Editor’s note: This is one of those products that we here at Alpinist hear so much about, so we want to give it the Alpinist Mountain Standard’s award again. The shoe is worthy, and plenty of the Teton climbers will tell you so. The La Sportiva Exum Ridge runner is definitely one of those items that should be in any climber’s quiver. Alpinist staffer Alex Hamlin will tell you what it’s all about. He took them for some climbs – lots of them.
After enduring nearly a year of abuse throughout the Tetons, La Sportiva’s Exum Ridge has established itself as my go-to shoe for approaches and scrambles up to easy fifth class. From long trail-running days in Death Canyon to the Owen Spaulding route on the Grand Teton, this shoe is the choice for all-terrain mountain footwear.
For long days rock-hopping talus approaches, its trail running construction provides enough cushioning without sacrificing a snug fit. Combined with a sticky rubber sole, the shoe performs well in vertical terrain, smearing admirably on Teton granite and providing just enough edging power to scramble short steps of steep rock. To be sure, this is no technical shoe. But with its medium-stiffness last and breathabiltiy, it’s a champ for long summer days in the mountains. Well constructed, my pair lasted a full six months before being relegated to streetwear. This is the approach shoe that any adventurer should own.