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Best Women's Approach Shoes of 2024

Maya Rivera

Written by Maya Rivera

From Utah canyons to Thailand cliffs, Maya is a rock climbing aficionado who enjoys a bit of camping and hiking in the off-season.

This post was last updated on April 23, 2024.

Best Women's Approach Shoes of 2024

If the idea of leaving the trail and heading in to the mountains really excites you, then a good pair of approach shoes might be essential for you. They're that extra bit of grip and traction that can make all the difference in those difficult scramble spots.

To test out these approach shoes we did a lot of approaching on trails, through boulder fields and up scree slopes. We also scrambled up a lot of chimneys, navigated some tricky alpine granite slabs and even roped up a few times. The result is a list of women's approach shoes that we think are worth your hard earned money.

Our Top Recommendations

Our Top Pick

8.0 /10
La Sportiva TX2 Evo Women's Approach Shoes
La Sportiva TX2 Evo
Climbing
8
Construction Quality
8
Hiking
9
Weight
7

The La Sportiva TX2 Evo tops our list due to raving user reviews praising its supreme traction on varied terrain and the unmatched foot comfort it provides, even after a long day of hiking.

Runner Up #1

8.3 /10
Arc'teryx Konseal FL 2 Women's Approach Shoes
Arc'teryx Konseal FL 2
Climbing
7
Construction Quality
9
Hiking
9
Weight
8

The Arc'teryx Konseal FL 2 lands the top pick runner up spot due to its exceptional comfort and lightweight design, frequently praised by users for its great fit that needs practically no breaking in and its nimbleness on tricky terrains.

Runner Up #2

8.0 /10
La Sportiva TX4 Women's Approach Shoes
La Sportiva TX4
Climbing
9
Construction Quality
8
Hiking
8
Weight
7

The La Sportiva TX4 secures its position as a top pick due to its exceptional grip on rocky terrains and overall durability, noted consistently in user reviews for providing both comfort and confidence on tough trails.

What you should look for

(and what we test for)

Fit

A good pair of women's approach shoes should have a snug, but not tight fit to keep your foot stable and prevent blisters during long hikes and scrambles.

Grip

Look for approach shoes with a sticky rubber outsole; this is essential for traction on rocky trails and during moderate climbing sections.

Comfort

It's important that the shoes are comfortable both for hiking and carrying a heavy backpack, consider shoes with padded insoles or shock-absorbing midsoles for added comfort.

Durability

Given the rough terrain, the selected shoes should be tough enough to withstand frequent wear and tear, opting for ones with reinforced toes and strong, sturdy materials can do the trick.

8.0 /10

La Sportiva TX2 Evo

$149.00
The Best Women's Approach Shoes

Based on our research and testing, we think the La Sportiva TX2 Evo are the best Women's Approach Shoes on the market right now, for anyone looking to play hard outside.

La Sportiva TX2 Evo Women's Approach Shoes
Climbing
8
Construction Quality
8
Hiking
9
Weight
7

Reasons to Buy

  • Versatile use for both hiking and climbing
  • Highly breathable due to its knit fabric upper
  • Great traction

Reasons to Avoid

  • Size runs a bit small
  • Lacks cushioning on rough terrain

La Sportiva is a go-to brand for many avid adventurers, and their TX2 Evo approach shoe is a standout product. Light, nimble, and robust, it's great for when you're conquering a difficult trail or negotiating rock scrambles. This shoe has a minimalist design but delivers in terms of performance.

One of the major highlights of the TX2 Evo is its sticky rubber sole. Buyers have praised it for being super grippy, allowing them to walk comfortably on rocky terrain and maintain solid footing. The tread design is specifically made for technical climbing and hiking, ensuring you won't slip when navigating over slippery rocks or loose gravel.

Let's talk about comfort. Users have mentioned that the shoe has a snug but not overly tight fit. Its lacing system extends to the toe, giving you the freedom to adjust it for a perfect fit. Many have commended its breathability too, which means after a demanding hike your feet won't feel sweaty or hot.

The shoe is also easily packable and pretty lightweight. This feature makes it a top choice among climbers looking for a great approach shoe to haul up multi-pitch climbs. Users have noted that it barely takes up any space in their backpack, thanks to its C2 Combo Cord system that lets them bind and clip the shoes to their harness or pack.

Despite the many praises, some users have pointed out a few potential downsides. A few users reported that the shoe's durability could be improved, with instances of the sole separating from the upper after heavy use. Others have also highlighted that the shoe may take some time to break in and could potentially cause discomfort during the initial wears.

Another point that might deter buyers is the cost. The TX2 Evo is priced higher than some other approach shoes on the market. However, many consumers believe that for the quality and features it offers, it's worth the investment.

8.3 /10

Arc'teryx Konseal FL 2

Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Arc'teryx Konseal FL 2 are a great choice if you're looking for women's approach shoes to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Arc'teryx Konseal FL 2 Women's Approach Shoes
Climbing
7
Construction Quality
9
Hiking
9
Weight
8

Reasons to Buy

  • Stylish design
  • Highly durable and long-lasting
  • Excellent traction
  • Breathable upper material
  • Comfortable to wear for extended periods

Reasons to Avoid

  • On the pricey side
  • Run a bit small, so ordering up may be necessary
  • Not as lightweight as some competitors

The Arc'teryx Konseal FL 2 is a game changer in the world of women's approach shoes. This stylish shoe packs a punch with its combination of lightweight design and high-performance features.

The shoe's design is sleek and modern, featuring a vibrant color palette that varies from pastels to bold tones and the Arc'teryx bird logo on the side. The shoe looks not only professional and cool but also adds a pop of personality to your hiking gear.

Aside from its appealing aesthetics, customers have also raved about the Konseal FL 2's comfortable fit. The shoe features an integrated lacing system that snugly wraps the foot, providing stability without constricting comfort. The padding in the collar and tongue also adds an extra layer of coziness backed by many reviews.

For those who prioritize tread and traction on different terrains, the Vibram Megagrip soles have been praised for their sturdy grip. Whether you're tackling rocky paths or slippy surfaces, customers have complimented how secure they feel in these shoes. Also, the built-in toe cap provides extra protection, shielding your foot from unexpected rocks or roots.

However, there were a few concerns raised by customers as well. Some mentioned that while the shoe is fantastic for light hikes and scrambles, it might not offer enough support for heavy backpacking or longer treks. A few users also suggested that breaking these shoes in, took a bit more time than expected, causing comfort issues early on.

Additionally, for a shoe that boasts water-resistant properties, a few reviewers were disappointed that the shoe does not repel water as much as they had hoped. This could be a point to consider if you plan on trekking through wet conditions frequently.

Despite these minor concerns, most customer reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. The Arc'teryx Konseal FL 2 has consistently received high ratings for its great balance of style, comfort, and functionality, making it one of the top choices for women's approach shoes in the market.

No prices found. Check back later!

8.0 /10

La Sportiva TX4

$159.00
Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the La Sportiva TX4 are a great choice if you're looking for women's approach shoes to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

La Sportiva TX4 Women's Approach Shoes
Climbing
9
Construction Quality
8
Hiking
8
Weight
7

Reasons to Buy

  • Comfortable for long approaches
  • Highly durable
  • Impressive traction
  • Excellent for edging
  • Good breathability

Reasons to Avoid

  • A bit on the heavier side
  • Can be a bit stiff initially
  • Expensive

If you're looking for a heavy hitter in the world of women's approach shoes, look no further than the La Sportiva TX4. Rugged and built to last, the TX4 is the kind of shoe that refuses to back down, no matter the terrain.

The upper part of these shoes are constructed from leather, which is a godsend for anyone who's worn out synthetic shoes on rocky trails in record time. But don't let the leather fool you- these shoes breathe surprisingly well, ensuring your feet stay cool during those hot summer hikes.

But, what sets the TX4 apart from others in its class is its mega-grip sole. Its stellar traction makes it a reliable partner on both rocky mountain terrain and slick city streets. Hikers, climbers, and outdoor enthusiasts can all agree- when it comes to grip, the La Sportiva TX4 is a winner.

Another notable feature of the TX4 is its fit. With laces that go all the way down to the toes, you can adjust the fit to suit narrow, regular, or broad feet. This could be the end of your search for an approach shoe that actually fits properly!

Some online reviews have mentioned that the TX4 may take a bit of breaking in. So, if you're planning a long hike or climb, it might be a good idea to take these for a few shorter spins first. While initial comfort isn't its strongest point, durability and performance in the long run make it a strong contender for your next adventure.

For all its rugged charm, the TX4 does have a slightly ‘clunky’ look. But let's be honest, won’t we all happily trade style for comfort and performance when tackling difficult terrains?

So, if you are looking for an approach shoe that offers superior grip, durable construction, and customizable fit, the La Sportiva TX4 is definitely worth considering!

7.8 /10

Black Diamond Mission LT

$145.00
Best Budget Women's Approach Shoes

Based on our research and testing, we think the Black Diamond Mission LT are a great pick if you're looking for women's approach shoes that are more budget friendly, without sacrificing too much in quality.

Black Diamond Mission LT Women's Approach Shoes
Climbing
8
Construction Quality
9
Hiking
7
Weight
7

Reasons to Buy

  • Great traction and edging
  • Versatile use
  • Comfortable fit
  • Reasonably priced
  • Durable construction

Reasons to Avoid

  • Takes time to break in
  • Not very breathable
  • Limited color options

If you're on a budget but still want a high-performing approach shoe, hang tight! We've got an option you should definitely consider - the Black Diamond Mission LT. This shoe boasts a mix of comfort, durability and performance that will suit most users.

The Mission LT comes in a sleek design. With their minimalistic appeal, you won't have to worry about looking out of place when you stop by the local coffee shop after a hike. But let’s be real, it's not just about the looks, it's about how these shoes handle the great outdoors.

Customers often comment on the footwear's versatility. They're able to transition seamlessly from trail to rock, allowing you to venture deeper into the backcountry. The shoe's underfoot cushioning has been praised for long-distance comfort, so you can keep going all day without your feet calling it quits. Furthermore, the Mission LT shoes provide fantastic grip on various terrains, whether you're tackling loose gravel or scrambles across granite boulders.

One important thing to note is the sizing. Many online reviewers recommended sizing up as the shoe might run a bit small. We consider this a minor issue compared to the overall quality and functionality of the shoe, but it's worth noting to avoid any discomfort or blister problems.

Is it all good news? Well, some people felt the shoe's performance might falter on really technical terrains. Some found the rock-protection to be lacking compared to more specialized options, so if that's a specific need of yours, you might want to keep looking.

In summary, if you're seeking a reliable, comfortable and capable approach shoe on a budget, it's clear why the Black Diamond Mission LT features on the top of many lists. Just remember to try on a pair to find your perfect size, and be aware they may not be the best fit for those planning to tackle super technical trails.

8.3 /10

Arc'teryx Norvan SL 3

Best Ultralight Women's Approach Shoes

Based on our research and testing, we think the Arc'teryx Norvan SL 3 are a solid choice for those looking for a lightweight women's approach shoes option to go play hard outside with.

Arc'teryx Norvan SL 3 Women's Approach Shoes
Climbing
9
Construction Quality
9
Hiking
7
Weight
8

Reasons to Buy

  • Super lightweight making it perfect for long-distance hikes
  • Breathable upper makes it ideal for warmer climates
  • Versatile enough for trail running and light hikes
  • Compact nature makes it perfect for space-saving in backpacks

Reasons to Avoid

  • Less durable than other approach shoes on the market
  • Lack of cushion may cause discomfort during prolonged use
  • Little protection from sharp stones due to lightweight design
  • Not suitable for colder climates due to highly breathable upper

The Arc'teryx Norvan SL 3 for women grabs the spotlight in the ultralight niche of approach shoes. The brand has done a top-notch job of combining durability and style in a lightweight package.

Lots of users express favor towards this shoe for its seamless, breathable mesh upper. This design keeps the weight down, adds exceptional breathability and improves overall comfort on long treks.

Many users note the shoe's superior traction on both wet and dry terrain. The improved grip is due to the Vibram® Megagrip® outsole, a feature that adds versatility to this shoe, making it suitable for various backcountry ventures.

Aside from the shoe’s outdoor performance, users appreciate its athletic and sleek design, which doesn't shy away from style. Many users enjoy the shoes for their casual daily wear.

While there's plenty of good to say about the Norvan SL 3, no product is perfect. Some users have mentioned that it's a bit snug, particularly for those with wider feet. Some recommend sizing up for a more comfortable fit.

Another common critique among users is the lack of adequate cushioning, particularly for more rocky trails. The minimalist, ultralight design of the shoe could lead to feeling sharp rocks and uneven terrains underfoot.

Lastly, the lack of a traditional lacing system might be a turn-off for some. Its single-pull lacing system was noted as being difficult to adjust for users wanting a more snug or loose fit.

No prices found. Check back later!

7.8 /10

Salewa Wildfire 2

$169.95
Best Women's Approach Shoes for Alpine Hiking and Scrambling

Based on our research and testing, we think the Salewa Wildfire 2 are a solid choice if you want women's approach shoes that's really well suited to Alpine Hiking and Scrambling.

Salewa Wildfire 2 Women's Approach Shoes
Climbing
8
Construction Quality
9
Hiking
7
Weight
7

Reasons to Buy

  • Impressive traction and edging
  • Superb comfort and fit
  • Durable construction
  • Versatile for various terrains
  • Excellent climbing performance

Reasons to Avoid

  • Slightly pricier than other options
  • Can feel heavier after prolonged use
  • Limited color options

The Salewa Wildfire 2 approach shoe has been a top choice for women hikers in the challenging Alpine terrain and snow-capped scrambles. Let's dive into what makes this shoe such a favorite pick!

One of the first noteworthy features that shine in many reviews is the Wildfire 2's fit. Hikers have applauded the shoe's adjustability that provides a swift, glove-like fit perfect for narrow or wide feet. Additionally, it offers a higher-than-average arch support that keeps you steady on uneven terrain.

The durability of the Wildfire 2 is a big selling point, based on customer feedback. The shoe's robust construction assures years of dependable use. The suede upper combined with a tough rubber outsole withstands rugged trails and rocky terrains like a champ. The long-lasting wear is definitely a big plus in the shoe's favor.

Its grip is another feature that has many online reviewers singing praises. The specialized POMOCA outsole delivers impressive traction on both dry and wet surfaces. The sticky rubber adheres firmly to slick rocks and loose gravel, providing a confident, steady stride.

Despite all the high-performance features, the Salewa Wildfire 2 doesn't compromise on comfort. Quite the contrary, its cushioning system is one of the best in the market. Users have complimented the shoe's comfort factor for long drives and the added protection it provides against harsh impacts. The breathable upper also keeps the feet cool on warm days, adding to its comfort element.

However, some reviews aren't unconditionally glowing. A few users have expressed concern about the lacing system which is a bit complex for quick adjustments. There's also mention of the shoes feeling a bit heavy compared to some competitors in the market.

Despite these minor flaws, most customers report positive experiences with the Salewa Wildfire 2. Whether it’s the snug fit, remarkable durability, excellent grip, or the superb comfort, the Wildfire 2 is an amalgamation of function and form. As for the ladies scouting for reliable Alpine hiking shoe, this could indeed be a solid option as per the majority of user reviews!

8.0 /10

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II

$165.00
Best Women's Approach Shoes for Running Crossover

Based on our research and testing, we think the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II are a solid choice if you want women's approach shoes that's really well suited to Running Crossover.

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Women's Approach Shoes
Climbing
7
Construction Quality
8
Hiking
9
Weight
8

Reasons to Buy

  • Highly durable design
  • Impressive climbing performance
  • Versatile approach shoe
  • Offers solid traction and edging capability

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not the lightest model on the market
  • Could be more breathable

The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II is a shoe that scores big in the women's approach shoe category. The standout features for most wearers are the technical performance and impressive durability that these shoes bring to the table.

One of the details that buyers appreciate with this shoe is its level of comfort. The Ultra Raptor II has been praised for its snug fit that doesn't overly squeeze the feet, and the cushioning is said to provide solid support, especially during long days out in the field.

Then there's the grip. If it's reliable traction you're after, many users agree that the sticky rubber sole offers superior adhesion, even on slippery and wet surfaces. It tackled rather gnarly terrains and has received thumbs-up from many outdoor enthusiasts.

These shoes also score high on durability. Many users reported that they have gone through tough off-trail hikes and scrambling, with barely a scratch showing on the shoes. Thus, in terms of quality and longevity, the Ultra Raptor IIs are said to definitely hold their own.

However, some wearers have had a few less positive experiences to share. There have been instances where the shoe was found to be a bit heavy which might be an issue if you're planning for a light and swift hike. Some users also reported that the break-in period was a little tough and took a while.

The Ultra Raptor II isn't necessarily the most stylish approach shoe out there. Some users thought it was a bit too technical-looking for casual wear. However, for those ho are more interested in function over form, this is a worthy trade-off.

In the fit department, it does run a bit narrow as some buyers indicated. If you have wider feet, it might be worth considering sizing up to ensure a comfortable fit.

Lastly, the price point of the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II had been called into question by some users. Given the high performance, this might not be a deal-breaker for most, but it's worth noting if you're budget conscious.

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