Late summer and early fall are the best Fourteener seasons, and this is the ultimate boot for the long approaches and class 3+ scrambles I prefer. Unlike most approach shoes, the Tech Ascent has a substantial midsole that’s stiff enough to carry multiday loads with no comfort sacrifice. Credit two densities of injected PU: A harder (green) one stabilizes your heel and adds forefoot rigidity while the softer (gray) absorbs heal shock. The Vibram sole is sticky enough to climb easy 5th class, too. Alpine weather bonus: The Gore-Tex membrane never leaked, even after clomping through ankle-deep sea water in Chile.
Hikers who need an approach shoe that can backpack as well as it climbs
> Shannon Davis
> Duration March to June
> Locales Patagonia, Italy, CO; 33℉ to 90℉; snow, rain, sun
> “Steeper terrain ahead? Cinch the asymmetrical, to-the-toe laces for more precise edging.”
> Weight 2 lbs. 4 oz.
> Price $219
> Sizes m’s 4-15