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Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:35 pm
by Hann
Let’s talk Boots and approach shoes.
I’m in the market, and struggling to make up my mind.

Approach shoes.
Pros: Light, cheaper, convenient to attach to a harness.
Cons: less durable, less ankle support, and most importantly: my toes generally bump the front of the shoe when walking downhill.
Offhand I can remember my Mad Rock, Merril, Montrails and Becks. All had the same issues and the Montails broke first.

Pros: Strong, Durable, Good ankle support, and you can protect your toes from bumping the front inside by fastening the laces.
Cons: Heavy, expensive, awkward to attach to a harness.
I’ve worn out a pair of Salomons recently (the stitching has been redone, but now the leather has holes). I’ve tried Reichlies, but the vibram sole broke (pieces literally came off).
I’ve had Beck's, which lasted really well. Solid leather with no sissy stitching for the fynbos to make fun of. But is not in the country any more as far as I can tell.
What happened to the good old Trailbusters?

Options currently are :
1) Salomon’s that lasted me about 3 years. Probably not bad for the amount of punishment they took.
2) A variety of Hi Techs. But i’ve worn out a few of those too, and regard them as second rated.
But apparently the glue is now better....
3) La Sportiva, which don’t fit my funny feet.
4) Montrails, which also don’t fit my funny feet. But then again, the store didn't quite have my size.

So, has anybody any thoughts on this.
And does anybody know which boot is designed for a short fat foot?

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:59 pm
by DAcaveman
How about the 5.10 Camp Fours or Guide Tennies? Hear good things about the Tennies, but I actually have the Camp Fours. Great shoes, lightweight, but not a shoe with a high ankle support. Sticky as sticky can be!

Still have the Salomons though... nice shoes...


Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:45 am
by proze
I've always just used trail shoes for everything. My last three pairs have been:

-Hi-tec (multi-terra I think): Very good actually, lasted very well.
-New Balance: Great shoe! But bad grip in the wet.
-Merrill Chameleon Slam: So-so. A good shoe, but the padding inside wore out quite fast and they're very expensive.

Keen for some Salomons next, but they're also very expensive! Never tried boots for general walking/approach.

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:04 am
by Wayne73
Hey Hann

I have a similar problem with not having access shoes that fit comfortably. Had a pair of Boreals that lasted me quite well but when they died could not find any shoes that seemed to fit properly except the Hi Techs, which are extremely comfortable, however have had a couple of slips on them that could have been serious. The grip was just not there. They were one of the cheaper models so don't know if the more expensive shoes/boots are better. I still use a full leather "Crispi" boot that has been restitched and resoled on many an occasion, don't see to many full leather boots around any more though and they weigh a tonne.

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:49 am
by zabullet
I use Salomon Techamphibian. Super Light (315g). They have worn pretty well and in hot weather are fantastically cool.

My climbing partner always uses flip-flops. I kid you not!


Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:57 am
by Hann
Perhaps I should follow the example of my dreadlocked friend and go barefoot.
But hiking up Wolfberg, trad rack in sack, may prove challenging...

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:39 pm
by mokganjetsi
man, are you guys bored or what??....... me too :)

best pair of hiking boots i've ever owned are la sportiva tibets - not a blister ever; supportive, rugged & classic look. must have done 2500+km in them by now. boots come into their right when carrying a heavy pack in rugged terrain - otherwise it's overkill imho.

approach shoes with a propoper heel-cup that moulds into the outersole is the way to go for me. more support, stability and longer lasting. if you wonder what i'm on about, look at the rear view of 5Ten camp 4s vs. la sportiva B5 / cirque pro etc.

i have only heard good things about camp 4s - if you're buying shoes that's going to last 3+ years a few extra bucks shouldn't be an issue. i have montrain ctc's and is very happy with them - in sale now at MMO for only R510!

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:33 pm
by Jan Viljoen
In my opinion...
Best approach shoes ever? Boreal Quiros. Have a pair that's around 12 years old now, and I still wear them for approaches on a regular basis. Only at the insides of the heels small tears appeared recently, but that's probably from kicking them off without ondoing the laces I guess. Pity they're not available anymore.

I'm thinking of replacing them with the La Sportiva Wizard, but it seems that, like the Cirque Pro's, the Wizards also have that soles with only the little "buttons". A friend of mine has a pair of Cirque Pro's and only after a few months it seems that already there's not much left. Why don't La Sportiva fit a proper rugged sole for these shoes?

I also have a pair of those Montrail CTC's, and although I don't think the upper mesh parts will last long in bushy approaches, they've surprised me in open road events. Good value for a not-so-expensive shoe.

Best heavy duty hiking boot? Had years of good service from a pair of Boreal Bulness boots (several resoles), and now use the La Sportiva Makalu's. Heavy, but supportive for those of us with permanently broken fifth metatarsal bones!


Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:39 am
by Nic Le Maitre
Hi Hann

I've had a pair of 5.10 Camp 4s for 2 years now and they are still going strong. They are comfy, fit nicely and that heelcup thing does actually work, I've never hurt my ankles while wearing them, even with a heavy pack coming down from the Wolfberg or the Ledge.

On the hiking boot front I have had Raichle's (sole disintegrated like yours did), Technica's (stitching in silly places wore out and the rand came loose), Hi-Tec's (lasted a month). The only pair of boots I have had that have lasted really well are my current pair of Aku Utah's from the Cairn. I don't think that they stock them anymore but they do have other boots from the same manufacturer. The boots are 2 years old, have been everywhere and they are great. Even the gore-tex still works.

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:31 am
by Hann
Thanks to all the replies.
And yes, the 5.10 camp 4's are tempting.

I've now resigned myself that I'll be paying R2000 for a pair of boots and I'm looking at the following: ... mic-4d-gtx

I've had the Salomon Megatrex for 3 years, and even with the stitching issues I was very impressed.

But the Cosmic.
Does anybody have a pair?
Does anybody have an opinion?
And I happen to like the red...

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:15 am
by loneranger
I have been searching for boots for a while now, are also looking at Salomon boots. This is what I have managed to find out:
The Cosmic start loosing its waterproofness after a while at the point where the boot bends behind your toes. The Quest on the other hand does not. The boots are very similar in construction and materials used but small changes to the construction of the Cosmic is the reason for the "leaking" after a while.

It whould be very nice to here from someone here who has personel experience as the above info is of the "I have heard..." type and since the Quest boots are VERY difficult to get hold of (everywhere I have tried they are not in stock) I am also tending to the Cosmic's. Just don't want to spend over R2000 for boots that after a while loses functionality.
Hann: Do you know anything of the "leaking" issue? Did Salomon manage to sorted it out after people complained maybe?

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:31 am
by Hann

Seems the Cosmic is either to new on the shelves to have proper reviews, or my Google technique sucks.

@ Loneranger:
This is the 1st I've heard of the waterproof issue. But is a rather BIG issue.
I wonder if there isn't any sealant, some nixwax pruduct, you could use on synthetic boots?

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:44 am
by Hann

Positive review: ... -GTX-2009/

Not so positive: ... /1/V/1/SP/

More positive:
- I too was horrified by the price tag.

And if, like me, you don't know ballistic nylon is:
Basically Kevlar's Oupa

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:40 am
by Nic Le Maitre

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:15 pm
by Spike
Hann I have Cosmic 4d gtx boots.

I got them in summer and they are like having two mini saunas, one on each foot. Not lekker for a summer heatwave. I left them in a cupboard till winter.
I wore them at a recent snow rescue and they work bladdy well. My feet were warm and bone dry all night. Fit really nice. Check out the tread pattern though and see if it suits your needs. It could be a bit dodgy for sideways grip.
Their sizing is a bit out as well. Buy bigger than you usually would.

Where Loneranger talks about leaking just at the back of the toes my feet were a teeny bit cold while in the snow. This was a whole night in the snow mind you so maybe it's to be expected. I reckon my leather boots would have been colder.

When I was in the market I found that Cape Union Mart had the Cosmic 4D and outdoor Warehouse stocked the Quest. Very similar boots and I was very undecided which to go for.

In hindsight, if I was spending my own money I'd buy two pairs of HiTechs rather than one pair of Salomons. I'm happy with the Salomons but just reckon that I won't use them that often to warrant the expense

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:03 pm
by Daydreams
I to am looking at a knew pair of boots. I went and had a look at the Cosmics and they seem the real deal, but I am tending towards the La Sportiva Tibets. I havent heard mentions of the Tibets on this topic but for 200 bucks more they seem to be an option. Anyone got anything bad to say about them?

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:13 am
by Hann
@ Spike.
What boots did you have before the Cosmics? Also synthetic or leather?
It is a worry that 1, the boots leak, and 2 they don't breath properly.
As for the 2 x Hi Tech phylosophy: I've considered it too. But them red shoes are way cool :money:

@ Daydreams.
Of the Tibets I've heard only good things.
Catch is that the La Sportiva's are designed for narrow European feet.
Me, I have short, wide and fat Siberian/Mongolian feet.

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:22 am
by loneranger
Sorry cant find the links for the waterproof issue anymore.

Spike: Have you used your boots a lot this winter? The waterproofing issue only came out after some use. You say your feet got cold at the bend and the rest of your foot was still warm? To me that sounds like the bend is a future failure zone for waterproofness.

Nikwax do make stuff for synthetic materials, "TX Direct", you get it in a "wash in" and "spray on". The spray on might do the trick for Boots.

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:26 pm
by Spike
Hann my other "good" boots are imported HiTechs. Full leather. You don't see them listed and I scored them for a luck. Only found out afterwards that they are bladdy good and were an experimental line. Full Gortex etc

Loneranger the bit of cold was hardly detectable and I mentioned it purely for transparency. The blurb that comes with the Cosmic emphasises that they need maintenance and treatment to keep them in good shape. I haven't treated mine yet though
I've only worn them in snow once but that was non-stop over quite a long time and with a fair amount of clambering around

As a winter boot I think they are brilliant. I'd still maybe consider the Quest though.......??? Yissee there's not much difference between the two hey :roll: I think the Quest tread could be a bit better than the cosmic

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:59 pm
by loneranger
Spike, I have two pairs of Salomon running shoes (XA Pro 3D GTX) both the goretex versions, the older pair I abused for 3 years (without any treatment) before it lost its waterproofness. The new pair, bought last year, started leaking like a sieve where your foot bend after 2 months. Since the boots are based on the shoe, as I understand it, this is major concern for me. I went and did some digging and found other people had the same problem with the Cosmic (as said previously) but the Quest had no such problems. Maybe they did not read the blurp, and I am also guilty of that, and with proper treatment the boots, and shoes for that matter, keep their waterproofness for a long time! But overall thanks for the info! I am still favouring the Quest... Although I have the same problem as Hann: Those reds boots seem to lure me in! 8)

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:03 pm
by pierre.joubert
Anyone have any experience with the La Sportiva Boulder X, or know where I can find a pair in SA? ... 0152M.html

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:58 pm
by Nic Le Maitre
@pierre: If you happen to have SA size 8 (European 42) feet then you might be able to persuade the local agents to get you a pair as a sample. Otherwise you will have to pay to have them shipped in especially for you, it might be easier to buy them online...

For sizing, it seems like they are built on the same last as the Cirque Pro, so you can probably get the same size

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:23 am
by thomsonza
Hey Hann,

Also own a pair of the Cosmics, unfortunately I fitted mine a bit tight but they are fantastic boots. Although, as Spike said, in summer they are a bit hot. I used mine for Kili up the Umbwe route and they got me all the way to the top with no blisters , no pain and dry. As with most Salomon boots I find the rubber a bit slippery when wet. I agree with Spike, buy bigger than you would usually... especially if they are for winter as you would be wearing thicker socks too.

There is a write up of the shoes in one of the earlier Getaway copies and we ran them through a bunch of tests, including standing in a flowing stream for about 10 secs. The Sportivas came out dry (having the additional leather barrier) and the Salomon's came out with a bit of dampness at the toes. However the Sportivas had other cons which the Salmon did not. Also... it's a flowing stream... not quite what they are designed for :pirat:

In short, I would recommend the Salomons, but only for cold weather. I used them on a hike up Devils Peak and once up Table Mountain and never again... waaay too hot.

Just on the approach shoe vs. boot thing. The way I see it, if you going to be lugging a 50l pack or more for most of the time OR if you have weak ankles, invest in a descent pair of boots. If you're going to be using them as approach shoes then get approach shoes, boots limit you too much when hopping from rock to rock. For longer summer hikes I have a different pair of Salomon's (lower boot cut and cooler). I normally wear my slops when hiking into crags even with a 60l pack with all the gear I need. Also, boots are too big to pack when you're climbing trad. Personally, my next shoe will be something similar to the 5.10 Camp Fours, the rubber at the back gives a bit of extra ankle support and still provides a good amount of maneuverability.

Anyway, thats my 5 cents worth :wink: ... Use it, don't use it.

Oh, as for the Hi-Tecs... :puker:

Enjoy! :thumright

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:45 pm
by mullet
Was at Shoe City near Tygervalley (The road behind teasers) last week and they had a 50% off special on a fairly descent selection of Salomon shoes and boots as well as a few other brands. I got a pair of Salomom Elios for less than R600. I think its all last seasons gear but it's definitely worth having a look if the sale is still running.

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:42 pm
by Werner510
Look at my user name. Do I need to say more about the 5.10 Camp Fours? Unbeliavable shoes. Luxurously comfortable, and unmatched performance. Had a pair for about three years now. They've been up the Drakensberg with a four-day pack, soaking wet on the decent, never had any problems or discomfort in them. I have a pair of La Spotiva Wizards, but not particularly impressed.

Although I do agree that when carrying a HEAVY pack over ROUGH terrain, boots do come into their own. I have a solid pair of Technica's. Look out for Crispi Granite's. Apparently Cape Union Mart is going to bring back the Crispi's with this very good-looking boot. My dad loves his La Sportiva Val di Fiemme boots. Worth a look as well.

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:37 am
by Russell Warren
Apologies for commenting so late on the Tibets. I had a pair and they were comfortable, but only lasted me about a year or so of fairly extensive offtrail and trail walking. Since then I have tried Asolo, La Sportiva Glaciers and Thunders. I then realised it was not the boot, but my crap walking style that trashes boots. I am now using Montrail Torres and they are the most comfortable boots I have ever used for my long and rather narrow foot. I can't comment on durability though yet. I have only done 3 fairly serious trips with them: Buffelshoek peak straight out of the box with not a blister in sight, Zonklip to Waaihoek and Keeroms berg.

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:24 pm
by Barbarossa
My Crispies have done about 10 trips in the 'berg with no problems, also know a local guide in Mnweni who has used his pair for 7 years with the addition of only a bit of glue and shoe wax.
Rocky sandals do all the warm weather stuff for me, including hikes.

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:24 am
by Obes
Who else finds that when it comes to outdoor shoes, they develop something similar to what chic's expierience when in shoe shops.
I got hold of a pair of Vasque's when in the States last year. Although they were not considered top of the range in the REI shop where i bought them, when i have compared them to whats on sale here in SA, they are pretty amazing. They are lightweight, stong and so comfortable. They actually got stolen earlier this year, and then a few weeks later they were thrown back over my fence (which either means that the thieves hated them, or that they felt bad stealing such nice boots). Regardless, if you can check Vasque out, have a look, cos i have really be chuffed with them.

Who remembers the old Salomon pro stickys!? man, if i could get a new pair of those i wouldnt mind!

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:53 pm
by Zenbaas
So Hann, whats the update on this, what did you end up going for....?

I'm in a similar position where I'm looking for a new pair of very supportive hiking boots. My feet are very frail so it takes very little abuse before I'm crawling with pain. My current pair of merrels are nice but I feel like I need something more cushy and sturdy...? The Salomon Cosmics look awesome although having any leaking issues is a giant NO NO. Almost half of my hikes over the last few months have been in rain of through marsh lands so I need something that is completely waterproof.

Also where can you buy or at least fit the 4.10 camp 4's...? (I live in JHB if that helps)

Re: Boots - Approach Shoes

Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:14 pm
by Hann
What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Never mind.....

I ended up going for Solomon shoes approach shoes.
- Have had no ankle problems (touch wood)
- Have completed a 40km, 2day hike with zero problems.
- Just hiked up Tafelberg Cederberg with 25kg-30kg, and Wolfberg the next day. Not a blister.

- Rubber could be more sticky. I tend to slip a little on steep rock.
- The fancy shoelace eye-thingies are busy tearing off. Once they fail, I'll have to get other shoes...

I'll probably never buy boots again for local mountains.
Approach shoes are light, convenient, have heel loops to attach to a harness, cost less and come in funky colours.