In the process of looking for a new approach shoe that I could also do some running in I came across the Garmont Sticky Rock.
Over the last three months I’ve tested these out on the local trail system, and on approaches across the American West, mostly in the Moab desert area. For approaches these shoes have a great balance of support and traction; the name of the shoes certainly rings true with a Vibram sticky rubber compound outsole. These shoes are right in their element scrambling over rocks with heavy packs. The dual density midsole offers just the right amount of support, and most importantly the shoe withstands some use and abuse. After almost three months they are still in great shape, and will certainly last for many more approaches. For multipitch climbs they also have a key clip in loop; I’m always surprised when approach shoes don’t have this clip in point. They are also light enough to haul up on your harness without feeling burdensome.
They also perform well for running. I think this is a somewhat rare combination as many approach shoes are too bulky to actually run in. I’ve been running in these shoes almost exclusively for the last few months, and they handle their own on the trails, performing best when the trail gets steep and loose.
A couple other interesting features are the Heel Lock, designed to fix the heel in the heel pocket and prevent heel slip and blisters. There’s also a Pu footbed with moisture and odor management properties.
All in all, if you’re looking for a shoe that you can use for semi-long approaches, and also use for some casual trail running, this is a solid one.
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