The Alpinist Mountain Standards reviews apply Alpinist's tradition of excellence and authenticity to gear reviews by providing unbiased, candid feedback and anecdotal commentary to equipment tested (hard) in the field. Our panel is comprised of climbers who use the gear every day as part of their work and play. Only the gear they would actually buy themselves, at retail price, qualifies for the Alpinist Mountain Standards award. The five-star rating system is as follows:
One Star = Piece of junk.
Two Stars = Has one or more significant flaws, with some redeeming qualities.
Three Stars = Average. This solid piece of gear is middle-of-the-road on the current market.
Four Stars = Better than most comparable gear on the market. It has one or two drawbacks, but still 90% positive.
Five Stars = Is there such thing as perfection? An Alpinist Mountain Standards award-winner.
The rest of the MS Team
La Sportiva Exum Ridge Approach Shoe
Posted on: December 6, 2005
When La Sportiva first came out with the Exum Ridge approach shoe, it was a winner. I wore mine up and down the Grand Teton guiding moderate routes during many long days in the mountains until they practically fell off my feet, threadbare.
When I got this year's version I was psyched. It feels like a comfortable running shoe underfoot and has plenty of sole to cushion rocky trails. Best of all, it climbs great. I find the dot rubber super sticky and the lacing system works well to crank them tight for decent edging.
They are built to last with more durable materials, extra rubber in the right places and quality construction. Also improved is the aggressive heel, which definitely makes loose descents less sketchy. Of all the approach shoes I tested during the summer, the Exum Ridge gets my vote as the best overall performer in all categories.