There are a few monolithic granite rocks around my city. These are rocks with gradient of around 30 - 40 degrees. None of these offer a technical rock climbing opportunity. It's mostly about hiking up these monolithic structures in around 3-4 hours.

Hence, what kind of footwear should one wear while hiking up granite rocks structures with a gradient of 30 deg?

PS: I had tried with my heavy trekking shoes and they gave very little grip on the rock surface (I guess due to the hard sole). I felt that a flexible rubber sole would be better as it would grip the rocky surface better. I am not much worried about ankle twists or similar things. More concerned about a proper grip.

  • Just out of interest what city is this? I've never heard of the term monolithic granite rocks?
    – user2766
    Commented Jan 2, 2014 at 16:34
  • @Liam en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savandurga -- There are some more similar to the one mentioned. Although they aren't as big as the one mentioned. (The rock is a mix of granite and laterites) Commented Jan 2, 2014 at 16:57
  • 1
    That's really interesting. Never seen terrain quite like it. thanks for the link!
    – user2766
    Commented Jan 2, 2014 at 17:20

4 Answers 4


The category of shoe you are looking for is an approach shoe, the name comes from their use by mountain climbers as their shoe of preference for approaching a climbing pitch. They're lighter than hiking boots and are designed for trails and for scrambling.

Approach shoes tend to have smoother soles than hiking boots but are usually sturdier than a climbing shoe. They also tend to have rubber all around the toe to help with grip on steeper elements. They are perfect for scrambling and there are a variety of models to match your own preference, whether you want something ultra-light or something with solid ankle support.

  • 3
    The sole of an approach shoe is usually made of a much "stickier" rubber (similar to what is on a rock climbing shoe), which is why it provides more friction than a regular hiking boot.
    – Felix
    Commented Dec 27, 2013 at 8:21

If it is steep enough to count as a climb I use rock boots. Hiking boots are only useful when walking on trails where you need tread to grip. Smooth rocks are best climbed with the kind of smooth rubber soles you have on rock boots.

You could take both though and change as needed.

  • I would hate to spend 3-4 hours walking in my rock boots. they're nearly 2 sizes smaller than my hiking boots. It would be agony!
    – user2766
    Commented Jan 2, 2014 at 16:32

This may sound a little too weird to most of the people, but trust me, nothing worked better (and ultimately hell a lot cheaper) than a normal canvas shoe with its sole slightly brushed with a sand-paper. It worked amazingly well and with comfort. I use them regularly where I go for an early morning short-hike at least thrice in a week. Try them out before you make any big-time investment too early.

  • 1
    The original rock boots where softened plimsoles, very similar to this.
    – user2766
    Commented Jan 2, 2014 at 16:33

As furtiv said, an approach shoe would be ideal for situations like this. I love my Scarpa Crux shoes for scrambling. Lightweight, flexible, and grippy. They also work well for the trail, too.

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