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A running inspired shoe, designed to excel on technical trails. These shoes may have less rubber lasting and a smaller climbing zone on the sole but tend to be on the lighter and less bulky side of the spectrum, similar to a classic technical trail runner.
Great for flat ground, short approaches, and slabby scrambling. Casual approach shoes are great daily wear for folks that find themselves scrambling and hiking a lot in between trips to the crag and the grocery store.
A more rugged shoe with more lasting and typically a thicker sole. Made to handle the most technical terrain and talus fields. Technical shoes can also have more ankle coverage and waterproof coatings.
Flat laces are found most often on casual or running shoes, as their low bulk helps with aesthetic and having a lower profile.
Cord laces are found on the majority of approach shoes. Their rounded shape makes them more durable than flat laces and their woven structure makes them much stronger.
Though fairly uncommon, some approach shoes are made to be closed via a combination of threaded flat webbing and a tightening buckle.
The upper of a shoe refers the material(s) that attach to the sole and cover the foot. Essentially the upper makes up the main body of the shoe and can be made of various materials including Leather, Mesh and other Synthetic materials. We filter on the material that makes up the most of the shoe's upper construction as that generally separates one style from another.
The rise of an approach shoe mostly affects the support and coverage of the ankle but can also limit articulation and range of motion. Most approach shoes have a low rise. A mid rise should be chosen when scrambling through large loose scree or boulder fields is a regular need or when in wet or snowy environments where slippery surfaces can benefit from more ankle support.
Volume refers to the overall sizing of the shoe in relation to the size of the foot from top to bottom and side to side. Many brands make a Mens/Unisex shoe and some have both a Men’s and Women’s model. Brands are slowly updating their language away from gender to Low/High volume -- recognizing that any person may have a high or low volume foot.
The climbing zone is a quintessential part of an approach shoe; without it, we consider a shoe a hiker or trail runner. The climbing zone is a flat or flattened area of the sole directly beneath the toes on every approach shoe. This zone is specifically designed to not have lugs for grip and instead is intended for smearing and edging on rock during an approach to a technical climb. Some manufacturers add splits or shallow texture to this zone, but it is not lugged as in a traditional hiker.
A foldable heel is designed to flatten into the shoe so it may be slid on and off easily similar to a clog or a croc. This is becoming more common with newer models and is most likely to be seen in casual shoes than hiking or running.
Low toe lacing is a feature where the closure of the approach shoe extends greatly towards the toes as compared to traditional hiking shoes. This will most usually be an extra 3-5 extra lacings across the shoe that are usually partially across the knuckles of the toes. The advantage of lacing extending this low is that it allows a greater tightening of the shoe around the toes when terrain requires technical footwork like slab climbing or crack jamming.
An approach shoe with this feature either has a built-in elastic or webbing or an accessory strap or band that is designed to connect the shoes to each other when they aren’t worn. This allows them to be hung from a harness or bag on a multipitch climb. This is fairly uncommon and usually found on light-weight shoes.
Since there is no standard in the shoe industry for what exactly qualifies a shoe as ‘Vegan’, we only list this if the manufacturer has stated it in the product description.
Refers to an applied coating or material technology that either makes a shoe resistant or impervious to water. Not every manufacturer tests waterproofing in the same way so this can be difficult to compare. We list items as ‘Waterproof’ when the manufacturer states they have one or more of these technologies.
We do our very best to find and display every technical spec for every piece of climbing gear in the world. But sometimes we just can’t dig up a spec or two (usually it's the official price and weight). Sadly, this means not every product is available for filtering and sorting :(
If we allowed products that are missing key specs to display in the results above, these incomplete products would need to appear no matter what filters you chose. This would make the filtered results cluttered and misleading. So instead of leaving out these incomplete products entirely, we're listing them below: