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Approach Shoes?
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Jun 15, 2012
What's everyone's experiences? Reviews tend to be both scarce and vague.

Looking for a shoe I can hike in, strap crampons to, and do some moderate climbing.

The Sportiva Boulder X feels stiff and reviews seem to give it solid reviews for climbing?

Scarpa Crux gives a nice, lightweight feel for hiking but I'm worried they won't climb well.

Stephan Doyle
Joined Jan 5, 2012
0 points
Jun 15, 2012
I have a pair of Scarpa Gecko Guides and FiveTen Guide Tennies. Both hike and scramble great. When actually climbing, I think the Scarpas perform better (they're a little stiffer than the Tennies), which is not to say the Tennies perform poorly. Jaren Watson
From Rexburg, Idaho
Joined May 30, 2010
1,120 points
Jun 15, 2012
La Sportiva Ganda's, they do it all.

If you want more ankle support go with the Ganda Guides and have them resoled with the ganda tread.
Karsten Delap
From North Carolina
Joined May 14, 2006
215 points
Jun 15, 2012
I have or have had in the last few years one or more pairs of each of the following: FiveTen Guide Tennies, Five Ten Camp Four, Five Ten Exum Guide, and La Sportiva Ganda.

Of these, the Gandas are far and away the best (and the most expensive by a wide margin). They are comfortable (if you adjust the laces to fit your foot) and they climb quite well. They are all I wear now.

The Tennies were good but lasted like wet tissue paper (I destroyed the covering of the ankle padding on my first day with a foray into a limestone talus slope).

The Camp Fours were comfortable, but didn't last as long as I thought they should have (particularly the second pair). They climbed fairly well, but nothing like the Gandas.

The Exum Guides were comfortable, climbed as well as the Camp Fours, but are a royal pain to get on and off (primarily because of the tight lace holes—they're high tops so you have to unlace them a bit).
Perin Blanchard
From Orem, UT
Joined Oct 1, 2005
7,655 points
Jun 17, 2012
I just picked up a pair of the La Sportiva Boulder X mid GTX and they're friggen sa-weeeeet

i love the fact that they're gore tex, and they climb pretty damn well in them (did a fun little 5.6 at seneca in them the other day without any problems whatsoever)

also...the price is not too terrible at all!
From Harrisonburg, Virginia
Joined Oct 27, 2009
160 points
Jun 17, 2012
I like the scarpa crux except for the blisters. Hopefully this will go away as my feet and the shoes merge. It has been on 6 mile or more hikes that gave me blisters. The shoes are still relatively new to me but my next big hike ( i like to think) won't produce blisters.

Otherwise, they handle great on the trail and on the rock and i'm really happy with them. I don't know about crampons.

I bouldered a couple easy problems, they work.
Justin Tomlinson
From Monrovia, CA
Joined Apr 4, 2010
235 points
Jun 17, 2012
The Ganda's are great, especially on long, moderate alpine routes where you don't want to carry two pairs of shoes. I don't think anything else on the market comes close - in performance or price.

When I got the Ganda's, I also bought some light weight aluminum crampons. They fit well, but I did not get enough snow last year to really try out the combo.
Jeff Maurin
Joined Nov 7, 2010
0 points
Jun 18, 2012
I can tell you not to get 5.10 exum guides. The rounded back makes them very difficult to keep crampons from slipping off the back. randy88fj62
Joined May 28, 2010
103 points
Jun 18, 2012
Boulder X climb fine, despite feeling a little clunky. Don't know about poons on them. +1 for the Gecko Guides - best approach shoe I ever used, but haven't tried points on them, again. The soles are a little thin, though, so barrel cactus needles will go all the way through. smassey
From CO
Joined Dec 2, 2008
170 points
Jun 18, 2012
I "like" my boulder x, but wow they get hot!!!! Not well ventilated at all. They do climb decent although clunky at said. Stiff shank which is good for a heavy pack and I've kicked steps in 1000 ft of snow with them as well. Good shoe when it's cooler out. Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Joined Feb 15, 2006
105 points
Jun 18, 2012
Scott McMahon wrote:
I "like" my boulder x, but wow they get hot!!!! Not well ventilated at all. They do climb decent although clunky at said. Stiff shank which is good for a heavy pack and I've kicked steps in 1000 ft of snow with them as well. Good shoe when it's cooler out.

right on the money!
Brent Butcher
Joined Nov 18, 2010
195 points
Jun 18, 2012
I have had good luck with the La Sportiva Xplorers so far for alpine rock (climbed the E Buttress of Whitney in them). They're an upgraded version of the old Exums Pros. fossana
From leeds, ut
Joined Apr 30, 2006
12,086 points
Jun 18, 2012
check out the Evolv Captain. Great on scree and easy slabs. Keep your feet pretty clean with a tongue gusset and fairly cool too. A better overall shoe than the Scarpa Exum Guide that I have. tim naylor
Joined Mar 18, 2004
370 points
Jun 18, 2012
I have some Sportiva Gandas and love them. I definitely didn't buy them for snow and I don't know how well a pair of cheap crampons would work. They are clearly not compatible with some sabertooths or whatever. There are those cheap crampons you can buy for like $40 at rei that look like chains with small spikes that might do.

I have bad knees and was tired of my feet slipping and sliding all over the damn place on approaches to/from the wall. They are expensive but you can get them resoled, I'm pretty sure there is a thread on here with the number for Rock and Resole that is still going pretty strong.

I went with a half size up from my normal 41 Sportiva shoes (Makalu and Crosslite). The soles are fairly sensitive so they are great for moderate climbing. I forgot my shoes at the crag the other day and was still able to climb cause I had the Gandas. Had I still been wearing my crap adidas shoes that would have been the day. A previous poster mentioned the Guide version which might be a good choice for your purposes if you can figure out the crampon situation.
Mark Wyss
From Denver, CO
Joined Jan 1, 2001
105 points
Jun 18, 2012
Ganda`s are great. BUT.... if you're just going to hike to a climb then switch to your real climbing shoes, save you're money. That's what I found. I like climbing in my climbing shoes and I can switch from good trail runners to them in less than 3 minutes.

But, you're probably better than I am
Joined May 31, 2010
0 points
Jun 19, 2012
I have found sportiva shoes great, and easy to get resoled with sticky rubber. Quite a few guides and climbers actually use them for climbing. lazar
Joined Jun 19, 2012
0 points
Jun 19, 2012
I've been wearing the Garmot Dragontail shoe. I choose it because it fit my wide foot, is fairly stiff with good support and climbs pretty good, but I'm sure not as good as boulder x or guides. A little bulky on the harness or in the pack.

it was a little tight in the toe at first, but now fits great. It seems to be holding up very well.
Joined Jan 22, 2007
5 points
Jun 21, 2012
I have the Ganda's from lasportiva and agree with everyone else on the forum. They climb amazing and are comfy to climb in. They are wonderfull in cracks. I have climbed in the 5.10 range with them without issue. They also climb off-width well. you will not have the edging or smearing of a good rock shoe but they still edge and smear quite well, and the shoe has a great ammount of feel. Plus the padding and leather makes crack climbing comfortable and quite secure in larger cracks all the way down to everything but the smallest of finger cracks. I highly recomend them. I DONOT reccomend the price however. Portwood
From Your moms house last night
Joined Sep 6, 2010
5 points
Jun 21, 2012
I have the LS Crossleathers (slightly beefier version of the Crosslites

They're technically extreme trailrunners. Lightweight, wearing well (mine are leather-sided), scramble well too and are comfy (but very narrow). The massive lugs on the sole are great for loose approaches, they bite into everything even deep dirt and scree. And less than half the price of the Gandas (holy crap just looked them up - $250?!?!?!). I got mine at REI for ~$100.
T.J. Esposito
From San Diego, CA
Joined May 3, 2011
70 points
Jun 23, 2012
A review of the Ganda:

Gear Review of the La Sportiva Ganda
Karsten Delap
From North Carolina
Joined May 14, 2006
215 points
Jun 23, 2012
Anyone used these?
NickinCO Mardi
From colorado
Joined Sep 17, 2010
40 points
Jun 23, 2012
Here's a bit on Elevation Outdoors:

and a bit more on Colorado Mojo:

Geckos and Gandas are both great shoes....

Joined Sep 9, 2009
0 points
Jun 23, 2012
"Approach shoe" is just a concept to market big wall shoes, insofar as I can tell. In that category, 5.10 guide tennie wins going away. Scott O
From California
Joined Mar 30, 2010
50 points
Jun 23, 2012
Perfect "Approach Shoe"? La Sportiva Exum Pro... but wait, they screwed the pooch on that one and replaced it with the shitty BoulderX and the shitty Xplorer. Goddamnit!!!! And now they're phasing out the Fireblades? WTF? Is Sportiva systematically elimating all their half decent products or what? Next it will be the Muira, and then the Mythos... tis a sad day. A sad day indeed. Kevin Landolt
From Fort Collins, Wyoming
Joined Jun 1, 2009
580 points
Jun 24, 2012
I can't do it. For $250+, up yours Sportiva. You suck. Superclimber
Joined Mar 7, 2009
1,360 points
Jun 24, 2012
I have been happy so far with the Patagonia cragmaster. They were the only pair of shoes I brought on a recent trip up Whitney's east buttress, and I thought they handled the hiking and climbing quite well. Xan Calonne
From Joshua Tree, Ca
Joined Mar 25, 2010
15 points

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