Hiking/Approach Shoes
Black Diamond Technician

$135, 1 lb. 4 oz. (US men’s 10/Euro 43)

Sizes: US men’s 6-14, women’s 5.5-11


My summer goal was to bag all the 11ers in my home range, Utah’s Wasatch, and the Technicians accompanied me on almost every summit—including technical climbing up the North Ridge of the Pfeifferhorn, a mixed day of scrambling and hiking over 17 miles and 7,000 feet of vertical on the Thunder Traverse, and various moderate rock climbs at the crag (up to 5.10a). In these situations, the Technicians performed exceptionally on rock, but left some things to be desired on long days of hiking.

When designing so-called “approach shoes,” brands must choose whether to prioritize climbing or hiking performance. With the Technician, Black Diamond prioritized scrambling and climbing.

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Black Diamond Technician hiking-approach shoes.
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The Technician’s emphasis on climbing starts in the outsoles, with BlackLabel-Mountain rubber providing climbing shoe-like grip on any type of rock. The outsoles also look much more like a climbing shoe than a hiking shoe, with a sticky, smooth area under the toes that gives the Technician smearing performance on par with some rock-climbing shoes, and shallow, dot- and diamond-pattern lugs best suited to gripping on rock, if not delivering quite as much traction as deeper lugs when descending loose scree. 

Reach new heights as a hiker. See “Extreme Hiking: America’s Best Hard Dayhikes.”


Black Diamond Technician hiking-approach shoes.
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