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Investing in waterproof approach shoes is a sound choice for those who value protection for their adventures. Generally, climbers are inclined towards breathable kicks for dry and warm environments. However, there’s always a chance of encountering a sudden rain shower or traversing a creek.
Waterproof approach shoes come with an additional layer of protection if your climbing takes you to these water-related conditions. As such, here are some of the qualities you should look for when shopping for these kicks.
The primary technology behind the best waterproof approach shoes
Several manufacturers equip some of their approach shoes with a waterproof liner to counter the elements. It consists of several layers which prevent water from passing through. At the same time, its design also allows excess moisture and heat to escape. The combination of these functions imbues the shoe with waterproofness and breathability, two benefits that can be beneficial during an approach.
A notable example of a liner used in waterproof approach shoes is a Gore-Tex membrane. This material is often regarded by approach climbers for providing ample water protection without impacting breathability.
Other qualities to consider when getting waterproof approach shoes
Grip. An approach shoe’s sole provides ample traction and responsive contact on rocky surfaces. It needs to be made of sticky rubber for increased ground adherence. Take a look at the sole’s tread pattern too and check if they’re suitable for your approach needs. Keep in mind that dotty lugs provide enough grip on rock while sharper tread patterns are ideal on wet and snowy terrain.
Weight. The weight of an approach shoe is an essential factor to consider. There are instances when you need to cover a lot of distance using them. Wearing a lightweight pair would reduce the burden on your feet and help preserve your stamina. Remember to plan your approach first so you can determine the target weight of your waterproof approach shoes.
Stiffness. Several waterproof approach shoes feature shanks or internal supports to make them stiffer. They are ideal if you’re tackling a technical terrain, such as those filled with snow or scree. If your approach is set in such places, it would be best to get rigid approach pieces.
Protection. There’s a chance you might bruise your feet during your approach climb. Select waterproof approach shoes are equipped with wrap-around rands for protection. Their durability will be useful, especially on rocky trails.
Notable brands that offer the best men’s and women’s waterproof approach shoes
Some La Sportiva offerings for approach climbers come with Gore-Tex membranes for waterproofness. They are engineered for technical mountain terrains, thanks to the inclusion of a sticky Vibram Megagrip outsole. Moreover, the brand’s STB Control system wraps around the midsole for added stability on traverse routes.
Select Salewa waterproof approach shoes (men’s and women’s) employ Gore-Tex liners to prevent water intrusions. Their Pomoca Speed MNT outsoles offer traction for technical approaches, snowy terrain, and rocky surfaces. They also feature Salewa’s EXA Shell technology in the upper, making them lighter and more durable.