Scarpa North America Blog

Hiking, Running, and Approaching – Which Shoe Do I Wear for What?

Aug. 25th 2017


Hiking a mountain, running a trail, approaching a climb—these activities seem pretty similar, right? The
thought of needing a different shoe for each one sounds crazy, until you picture this scenario…
Your feet are slipping out from under you, all control of your upward motion is gone and no matter how
hard you press your toenails into the sole of your shoe, nothing will stop you from sliding down the rock.
You are now on all fours, attempting to use your fingertips to grip the granite beneath you, but to no
avail. Keeping up with your crew? Consider that out of the question, thanks to your poor footwear
choice for today’s approach.

Have you ever been in this situation? Not realizing that you chose the wrong shoes until it was too late
to change them? This mistake can easily prevent you from finishing your objective and accomplishing
your goal. The type of footwear you don can be an underrated decision. Tread size, rubber type,
cushioning, and support all can have a major impact on performance. We’re here to help you decipher
which shoes to wear when and why.

Light hiking shoes are built for moving fast over variable alpine terrain. Imagine wearing this type of
shoe during the summer on a groomed dirt trail, with just a few rocks and roots to navigate. The soles
on these shoes will have grippy rubber for outstanding traction, a reinforced heal and toe for rock
protection, and a lightweight, breathable upper that dries fast while helping your feet stay cool. Check
out the Epic Lite if you’re looking for a do-it- all trail performer.

SCARPA Epic Lite

Obviously trail running shoes are designed for running on trails. But how are they different from a
hiking shoe and why can’t you just wear your regular running shoes? Trail runners differ from hiking
shoes in that they normally weigh less, have increased flexibility, and usually contain a plusher
cushioning system that absorbs the impact of running. These shoes are meant to move light and fast.
They probably won’t give you the support you need to haul a heavy pack long distances, but they will
give you the traction on slippery surfaces and the protection from sharp objects that your average
running shoe can’t provide. The SCARPA Spin is the perfect choice for those who want both support and
simplicity on rugged trails and craggy ridgelines.


As for approach shoes, isn’t “approach” just a fancy term for hiking to a crag? If so, why can’t you just
wear your hiking shoes? The problem with that is a climbing approach can include more technical
maneuvers and even some scrambling that you might not encounter on your average hike. Approach
shoes are soled in the same rubber as climbing shoes. This sticky rubber extends around the toe box
and usually wraps the back of the heel to give you more confidence that your feet will stay put on rocky
terrain. Consider the Iguana as your secret weapon for long, difficult routes and sketchy, no-fall- zone


Photos By: Kevin Ziechmann

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>