Black Diamond Circuit approach shoes

Arie got these because his OG cragging shoes were more rip than shoe at this point. He's never had approach shoes before, and we're not sure that we get the concept. It’s a hiking shoe that you can also climb with? C'mon now. That seems like a shoe that does neither of those things very well.

Black Diamond Circuit approach shoes from the front
Black Diamond Circuit approach shoes from the back
The shoes are very stretchy, so easy to slip on and off — and comfy big loops in the back to pull them on. You can also just trample the heel.

Arie got these because they were a) on sale, and b) he's a curious cat. And he heard it was easy to flatten the heel so you can wear them as slippers when you’re belaying.

Actual climbing experience

When the gyms reopened Arie tried them as actual climbing shoes for bouldering. That's … not great, so we're pretty sure that's not what they're for. While the soles are super grippy, the actual toes are so soft they just flop as you try to put weight on them. But for on your way to the crag: super comfortable. Give those battered toes some room to breathe.


This post was updated, check that out here: In defense of Black Diamond Circuit approach shoes.

Recommended? For actual climbing?


These are good belay shoes. They are not worth much for climbing. The rubber is sticky enough, but the entire sole is so floppy you'll slip off because of that.


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  7. The 5C Pump Challenge

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  10. In defense of Black Diamond Circuit approach shoes

  11. Zlagboard Pro 2.0

  12. Mammut Gym Workhorse Classic rope

  13. Updated 6w plan

  14. Lead Climbing Course Done

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  16. Second alpine fitness test

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  19. That climbing shoe smell

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  22. Ardennes ⛰ part deux

  23. Theragun, updated

  24. Lead climbing class

  25. A thought

  26. Petzl Spirit Express Quickdraws

  27. Petzl Connect Adjust

  28. First day back on the ropes

  29. Theragun

  30. Black Diamond Circuit approach shoes

  31. Climbing gyms are reopening!

  32. Ardennes

  33. New 6w training program

  34. Alpine fitness test

  35. A plyo box arrives

  36. The COVID Wall