What are approach shoes and how to buy them online?
Approach shoes are hybrid shoes between climbing and hiking. It means they need to have characteristics of both disciplines: sticky traction and comfort. This type of hybrid shoe is to get you to your crags while lugging all your gear to your destination with confidence and efficiency. Hence, “the approach”.
An approach shoe should respond to a mix of activities:
- The sole usually needs to be a sticky rubber sole, like climbing shoes to provide traction and stability on different types of outdoor terrain, stone, gravel, wood, dirt.
- The upper and fit are similar to hiking shoes, they provide support, protection, and durability.
- The shoe is not curved and tight like most climbing shoes but it is flat and comfortable for a perfect leisurely hike to your climbs
The main aspect you need to consider when buying an approach shoe is to treat it like a normal pair of hiking shoes, loose street shoe fit or often, snug.
Which approach shoes to choose and what should you look for in approach shoes?
The important aspect when looking for an approach shoe is the outsole or treads. You want to have climbing rubber as your outsole which offers great traction/friction and confidence when approaching your climbs.
Next aspect when looking for an approach shoe is comfort. Climbing destinations can be far, steep and high elevation. The last thing you want to worry about is your feet hurting or uncomfortable.
Other aspects to consider is the weight. Hiking shoes are occasionally heavy. Approach shoes are often lightweight because you are normally hauling up pounds and pounds of gear and equipment.
How to size approach shoes, how should they fit?
Like any shoes, approach shoes should be comfortable. Especially when you cover long distances. The recommended fit should be between loose and snug.
Can approach shoes be used for climbing or hiking?
Approach shoes are mainly used for hiking. Some instances where approach shoes can be used to climb in are low grades like 5.1-5.4 or scrambling up hill.
Do you wear socks with approach shoes?
Wearing socks with approach shoes is a personal preference. But approach shoes are not climbing shoes and you usually wear them with socks.
Are approach shoes worth it?
Approach shoes are worth it. An approach is a term for hiking to your climbs.
If you are an expert climber but also a brave hiker who likes easy climbing routes, approach shoes are the most suitable choice for you, and they are worth it.
Think about having an approach shoe is like having the best from both climbing and hiking worlds: