20 Best Approach Shoes for Men & Women- Buying Guide & Reviews – The Adventure Gypsies

Best Approach Shoes for Men and WomenIf you are passionate about climbing, getting all the right gear is essential for you to enjoy your hobby safely. Not only does this involve buying suitable equipment, but it also means choosing suitable clothing and footwear. The shoes you wear while climbing impact on both your comfort and your safety while climbing. For these reasons, it is vital that you find a pair of shoes that are appropriate to the activity, are comfortable, fit well, and can withstand the wear and tear that comes with outdoor activities. One option in terms of footwear is climbing approach shoes and there are many fantastic options available for both men and women. The following is a buying guide that will help you to identify the key features to consider when choosing the best approach shoes for you. This is followed by reviews of ten of the best approach shoes for men and ten of the best approach shoes for women.

Reviews of the Best Approach Shoes for Men

For men, there is a wide choice of men’s approach shoes from which they can choose. While this gives you plenty of choice, it can also make the decision process more challenging. To help you with this process, here are ten of the best options for men.

1. Scarpa Men’s Crux Approach Hiking Shoe

Scarpa Mens Crux Approach Hiking Shoe

Made from a combination of leather and textiles, the uppers of these shoes combine the best features of both materials. This means they are durable, lightweight, breathable, and can withstand wear and tear. The forefoot webbing features Kevlar and this gives your forefoot greater security that improve climbing precision. They are attractively designed in three color options, so you can find the best approach shoes to suit your own style. It is the design of the soles of these climbing approach shoes that makes them stand out as some of the other shoes on the market now. The rubber soles also have a rubber toe rand that will protect your foot on the trail in all conditions. These approach shoes have long-lasting grip thanks to the Vibram vertical approach soles that have extra sticky rubber. Regardless of the shape of your feet, these approach shoes will usually give you a good and secure fit because of the toe-to-ankle lacing that allows you to adjust the fit precisely to the shape of your feet.

Key Features:

  • Forefoot webbing with Kevlar
  • Leather and textile combination uppers
  • Color options available
  • Rubber toe rand
  • Vibram vertical approach soles
  • Precision lacing

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2. Five Ten Men’s Guide Tennie Approach Shoes

Five Ten Mens Guide Tennie Approach Shoes

Five Ten is one of the leading brands in the outdoor footwear industry and this is reflected in the features and quality of their products. The ergonomic lasting design of their shoes uses a variety of materials in different parts of the shoe construction to take advantage of the benefits of each. The uppers are predominantly suede leather, which is a smart-looking material that is also durable, water-resistant, and naturally breathable. There is also a mesh lining that increases the breathability of the shoes. The outsoles are made from a stealth C4 rubber that gives good grip on most surfaces and in most conditions. The shoes also feature a hand-ground beveled climbing toe that improves performance and a compression-molded EVA midsole for greater comfort. The lacing system allows you to adjust the fit of the approach shoes. Overall, these are a comfortable, hard-wearing, and high-performing pair of approach shoes. These shoes are available in four color options.

Key Features:

  • Durable and breathable uppers
  • Waterproof approach shoes
  • Excellent grip
  • Comfortable compression-molded EVA midsole
  • Beveled climbing toe
  • Lacing system for fit adjustment

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3. Arc’teryx Men’s Acrux FL

Arcteryx Mens Acrux FL

Made from synthetic materials, these are a smart-looking pair of rock climbing approach shoes. The upper is a single piece of synthetic material that is constructed using a thermo laminated process. This means that the uppers are hydrophobic, durable, lightweight, and resistant to abrasion. These combined features mean that these are some of the best approach shoes in terms of their ability to withstand wear and tear that you expect from outdoor activities. The heel and toe caps are laminated for extra protection and the shoes feature rear pull loops that make taking the shoes on and off easier. These shoes have an EVE midsole, which increases comfort and absorbs impact. They have a comfortable footbed that offers good support and improves the overall breathability of the hoses. The heel is spherical in shape and has a Y-groove heel split to enhance braking and mountaineering heel tread. Vibram is the material used for the outsoles and these have excellent grip, thanks to the RockGrip lugs.

Key Features:

  • Water and abrasion-resistant
  • Rear pull loops
  • Smart appearance
  • Laminated heel and toe caps
  • Vibram outsoles with RockGrip Lugs
  • Y-groove heel split

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4. Vasque Men’s Grand Traverse

Vasque Mens Grand Traverse

These are a good option for those with a limited budget as they are cheap in comparison to many other leading brands. The low price does not reflect the quality of these shoes or the fact that they are manufactured by one of the leading brands in the industry. The uppers are made from a combination of leather and textile. While the leather sections make these shoes durable and able to withstand wear and tear, the mesh textile sections improve the breathability of the shoes. This means your feet will stay dry and smelling fresh. The rubber outsole is made from a grippy dual-compound Vibram Ibex, which will give you good grip in various conditions and over most surfaces. These low-cut climbing approach shoes have an abrasion-resistant toe cap that will increase the lifespan of your shoes. These are comfortable shoes to wear as they have a dual-density EVA footbed and a midsole with EVA cushioning.

Key Features:

  • Cheap approach shoes
  • Quality materials
  • Durable and breathable
  • Grippy dual-compound Vibram Ibex outsoles
  • EVA footbed and midsoles
  • Low-cut style
  • Abrasion-resistant toe cap

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5. Scarpa Men’s Zen Multisport Shoe

Scarpa Mens Zen Multisport Shoe

The uppers of the stylish shoes are made from 100% suede. This means they are durable, water-resistant, and breathable. Another feature that makes these a durable option is the rubber toe rand that prevents the toes of the feet from damage and protects your toes from knocks. These shoes are designed for climbers but are also suitable for hiking and scrambling as they are a sturdy shoe. They are comfortable to wear as they have a reinforced arch and EVA foam cushioning. The durable rubber soles are made with a molded Vibram Spyder outsole. This material will protect your feet from the terrain below while also giving you excellent grip on all surfaces and in all conditions. There is a rear pull loop that will help you to put your approach shoes on easily and the strong lacing system allows you to adjust the fit of the shoes to the shape of your feet.

Key Features:

  • Suede uppers
  • Vibram Spyder outsole
  • Excellent grip
  • Strong lacing system
  • Rear pull loop
  • Reinforced arch
  • EVA foam cushioning

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6. Salewa Men’s Wildfire S GTX Climbing Shoe

Salewa Mens Wildfire S GTX Climbing Shoe

These climbing approach shoes have a synthetic upper that is both lightweight and breathable. The mesh keeps the feet well ventilated and feeling fresh, even in hot weather. Despite the lightweight nature of the uppers, they have a solid structure, thanks to the Exa Shell grid structure that wraps the upper. This grid structure also improves the forefoot balance and enhances the precision of the fit. The GORE-TEX lining ensures that your feet will remain blister-free and improves comfort levels while climbing or hiking. The outsoles are made from Vibram, so you can expect good grip regardless of the conditions or terrain. These shoes have to-the-toe lacing that allows the wearer to adjust the fit of the shoes exactly to the shape of their feet. At the rear of the shoes, there are pull loops that help you to get your shoes on or take them off easily.

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Key Features:

  • Breathable mesh uppers
  • Vibram outsoles
  • GORE-TEX lining
  • Lightweight yet durable
  • Grid structure for stability, balance, and precision
  • Good lacing system
  • Rear pull loops

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7. Five Ten Men’s Aescent Shoe

Five Ten Mens Aescent Shoe

Available in two color options, the Five Ten Men’s Ascent Shoe is one of the most comfortable approach shoes on the market. There are compression-molded midsoles and a padded tongue and collar. These features protect the areas of your feet and ankles that need it the most and increase comfort levels while climbing. The uppers are made from a combination of split-grain leather and polyester mesh. Using this combination of natural and synthetic materials gives the shoes the benefits of each of the materials. For example, they are water-resistant, breathable, lightweight, and durable. The soles of the shoes are rubber, and this gives them good grip over various surfaces. The rear pull-on strap means that the shoes are easy to get on and take off. These shoes also feature lace-up closures that allow you to adjust the shoes to get the perfect fit. You can buy these shoes in either republic blue or mono gray and blue.

Key Features:

  • Comfortable
  • Compression-molded midsoles
  • Padded tongue and collar
  • Split-grain leather and polyester mesh
  • Lace-up closures
  • Rubber soles for good grip

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8. Adidas Outdoor Men’s Ax2 Hiking Shoe

adidas outdoor Mens Ax2 Hiking Shoe

These textile rock climbing approach shoes are a comfortable and breathable option. The uppers are made from a mesh textile that prevents water from getting in, but releases moisture from the inside. The shoes have a molded sock liner that improves the fit and enhances comfort. Another comfort feature is the EVA midsole which gives the shoes extra cushioning. A super high traction rubber is used for the outsoles, and this gives optimal grip even in wet conditions. The five-millimeter lug height also contributes to the excellent grip of these approach shoes. There is a secure, lace-up system that allows you to adjust the fit of the shoes, and the rear pull-loop will help you to put on or take off these shoes easily. There are plenty of color options for you to choose between as these shoes are available in eight color and pattern options.

Key Features:

  • Comfortable and breathable
  • Mesh textile uppers
  • Lace-up system
  • Eight color and pattern options
  • Rubber soles with 5mm tread
  • Rear pull-loop
  • Cushioned EVA midsole

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9. Evolv Cruzer Psyche Approach Shoe

Evolv Cruzer Psyche Approach Shoe

If you need to buy cheap approach shoes, then these are some of the cheapest available. The uppers are made from a lightweight and breathable cotton canvas. This choice of material means they are some of the lightest approach shoes you can buy and weigh just 7.4-ounces. This means they will hardly add any weight to your rucksack, so they are ideal for climbers who need to keep the weight they carry to a minimum. The shoes have a microfiber liner that makes the shoes even more breathable and the soft microporous EVA midsole adds to the comfort of wearing these approach shoes. TRAX rubber is used for the outsoles of the shoes, and this material gives good traction on even the most slippery surfaces. The fastenings of this shoe are a simple lace-up system that allows the wearer to improve the fit of the shoes. Another feature is the rear pull loop that makes putting on the shoes a quick and easy process.

Key Features:

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Cotton canvas uppers
  • Microfiber liner
  • TRAX rubber soles
  • Good traction
  • Cheap approach shoes

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10. La Sportiva Men’s Boulder X Approach Shoes

La Sportiva Mens Boulder X Approach Shoes

A smart-looking pair of approach shoes, these have a good-quality leather upper. This means they are a durable option that can withstand abrasion, wear, and tear. They are also breathable and water-resistant, which are two of the key features that climbers look for when buying new approach shoes. To cushion your feet, there are polypropylene insole cushions that are topped with high-cushion LaSpEVA midsoles. These will keep you comfortable when tackling long approaches. The rubber soles are designed to give you traction when you need it the most, such as when you are on technical terrain that requires friction footwork. One of the best features of these shoes is that they have a great lacing system that is strong and gives you the option to improve the fit of the shoes for a custom fit that gives greater comfort. There is also a rear pull loop to help you take the shoes off or put them on easily. These shoes are available in either gray and yellow, carbon and opal, or light gray.

Key Features:

  • Abrasion and water-resistant
  • Durable leather uppers
  • Comfort features
  • Strong lace-up system
  • Rear pull loop

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Reviews of the Best Approach Shoes for Women

Women’s feet are generally a different shape to men. For this reason, it is important they buy shoes that are specifically designed for women so that the shoes fit well and are comfortable. There is an abundance of women’s approach shoes from which you can choose, and here are reviews for ten of the best approach shoes for women for you to consider.

1. La Sportiva TX3 Women’s Approach Shoe

La Sportiva TX3 Womens Approach Shoe

The features of these shoes mean they are some of the best approach shoes for women that are available now. The uppers of these stylish shoes are made from synthetic materials that are lightweight, breathable, durable, water-resistant, and resistant to abrasions. This makes them suitable for various outdoor activities, including hiking and climbing. A fantastic feature of these shoes is the STB control system. This gives the shoes torsional rigidity and support without limiting cushioning underfoot. They also have a wide forefoot fit that makes these shoes stable and comfortable to wear, even for prolonged periods. The outsoles of the shoes are Vibram Megagrip traverse and this enhances stability. The soles also feature a trail bite heel braking system. A low-profile lacing harness allows you to give the shoes a snug and comfortable fit, and the loops are reinforced to increase their lifespan. There is a pull loop at the rear of the shoes to assist with putting the shoes on and taking them off quickly.

Key Features:

  • Both stylish and functional
  • Water and abrasion-resistant
  • STB control system
  • Wide forefoot fit
  • Vibram Megagrip traverse outsoles
  • Low-profile lacing harness

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2. La Sportiva Boulder X Shoe- Women’s

La Sportiva Boulder X Approach Shoe Womens

The women’s version of the Boulder X Shoe by La Sportiva boasts many of the same features as the same model for men. However, it is designed to fit the smaller and slimmer shape of women’s feet to keep their feet comfortable even on the longest of approaches. These women’s approach shoes have leather uppers and feature polypropylene insoles with LaSpEVA foam midsoles. They also have an impact brake system, a strong lace-up system, and a rear pull loop.

Key Features:

  • Fit designed for women’s feet
  • Abrasion and water-resistant
  • Durable leather uppers
  • Comfort features
  • Strong lace-up system
  • Rear pull loop

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3. Salewa Women’s Firetail 3 Approach Shoes

Salewa Womens Firetail 3 Approach Shoes

The soles of these shoes are made from synthetic Vibram Reptail, which is a sticky sole and Mega grip compound. This gives the shoes excellent grip over varied terrain and in most conditions. The uppers are synthetic textiles, including a combination of mesh and a coated fabric. These materials are lightweight, breathable, durable, and water-resistant. These combined features mean you will get plenty of wear out of your shoes before you need to replace them with a new pair. The climbing lacing extends from the toe to the ankle and this allows you to precisely adjust the shoes at various points along your feet to give you the best possible fit. The lacing area is connected to a 3F System, which increases foot control where it is needed the most and ensures optimal stability and comfort. At the rear of the shoes, there are pull loops to aid getting the shoes on and off.

Key Features:

  • Durable synthetic uppers
  • Water and abrasion-resistant
  • Extended lacing area
  • 3F system for stability and comfort
  • Rear pull loops
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4. SCARPA Crux Women’s Approach Shoe

SCARPA Crux-Womens Approach Shoe

Available in camel and poppy red or shark and blue radiance, these women’s approach shoes are some of the most popular on the market. The uppers are a combination of suede leather and textile mesh to give them the benefits of both materials. This combination means the shoes are durable, breathable, water-resistant, and can withstand the wear and tear you would expect while hiking or climbing. The synthetic soles have a Vibram Vertical Approach outsole that features Megagrip rubber to give the shoes outstanding traction. The toe rand is reinforced with rubber to give it superior abrasion resistance. These shoes have a lace-to-toe design that gives them performance fit that you can adjust to your feet. Extra comfort is added thanks to the padded area around the ankle and the shoes are easy to get on because of the rear pull loop.

Key Features:

  • Suede leather and textile mesh combination uppers
  • Reinforced rubber toe rand
  • Water and abrasion-resistant
  • Lace-to-toe design
  • Vibram Vertical Approach outsole with Megagrip rubber

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5. Arc’terx Arakys Approach Shoe-Women’s

Arcteryx Arakys Approach Shoe - Womens

The design and style of these shoes differ from its competitors in many ways. First, they do not have the traditional lacing system that features on many other approach shoes. Instead, there is a strap system that allows you to adjust the fit of the shoes at several points along the shoe. This is quicker and easier than adjusting lacing. This lacing system features a one-handed memory buckle for secure closure. There are also pull loops both at the rear of the shoe and another positioned just above the straps. This gives you two methods of easily putting on and taking off the shoes. These approach shoes have synthetic uppers, including ripstop fabric and sections of mesh. They are manufactured using thermo laminated construction and feature TPU film protection. This means the shoes have high-abrasion resistance and contain hydrophobic properties. The comfortable leather footbed is topped with an EVA foam midsole that is shock-absorbent and delivers reliable stability. VibramMegaGrip outsoles give good grip and will enhance your performance while climbing.

Key Features:

  • Strap fastening system
  • Single-handed memory buckle
  • Two pull loops
  • Shock-absorbent EVA foam midsoles
  • Synthetic uppers and leather footbed
  • TPU film protection
  • Vibram MegaGrip

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6. The First Outdoor Women’s Approach Shoes

The First Outdoor Womens First-Tex Wate

With a bright purple and orange design, these are some of the funkiest approach shoes for women available. The upper combines fabric and leather to make the shoes durable, breathable, and abrasion-resistant. These are some of the most important features that climbers look for when choosing approach shoes. The leather is PU-coated while the textile has a First-Tex Performance Comfort membrane. The manufacturers of these shoes claim that their rubber outsoles are proprietary compared to other brands because they can tackle all terrains in all conditions. Circulation insoles inside the shoes add to the comfort levels and will keep your feet feeling fresher for longer. The First Outdoor Women’s Approach Shoes have a lace-up closure so that you can adjust the shoes and a cushioned tongue that leaves your feet feeling comfortable even when the shoes are fastened tightly. In addition to approaching a climb, these shoes are also suitable for hiking and trail running.

Key Features:

  • Funky design
  • PU-coated leather
  • First-Tex Performance Comfort membrane on fabric
  • Superior rubber soles
  • Versatile approach shoes
  • Lace-up closure and cushioned tongue

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7. Scarpa Women’s Gecko WMN Approach Shoe

Scarpa Womens Gecko WMN Approach Shoe

Made from 100% suede leather, the uppers of these shoes are both attractive and practical. The choice of suede leather for these shoes means they are durable, water-resistant, and breathable. The soles are made from a sticky rubber that provides excellent grip, regardless of the weather or terrain. A rubber toe rand gives these approach shoes superior abrasion resistance and extends the lifespan of the shoes. The dual density EVA midsole increases comfort and improves performance. There is a lace-to-toe design lacing system that allows you to adjust the shoes to give you a performance fit. The holes on the lacing system are reinforced to reduce the amount of wear and tear that this part of the shoes suffers. There is a pull loop at the rear of the shoes to get the shoes on and off easier. These approach shoes for women are available in two color options.

Key Features:

  • Suede leather uppers
  • Sticky rubber sole
  • Reinforced rubber toe rand
  • EVA midsoles
  • Lace-to-toe design

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8. Evolv Cruzer Slip-On Approach Shoe- Women’s

Evolv Cruzer Slip-on Approach Shoe

These approach shoes differ somewhat to other approach shoes as they have a slip-on design rather than featuring a lace-up or strap system. This means they are the easiest to get on and take off. Another advantage of these shoes is the low price. The uppers are made from breathable cotton canvas and they feature a microfiber lined memory foam insole that gives you lasting comfort. There are also soft microporous EVA midsoles for extra comfort and improved performance. These shoes have a collapsible heel for slip-on use and a rear pull loop to slide the shoes on easily. According to those who have bought these approach shoes, they offer good traction over varied terrain and they are exceptionally comfortable to wear. Despite the simple appearance of the shoes, customers also say they feel robust.

Key Features:

  • Simple, slip-on design
  • Easy to get on and take off with pull loop
  • Cotton canvas uppers
  • Sole with good traction
  • Microporous EVA midsoles
  • Exceptionally comfortable
  • Microfiber lined memory foam insole

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9. Adidas Outdoor Women’s AX2 Hiking Shoe

adidas Outdoor Womens AX2 Hiking Shoe

In terms of choice, this model of approach shoe is the one that offers the most as it is available in ten colors. Manufactured by a well-known brand, these shoes have a synthetic textile upper with some mesh sections. This means the shoes combine durability with breathability. The comfort and fit of the shoes are enhanced by the molded sock liner and the lightweight EVA foam midsole that gives long-term cushioning. The rubber outsoles provide super high traction and optimal grip in wet conditions. Another feature that gives these shoes good traction is the five-millimeter lugs. These low-cut shoes have a shaft that measures approximately 3.25-inches from the arch. They have a secure lace-up system with reinforced loops. This means you can lace the shoes up to give them a better fit and improve overall performance. They are easy to get on and take off using the sturdy rear pull loop.

Key Features:

  • Synthetic textile and mesh uppers
  • Ten color options
  • Lace-up system
  • Rear pull loop
  • 5mm lugs
  • Cushioned EVA midsoles
  • Molded sock liner
  • High-traction rubber outsoles

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10. Five Ten Women’s Guide Tennie Approach Shoe

Five Ten Womens Guide Tenie Approach Shoe

Manufactured by one of the leading brands in the outdoor shoe industry, these are some of the best approach shoes for women and they are available in four color options. The uppers are made from a combination of leather and textiles, which gives the shoes the benefits of both materials. These rugged yet flexible shoes are durable, breathable, water-resistant and resistant to abrasion. The synthetic soles boast Stealth C4 Dotty tread, which gives these shoes excellent grip and traction over a variety of surfaces, regardless of the conditions. These shoes deliver precision edging power and additional durability thanks to the proprietary Smedge Zone Toe. Although these climbing approach shoes are an excellent practical option, they are also extremely comfortable. One reason for this is the compression molded EVA midsole. The Five Ten Women’s Guide Tennie Approach Shoe has a secure lacing system that allows you to adjust the fit exactly to the shape of your feet.

Key Features:

  • Compression molded EVA midsole
  • Synthetic soles with Stealth C4 Dotty tread
  • Leather and textile uppers
  • Secure lacing system
  • Smedge Zone Toe
  • Abrasion and water-resistant

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Things to Consider When Buying Climbing Approach Shoes

To find the best rock climbing approach shoes for you, it is essential that you compare each of the different features of the various shoes available and weigh up the pros and cons of each. Here is a guide to the different factors you should consider when making your choice.

Size, Comfort, and Fit

In many cases, the approach can take longer than the actual climb. Therefore, buying a pair of approach shoes that are comfortable and fit well is a necessity. These tips will help you to find a pair of approach shoes that fit these criteria:

  • If you are buying approach shoes for the first time or you have never bought shoes from a brand before, it is best to try them on before buying. There are some differences in the sizing of approach shoes to regular shoes and variations between brands.
  • Even if you are buying approach shoes online, you should try them on is a store first and then order them online.
  • You should also look at the sizing chart, if one is provided on the product information page, and read reviews to see if they give any information about the fit.
  • Lacing makes a big difference to the fit of the shoe. The best approach shoes have lacing all the way along, and this allows you to make precise adjustments to the fit.
  • The footbed can also make a difference to the fit. If your heel is not in a good position in the approach shoes, you can always buy heel inserts to hold your heel in its natural position.
  • Approach shoes perform best if they have a tight fit.
  • Men and women have very different feet shapes. For this reason, there are separate products for men and women. It is important that men buy the men’s approach shoes and women buy women’s approach shoes so that they have shoes that fit the size and shape of their feet comfortably.
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Upper Materials

The upper materials used are some of the key differentiating points between different brands. You need to look for approach shoes that have uppers made from materials with these features:

  • Water-resistance- This is one of the most important features of the materials used for approach shoe uppers as you may hike and climb in varied conditions. Even on dry days, you may encounter puddles in the rocks or small streams you need to cross. Having wet feet is not only uncomfortable, but it can also cause blisters. Water-resistant or waterproof approach shoes will protect you from this.
  • Breathability- This refers to the ability of the shoe to remove moisture from the inside and release it to the outside without letting in external water. A breathable shoe will keep your feet dry throughout a climb and stop your feet from smelling. One of the reasons why people choose approach shoes is because they are more breathable than many other types of shoes and this is because of the materials used. Not all approach shoes have the same level of breathability, so take the time to read reviews of the shoe.
  • Goretex- One of the best materials for the uppers of hiking shoes is Goretex as this is water-resistant, breathable, and lightweight. However, it is not the only material used in climbing approach shoe uppers, so you should consider all the options.


The soles are an important part of the shoe because it is this part of approach shoes that will act as the barrier between the soles of your feet and the rocks. There are some features to look for in approach shoes for climbing:

  • The climbing zone is the area at the front of the shoe that does not have tread. This is an advantage that rock climbing approach shoes have over walking shoes.
  • The climbing zone helps you tackle edging on more difficult terrain.
  • Approach shoes must have a sole that can tackle rough and sloping terrain, while also being suitable for asphalt and walking paths.
  • You need the soles to have a good grip on both wet and dry surfaces.
  • Ideally, the soles will combine flexibility with stability.
  • In most cases, the soles of approach shoes are made from natural rubber. One of the most common is Vibram.
  • You need a tread that is not too deep as this can reduce the grip on rocky surfaces. However, you need some tread for the shoes to perform well over varied terrain.
  • Although the materials used for the soles of climbing approach shoes are usually very similar, there are big differences in the lug patterns, and it is these that differentiate the best approach shoes from shoes of lesser quality.


Most climbers want shoes that are as lightweight as possible. This is because climbing is easier in lightweight approach shoes and it also helps to keep the weight of the backpack to a minimum when carrying the shoes. If you want lightweight shoes, look out for the following:

  • The materials used for both the soles and the uppers makes a big difference to the weight of the shoe.
  • Take the time to read the product description and specifications. Most will give the exact weight of the shoes. If not, look for clues in the materials listed or in the approach shoes reviews written by customers.


There are approach shoes available to suit all budgets and paying a lower price does not necessarily mean that the approach shoes are of lower quality. In fact, cheap approach shoes are often just as good as an expensive pair. In relation to the price, think about the following:

  • The price of climbing approach shoes depends on the brand, the size, the materials used, any special features, and the retailer.
  • You can often save money when buying approach shoes if you buy them online rather than from a bricks-and-mortar store.
  • Buying online gives you a chance to compare prices and also to compare approach shoes reviews.
  • Although you can get some of the best approach shoes for a low price, you shouldn’t compromise on the fit or the features that are the most important to you just to save money.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Approach Shoes Used For?

Approach shoes are a type of hybrid shoe that combine the best features of hiking boots and climbing shoes. The soles are designed for good grip on rocky surfaces, so they are generally used for climbing and scrambling. They are the ideal choice of footwear for approaches to crags as they can cover a diverse range of terrains in both wet and dry conditions.

Approach Shoes vs. Hiking Shoes

Approach shoes have many similarities to rock climbing hiking shoes as they take from both these and climbing shoes. Like hiking shoes, approach shoes are sturdy and low-cut. This is what makes them differ from climbing shoes and means they are a better option than climbing shoes if you hike between climbs or if you will cover varied terrain.

However, rock climbing approach shoes are a better option than hiking shoes because they are lightweight. They also offer a better level of comfort and are usually more breathable than hiking shoes. For climbers that hike between climbs, there is some argument that supports wearing approach shoes instead of hiking shoes as the low-cut of approach shoes helps to strengthen feet, ankles, and legs. In turn, this reduces the risk of injuries when hiking and climbing.

A further advantage of approach shoes over hiking shoes is the climbing zone. This is a trad-free area at the front of the sole that makes approach shoes a versatile option for covering varied terrain and for tackling both hiking and climbing.

The Final Verdict

There is a vast array of approach shoes on the market for both men and women, and each of these has its own features, pros, and cons. There are shoes to suit all budget and styles available that will match different personal preferences. While one brand may suit one person, another brand may suit someone else. Therefore, the best approach shoes are not the same for every person.

The overall best approach shoes for both men and women are those manufactured by Five Ten as this is one of the leading brands in the industry. The Five Ten Men’s Guide Tennie and the Five Ten Women’s Guide Tennie Approach Shoe each have both aesthetic and practical features that will appeal to climbers. They are made from high-quality materials and are comfortable to wear for long periods.

Another of the best approach shoes for men are the Scarpa Men’s Crux Approach Shoe. The construction methods and the quality of the materials used means they are a durable yet comfortable option.

In the women’s category, another great choice is the La Sportiva TX3 Women’s Approach Shoe. These are a stylish yet high-performing shoe that combines excellent grip with a high-level of comfort.

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