Approach shoes are a common walking shoe, but what makes approach shoes different to walking boots and hiking shoes? We explain all.
Put simply, approach shoes are a type of hybrid footwear, which combine the characteristics of both hiking boots and rock climbing shoes.
Just like a pair of hiking shoes, approach shoes can be comfortably worn for walking long distances and just like a climbing shoe, approach shoes features a sticky rubber sole for excellent traction on steep and rocky terrain.
The name ‘approach’ comes from walking around the base or approach of mountainous regions where an even balance of grip, comfort and cushioning is required to overcome the terrain while being lighter and more breathable than hiking boots or climbing shoes.
As a result approach shoes cannot perform perfectly as hiking boots or climbing shoes, but as an in between for added agility on uneven ground. So while approach shoes may not be suitable for extreme or when carrying heavier loads, they are always lighter and far more breathable, reducing fatigue and providing a versatile outdoor shoe for all manner of pursuits.
However, they will often be too heavy and offer too little cushioning for trail running and other forms of fast and furious cross country activities.