The Garmont Sticky Stone GTX Approach Shoes live up to its name. This is a great approach shoe that excels on trail and on rock. Throw in a layer of Gore-Tex and you’ve got an approach shoe that will excel across three seasons.

Garmont Sticky Stone GTX Approach Shoes Features:

  • 1.5 mm water repellent suede and engineered mesh
  • Vibram® wrapped outsole for more grip and better protection
  • erG0-last wraps the foot better with a more ergonomic fit
  • PU footbed with moisture and odor management properties
  • Gore-Tex® Extended Comfort
  • Price: $190
Garmont Sticky Stone GTX Approach Shoes Review

Soles stick well to low-grade climbs. Testing with the family.

Just the right rubber

The most notable feature of the Garmont Sticky Stone GTX Approach Shoes is the sole. The Vibram® Extended outsole with Megagrip compound is just the right amount of sticky. Some approach shoes have rubber that is so soft and sticky they wear out ultra fast. Others, too hard so you don’t get much grip on rock. Much like everything the Baby Bear had in the Goldilocks story, the Sticky Stone’s rubber is just right. After extensive testing there’s very little sign of wear and there’s a good amount of stick…just right.

Garmont and Vibram got most things right with this sole, there’s very little that needs to be improved. There’s just the right amount of lugs to give traction when hiking, even in loose-on-hardpack trails. I had them out on full hardpack, loose on hardpack, and sandy trails. I was happy with performance across all conditions and didn’t experience any slipping, even when taking big downhill steps while under load.

Garmont Sticky Stone GTX Approach Shoes Review

Solid rubber on toes for climbing, aggressive lugs for hiking.

Moving to rock, there was enough traction to allow scrambling with confidence and enough purchase on low grade class 5 to not worry about foot placements. For climbing, the sole isn’t as technical as other models and I did find that it doesn’t edge as well as one might expect. It looks like it would have good edging capability, but the front of the rand extends beyond the edge, minimizing how much you can truly edge with the shoe.

Garmont Sticky Stone GTX Approach Shoes Review

Rand extends over the edging sole, limiting edging capability.

Putting the Sticky Stone on for the first time I initially felt pressure points. On both shoes I felt pressure on the seam where the tongue attached to the shoe. This lasted only for a few days and then as the shoes broke in it went away. As an everyday shoe they are pretty stiff if you’re just walking around. On trail the stiffness provides good support when under a load. The stiffness excels on rock, helping to provide additional support when climbing.

While cut low, the shoes do rise up to just below the ankle bones. I did find that this got in the way of side-to-side flexion, especially when on uneven terrain. It was a bit uncomfortable but manageable. I thought this could be the breeding ground for blisters with the rubbing on the ankle bones but I didn’t get a single blister! When scrambling over the uneven terrain, I did feel that my side-to-side mobility was limited. In some instances I had to adjust my technique to accommodate the shoe.

Garmont Sticky Stone GTX Approach Shoes Review

Riding high: you can see how the shoe sits right up against the ankle bones.

Full lacing from the toe box is a great feature of adjustability and dialing in the fit to be just right for the conditions you’re facing for the day. From a sizing perspective, they run true to size.

The Good

  • Sticky sole, keeps your feet on the rock
  • Good traction when hiking
  • All-around performance

The Bad

  • Would like to see better edging
  • Experienced some ankle rubbing, could be an issue for some

The Bottom Line: Sticky Stone GTX Approach Shoes

If you are looking for a shoe to split even time on trail and on rock, the Sticky Stone GTX is a good performer on both. Great traction on trail and plenty of stickiness on rock.

Buy Now: Pick up a pair from Garmont

About Author

Eric is a UT native who currently resides in the Wasatch Back. He always takes his passion of the outdoors with him. Skiing, trail running, bike commuting, backpacking and camping fuel his outdoor endeavors. As a husband and proud father of 5 daughters he looks forward to passing on his passion for the outdoors.

Leave A Reply