GARMONT STICKY STONE GTX

Climbing - - ESSENTIALS - MATT SAMET

“Af­ter 10 hours of rope-solo­ing the King­fisher in the Fisher Towers, Utah, the Sticky Stones felt plenty com­fort­able and sup­port­ive,” said our tester of Garmont’s new lightweight (2 pounds for US size 9) ap­proach shoes. “I spent a half hour on the sum­mit and didn’t even think to pop the shoes off.” Built on the foothug­ging erGo last that, rock-shoe-like, mim­ics the hu­man foot, the Sticky Stones were de­signed for car­ry­ing light loads and boul­dery, scram­bly ap­proach ter­rain. They fea­ture the Dou­ble Damper im­pact sys­tem (EVA mid­sole to soften fore­foot im­pact and an in­ter­nal EVA layer to dampen heel strik- ing), a PU footbed, Gore-Tex lin­ing, 1.5mm suede and mesh up­pers, and a deeply treaded Vi­bram Me­ga­grip sole. Our tester used them ap­proach­ing and climb­ing at lo­cal Front Range crags as well as in the Fish­ers, and gave top marks in the com­fort and sup­port cat­e­gories—“Se­ri­ously, the most com­fort­able ap­proach shoes I’ve worn,” he said. He re­marked that the treads are deep for an ap­proach shoe, but noted a de­cline in per­for­mance only on low-an­gle and smeary ter­rain as a re­sult. The Sticky Stones, he said, were over­all stiff, mak­ing them best suited for edg­ing, wide cracks, hik­ing, and aid­ing. He noted that the gap be­tween the tread at the arch was the ex­act width of his etrier rungs—great for long days aid­ing, with the web­bing some­times ac­tu­ally get­ting lodged and need­ing to be un­stuck. The shoes did great on icy, slushy ter­rain, and kept his feet warm and dry in shal­low snow thanks to the wa­ter­proof lin­ing. “These have sin­cerely be­come my go-to ap­proach/hik­ing shoe when I’m not wear­ing my stretchy sendin’ jeans!” our tester said. His only dings were that the sup­plied laces seemed overly long, and that af­ter a month’s use, he’s no­ticed some thread pop­ping on one shoe and a bit of rand pee­lage from the toe­box top on the other.

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