Scarpa Crux Approach Shoe Review

Light scrambling in the Scarpa Crux shoe

Bottom Line:

A comfortable approach shoe for getting to the base of your climb. Useful also for light climbing and bouldering to warm up. Rubber soles stick to rock really well, and the side webbing allows for increased precision when balancing on small foot holds. I love them!

First Impressions and Observations:

Before getting the Scarpa Crux approach shoes I had never tried them on before. I just picked my size and when they arrived they fit perfectly out of the box. Awesome! Scarpa has achieved an exceptional balance between making these comfortable but also functional. The suede molds to the shape of my foot well allowing for a relaxed feel. However, these shoes also perform well for climbing. Scarpa has reinforced the forefoot by using webbing with kevlar. This holds the shoe tight to ball of the foot allowing for better precision. The rubber toe rand is also a nice feature for getting a bit of extra protection where it counts.

The Vibram Vertical rubber on the soles of these shoes is amazing. It grips to rock and gives a sense of confidence similar to rock shoes. Previously when I’d get to the crag I’d change into my rock shoes and do some warm ups on the rock. Now, I stay in these approach shoes for my warm up.


  • Comfortable for use all day
  • Light and simple construction
  • Sticky rubber soles for rocky hiking, scrambling or light climbing
  • Kevlar reinforced webbing around the ball of the foot


  • Feet can get warm on hot days. Not very breathable.
  • Friends may become jealous and steal them while you are climbing in your rock shoes

Buy it if:

You’re tired of going climbing and wearing your sneakers, which don’t work well on wet rock. It’s a pain to constantly be switching from rock shoes to your normal shoes just for some light bouldering or warm up climbing. You want a shoe that you can wear around town and use at the crag.

Places to Buy:

The Scarpa Men’s Crux is available at



Smearing in the Scarpa Crux Shoe

Author: Leigh McClurg

I grew up in County Dublin, Ireland and moved to British Columbia, Canada with my wife in 2010. I fell in love with being in the Backcountry and Mountains that are all around me here and try to spend all of my free time exploring those wild places. My main goals are to chase happiness, see as much of this planet and its cultures as possible and grow every day through knowledge and experiences.

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  1. I think we need to know how this approach shoe holds up for approaches that can’t be done in flip-flops. How well does it hold up after a few trips up and down Rocky Mountain scree to climb some multi-pitch routes? How well does it kick steps in hard snow for the approach to the NW ridge of Sir Donald or for getting up to Snowpatch Spire early season? How well does a crampon fit for getting into Mulvey Basin in late summer to climb Asgard? Lots more questions to be answered in this review.

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    • Hey Sandy, for a lot of what you mentioned I’d generally use a boot with ankle support. Approach shoes don’t really replace either hiking boots or climbing shoes but sit somewhere in the middle. In Squamish, I’m glad to have these shoes for some climbs which feature approaches on Class 4 slab or Class 5 rope pulls.

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  2. We must have different definitions of approach shoes. I think approach shoes are for, well, approaching alpine routes, for which they excel. Really light to carry when you have to switch to rock shoes, really light on your feet, usually an adjustable crampon will fit well, stiff enough sole to kick some steps in hard snow on descent. Those are the situations in which I have found approach shoes most useful. Carrying boots up long alpine routes sucks big time!

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    • I have found Sportive Boulder Mid X’s to be my go to more and more. The support a pack, are decent in the snow, and generally get me up, down and around most things out there. I am eyeing the Scarpa Tech Ascent as well because it uses a better midsole material that retains it cushion longer (PU trumps EVA every time) and looks to fit me better in the toe box.

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      • Thanks jtnesse, yeah those look pretty sweet. I’d only really use the Scarpa Crux for bouldering or cragging. I can use them for warm up bouldering without having to get into my climbing shoes right away. Those Sportiva’s look really good for long approaches or approaches to Alpine routes.

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