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What have you climbed in approach shoes?


Original Post
Taylor Brooks · · Los Angeles, Ca · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 45

What grade / route have you climbed in your approach shoes?
What was the shoe? Did it feel solid or sketch?
I'm trying to decide on an approach shoe for low to mid
5th with an occasional 5.7-ish move.

Thanks

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490
Taylor Brooks wrote: What grade / route have you climbed in your approach shoes?
What was the shoe? Did it feel solid or sketch?
I'm trying to decide on an approach shoe for low to mid
5th with an occasional 5.7-ish move.

Thanks

5.10a in those Evolv canvas things. It all depends on what grade you climb normally and how much you've climbed in stuff other than rock shoes previously.

Rocket Alchemy · · Louisville, CO · Joined Oct 2018 · Points: 0

Have tried leading up to 9+ in approach shoes  

Brandon Fields · · Boulder · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 445

Climbed a dead vertical 5.10b with small crystal feet in my 5.10 Tennies the other day. Love those shoes. I got them before Adidas bought them, so i don't know if the newer ones are any good.

Parker Kempf · · Bellingham, WA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 210

I did cookie monster (5.12a in the valley) in sportiva boulder x mid’s awhile back, because you know, spray and stuff

Briggs Lazalde · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

Soft 5.8 TX4s. Meanwhile a 17yo friend of mine sent a tough 11 the other day barefoot. Cue the "shoes are aid". 

Taylor Brooks · · Los Angeles, Ca · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 45
Brandon Fields wrote: Climbed a dead vertical 5.10b with small crystal feet in my 5.10 Tennies the other day. Love those shoes. I got them before Adidas bought them, so i don't know if the newer ones are any good.

Wow, 5.10b...nice! Are  the Five Ten Tennies heavy? 

There was one comment in a review about them being "bricks".

Even so they are probably my first choice bc they look so solid.
Russ B · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 52

evolve cruzer psyches are the best climbing approach shoe. scarpa geckos also climb really well, and are more padded which is great on longer days, but they're pricey and don't last as long.

get some and go climb in the gym with them. feeling solid in approach shoes is something you learn. 

Brandon Fields · · Boulder · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 445
Taylor Brooks wrote:

Wow, 5.10b...nice! Are  the Five Ten Tennies heavy? 

There was one comment in a review about them being "bricks".

Even so they are probably my first choice bc they look so solid.

Admittedly, they are heavy, but it's never bothered me. I prefer them because they are total shitkickers, quite comfy for hiking in for many miles and i can climb and scramble really well in them. I got to Moab once and forgot to bring them so i bought a second pair at Pagan. No regrets!

Brandon Fields · · Boulder · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 445
Parker Kempf wrote: I did cookie monster (5.12a in the valley) in sportiva boulder x mid’s awhile back, because you know, spray and stuff

I'd spray that if i were you.. No shame!

Taylor Brooks · · Los Angeles, Ca · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 45
Parker Kempf wrote: I did cookie monster (5.12a in the valley) in sportiva boulder x mid’s awhile back, because you know, spray and stuff

HUH?! Wow, Inspired!

Tony Sartin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 225

In the late 90’s, when I worked as a climbing guide in the Gunks, there was a two year period where I swore off proper climbing shoes and solely wore approach shoes for all climbing. I was consistently guiding as hard as 5.10 and climbing with friends up to 5.12. It became my norm. I usually wore Spotiva Boulderers or 5.10 Guide Tennies. Around this time I discovered that Tony Puppo in Bishop (The Rubber Room) would modify any sneaker I brought him, into excellent climbing shoes. He made my Sportiva Boulderers or 5.10 Guide Tennies way better with modifications and a resole. One time I found an abandoned pair of shitty Pumas in a crag parking lot and gave them to Puppo for modification. After he was through with them, I was leading the Beaver in them consistently after guiding days in Josh.

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,040

5.10 guide tennies, the old kind that I loved, and they no longer make.

I’ve climbed a v2 in Hueco;a random 5.9 crack (it was perfectly sized for approach shoes, would have been harder in climbing shoes, IMO);And a random 5.8 sport route.
I generally don’t see a point in climbing somethng in approach shoes just because, so all of these have been special case/forgotten shoes, etc. 

As others have said, shoes matter very little when you climb well below your limit. I’m sure Someone out there can climb the grade I barely redpoint in best-fitting shoes, while wearing flip flops. 

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,510
Taylor Brooks wrote: What grade / route have you climbed in your approach shoes?
What was the shoe? Did it feel solid or sketch?
I'm trying to decide on an approach shoe for low to mid
5th with an occasional 5.7-ish move.

Thanks

I have lead 10s and TR'd 11s at Tahquitz in Evolv Cruzers. There's a couple different versions of the shoe so get the ones that are slim and tight. Found some recently on Sierra Trading post for $10!

Evan LovleyMeyers · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2019 · Points: 0
Tony Sartin wrote: In the late 90’s, when I worked as a climbing guide in the Gunks, there was a two year period where I swore off proper climbing shoes and solely wore approach shoes for all climbing. I was consistently guiding as hard as 5.10 and climbing with friends up to 5.12. It became my norm. I usually wore Spotiva Boulderers or 5.10 Guide Tennies. Around this time I discovered that Tony Puppo in Bishop (The Rubber Room) would modify any sneaker I brought him, into excellent climbing shoes. He made my Sportiva Boulderers or 5.10 Guide Tennies way better with modifications and a resole. One time I found an abandoned pair of shitty Pumas in a crag parking lot and gave them to Puppo for modification. After he was through with them, I was leading the Beaver in them consistently after guiding days in Josh.

I agree getting sticky rubber on normal shoes is the best. Turns comfy sit by the fire shoes into great approach shoes.  I got sticky rubber put on my sanuks and did a lot of 5.5-5.7s

Pnelson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 461

If you are a climber of average ability, any approach shoe should be fine for up to 5.7 face/slab/crack.  The older I get, the more I've been erring on the side of comfort over performance; I've been buying trail running shoes with sticky rubber much more than true low-profile approach shoes for my last few pairs.  I think I'm on my third pair of Sportiva Raptors and I love them.  Oh, and for grades climbed, I've done Apollo Reed in them, a super steep, soft 5.13a, but I've also got that route pretty dialed in all sorts of footwear.

Cpt. E · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 95

Off-Widths like Big Baby or Big Guy are usually pretty fun to climb in Five Tennies, as the extra bulk of the shoe can help with......slippage.

Pnelson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 461
Cpt. E wrote: Off-Widths like Big Baby or Big Guy are usually pretty fun to climb in Five Tennies, as the extra bulk of the shoe can help with......slippage.

Yeah I went a whole season trying to climb everything at the Creek that was golds or bigger in approach shoes.  Until I realized that it really affected their durability. 

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 210

How do you guys size your approach shoes for climbing in them?

Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,415

I've climbed up to hard 10's or easy 11's in 5.10 guide tennies plenty of times.  Typically happens when I just can't handle cramming my feet into my climbing shoes for another pitch but I want to get in some more mileage.

Chris Blatchley · · Somerville, MA · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 7

i led reppy's crack 5.8 on cannon in tennies. Dappled mare 5.8 in Jtree led p1+2, and followed the traverse while simulclimbing in them. i've done a few 5.9s in softer areas in them on lead. They really shine in the right size crack.

I wear 42.5 scarpa climbing shoes and 8.5 guide tennies (old and new). they cram the shit out of my toes at the end of the day if the approach is too long, but it's worth not having to change shoes as often, or at all on some routes.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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