APPROACH SHOES | The reason why they are a must have and what features are required
We often hear about approaching shoes, but sometimes we have not a clear picture about the key features and the basic importance for all climbers that must reach the climbing walls and spots and can not walk around in climbing shoes, which are useless to walk on scree, rock slabs and to move quickly and safely on irregular and steep stones.
The first strategic feature of this shoe category is an outsole more sticky than usual, softer and “gummy”, with the use of a specific approach compound, different from the normal trekking and hiking shoes. Being less firm, this footwear generates more friction and adherence on rock slabs and rocky edges, two common situations that can be found on the road to climbing walls and that requires an advanced standard of safety for the user.
Secondly, the other key for approaching shoes is a more resistant and durable upper, ideal to move around in hostile and rocky environments, where the consumption and the abrasion grade is much higher than the norm. A sturdy suede leather with rubber reinforcement on toe or all around the shoe extend the timespan of the shoe, that can last even some months of intense approach between scree and slabs. A trail running shoe would last only few days before being totally destroyed!
Lastly, approach shoes are not conceived only for accost to the climbing wall: thank to their technical and narrow shape, to the sticky rubber reinforcement on toe, and to the lined outsole, they are perfect to start the walls and can follow the climber on easy to medium grade pitches, in this way providing more comfort than the climbing shoes and better versatility in all those mixed conditions that can be found on rocky walls, where it is necessary to adapt and do a little scrambling.