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Approaching Perfection

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Approach shoes have it tough: they have to offer enough support and comfort to be worn for long hauls, but they also have to be sensitive and sticky for technical situations. Enter the SCARPA GEKO GUIDE, ($169, scarpa.com) a new high-end approach shoe that marries the support of hiking boots with the nimbleness of climbing shoes. In a mid-afternoon trip to the Flatirons, these shoes edged like champs and aced the downhill with minimal slippage. The full wrap-around rubber on the front was crucial for foot jamming, and the textured front sole was reminiscent of a trail-running shoe. A precision fit means they’re sensitive like bouldering slippers, but specialty midsole inserts ensure mucho cushioning and comfort. Clip these ultra-light kicks to your pack for descents or don them for technical scrambling…and prepare to be impressed. —JE