First Look Gear Review

La Sportiva Exum Pro Review

   

Approach Shoes - Men's

  • Currently 4.0/5
Overall avg rating 4.0 of 5 based on 2 reviews. Most recent review: August 29, 2012
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
User Rating:     
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 (4.0 of 5) based on 1 reviews
Manufacturer:   La Sportiva
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ August 29, 2012  
Overview
Discontinued Product
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.

Likes
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.

Dislikes
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.

Value
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.


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Chris McNamara

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: August 29, 2012
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (2)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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   Jan 31, 2011 - 11:48pm
Aridzona · Climber · Mesa, AZ
Mostly I just lurk, but I saw this… I'm on my 3rd pair of these, and run them around desert, rocky soils all the time. They hold up great. It's not Five Ten rubber, but they do stick pretty well on volcanic stuff and granite. Plus your feet aren't bruised and torn up after a longer approach. They're probably better if you have narrower feet. When pair #3 wears out - and they last a lot longer than my Guide Tennies ever have - I'll get a 4th pair.
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La Sportiva Exum Pro
Credit: www.sportiva.com
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