Gear Review: Scarpa Crux Approach Shoe
Weight: 28 ounces/pair
Summary: The Scarpa Crux Approach Shoe is a versatile, durable, well designed shoe that excels at easy technical climbs, trail approaches, and everyday use.
The Crux is Scarpa’s flagship approach shoe. There have been minimal changes to it over the years and it’s one of the most popular approach shoes on the market. It comes in a variety of styles – Mens/Womens, Suede/Canvas. And it seems to be a staple of Scarpa’s shoe line.
The shoe geniuses at the renowned Italian footwear manufacturer, Scarpa, do one thing really well – make footwear. I’m always happy with Scarpa footwear and I definitely give the Scarpa Crux two thumbs up.
The Crux is a technical approach shoe that can handle pretty much anything. It’s the perfect hybrid shoe that is comfortable on trail approaches and secure on easy climbs. I have the 2014 version of this shoe and have worn it extensively. It’s a great option for simple alpine climbing, hiking with the dog, getting to the local crag, wandering to the bar, spring ski mountaineering approaches, and so much more. These shoes has stood up to spring, summer, fall, and winter abuse and they’re still going strong.
What makes the Scarpa Crux stand out? Well many things…
Super Sticky Vibram “Vertical” Sole – The sole and tread are ideal for approach shoes. They offer a smooth area that allows for smearing and edging on easy climbs plus excellent traction for efficient and stable movement while on the go. I find the sticky sole is great on simple alpine climbs and on loose terrain. After a year of abuse, the soles are still in great conditions.
Ultra Secure Lacing – The lacing on the Crux starts at the toes and works its way up. It’s a climbing shoe-esque design that works well for both approaches and technical climbing. Wear it loose for walking. Wear it tight for technical moves. It’s easy to customize the fit to your foot. The toe box remains large even when the laces are cinched down for comfort.
Heel Loop – A bright loop on the back of shoes makes it easy to clip to a carabiner when necessary. It also is a great feature to hook on a finger when you’re slipping your foot into these comfy beasts.
Extra Cushioning – The shoes are super cushioned and can handle all day use. Microporous EVA cushions limit impact and keep things comfortable. The suede version seems to mold to your foot for extra comfort.
Rubber Toe Rand – A thick rubber runs along the front of the shoe and encompasses the toes to keep the elements out. This is an awesome feature in winter and in mud season.
Kevlar Reinforced Webbing – The bright webbing on the shoe helps to secure the forefoot to assist in edging control for technical climbing. These bright accent is hard to miss. As I mentioned earlier, I have the 2014 Suede version of these shoes. The Crux also comes in a more breathable Canvas version for people who live and play in a warmer climate. There is a new 2015 version of the Crux, but I don’t think much has changed besides the color scheme.
I do not wear a footbed, but if that’s something you’re into go for it. I wear a 44.5 EU / 11 US in the Crux. Find the Scarpa recommended sizing chart here
The two things that impress me the most about the Scarpa Crux are the durability and versatility. Versatility is the name of the game in approach shoes and Scarpa seems to have this nailed. These shoes can do almost everything well – although I am careful as this low top approach shoe is quite soft. I wouldn’t want to twist an ankle on a long approach or during an exposed scramble.
I think my biggest issue with the Scarpa Crux is that more than a few of my rock climbing pals have the same shoe in the same size, which can get confusing. I guess that also speaks very highly of the Scarpa Crux. It’s a versatile, durable, well designed approach shoe that I highly recommend.
Crux vs Boulder X
It seems that the two most popular approach shoes on the market are the La Sportiva Boulder X and the Scarpa Crux. I’ve been fortunate to wear both in the mountains. Personally, I like and recommend them both. Both La Sportiva and Scarpa make a great approach shoe. I’ve worn both shoes multiple times this week.
Let’s compare the Scarpa Crux to the La Sportiva Boulder X… I wear a 44.5 in the Crux and a 45.5 in the Boulder X. The rubber rand on the Boulder X encompasses more of the shoe and seals it from the elements making it better to wear in the winter or wet conditions. The Crux is more breathable and lighter weight. The Boulder X offers more stability and security for longer approaches, heavier loads, bushwhacks, and the unknown. The Crux is ideal for shorter trail approaches where weight is a concern. I find the Suede Crux has been a bit more durable and is better for every day use. Both shoes are awesome. I wear both of these shoes regularly and feel that you can’t really go wrong. Here is a post focused solely on comparing the Crux to the Boulder X. Please read my review on the La Sportiva Boulder X approach shoe too.
Official Specs About the Scarpa Crux Approach ShoeFrom Scarpa
- Upper: Suede, recycled polyester airmesh
- Lining: Recycled Polyester
- Midsole: Microporous EVA
- Outsole: Vibram Vertical Approach
- Last: BF
- Sizes: 39 – 47, 48 (half sizes)
- Weight: 394g; 13.9oz (1/2 pair size 42)
- Color: Shark/Green
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