The Three Best New Approach Shoes
Sticky approach shoes will get you to and from your projects, but they're not just for cragging. Approach shoes can have urban appeal—like when you want to impress your friends after a few beers by bouldering up the nearest sculpture/rock/tree. We don't necesarrily recommend this, we're just saying, we know far too many people that attempt such stunts with improper shoes and pay the consequences.
Here are a few of our faves to get you off the ground:
Evolv Cruzer: The barefoot runner of approach shoes, Evolv's Cruzer has maximum sensitivity for a sticky-soled shoe. Whether you're buildering, smearing up the nearest granite slab, or heading to Miguels for pizza, it gets the job done. In fact, even non-climbers might like it's breathable cotton upper and microfiber memory foam-lined insole. Together they're a padded pillowcase for your dogs, which either have just been or are about to be crammed into a toe crushing wrap of leather and rubber. Flip the heel forward and wear them like slippers, or hang 'em from your harness with the handy heel loops so you can walk off the descent without slicing your feet. They make great camp shoes too, even if you have to pack them in. Available now, $75, evolvsports.com
Adidas Terrex Solo: With a high-traction rub-resistant design, Adidas' Terrex Solo is sticky and durable. This shoe is more about the rocky approach then technical climbing—the shock absorbing midsole has a forefoot protection plate. But a tough mesh upper will hold abrasion at bay when there's a foot jam en route to the ledge. Available now, $120, adidas.com
Lowa Triolet GTX Mid: Handcrafted in Italy, Lowa's quarter cut Triolet GTX Mid is has enough support for long treks in with large loads, with way more grip on rock than your average hiking boot. The Gore-Tex split leather and Cordura upper has to-the-toe lacing for a precision fit that testers called "locked down." Light cushion underfoot, reinforced with a full-length stabilizing plate, keeps your back from hurting as you click off the miles, and keeps your ankles from twisting. And, once you're on the wall, the Triolet hooks on your harness with heel loops. Available now, $235, lowaboots.com.