First Look Gear Review
Street Price: $95
Pros: Great for long hikes, relatively light, durable and high performance for a running-style shoe
Cons: Don't edge that well, not exceptionally burly
Best Uses: Big approaches, alpine rock climbs, or just as everyday approach shoe
This shoe has been discontinued. La Sportiva doesn't offer any running shoes with sticky rubber in the same style as the Exum Pro, however they do now offer more of a hiking shoe with sticky rubber called the La Sportiva Xplorer. We have not tested it yet. See our complete Approach Shoe Review to see all of the shoes we have tested hands on, including the Five Ten Guide Tennie.
Below is a review for the discontinued Exum Pro
This is our highest scoring approach shoe for long hikes. It is the main approach shoe that Tommy Caldwell wears, even on El Cap. He uses the philosophy of take the best shoe for hiking when you are hiking, take the best shoe for climbing when you are climbing. Don't compromise with an approach shoe that may scramble comfortably, but doesn't hike or climb all that well. If this is also your philosophy, then this is the shoe to get. If you are looking to save a little up front, you might consider the Evolv Escapist ($79). The Escapist saves you $15 but it is not as compact or durable and did not score quite as well as the Exum Pro.
This is a hiking machine – it goes and goes and goes. It performed the best on our big alpine rock days. It is not a top climbing performer. However, depending your your comfort zone, you can confidently climb exposed easy 5th class moves in it. It is relatively light. You can feel them when they are clipped to the side or your harness, but they don't feel like a couple of dumbbells as some approach shoes do. While the toe rand is not beefy by any means, we were impressed with its durability relative to the Evolv Escapist. These are among the most breatheable approach shoes we tested.
Like any running style approach shoe, this shoe does not edge well. Once the terrain gets technical, most people will not feel confident standing on medium or even big edges. That said, they edged better than other running style shoes. While they are surprisingly durable considering their construction, they will get quickly trashed in cracks. These are not carried as widely as other approach shoes and can be a little hard to find.
At $95, these are a pretty good value. They are at the lower end of prices for approach shoes and offer above average durability for a running style approach shoe.
— Chris McNamara
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Most recent review: August 29, 2012
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