I’ve always wondered what exactly ‘approach shoes’ are for. I mean, to me the name implies that they are what you wear to get to the thing you’re actually going outdoors to do – maybe a via ferrate, or a scramble. But then do you carry your mountain boots in your rucksack and change into them at the foot of the mountain? Bit of a faff I’ve always thought – why not just wear your mountain boots for the walk in?
I was recently, by default, sent a pair of Asolo Jumla GVs to review, and I have to say I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from them.
My first day out in the Jumlas was on a rock climbing course on which I was instructing. For these courses I spend a good part of the day standing either at the bottom or top of a crag sorting out ropes and anchors, and showing people how to keep each other safe when climbing. Quite often for these instructional cragging days I find a pair of conventional trainers not really up to the job, but a pair of mountain boots a bit over the top. The Asolo Jumla GVs were absolutely perfect for this job. By the end of the day I was entirely converted. Why oh, why had I not bought myself some of these before?
I found them to be immediately comfortable on the feet – the asymmetrical to-the-toe lacing gave a superb fit for the short walk-in, but also allowed enough tweaking to get them snug for rock work too.
Encouraged by this I decided to give them a blast on a mountain. Asolo claim that the Jumla GV is designed for “technical approach, trekking and vie ferrate”, which should make them good for a mountain scramble. I wore them for the walk in to Cwm Idwal then just kept them on for the scramble up the Idwal Staircase. I must admit I had wondered about whether I should carry ‘something more robust’ for the walk and scramble down Y Gribin, but thought I’d just go with the Jumlas and give them a fair chance. At no point did they let me down. I found them sturdy for rough mountain walking, and stiff enough to give good edging ability on relatively easy rock.
The only real issue I have with the Asolo Jumla GVs is that they have very quickly become my footwear of choice for pretty much everything I do. At this rate I wonder just how durable they are and if I’ll need to buy another pair soon. I wear them for dog walking, hillwalking, scrambling, low-grade mountain rock climbing, and on every day when I’m instructing groups in the mountains. I even wear them down the pub!
So, what do I really like about the Asolo Jumla GVs?
Comfortable straight out of the box,
Waterproof lining provided by Gore-Tex.
Good ankle protection.
Good all-round boot for a range of summer mountain adventures.
Anything I don’t like?
Nothing springs to mind!
Price: from around £150.