Comfortable, tough shoes for your via ferrata
You do not need much to enjoy your via ferrata experience to the fullest. If you have a belt, a helmet, a via ferrata set and proper functional clothing, all you still need are the right via ferrata shoes.
Shoes for via ferrata walks have a certain set of important features that distinguish them from other outdoor shoes. Via ferrata shoes are to your via ferrata adventure what crampon-compatible mountaineering shoes are to mountaineering, tough hiking shoes are to hiking and trekking tours as well as climbing shoes with a firm pre-tensioning are to steep boulders and routes.
What distinguishes via ferrata shoes?
Via ferrata shoes are tough and can withstand rough heavy duty use. They are highly comfortable to wear and provide step security on via ferratas at the same time. Brands such as Salewa, Scarpa, La Sportiva and Mammut use high-end, durable materials - from the upper to the sole.
It does not matter whether you choose leather, tough synthetic fibers or a combination of both. Strong seams and proper binding are more important! A DWR treatment makes the material water repellent and if the shoe features a Gore-Tex membrane it is permanently waterproof and breathable.
Just as with trail running shoes and approach shoes, the weight is a vital aspect. The lighter, the better!
The sole makes a great difference!
One sole is not like another! The tread of the sole of a via ferrata shoe and its rubber compound are a science in their own right. That is why it pays off to go for a Vibram sole. The Italian sole specialist just has the necessary experience and knows exactly what is important.
The structure, the friction and the solidity of the sole are the very factors that make the difference whether your walk on the via ferrata is comfortable or not. Is the shoe suitable for various terrains? After all, a climbing sole will not help you much if the approach to the via ferrata forces you through mixed and rough terrains or wet grassland.
Practical and additional features for via ferrata shoes
Before buying you should bear in mind that it is not only the sole and a tough upper material that are important for climbing, but also the lacing. Only if the foot is in its place and fits perfectly, the pressure can be applied as desired. Therefore, via ferrata shoes have climbing laces that almost reach your toes.
What is also practical and is frequently found in via ferrata and approach shoes: a special climbing zone on the front part of the sole. With that you are even able to stand on small ledges safely directly on the rock.
A stable heel support only works well if the shoe is designed accordingly. To make the approach easier, via ferrata shoes have a loop on the heel.