Review: Garmont Sticky Stone GTX Approach Shoe
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“After 10 hours of rope-soloing the Kingfisher in the Fisher Towers, Utah, the Sticky Stones felt plenty comfortable and supportive,” said our tester of Garmont’s new lightweight (2 pounds for US size 9) approach shoes. “I spent a half hour on the summit and didn’t even think to pop the shoes off.” Built on the foot-hugging erGo last that, rock-shoe-like, mimics the human foot, the Sticky Stones were designed for carrying light loads and bouldery, scrambly approach terrain. They feature the Double Damper impact system (EVA midsole to soften forefoot impact and an internal EVA layer to dampen heel striking), a PU footbed, Gore-Tex lining, 1.5mm suede and mesh uppers, and a deeply treaded Vibram Megagrip sole.
Our tester used them approaching and climbing at local Front Range crags as well as in the Fishers, and gave top marks in the comfort and support categories—“Seriously, the most comfortable approach shoes I’ve worn,” he said. He remarked that the treads are deep for an approach shoe, but noted a decline in performance only on low-angle and smeary terrain as a result. The Sticky Stones, he said, were overall stiff, making them best suited for edging, wide cracks, hiking, and aiding. He noted that the gap between the tread at the arch was the exact width of his etrier rungs—great for long days aiding, with the webbing sometimes actually getting lodged and needing to be unstuck. The shoes did great on icy, slushy terrain, and kept his feet warm and dry in shallow snow thanks to the waterproof lining.
“These have sincerely become my go-to approach/hiking shoe when I’m not wearing my stretchy sendin’ jeans!” our tester said. His only dings were that the supplied laces seemed overly long, and that after a month’s use, he’s noticed some thread popping on one shoe and a bit of rand peelage from the toebox top on the other.