Our take Conventional approach shoes are great for scrambling, but, despite the name, aren’t always comfortable pounding trail miles on long approaches. Enter the Epic Lite, which is almost as comfortable as a trail runner while delivering the traction and durability of an approach shoe. The synthetic nubuck held up over a season of hard use and off-trail scrambles, and mesh panels kept the shoe from overheating. Our tester praised the ultratacky Vibram Megagrip outsole, which never slipped on class 3 scrambles in the Rocky Mountains.
The details SCARPA’s “Sock-Fit DV” construction replaces a traditional tongue with stretchy softshell material for more comfort and less bulk. The lace-to-toe design adds security, but fit is narrow.
Trail cred “A shade too stiff to run in, but light and flexible enough for a fast and comfy hike,” says a California tester. “And that extra stiffness makes them feel a lot better when I’ve got some pounds on my back. Plus, the flat sole around the toebox makes them stick like glue on dry granite.”