Over the last few months, I’ve been trying out Patagonia’s Splice approach shoe. When it arrived in the mail, I was a little unsure of how light and flimsy the shoe felt. Right off the bat it reminded me of Evolv’s Cruzer, except a little more rugged and better designed, in my opinion. I immediately liked the dark colors and bright red laces. It reminded me of a pair of old hiking shoes I used to wear when I was a kid.
Patagonia classifies the Splice as an approach shoe and I’d say it is true to the classification, but if you’re headed out for a multi-day approach or carrying a heavy load, you might want to check out something a little burlier with more support. Something like their Cragmaster would fit the bill nicely.
I was worried about how unsupportive the shoe is when I first started checking them out. But over the last several months, multiple approaches in Chamonix and around here in the Northeast, they are still holding strong.
Aside from the cool color coordination, I really like the overlapping tongue design. I am used to wearing SCARPA’s Crux approach shoe and the tongue notoriously moves around, same with a pair of Five Ten Camp Fours I have. The overlapping self-centering tongue on the Splice is pretty awesome, it doesn’t move around and expose your sock, and it helps keep pebbles out. It make me wonder why more shoes aren’t designed with the same style tongue.
The upper is made of canvas and suede leather and has held up nicely on multiple 4th/easy 5th class scrambling where putting your climbing shoes one would just be time consuming. They jam and do the trick nicely. The rubber on the sole of the shoe has held up impressively well. It’s a little slippery when walking around on wet rocks, but other than it still looks nearly new.
Bottom line: The Splice is a rad shoe, nicely designed, super light, affordable at $100.00 and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone seeking out an ultralight shoe for short crag approaches.
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