No other type of footwear offers the protection, comfort, and traction that approach shoes offer when going rock climbing, trekking, or hiking. These shoes are designed to offer a high standard of traction and stability while allowing your feet to breathe through any laborious task you might be undertaking.
Available in a wide variety of styles so as to meet anyone’s needs, you will find these shoes to be extremely useful when you’re out in the wild, which may explain why they’re so popular among hikers and rock climbers everywhere. That said, let us find out what are the ten best approach shoes the market has to offer at this point in time.
Best Approach Shoes – Reviews
10La Sportiva Boulder X
Made from high-quality synthetic materials, the La Sportiva Boulder X is a robust pair of women’s shoes that weigh12.8 oz approximately. Equipped with a top-notch midsole made from polypropylene and LaSpEVA that is 2 mm thick, it features a high-quality leather exterior that is durable and long-lasting and an interior that is soft and well cushioned. It also comes featuring a brake system that helps by giving you exceptional grip. These pair of shoes can be ideally utilized for rock climbing, scrambling, and traveling over all kinds of terrain.
9Evolv Women’s Cruzer
The Evolv Women’s Cruzer is a premium quality pair of approach shoes that have been designed and crafted to withstand heavy impact including rocky terrain, granite slabs, and rough descents. Made from top quality synthetic material it comes with a heavy-duty rubber sole, a vinyl acetate midsole and a sticky outsole made from high friction TRAX rubber. It also features a split tongue that makes it stand out from the rest. The shoe also comes equipped with a collapsible heel that makes it easy to slip on the shoe.
8Patagonia Women’s Activist Lace-Up Fashion Sneaker
The Patagonia Activist is the perfect pair of women’s athletic shoes, a pair uniquely designed and crafted from imported premium grade leather and textile material. Featuring a high-quality durable sole made from rubber, these shoes come with a stylish design featuring contrasted dotted sides with ghillie laces. Thanks to its Aegis Microbe shield technology, it helps to regulate temperature and keeps the feet dry. Furthermore, the midsole of this pair of shoes is made from dual density EVA and is 20% recycled.
7Adidas Outdoor AX2
Another great pair of hiking shoes is the Adidas Outdoor AX2. Designed and crafted with imported textiles, and a heavy duty sole made of rubber. Featuring an Airmesh design on the upper section of the shoe, it offers great ventilation and breathability. These durable shoes come with an EVA midsole that is light in weight and offers top-notch cushioning and an adiPrene insert for that added comfort as well as for shock and impact absorption. In comparison to other’s of its kind, these shoes come with high-quality rubber soles that offer top levels of traction and optimal grip even in the wettest conditions.
6Vasque Grand Traverse Men’s Shoes
The Vasque Traverse is a high-performance pair of trekking shoes that are manmade and crafted from imported materials. Featuring a heavy-duty synthetic sole it comes with a heel measuring 1.25 inches and a platform measuring 0.5 inches approximately. These shoes come with a low-cut design and equipped with long-lasting mesh panels and durable toe-caps that are resistant to outer damage. It also features a double intensity EVA footbed and an EVA midsole that is well cushioned and soft. Its outsole comes with a top-notch grip and is made from Vibram Ibex with a TPU heel.
Made from premium grade canvas material, the Evolv Cruzer is a heavy duty pair of approach shoes. Featuring a long lasting rubber sole, these shoes come with a durable microfiber-lined insole that absorbs moisture and prevents bad odor. Offering optimal levels of comfort it also features a thin, cushioned midsole that is flat. Its heel features a folding design offering optimal convenience while the end of the heel comes with a pull tab that enabled hanging it onto your backpack or a harness.
4Five Ten Guide Tennie
Designed with a robust rubber sole, the Five Ten Guide Tennie is an imported pair of approach shoes made from high-quality leather. Thanks to its smedge zone toe area it offers precision, power, and durability. Featuring a stylish design with a C4 dotty thread it also offers optimal levels of friction and grip. It also comes with a molded EVA midsole that provides you with added comfort and cushioning.
Light in weight, durable and made from premium grade textile and synthetic fibers, the Salewa Wildfire is a heavy duty pair of men’s approach shoes. Equipped with a sturdy synthetic sole it comes with a Vibram EVO outsole. Weighing a minimum of 390gms, these shoes offer comfort, grip and a precise and snug fit. The soles of these shoes are strong and can withstand any terrain or surface.
2Vasque Women’s Grand Traverse Hiking Shoes
The Vasque Traverse is a high-quality women’s pair of hiking and trekking shoes that are specially designed to provide optimal levels of grip and security on the roughest terrain. Made from synthetic materials, this pair of shoes features a robust Vibram sole and gives you the comfort of a top quality athletic shoe. Featuring a webbed heel lock and a heavy duty heel made from TPU it comes equipped with an Idrogrip and Megagrip Compounds Outsole.
The Scarpa Crux is a premium grade pair of men’s hiking shoes uniquely crafted from imported leather material and other high-quality textiles. Equipped with a robust, heavy duty sole made of rubber it comes with a webbed forefoot design that helps to provide grip and secure the foot while climbing rocks. It also features a rubber toe rand that offers protection while walking on any kind of rough terrain or surface. Unlike other shoes, this one comes with a lacing on the toe area to give you that precise and perfect grip and fit that you need.
Can’t Find What You’re Looking For? Check these suggestions:
What To Look For In A Pair Of Approach Shoes?
If you’re the type to go adventuring outdoors, you’re going to have to invest in a pair of approach shoes sooner rather than later. With these type of shoes, you will be able to journey across rough terrain in a much more comfortable and reliable fashion than you would with any other type of shoes. To explain them as simply as we can – approach shoes combine the best features of sneakers and boots in a way that is both adherent and comfortable. Their versatile nature raises questions about what features best describe a perfect pair of approach shoes, a question we’ll try to help you answer yourself.
Versatility – The first thing you want a pair of approach shoes to do is to meet multiple standards without lacking any important features whatsoever. While a common pair of sneakers may stand out through flexibility and a lightweight build, a pair of approach shoes has to do so much more. Along with adherence and a comfortable fit, a pair of approach shoes should also provide a good enough cushioning to be comfortable when worn for hours at a time.
Construction – You should also pay attention to how a pair of approach shoes is built. Even though all these shoes have to be lightweight and flexible, you still want a pair that stands out for all the right reasons. It is important to remember that approach shoes aren’t exactly supposed to be waterproof, sacrificing water resistance in favor of a much better fit and easy fastening on the run.
Cushioning – It isn’t just the construction that tips you off when it comes to quality approach shoes but the cushioning as well. We say this because most of those who invest in approach shoes plan to use them intensely on all types of rough terrain, which may, in turn, cause you an awful lot of discomfort if the cushioning isn’t up to par. That said, you shouldn’t invest in a heavily cushioned pair of shoes if you’re only interested in going camping every once in a while.
Fabrics – Another thing to consider when buying a pair of approach shoes is the fabrics used in their making. Many people like to go for moisture-wicking fabrics in this regard and understandably so considering how intensely most of these shoes are used. Although water-resistant variants can be found if you take the time to scout the market thoroughly, you are better off most of the time with a pair of reliable shoes with good airflow and an equally good cushioning, both guaranteed by light fabrics.
Fastening – Like we said, approach shoes are designed to give you good traction and adherence on any terrain, so the fit has to be top-notch. For this purpose, most of these shoes come equipped with laces for fastening them onto your feet effortlessly. Although you can also run into a pair that uses velcro or any other fastening method, keep in mind that standard laces will guarantee the tightest fit in the long run.
Design – Although we aren’t just talking about fashion here, you still don’t want to be wearing an ugly pair of shoes, no matter the occasion. While approach shoes aren’t exactly designed to be fashionable, some of them are rather cute and trendy. Others boast a rugged appearance, the type that recommends them for trekking over rough terrain. If safety is the issue, perhaps a neon accentuated pair or one that features reflective strips should be considered, so as to boost your visibility in low-lighting conditions.
What To Avoid
Given the very nature of these type of shoes, you should do your best to avoid brands that you’ve never heard of, nor should you go for a pair made by newcomers to the market. It should be said that reputable brands make up by far the biggest portion of all worldwide sales, which says a lot about what people prefer to wear. As a matter of fact, experienced hikers and climbers wear nothing but reputable brands of approach shoes.
Another important thing to remember when buying a pair of approach shoes, or any other type of hiking/climbing/camping shoes for that matter, is that not all brands build their shoes according to the same standards. While you might already know your shoe size based on casual footwear, keep in mind that sports shoes sometimes deviate from the norm when it comes to sizing. For this reason, it is very important to always try the shoes on before making a purchase, or at least ask the retailer to provide adequate information on the matter.
Last but not least, Always avoid thick mesh or any rigid type of shoes because these are the ones that cause the most problems to hikers everywhere. Tough and durable as far as protection goes, the lack of flexibility or breathability can cause you an awful lot of problems in the long run. The last thing you want to deal with when you’re out in your camping spot is to worry about blisters or excessive sweating.