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Best rugged reliable affordable approach shoes

Original Post
Gene O Desideraggio · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0


I am looking for a pair of approach shoes that will be comfortable and durable enough for me to wear walking around in on a daily basis, and also won't break my wallet. I was looking at the la sportiva boulder x and the scarpa geckos and scarpa crux but they are a little out of my price range. I was hoping to get some crowd-sourced information on the durability and comfort of your favorite approach shoe. 

christopher burton · · Bend, OR · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 5


Jonny d · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 40

Check out the Clearance section on 5.10's website for great deals on prior year models of Guide Tennies.

Eugenel Espiritu · · PA · Joined May 2015 · Points: 592
stolo · · Shelby, NC · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 120

On Amazon, depending on your size, the Scarpa Crux price is cheaper than msrp. Free returns if sizing does not work out too. 

The Crux is a lot lighter than the Boulder X, fits me better too, they work well for me. 

gspup · · Sweet Ridge, CO · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 5

Save your money and get the LaSportivas or the Scarpas. I've had a pair of Geckos for over a year and they are still going strong after climbing the flatirons every week plus some alpine approaches and general hiking...and you can resole them.  This will save you money in the long run. 

S. Neoh · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 0

+1 for Scarpa Crux.  I bought my pair a while back on sale; ~$70.  Not sure if that fits your budget.

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,470

On sale trail runners are nice too. I like the Salomons

highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35

Cruzers are s nice light decent shoe. They are probably the least supportive and least durable shoe on the market.

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,767
christopher burton wrote:


Ya, really great protection for poison ivy, thorns, and scree. lol

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,767
Jonny d wrote:

Check out the Clearance section on 5.10's website for great deals on prior year models of Guide Tennies.

Prob I have with the guide tennies is that they lack just about all footbed support. The pair I have absolutely suck for any long approach/support. If you take out the wimpy footbed/cushion are are basically walking on the ground over a thin piece of rubber. Great for short approaches and 5.7 and under climbing, esp slab, but otherwise they lack a lot.

kevin graves · · Mammoth Lakes, CA · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 5

5.10 Guide Tennies and Evolv Cruzers are awesome descent shoes, great casual shoes and good short approach shoes. I love my Cruzers for descents at Red Rocks, Yosemite and Lover's Leap but for hiking and long approaches; you want something more substantial, protective and durable. My experience with 5.10 Camp Four's and my friend's experiences with  La Sportiva's Boulder X (lots of other great choices) have been excellent. 

James Schroeder · · Sauk County, WI · Joined May 2002 · Points: 3,092

I hands down love my Scarpa Crux shoes. They climb well, wear well, and hold up to daily use and abuse.

Locker · · Yucca Valley, CA · Joined Oct 2002 · Points: 2,265

Cheap "Tennis" shoes from WalMart.

I've always found the Guide/approach shoes to be a rip off, and rarely do any of them hold up worth a damn.

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,767
Locker wrote:

Cheap "Tennis" shoes from WalMart.

The black ones with the velcro?

Locker · · Yucca Valley, CA · Joined Oct 2002 · Points: 2,265

"The black ones with velrco?"

Even Lil Jonny can put those on with ease...

Eli · · GMC3500 · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 2,791

Bottom line is that if you walk around in your approach shoes all the time, they're going to fall apart. You sacrifice durability when you get sticky rubber. For anything with a real approach, or technically easy alpine stuff I use Guide Tennies. You can almost always pick up last year's model for under 70$. Buy a shitty pair of chuck taylors for regular walking around or roadside crags. Your approach shoes are not a fashion statement, they're a tool in your closet for a specific use. 

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,767
Locker wrote:

"The black ones with velrco?"

Even Lil Jonny can put those on with ease...

I knew you were old but i just didnt realize you were velcro old...

that guy named seb · · Britland · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 205

An approach shoe is non of the above.

No approach shoe is rugged, they all fall apart or the sole wears away after 3 months of daily use the only shoe i haven't heard durability issues from is the arcteryx hiking shoes these guys have fairly sticky rubber but they are about as far from affordable as you could get.

IDK what a reliable shoe is (one that doesn't walk away?)

The cheapest approach shoes on the market are cruzers, they are also the most fragile pair of shoes on the market, after that there are no cheap shoes they all cost about the same.

All this being said the la sportiva hyper mid has served me well though i have babied the sole to avoid wearing down all the lugs limiting use for woodland and dirt tracks to the crag I imagine the sole might last 5 months of daily use before the lugs are flattened to nothingness, still better than the tennies i had before that, they wore through in 3 delaminated after 6 and had a giant hole in the side by 8. They have bought out the hyper line of shoes again as a low top, they climb pretty well and have a sturdy sole (really thick base rubber).

Tim Meehan · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 270

If it were me, I'd buy a good used shoe for the same price as a crap new shoe. I found a pair of lightly-used Arcteryx Acrux shoes for $50. Good rubber, good support and cushion for hiking, insanely durable.

Alexander Blum · · Charlotte, NC · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 143

Seb's response is spot on. If you want a robustly designed, supportive approach shoe, you're going to pay approx $100+ for it. The Evolv Cruzer is lightweight and cheap, but it's also the least durable shoe you can buy, and has a comical amount of support - I think I gave myself a stress fracture in my big toe using them. I am totally happy with the level of support the guide tennies provide (tried them up to approx 15 mile days), but agree with the posters that mention sturdier shoes that may do better on long days with a pack. Your best bet is to pick two or three shoes you would probably be happy with, and keep an eye out for sales/ebay deals. I'd strongly recommend against the Evolv Cruzer, almost any other approach shoe will do better in every category but weight.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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