Approach shoes occupy a special place in the hearts of many rock climbers. After all, they’re the comfortable shoes that you get to switch into after a day of squeezing your feet into climbing shoes and working your way up a wall. But approach shoes also play an important technical role in rock climbing, too. Approach shoes provide the traction, control and durability required to climb – even when it starts at the top of a rock pile or in other areas inhospitable to standard hiking shoes. Here at addnature.co.uk, we offer a wide variety of approach shoes from shoemakers like Adidas, Scarpa, La Sportiva, Garmont and more to help you get to your climb.
Do You Need Approach Shoes?
Many climbs require miles of trail and a steep off-trail scramble to access them. Unfortunately, while some hiking shoes and boots can handle rock hopping off-trail, most will struggle with traction and control in this environment. Approach shoes blend hiking and climbing shoes. Their soles are made with sticky rubber (like on climbing shoes) which allows them to grip on smooth rocks and small edges in a boulder field. In addition, approach shoes often have narrower footboxes so you can place your feet more precisely when scrambling. The other advantage is that approach shoes are made to take abuse. The toe box is reinforced with a sticky rubber toe rand and this rubber often extends all the way to the upper. This protects the sides and front of the shoe when bouncing around in scree, whereas standard hiking shoes and trail runners are much more susceptible to damage.
How to Choose Approach Shoes
Getting the right pair of approach shoes is essential to reaching your climb comfortably and safely. There are some things to keep in mind when it comes to choosing a pair that works for you.
Low Cut vs. Mid Cut - Most climbers will opt for low cut approach shoes because they save on weight. But it’s worth considering mid cut shoes if you’re carrying a heavy pack. Mid cut offers more ankle support, which can be the difference between a minor sprain and a broken ankle in a slip with a weighted pack. Mid cut approach shoes are also useful if you’ll be approaching on snow, although gaiters can also be used here.
Waterproofing - Unlike hiking boots, waterproofing isn’t a strict necessity for approach shoes. That’s because most climbers are only attempting rock climbs in dry conditions anyway. Still, alpine climbers who face constantly changing weather conditions and snow-covered approaches will want to opt for approach shoes with Gore-Tex or another waterproof breathable fabric.
Edging - The majority of climbers will change into climbing shoes as soon as the terrain turns fifth class. But strong climbers who feel comfortable climbing in their approach shoes will want a smooth sole platform underneath the toe. This should extend all the way to the edge of the shoe, similar to what you would find on the sole of climbing shoes.
Approach Shoes at addnature.co.uk
The easiest way to find the perfect pair of approach shoes to help you comfortably and safely reach your climbing objectives is to shop our wide selection at addnature.co.uk. We make it simple to find the right set of approach shoes with filters and a flexible 100-day return policy.