By Rebecca Jones
- An all-round outdoor shoe that copes well with rough terrain and long days
- Comfortable and lightweight Superb grip from a sturdy sole featuring sticky Vibram rubber
In a market that has a dizzying array of approach shoes from a wide range of brands, the Scarpa Crux is a well-established classic that is deservedly popular. This was brought home to me when I saw several pairs being sported by frustrated outdoor types in Keswick, on a recent wet weekend.
Over the summer I’ve been testing the Crux extensively. They have become my outdoor shoe of choice for a range of activities including walking, scrambling up to the base of crags, belaying and a bit of cycling too.
The Crux looks great and feels like a quality product straight out of the box; you can tell decades of Italian shoemaking expertise have gone into the design and construction of these approach shoes. The colour (grey and blue) is understated and designed to continue looking good throughout the lifespan of the shoe, and the rubber toe rand is a useful feature on rocky ground. This protects from excessive wear and provides a sturdy protective cover for your toes.
The sizing of the Crux seems pretty standard – I’m a 5 (EU 38) in most shoes and the same in these. Like most good quality shoes, they took a little time to soften up and wear in, but after a few outings I felt like the shape had really moulded to my foot.
The lacing design, which takes the laces right down near the toes, means the shoe is easy to adjust and tweak so that you get the perfect fit. If using the shoe for scrambling or easy climbing, you might want to tighten the lacing a bit and the crux allows you to do that right down the length of the foot, meaning you won’t have the problem of dead space. Likewise, being able to loosen the lacing so precisely means the shoe is more likely to feel good across a range of foot shapes.
Build quality and comfort
The Crux balances durability with the benefits of lightweight and breathable fabrics, with a sturdy suede upper and a soft midsole providing both comfort on long walks and support on more challenging terrain. I’ve used the shoes on steep rocky ground, in mud and on sandy beaches, and they’ve coped with everything with no sign of wear and tear. I’m confident they will last a long time before I’ll need to even consider replacing them. Given their robust performance on tough terrain, the shoes are surprisingly light, making them versatile enough to wear cycling and for long stretches of anxious belaying. Scarpa’s green credentials are an added bonus - the Crux makes use of recycled materials in every part of the shoe.
The Crux is breathable enough to be great in hot weather, with leather and mesh upper panels that help ventilate the shoe. But it has also fared well as the weather has turned wetter in recent weeks, and although it would let water in after prolonged wetting it seems to shake off a light dousing very well. The smooth section at the toe of the foot contrasts from the heavy duty tread on the rest of the sole, but this felt good when scrambling or moving over rock platforms. Like many shoes in this category, the Crux covers all the bases for general cragging and days out in the hills.
The Crux is a well-made and well-designed shoe that any outdoor enthusiast will find good use for. I was especially impressed with how it performed on harder terrain – where its solid construction and smart design came into its own. I’d recommend the Crux for anyone looking for an all-round approach/ hiking shoe that is also great for everyday wear.