The Scarpa Crux approach shoe is still by far one of the most popular approach shoes around and with good reason. The Crux will be there to give you the grip and support you need on those sketchy scrambles and dodgy descents.
It’s a classic, burly and durable shoe that is now in its’ third remodel but they haven’t messed with it too much. In the latest edition, Scarpa have lightened the rubber toe rand and given it more sculpting. They’ve also improved the lacing and added some new colours into the mix. So if you decided to go for a pair of these, what are you getting yourself in for?
- Durable construction with leather uppers
- Made from recycled materials
- Comfortable right out of the box
- Pretty light
- Water resistant
- Laces go down to the toes
- Can be resoled
- Not waterproof
- Insoles not very supportive – replace with e.g. Superfeet
- Not as good for climbing as e.g. Five Ten Guide Tennies
- Not as good for hiking as e.g. La Sportiva TX4
Weight: 357g (12.6oz) for 1/2 pair size 42
Upper: 1.8mm Suede Recycled Synthetic Leather; Recycled Polyester Mesh, Kevlar
Midsole: 2D EVA-foam
Outsole: Vibram® Vertical Approach / Idrogrip
Fit and Comfort
So many people have commented on how quickly the Scarpa Crux became their go-to shoe because it just provided that all-day comfort and traction they were looking for from day one. Scarpa are an Italian company, so you know they can make a decent shoe. But with the Crux you can really see the quality of both the materials and construction. This quality is reflected in the shoes’ durability and the amount of abuse they can withstand! They have this amazing ability to feel like they are moulded to your feet, not sure if gets any better than that on the comfort front.
In terms of fit, they will feel narrower than, say, a hiking boot. This is common for approach shoes that are meant to be climbing shoe/hiking shoe hybrids. Expect the leather uppers to stretch a little over time but the kevlar webbing should largely prevent this.
You don’t often hear of approach shoes, or outdoor shoes in general for that matter, having eco-credentials but the Scarpa Crux bucks the trend. Most of the shoe is made from recycled materials so you can ease your conscience a bit with these babies. If you’re a stickler for detail this includes: 40% recycled leather (synthetic), 25% recycled rubber, 100% recycled lining, 70% recycled laces, 100% recycled polyester webbing and 29% recycled polyester mesh. To make it even better, the EVA foam midsole has an additive in it that enhances quicker degradation in landfills (guess that’s why it’s called EcoPure EVA).
The Crux still has a lot of the same design features that make approach shoes so great including a rubber toe rand and lacing that extends to the toes. This means you can easily customize the fit of the shoe to be tighter if you’re about to start some climbing or looser if you’re just having a stroll about town.
The mesh tongue improves breathability while improving comfort. But watch out, if you step into a puddle that’s too deep, the water will sink right through the mesh and give you soggy toes. Though the good news is the Crux can withstand some light rain as the leather is water-resistant.
The EVA foam used in the midsole allows the shoe to be quite flexible. This is great for comfort when walking but does sacrifice some climbing performance. When you think of climbing shoes, the midsole is stiff and allows a lot of power to be concentrated at the toe. The closest thing to that for an approach shoe would be the Five Ten Guide Tennies.
Vibram rubber is a pretty popular choice for approach shoes and that’s because they deliver. The softer the rubber, the grippier it is and Vibram is quite soft. But this also means they’ll tend to wear down faster than harder rubbers. Luckily the Crux can be resoled.
Though the Vibram sole has been enhanced with Megagrip compound to make it even grippier, the heel brake is not as good for traction downhill as say, the La Sportiva TX4. If you’ll be walking downhill often or on wet terrain e.g. wet tall grass then we’d recommend a shoe with an even more defined heel brake.
All in all, the Scarpa Crux is your classic jack of all trades shoe. They perform well in a variety of terrains and conditions. But be aware that they also don’t particularly excel in any given situation. If you need a shoe that offers stellar climbing performance or hiking support then we’d look elsewhere. But if you plan on doing a bit of everything in them but aren’t looking to push the limits too far on the climbing-hiking spectrum then the Crux is an excellent choice. Check the price on Amazon here.