are approch shoes good for hiking

Are Approach Shoes Good for Hiking? (Solved)

Approach shoes are a type of footwear designed for outdoor activities like hiking and climbing. They combine the qualities of hiking boots and climbing shoes, offering a versatile option for adventurers who need stability and grip on rugged terrain.

I remember a time when I went hiking with regular sneakers, and the lack of traction and support made the experience uncomfortable and even dangerous. That’s when I wondered if approach shoes could be a better alternative for my future outdoor adventures.

Curious to find the answer, I delved into thorough research about approach shoes and their suitability for hiking. According to my research, the answer is No, Approach shoes are not good for hiking.

For a comprehensive understanding, read on!

Things that are necessary for hiking shoes

are approch shoes good for hiking

There are many things that should be kept in mind while hiking. But here, we will only discuss the things which are important and necessary. 

The following are those things: 

  • Wight 
  • Base sole 
  • The rock plates 
  • The midsole 
  • Toe protection 
  • Anke support 
  • Cushioning effect 
  • Durability

 1. Weight 

In hiking, the weight of the shoe matters a lot. The heavy shoe always provides you with better grip and traction. Yes, it is difficult to use but its protective measure makes it negligible. Hiking shoes are heavier than approach shoes.

Hiking shoes have a rock plate, midsole, rigid outer sole, etc. which makes them a little heavier. Approach shoes only have one soft rubber sole which is very light. So, hiking shoes are better than approach shoes for hiking

2. Base sole 

 The base sole of both shoes is totally different. The hiking shoes are made up of strong and rigid rubber soles which allows us more traction and stability.

The approach shoes have almost a single layer of rubber sole which is more comfortable than hiking shoes but cannot stand on such a rough and uneven surface. So, the sole makes a huge difference between hiking shoes and approach shoes.

In this case, again the hiking shoe is better than the approach shoes. 

3. The Rock Plates 

 It is a unique and different feature that is only found in hiking shoes. It has a rock plate which is used to protect your feet from pointy rocks and pebbles from the ground. In the mountains, there are many particles and pointy rocks on the surface.

So, it is used to protect our feet from injury from these. While the approach shoes have a very thin sole which cannot protect us from this type of material. So, this feature also supports hiking shoes.


4. The midsole 

 You must be wondering, if the hiking shoes have a rock plate, our feet will be very uncomfortable. Our feet can start paining due to that hard rock plate. That is the reason why they have a midsole. It is used for cushioning the feet.

It is usually made up of woolen material which allows the extra cushioning effect to our feet. Due to this midsole, our feet remain comfortable and warmth keeps our feet untired. 

5. Toe protection 

 If we talk about toe protection, the approach will certainly take an edge. The approach has a wider covered space on the front of our shoe for toe protection than the hiking shoes. The wider rubber area is more suitable for toe protection.

The thickness of the rubber for toe protection is almost the same for both shoes; hiking shoes and approach shoes. So, the covered area matters. According to this, the approach shoe is better than hiking shoes. 

6. Ankle support 

 The hiking shoes have arch support which supports our ankle and protects our ankle from injury. During hiking, pebbles and pieces of rocks are dangerous. Some pieces can slip and strike your ankle. It is very dangerous for our ankles.

So, this protects us from this type of injury. Tr approach shoes do not provide us with this facility. So, it can be dangerous for you to wear while hiking. So, hiking shoes are better than approach shoes. 

7. Cushioning effect 

 The hiking shoes have the extra cushioning ability due to the midsole and woolen material of the midsole. It maintains the cushioning effect and the warmth of the feet maintains itself to prevent pain. The cushioning effect is also very important for longer hiking.

While the approach shoes have one sole but do not allow this much cushioning effect. So, hiking shoe is better than approaching shoes. 

8. Durability

The approach shoes are less durable than hiking shoes. The hiking shoes are designed for hiking but approach shoes are not designed for hiking. So, the approach shoes will break in 3 to 4 times because it has very thin and soft sole. So, the approach shoes are not durable as compared to hiking shoes.

The above points prove that approach shoes are not appropriate for hiking. Hiking is a very dangerous and difficult sport. So, you should use authentic hiking shoes for hiking. It will lessen your injury risk and other threats. So, the people who were not using approach shoes are right. 


 In the end, the approach shoes are not suitable for hiking. So, the people who were saying the approach are not good were right. We have seen the reasons why these are not appropriate.

So, always wear hiking shoes for hiking. Approach shoes are good for hiking. Approach shoes can be a cause of injury for you if you use approach shoes instead of hiking shoes.

The best brands that have hiking shoes 

These are the brands that have earned their name in hiking shoes. People consider these best brands for hiking shoes. You can buy these from any retail store and also from its manufacturer’s site. Amazon also has some of the following shoes.

These are the best in durability and quality. So, try to choose these brands for more comfort and a good experience:

  • Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX 
  • Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator 
  • Hoka One Speedgoat 4 
  • La Sportiva Spire GTX 

Are our approach shoes really bad for hiking? 

No, the approach shoes are not that bad. The real objective and use of approach shoes are to walk on the trial paths which are not that dangerous. These are the best shoes for walking on trial. But when we talk about hiking in the mountains, it is not a good idea. So, use approach shoes for their objective, not for hiking.  

For walking on trials, the approach shoes are best. If you will use hiking shoes for walking, it is a foolish idea because the weight will increase the pain in your feet and you will require more force to increase your step.

So, if you want to walk for 4 to 5 miles, you should wear approach shoes rather than hiking shoes. So, approach shoes have some benefits but not for hiking. 

The above-mentioned things just proved to us that approach shoes are appropriate. Not only approach shoes, you cannot use any other sports shoes for hiking because they are also not designed for hiking.

So, use proper hiking shoes for hiking because it is a safe thing to do. Using any other shoe can be a curse and disadvantage for you. So, always use a specific shoe for a specific game. 

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