Kit review: Asolo Magix Approach Shoes
There are a couple of things to tell you before getting into the review of these Asolo Magix Approach Shoes. First, an “approach” shoe, if you aren’t sure, is a hybrid footwear that combines some features of hiking boots with some features of rock climbing shoes.
An approach shoe is meant to be worn as climbers “approach” their climbing locations or on terrain that is mainly rocky, such as the mountains of the Cuillin on the Isle of Skye . They are also great for easy scrambling or via ferrata on rock slabs. Many people will wear these kind of shoes for walking trails, too, although they might wear out quite quickly in these situations.
Second, Asolo is a brand I already love. The Italian company makes shoes that neatly fit my long and narrow feet. I really struggle to find footwear to give good support without having to lace footwear so tight that is wrinkles and buckles. When I wear Asolo shoes and boots they look like they were meant for my feet.
In addition, Asolo, in my opinion, have a stylish look. I often wear my purple Asolo Jumla GV boots on dog walks and to the pub, as well as for more arduous summer hill hikes.
The same has been the case with the new Asolo Magix Approach Shoes. Not only are these shoes great for rocks, mountains and trails but they are perfect for heading to the pub after a day in the hills. Shoes shouldn’t have to look fantastic or have great colours to do a good job of keeping you safe and dry while walking but if they do this as well then all the better.
I like the dark blue and bright blue colourway of the women’s Asolo Magix shoes.
What Asolo say about Magix shoes
“The shoe has a Vibram Friction® sole, with a broad contact surface on the points of impact and, particularly, on the toe cap.
“While the Vibram sole also offers good durability, the Schoeller K-Tech Micro Tech upper ensures lightness and breathability, as well as exceptional resistance to abrasions.”
Details of the Asolo Magix Approach Shoe
Upper: Water-resistant Schoeller K-Tech Micro Tech and suede leather
Sole: Vibram Friction, porous midsole and PU Anti-Shock insert.
In addition there’s a Asoflex lasting board and anatomic footbed.
Plus the shoes have a ring of fabric on the heel so they can be hung on a carabiner to the harness of a rucksack when not in use (such as when climbing in rock shoes at the crag)
Colours: Men’s black-green-lime and black-yellow and women’s dark blue and bright blue.
Weight: Fairly lightweight 860g for a pair of men’s UK8 and 710g for a pair of women’s UK5.
Because Asolo offer a fairly narrow fit, especially for us women, they felt perfect as soon as I put them on. I didn’t need to do my usual “pull the laces together tightly to try to make them fit”. I simply put them on and tied the laces. Nice!
The final hole of the lacing system is a loop of fabric set slightly back from the line of other holes so it allows you to get a nice tight fit around the ankle and back of the foot. This I liked.
The laces could do with being a bit longer, however, and a bit less slippery.
The footbed feels flat, so if you prefer a shoe with lots of arch support this is not for you. I have a fairly flat foot so, again, the shoe fits me nicely.
The shoes feel close to the ground. There is no thick sole, just a no-nonsense base that offers super grip when on wet ground and rocks. I tested this out on different terrain and in the wet and dry and the Vibram grip worked very well. It gives a really secure non-slip feel, which is important when scrambling and approaching crags.
There is not a lot of give to the sole and it’s really stiff. Again, this is on purpose. The shoes are meant for rocks and you don’t want too much give because otherwise you’ll slip off. Basically you want lots of contact with the ground.
The stiffness of the sole also allows you to do some basic climbing. You want the sole to be stiff so that the foot doesn’t bend while your toes, for example, are perched on an edge. For this reason, too, the shoes also have a rubber covered toecap to stop them being ruined by abrasive rocks.
These are not shoes for hiking long distances because the grip on the soles would wear out quickly but for shorter walks in the mountains and, especially, when approaching climbing crags and scrambling areas they are excellent. They are also perfect for rocky mountain climbs, especially where you are walking for much of the day on slabs and boulders, and also via ferrata.
They are also a great shoe for wearing to the pub, as I’ve said, when you are still dressed in outdoors kit after a busy day in the great outdoors.