'll check them out, as I do intend to do some proper cragging in September!

In reply to danm:

I'll start with what we agree on, which is the sentiment that fell shoes are actually far more suitable to approach things in than what we're actually calling 'approach shoes' these days. Rob's comments about their intended use (i.e. clean sweeps of granite) is spot on, because that is ultimately what they're best at - movement on and over rock. That said, they are also - by and large - more comfortable (due to more padding) and also more durable (due to more rubber in/around the toe), so it's a case of swings and roundabouts. That said, I think we both know which we'd rather be in descending a steep/wet grassy slope!!

In terms of what we don't agree on, I refer back to my original statement which was ultimately about people looking back on Walsh with a certain degree of nostalgia, mostly because in/around the time when they first came out there really was nothing like them on the market. However, times change, and even by the time I was doing a lot of fell running  in/around the early 2000s Walsh had begun to lose their market share due to the emergence of Inov8.

Since then Salomon, Scott and La Sportiva's ranges have all gone from strength to strength, not least because they are - blessed though Bolton might be - better made, better designed, and basically just better. That said, I include all the usual caveats about "if they fit, then they're the best for you"; however, if you truly think they're the best I would highly recommend trying some of the other models that are available on today's market, because you could be in for a surprise...

Presley Whippet 15 Aug 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Walsh don't advertise on ukc do they? 

4
danm 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

I don't think there's anything to disagree over really, if you read my post carefully I'm not being a Walshes fanboi, rather I'm dismissive of approach shoes as a tool for UK mountain cragging in general. Personally I've never owned a pair of Walshes, although my peers all swore by the green ones with sticky rubber - I used Inov8s for years until they finally destroyed my achilles, then offerings from La Sportiva for both fell running and crag approach. Approach shoes are fine for bimbling around in the Peak, and for a lot of other stuff, but if I want a light, secure pair of shoes to get to a mountain crag in, clip to my harness and then descend in, then for me personally it won't be any of the shoes featured in this review. I will be checking out a pair of Mutants as suggested though. Build quality I agree seems amazing these days across the board - the limiting factor these days seems to be sticky rubber soles wearing out way before the upper is trashed, but not being able to get the shoe resoled with a deep lugged tread. If anyone knows of any good options for that I'm all ears.

Robert Durran 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

If someone made an approach shoe as comfortable as the six year old Scarpa ones I've just been wearing in the Namib desert (the holes near the bottom let out the sand almost as fast as it comes in the top) except with a proper studded resoleable Walsh style sole, I would spend very good money on them just like that! Maybe someone does?

My experience of  Inovates  is that they fall apart before the sole even wears out. I do have a pair of Salomon's which are wearing well and are quite comfy, but the grip on wet grass comes nowhere near Walshes.

In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Walsh don't advertise on ukc do they? 

Even if they were I'd still be saying much the same...

It's also worth mentioning that neither Salomon, Scott, or Inov8 are on board, but they still receive an endorsement within my previous post.

Post edited at 13:18
In reply to danm:

Sounds like we may have had crossed wires, or more that we didn't and we were saying the same thing

Paul Sagar 15 Aug 2019
In reply to David Barlow:

And I recall recommending them to you last year. 

You're welcome! 

Toerag 16 Aug 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

>  And fell running shoes are the only thing which make the approach to the Main Cliff at Gogarth anything other than a near death experience!

Have you tried astro shoes (normally marketed for hockey)? I had a pair of studdy ones (can't remember the brand or model) and they were phenomenal on sea cliff grass & bluebells.

Toerag 16 Aug 2019
In reply to C Witter:

> I picked up a pair of the Mammut Alnasca shoes and <snip> Worst of all, though, is durability - inside the heel has already worn through the padding, after a couple of months of light use and using the 'pull on' tab has ripped out the stitching on  the back of one shoe.

> Between them, I've become convinced that most of the claims made for approach shoes are complete BS and that build quality is very poor - especially relative to price.

+1 on Mammut build quality. I had the luck to visit their factory shop sale in Memmingen a few years ago and bought 2 pairs of lightweight boots (essentially approach shoes with ankles). Both exhibited poor durability, which was really disappointing as the fit (for me) was excellent, and one pair had a vibram sole with hexagonal lugs & holes which was in my opinion the best approach sole I've ever used - excellent on steep grass & dirt, but also on polished beach boulders (even covered in slime).

Toerag 16 Aug 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Anyone been using Garmont shoes recently?  I had a pair of Karrimor approach shoes in the early 2000s which were also being sold under the Garmont brand in Italy at the time which were really good.

Fruit 16 Aug 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Big footed climbers stumped there then. Any suggestions of approach shoes made in size 49 would be helpful.

cheers

wbo2 16 Aug 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:  no test of Wellingtons yet?

mrphilipoldham 16 Aug 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

What, no Adidas Swift Solo? Half the price of most of these and just as good.

Robert Durran 16 Aug 2019
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

It seems that Lancashire Shoe Repairs will put a Walsh style studded sole on any running shoe - I presume this means they could put them on any approach shoe too. If so, this seems the ideal solution - your favourite comfy hard wearing approach shoe with the grip on wet grass of Washes. I might try it out.

https://lancashiresportsrepairs.co.uk/running-shoe-repairs-and-resoles/


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