Different Approach


The Scarpa Tech Ascent GTX ($219; scarpa.com) far exceeds its approach shoe label. Our veteran tester wore them for six months from Chilean Patagonia to Italy’s Dolomites to Colorado’s alpine on via ferrata, treks, and scrambles, saying, “They’re one of the most versatile boots I’ve ever worn.” Thanks to the Gore-Tex lining, they never leaked, even when postholing in wet moss and duff in Fjord de las Montanas in Chile. This do-it-all shoe has Vibram’s grippy Vertical Approach rubber that stuck to a variety of rock. Flat, solid rubber at the toe enabled precise edging on 5.easy routes, while an open-lugged pattern from the center through the heel clung to trail and talus like claws. The anklecovering midtop is perfect for keeping out snow on winter approaches, and they’re warm and stiff enough to wear on shoulder- season mountaineering trips, even where strap-on crampons are a must, as our tester learned on the Lamb’s Slide, a couloir on Colorado’s Longs Peak. For the premium price, you’ll get an approach shoe and a general trekking/adventure shoe that’s multi-talented, durable, and reliable. —Leia Larsen