‘Tis the season for short(er) approaches, shorter days, and lots of try hard. When you’re at a crag with a high concentration of problems, who wants to put real shoes on to move 100 feet to the next route, spot a friend, or use the bathroom? That’s where the Arc’teryx Arakys approach shoe excels.
The Arakys Specs
Is the Arakys a shoe? Is it a slipper? The answer: both. When you’re on the approach, it’s a shoe–unless you’re a slipper hiking type of person, then I commend you. When you’re chilling at the crag doing whatever you do to chill, the heel collapses down for slipper mode.
The shoes are lightweight, weighing in at about 1lb and 0.2 oz per pair. The footbed is constructed of leather, while a seamless one piece upper with thermolaminated construction is highly abrasion resistant, durable, breathable and hydrophobic.
Arc’teryx’s MegaGrip™ rubber compound, designed in conjunction with Vibram, is durable and keeps you stuck on the rock. For those of you who hate laces, the Arakys are a tighten once, buckle up, and never mess with the fit again kind of shoe.
What I like about the Arc’teryx Arakys
I love the unique colors that Arc’teryx have come up with for the shoe. They’re snazzy, they’re obnoxious, they’re great. Aesthetically, they’re a beautiful, futuristic shoe. They turn heads, especially in this neon yellow color.
The transition from shoe to slipper is seamless. They are the lazy person’s ultimate crag shoe. Gotta belay a friend? Go into slipper mode. Resting in between burns on the project? Slipper mode. Need to pee? Don’t change into shoes, just go into slipper mode.
I’ll switch from wearing climbing shoes straight to the Arc’teryx Arakys with no socks on. My feet do not get hot, sweaty, or clammy (with the exception of very hot days) while going sock-less.
What I don’t like about the Arc’teryx Arakys
The shoe fit, even when tightened down, is not that great. I found that there is a lot of dead space around the front of my foot, especially in the toe box. The Arakys run a bit large. If I were to buy these again, I would go down a half size.
I wear a size women’s 6.5. I have kinda big feet for how short I am (5′ tall). These make my feet look even more huge and clown-like, especially in such a loud color. I was psyched to wear these around the city, but I don’t do so as much because my feet look enormous.
For an approach shoe with sticky rubber, don’t actually expect to climb in these. These aren’t a technical approach shoe. You won’t be heel hooking or toe hooking in these. There’s no rubber toe-cap that is now standard on most approach (and even hiking) shoes. The Arakys’ heel is too soft for any heel hooks, or really, anything other than walking. But for those days where the approach is ten minutes and a lot of lounging is in the forecast, these are perfect. I’ve definitely tried collapsing the heel on my other approach shoes, especially when I just gotta pee so badly, but to no avail.
If you are looking for an all around approach shoe, these won’t be it. There are so many better approach shoes (like the Salewa Firetails) on the market that will actually perform. But if you want a TRON-esque casual climbing shoe, the Arc’teryx Arakys approach shoe will be your best friend.
I’ve had my pair for over three years now. At first, I hated them. Now, I reach for them first. They are very niche. They are unnecessary, but if used in the right scenario (chill cragging, lazy bouldering), you’ll swear by them too.
This was sent to me for review, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.
Last updated on August 14, 2020.