- Water-resistant suede leather upper for the best blend of comfort, durability and abrasion resistance.
- Hybrid construction is board-lasted in the rear for support and torsional control and slip-lasted in the forefoot for flexibility & sensitivity
- Overlasted toe rand protects the upper and wraps over the midsole to offer maximum durability in this critical area.
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Half Pair - size 38
Full Pair - size 38
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.
Size vs Gender
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.
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.
Webbing & Buckles
Though fairly uncommon, some approach shoes are made to be closed via a combination of threaded flat webbing and a tightening buckle.
Low vs Mid
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.
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
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.
Low toe lacing
|Sizing||EU: 36 - 42 (half sizes) |
|Materials & Construction|| Upper: 1.8mm Suede Leather
Midsole: 2D EVA-CM
Insole / Liner: Ortholite® footbed | Polyester
Sole: PRESA® APR-01 / SuperGum
While it doesn't have the ideal sole for wet grass - a definite drawback for approaching mountain crags or scrambling in the UK - the Gecko is a light and flexible approach shoe that performs amazingly well when you get on the rock. It is highly recommended for those looking for a comfortable shoe that works for cragging and scrambling, but one that's also fashionable enough for more urban use. It may not last forever, but then you're paying a decent mid-range price. My only gripes so far are the short laces, and - for anyone contemplating more rugged hill use - the shallow tread.
The Scarpa Gecko caught our attention right off the bat for its fresh look. Despite earning one of the highest overall scores in this review, the Gecko failed to win an award from our editors due to its inability to excel in any one category. We do believe it makes a great all-around approach shoe for the average climber, though; it has above-average climbing ability, decent comfort and support, and durable design. The Gecko missed the mark for our favorite shoe, though we wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to friends looking for a no-fluff, comfortable shoe to wear day in and day out.
All approach shoes wear out, and some things to keep an eye on will be the heel cuff—it’s supple, making on-off super easy (I leave the shoes tied and just use my finger as a shoehorn), which is great while cragging. But in the past, approach shoes with soft cuffs have also tended to fray more quickly. The sole is also very thin—like rock-shoe-level thin—but Scarpa is claiming the SuperGum rubber is three times as durable as regular butyl rubber. We’ll see, but for now the cuffs are holding strong as is the treaded sole—no notable wear patterns or soft spots.