• Arc'teryx - Acrux SL GTX Approach Shoe - Men's - Black/Stone
  • Arc'teryx - Acrux SL GTX Approach Shoe - Men's - Black/Stone
Arc'teryx - Acrux SL GTX Approach Shoe - Men'sView Larger Image

Arc'teryx Acrux SL GTX Approach Shoe - Men's

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$119.98 $200.00

Item #ARC00LE

Select options
  • US 7.0/UK 6.5
  • US 8.0/UK 7.5
  • US 9.0/UK 8.5

Tech Specs

Upper Material:
[upper material] seamless one-piece (PU-coated nylon), [protective overlays] TPU high-abrasion film, [toe cap] sticky rubber
Arc'teryx Adaptive Fit Lite zonal stretch liner
3D-molded Ortholite footbed
Vibram Arc'teryx Light Approach (sticky climbing with mountaineering heel tread), Vibram MegaGrip rubber compound, "Y" Groove split heel (for braking)
Claimed Weight:
1 lb 5.2 oz
Recommended Use:
approach, climbing, hiking
Manufacturer Warranty:

Gobs of grip for formidable approaches.

Designed for grueling approaches through mixed conditions, the Arc'teryx Men's Acrux SL GTX Approach Shoe conquers muddy paths, shallow streams, and rugged talus fields en route to your climbing destination. Relatively lightweight for such a robust shoe, the Acrux SL GTX maximizes speed when time is of the essence. The seamless one-piece uppers, TPU high-abrasion film, and sticky rubber toe prevent excess wear across stretches of formidable terrain.

Arc'teryx's Adaptive Fit zonal stretch liner conforms to key areas of the foot, customizing the fit for cloud-nine comfort and maximum support. Keeping you dry in the wettest environments, the Gore-Tex membrane keeps your feet from succumbing to creek crossings, wet ravines, and raging downpours. This waterproof membrane is fully breathable, so your feet don't drown in perspiration or heat during strenuous use.

The defining point of this approach shoe, the Vibram Arc'teryx Light Approach sole combines sticky climbing traction and smearing with a mountaineering heel tread for improved downhill braking. This approach-specific sole features Vibram's MegaGrip rubber compound for unbelievable grip when you're scaling slick boulders and walking across precarious ledges where falling isn't an option.

  • Grippy approach shoe for rugged alpine terrain
  • Gore-Tex membrane keeps out soaking-wet conditions
  • PU-coated nylon upper for lightweight durability
  • TPU high-abrasion film prevents tears and ripping
  • Arc'teryx Adaptive Fit Lite liner for customized fit
  • Vibram Arc'teryx Light Approach sole for sticky grip
  • "Y" mountaineering heel allows for controlled braking
  • Arc'teryx designs products with an emphasis on no-nonsense function
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Too narrow and you have to pay to return

  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
  • Fit: Runs small

Shoes were more narrow than others. Also super disappointing to learn that you have to pay to return sized clothing items. I'm not sure how any ecomm company can successfully do that in today's market. Without the security of being able to try the size, its pretty hard to take the risk.

its a hiking shoe and a climbing shoe

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs large
  • Size Bought: US10

I was very happy try out these shoes for BackCountry.com. I have always enjoyed trying out new gear and I am happy to have an opportunity to help my fellow outdoor enthusiasts find the right piece of gear for their outdoor pursuits. Let me start by saying that you should order these ½ size smaller than any other shoe you have. They definitely run long. That being said, they also seem to run narrow. As I have a low volume semi narrow foot, these shoes fit me great once I got the correct size. I normally wear a 10.5US, but the 10US in these shoes fit me perfectly as an approach shoe.

I think it's important to remember when buying approach shoes, that you are in fact buying a shoe that is trying to fill multiple roles so this category of shoes may not be perfect in all areas, but the hope is that it will be above average in most areas. When I think about approaching a climb this is how I see my day. It's an early start and when I leave the car I walk through a dew covered field to the edge of the woods. My shoes would normally get wet, but because I am in my Arc'teryx Acrux SL GTX approach shoes, my socks don't get wet. The water beads up and rolls off. When I hit the woods and the trail starts up hill on rocky soil, the grippy rubber soles keep me from slipping. I am carrying about 20lbs of gear so the minimalist shoes are giving me just enough support without being too heavy. Now up to this point, any gore-tex hiking shoe would have done the job, but once I hit the talus, I am super happy to have on this shoe. My confidence grows as the talus gets steeper, the slab gets longer, but the shoes keep gripping. I used my Arc'teryx Acrux SL GTX approach shoes for two weeks in typical New England summer conditions and found them to be good in all these areas and excel on on the slabs of whitehorse Ledge. At times I felt the Acrux SL GTX to be a better choice on the slab than my traditional climbing shoe. The shoe has a narrow toe box which suited me well for climbs up to 5.6. Other submitters have talked about difficulty in edging. I agree, but find edging in general to be challenging with approach shoes. I found these shoes to be above average in edging for me because of the narrow fit in the toe.

New England hiking is very different from hiking in the west. Trails don't have switchbacks and for the most part your are hiking directly on rock. The hiking is steep. A few years ago I started hiking exclusively in approach shoes when in New England and I think the Arc'teryx Acrux SL GTX shoes would be a great hiking shoe choice for anyone spending a lot of time hiking spring or fall in New England. Approach shoes should be the first choice in outdoor shoes for anyone spending a lot of time in the White Mountains.

Two of my favorite features of the shoe, is the built in tongue which does not roll to the side and also the large pull loops for getting the shoe on. I don't love the look of the shoe, but the material and simple design makes for cleaning off the shoes a real breeze. I am 51 years old so maybe the fashion is designed for more of a younger generation.

If you have a normal to narrow foot and like to hike/climb in New England, you cannot go wrong with the Arc'teryx Acrux SL GTX approach shoe

its a hiking shoe and a climbing shoe

Integrated tongue

Integrated tongue


Little rigidity in the sole.


Stylish, but not the best approach shoe.

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs large
  • Size Bought: 42

Pros: Light, heel step, durability, protective toe box, style
Cons: Fit, comfort, support, grip, breathability

I was given a pair of Arc'teryx Acrux SL GTX Approach Shoes from Backcountry for testing, but this review is my personal opinion. Let me begin with a description of my foot, because when it comes to shoes, I think fit is of paramount importance. I typically wear a Euro size 42 shoe and I would describe my foot as short, wide and chunky (10 inches L, 4 inches W and high volume). I received a size US 9, but there seems to be some confusion over whether US 9 translates to Euro 42, or slightly larger. In this case, the label on the shoe says US 9/ Euro 42 2/3. Either way, I found the fit to be slightly too long, and a little snug over the top of my foot. This tight fit through the middle of my foot is a problem with my chunky feet, so I normally let the laces out nice and wide to avoid compression and restricted blood flow. The Arc'teryx Acrux SL GTX Approach Shoe has an integrated tongue, so it's a bit like a slip-on shoe with laces. This is a nice feature that means the tongue doesn't get bunched up, but for me it also means the fit is always tight and restrictive over the top, regardless of how loose the laces are. The shoes did loosen up somewhat with use, and if you have a narrow, low volume foot, I think the integrated tongue would be a positive.

These Arc'teryx Acrux SL GTX Approach Shoes have Goretex incorporated into the upper. However, in my opinion, trying to make a low cut shoe waterproof is a waste of time, unless you're walking around in less than 1 inch of snow, or the rain slicked streets of Seattle, water is getting in the top anyway. For me, wearing waterproof shoes in spring, summer or fall is pretty much a guarantee that I'll get wet feet from perspiration, despite the claims of miraculous moisture wicking. And besides, how often do you approach a rock climb in wet conditions? The stiff material of the upper, combined with a lack of padding around the back of the heel, meant that the shoes had little give and have a potential to cause hotspots and blisters on longer hikes.

I tested the Arc'teryx Acrux SL GTX Approach Shoe on the West Slabs of Mt Olympus which is a fun 5th class scramble with some smeary moves and smaller edges to test an approach shoe. I found that the sole of the shoe was floppy and lacking stiffness. This means that they do not edge very well, tending to roll off edges, and there's little protection for the sole of your foot when walking over rough, rocky terrain. The rubber compound on the sole is also a little hard, which means smearing moves are not as confidence inspiring as I would like. I typically charge down the loose, rocky sections of the descent. The generous toe cap of these shoes protected my toes nicely, and the stiff upper material seemed to be durable and weathered abuse from sharp scree and rocks without any problems. The shoes felt stable, and I like that they have a small heel, which provides some bite when going downhill on dirt trails. Overall they are not as good as my other approach shoes.

Stylish, but not the best approach shoe.

Niche product with limited ideal use

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs large
  • Size Bought: 9

I was given this product by Backcountry, but this review is my personal opinion.

This is a niche product suited for those who value going fast and light on off trail approaches with snow and ice.

Comfortable on trail

Sizing inconsistency
Stiffness and sizing led to mediocre climbing
Poor breathability and poor waterproofing due to low profile design

Durability seems on par with other Arcteryx SL products. Its not going to last a lifetime, but it well made and extremely light.

Any waterproof approach shoe has breathability issues and Arc'teryx Acrux SL is no different. The waterproof membrane seems to work, but the ankle opening is so low that it is easy for snow to enter the shoe from the side. The sole fit well enough in aluminum crampons, but the low ankle coverage led to chaffing and discomfort with Grivel aluminum crampons.

The understated design makes them more suitable for casual use than some of the louder colored options on the market, but I find sticky rubber to wear out too quickly on concrete so I avoid using approach shoes in my daily life.

I wear US 9/ Euro 42 in most things and these came labeled as US 9 Euro 42 2/3, and fit like a 9.5 in length. This led to diminished climbing performance and made them generally less comfortable than if they were sized correctly. The insole and general design of the shoe are quite comfortable however. I have average width fit and don’t find them to be too narrow. The low profile toe makes them well suited for easy crack climbing and the upper has not shown significant wear from several pitches.

Overall the Acrux SL is a specialized product with a narrow ideal application range. For fast and light missions with long approaches containing snow, it might be the answer. For most other objectives, its reality as an uninsulated, clammy sweatbox will probably make it a worse choice than a lightweight breathable shoe, or a lightweight GTX boot that will actually keep the snow out and take a crampon better.

Great shoes for specific uses

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs large
  • Size Bought: 13

I was given this product from Backcountry, but this review Is my personal opinion.

Initial impressions:
Out of the box these Arcteryx Acrux SL GTX Approach Shoes look like they are high quality shoes. The tongue is attached to the shoe which I'm guessing would help increase the waterproofness, although it does make the shoe a little harder to put on.

I wear a size 14 street shoe or a 48 in Euro sizing. Arcteryx is calling their 13 a 48 (which is their largest size) so I went with that. This size fits me well.

In the field:
I found that these shoes are comfortable and climb well. Performance wise they are a great shoe. The attached tongue helped keep out dust/debris (didnt get to test their waterproofness yet) and the rubber seemed to stick pretty well to welded tuft at Smith Rock and Granite in Leavenworth. The shoe laces did seem to want to untie themselves which was a little annoying. Because of the waterproofness they don't breath as well as non-waterproof designs.

I think for applications where the waterproofness is desired (I'm thinking Bugaboos, Enchantments, etc) the Acrux SL GTX Approach shoe is a great shoe. Probably overkill for cragging or dry approaches. The shoes did not show any signs of wear so far, but I do wish the rubber rand on the front of the shoe extended around further to the widest part of the shoe. This widest part is where most of my approach shoes fail first, and with only thin layer of nylon(?) here I can see this wearing through when the shoe is used for jamming and semi-aggressive climbing. However since I've always heard good things about the Arcteryx warranty, this is somewhat mitigated. Overall a great shoe for specific uses.

Great shoes for specific uses

Lightweight Happy Feet

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: 9.5

These shoes are great for long, wet, rocky, and slick approaches! The shoe performed incredible on slick rock and ground; keeping my feet dry and happy all the way to the crag. It climbs decently and smears exceptionally well. It is stable when walking though talus.

The shoe is super comfy once broken in, which for me took about 3 days of use.

Bottom Line: If you have a long, slick, and/or wet approach this should be your go to for lightweight footwear.

Lightweight Happy Feet

Great Light Water Resistant

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: 7.5

I was given this product from Backcountry, but this review Is my personal opinion.

Having taken Arc'teryx Acrux SL GTX Approach Shoe to the Gunks, Red River Gorge, New River Gorge it's seen a variety of different types of approaches with a variety of different carried loads, from the nice approaches flat but trad climbing loads of the Gunks, to the more steep, wet, and muddy approaches of the Red River Gorge. I was only able to test it out in the summer so this is regarding summer usage.

Weight: 5/5
Grip: 5/5
Comfort: 4/5
Water-Resistance: 4/5
Durability: 4/5 so far
Climbing: 3/5

Overall: Lightweight, GORE-TEX liner, breathes great especially considering GORE-TEX liner, grips exceptionally well, including on wet rock, good for summer usage, does keep water out unless submerged, dries exceptionally fast.

Durability: As of now, I can't tell how the durability is as the Arc'teryx Acrux SL GTX Approach Shoe hasn't seen more than the summer. However, since that time usage during the summer, it has held up spectacularly and don’t see durability being an issue. Given that it’s under the Arcteryx category of SL rather than AR or FL, I assumed that the Arc'teryx Acrux SL GTX Approach Shoe would not hold up as well, but the material used on the shoe is exceptionally durable especially considering the SL category it goes under.

Usage: As an approach shoe, it excels on rock as the grip on rock is awesome. On wet rock it does better than the Guide Tennie in my opinion. The Vibram MegaGrip rubber seems to be great and equal or better than Five Ten Stealth. Sized correctly, I do believe that these shoes would be fine for very easy 5th class climbing as the toe box is quite stiff but due to the sizing of the shoe I received, it wouldn’t have been good for climbing. If I received a 7.0 instead of a 7.5, I think I wouldn’t have minded climbing in them as there is a climbing toe rubber and the toe box is stiff enough to edge decently on. In the Gunks, I could see myself climbing in a smaller size of Arc'teryx Acrux SL GTX Approach Shoe on 5.4 or 5.3, but not beyond that.

Comfort/Fit: I found the ortholite insole to be very comfortable, even when carrying a BD Creek 50 with a double rack of cams, nuts, 15 alpines draws, 70 m rope, 2 liters of water, chalk bag, helmet, harness, and some food. I also felt it was stable as an approach shoe for the heavy load that I would carry sometimes. I did not find the toe box restricting as others have which may be due to the shape of my foot. I found the Acrux SL GTX toe box to be nicely sized with enough space that I did not feel any hot spots in my foot. The one part of the shoe that I thought wasn’t as comfortable was the heel as I thought the heel could have been a bit deeper.

Breathability: Water permeability seems to be minimal and found that it breathed well enough to not soak my shoes from the inside. The shoe handled stepping in the puddles of the Red River Gorge well, and partial submersion it’ll do great in. However, if the shoe were to be ¾ or more submerged water will begin to leak in. The water leaks in not from the sides of the shoe but by the tongue, as would any shoe that isn’t mid-sized. Not a flaw of the Arc'teryx Acrux SL GTX Approach Shoe, but rather that the shoe does not go up to the ankles aka mid-sized boot. Bonus of it is that if the shoes do get soaked, they dry out incredibly fast.

All in all, Arc'teryx Acrux SL GTX Approach Shoe is a great shoe. I’ve tried a couple approach shoes from Guide Tennie, La Sportiva TX4, TX2, and never tried a Arcteryx shoe. Having tried the Arc'teryx Acrux SL GTX Approach Shoe, my expectations regarding what the Acrux SL GTX Approach Shoe could handle were met very well and, for some characteristics, beyond what I thought it could handle. If you’re looking for a shoe that is pretty water resistant, breathable enough, used for approaches, and (if sized correctly) for easy 4th class to very easy 5th class climbing, very lightweight, durable, then the Acrux SL GTX Approach Shoe should be considered.

terrible shoes

    This is the worst Arc’teryx shoes which I owned. It’s wire side was broken after my first 3 day wearing. Unacceptable quality!

    Couldn't love it

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 11

    Bought these to replace a worn out pair of 5:10 Guide Tennies. Initially drawn to the minimalist aesthetic, I wanted to love these shoes; so much so, in fact, that I ordered both the SL and SL-GTX versions for the sake of comparison. In an indoor, side by side comparison I found the SL-GTX version less cramped in the toe box, and in general feeling thinner and lighter. Standing indoors the SL-GTX pair felt much cooler and more moccasin-like, whereas the SL pair felt more like a nicely padded sneaker, albeit snug like an approach shoe should feel. I decided to return the SL's and put some wear on the SL-GTX's.

    After several miles I found the synthetic material is pretty unforgiving in the front quarter part of the shoe. Because it is thin (and unpadded) it binds and folds, pressing into the soft upper part of the foot. Additionally, the collar lining is only a thin layer of fabric covering the end of the GoreTex material, and a sharp edge of the GTX membrane digs right through into the ankle. I've worn them for several miles of walking and hiking and had to return. Perhaps the SL, while sacrificing waterproofness, benefit from extra padding, but I have not field tested those yet.

    Comfortable, Great Grip on Hard Surfaces

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 10

    The Acrux SL GTX shoes have been very good so far. Several hikes in wet muddy condition in the Northwest. Very comfortable. Gore Tex liner does a great job of preventing moisture from seeping into the shoes. Clean up well. Soles grip on hard surfaces, wet or dry like rocks. Grip / traction overall is good, not great.

    Biggest negative, if you hit muddy conditions, especially if you are going up a steep grade where you will be on your toes more than heels grip is not very good. Not much traction in front section of soles.

    Still, like these due to comfort, waterproof liner and grip on hard surfaces.


    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size

    The stock shoelaces constantly come untied, drives me mad. These shoes fit snug, and do feel very comfortable. I wouldn’t buy again.

    Have these replaced the Acrux FL and Acrux2 FL shoes? I was hoping to get a pair of the Acrux2 FL with removable liners, but it looks like they are discontinued by Arcteryx. Are these Acrux SL the latest version of the same shoes? How do they compare to the FL?

    Hey Iain - The Acrux FL and Acrux2 FL shoes are still available so if you want the removable liner then one of those would be the way to go. What size are you looking for and I can see what I can track down? The Acrux SL has a seamless upper and is the simplest, lightest option in the Acrux line-up. Feel free to contact me directly with any additional questions.

    Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead - klivingston@backcountry.com - 801-736-4337

    So far so good

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 9

    I was looking for an approach shoe that 1) has climbing rubber on the sole and 2) is waterproof. This shoe has both of those features and, so far, has kept me dry (in dewy feilds) and has kept me on my toes (when scampering across limestone and granite talus fields. They don't have the most comfortable insole but they're comfortable enough. So far, they've delivered in all the ways that matter to me.

    So far so good

    These shoes are pretty great

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size

    Water proof GTX, super lightweight, awesome grip... i rock hop across rivers with 40 lbs on my back and these shoes stick without an issue. they are designed well so i think they'll last a long time. They slip off and on easily.

    Only down side is they are very thin with no insulation so if its cold out, your feet will most likely get cold unless you're being super active.

    I'd buy em again though!

    These shoes are pretty great

    Could be better

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 10.5

    I've worn them every day since I purchased them and they still feel like they need broken in when I put them on in the morning. The shoes themselves are great, they handle water well, look great, and once I have had them on a while they feel great. I do like this she and I'll wear it until it falls apart but it has turned me off from getting shoes of this style again.


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