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Gear Review

5 5

Best approach shoes I've found

Let me start by saying I've tried a lot of different shoes for approach, and this is the first pair that I've been completely happy with. I tried New Balance trail runners (squishy sole had terrible grip scrambling), La Sportiva Boulders (unbelievably tight toe, even upsized 2 sizes), Patagonia Karakorams (painfully stiff upper that stubbornly refused to break in), and Merrell Trail Gloves (no underfoot protection for walking on scree). The Adidas fit true to size, have a beautifully grippy sole, stiff enough sole that your feet don't get beat up by scree, and the Adiprene is stiff enough that you keep your footing scrambling up rocks. They took almost no breaking in (I wore them to work 1 day before a weekend climbing). The coolest feature is the foam tongue top... it's hard to explain, but since its shape is fixed, it keeps the tongue from bunching up or sliding to the side. Oh, and the price was hard to beat at $65 on sale!

Overall, I'm quite pleasantly surprised by Adidas' foray into real outdoor gear.