Somewhat new to the world of footwear, Arc'teryx designers now have a well-rounded offering including everything from hiking boots and approach shoes to ski boots and trail runners. They each have a distinctively Arc'teryx design, in terms of both aesthetics and function. The Acrux SL Leather Approach shoe, with their understated funky colours and tongue-free design, fit the bill.
We have reviewed more Arc'teryx products over the years than you can shake a stick at. Look to the uber high-end Alpha IS Jacket, the Gear of the Year winning Sphene Jacket, or, if you are feeling nostalgic, look to our review of the now extinct Beta FL. We are huge fans of their kit.
Here's a shot of what I think makes this (and other Arc shoes) so unique. There's no tongue! Instead, there's an inner sock type feature that hugs you foot and breaths exceptionally well. It's the yellow piece here, in case you miss it. The technical terms for it is "Arc’teryx Adaptive Fit Lite."
There is a gel-type substance in the upper heel pocket. You can't really see it but it is residing under the fabric beneath the rim. This has a cushioning effect that adds to the shoes' comfort on the up (and down). The heel rim, in black, can feel a little rigid on the Achilles.
Here's a sideview showcasing the EVA midsole under the heel. Comfy ride. Dead bird logo included for style points—on the way to the crag or chilling at your local pub.
This is my first pair of shoes from Arc'teryx and I wasn't sure what to expect. I like them plenty, but a part of me thinks that the simplistic design they're so famous for in their outerwear hasn't carried over into this pair of shoes. Features like the abrupt heel pocket edge and liner seem a little "over-designed" to me. I'm just not sure if the design approach translates into real benefits for the user.
I have worn the Acrux SL Leather shoes around town and on several day hikes in and around Nelson, here in the BC Interior. They hike nicely and the Vibram sole is good for scrambling up rocks. Because the leather and colouring is so darn nice, I frankly don't want to get them too dirty so they spend most of their days in urban environments.
As with any smart shoe shopping, you should go and try before you buy. Note that my issue with the shoes' heel pocket may because I have funky feet. It may not be a factor for you and I encourage you to try them out. If you are one to compare, take a look at the Scarpa Crux review we did. The Scarpas are also an approach shoe.
The Acrux SL Leather shoe works in the city as well as on the trail. The contrasting colours are muted and add to their funky yet functional aesthetic. If the suede gets dusty, brush 'em up with a wire suede brush.
Oh.... and speaking of Arc'teryx footwear, be sure to check back in the late autumn for our review of the new Procline AR Carbon ski touring boots. Amazing.
Price: $190 CAN
Weight (per shoe): 330 g / 11.6 oz
Sizes: 7-13 US
Colour: Yellow, green, blue and black
Did we miss something? Are we totally out to lunch? Let us know what you think. People like/dislike gear for different reasons so chime in below and we'll get a well-rounded evaluation. You'll need to login or register before you can comment but it only takes a few seconds, then you're good to go.