Comfortable, trustworthy, anti-rolling lightweight shoes – could these be the perfect approach shoe? We think they come pretty close.
GTX waterproof membrane
Stops foot from rolling
Lacing needed adjusting
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Mammut Ultimate Pro Low GTX: first impressions
The perfect approach shoe? The Mammut Ultimate Pro Low GTX comes pretty close. These shoes provide some pretty distinctive comfort-focused features in the form of a lightweight padded tongue, foam cushioning and lightweight, round laces.
A hybrid shell and protective rubber border combines trainer-like comfort with the durability of a traditional approach shoe, yet the Ultimate Pro Lows have none of the bulk and awkwardness of a chunky shoe.
Having worn these shoes over a long testing period, we reckon they are also among the most comfortable that we tested for our best approach shoes buying guide, thanks to the shoes’ TPU support elements in the center of the midsole area. This provides support over the longitudinal arch of the foot while increasing sure-footedness and comfort while reducing fatigue.
Finally, for people with feet that have a tendency to pronate, the Ultimate Pro Low GTX differ from super rigid approach shoes by incorporating a patented Mammut sole concept that allows the foot to naturally roll, rather than preventing any foot movement, thus reducing overall fatigue and the danger of twisting ankles.
The Gripex outsole technology also copes with tricky rocky conditions, from scrambling up the side of a coastal mountain to downclimbing to an abseil station, the kind of activity an approach shoe is intended for. It’s clear the features have been designed for the outdoor user who doesn’t want to swap shoes between their activities – this is a high-performance shoe that’s lightweight and comfortable – a great all-rounder.
• RRP: $149 (US) / £140 (UK)
• Weight (average, per shoe): 150g / 5.3oz
• Materials: Non Sew TPU Hybrid-Shell upper with Gore-Tex membrane; TPU midsole; EVA wedge & Base Cage self-cleaning Gripex tri-traction outsole
• Colors: Men’s Marine / Black / Olive Women’s Black / Dark Deep Taupe
• Compatibility: Approach, hiking and climbing
Mammut Ultimate Pro Low GTX: on the trails and crags
Arguably the ‘little black dress’ of the approach shoe world, the Mammut Ultimate Pro Low GTX came out top in our approach shoe review because of their superb fit, comfort and technical features.
We tested them while walking across the loose, wet rocky approach down to Castell Helen on Anglesey, then a scramble on the sharp limestone cliffs of the North Wales coastline and on overcast days in the Peak District – so these shoes were subjected to a challenging range of conditions.
Thanks to the use of Gore-Tex, the Mammut Ultimate Pro Low GTX coped with even the worst Welsh downpours.
Testing during a particularly rain-sodden trudge down to the anchor on Holyhead and around the campsite, the Mammut Ultimate Pro Low GTX performed exceptionally well. Going across slippery gravel paths and long grassy fields glistening with moisture the approach shoes showed no sign of ‘absorbing’ water and did a great job at keeping out mud and other elements.
I was also concerned the shoes might show water damage, yet these seemed fairly resistant to water penetrating the membrane and messing up the asethetic thanks to the subtle colorways used. The tongue stopped most of the water from getting in, but in particularly long grass it was possible for water to seep through the top.
The Mammut Ultimate Pro Low GTX women’s shoe seemed to fit true to size. The Schoeller soft shell, with its seamless material, gives the shoe unparalleled flexibility, so they don’t feel overly blocky and rigid. What impressed me most during the test, though, was Mammut’s Rolling Concept – a patented sole technology that provides support and cushioning to encourage the foot’s natural rolling movement, and consequently reduce fatigue and the danger of twisting the ankle. (But you might still like to brush up on other hiking injuries and how to avoid and treat them.)
The Mammut Ultimate Pro Low GTX provided some pretty distinctive comfort-focused features in the form of a padded tongue, which is made with lightweight foam padding and round laces. A hybrid shell and protective rubber border combines both trainer-like comfort with the durability of a traditional approach shoe, yet these had none of the bulk and awkwardness of a chunky, awkward shoe.
Having worn these shoes over a long testing period, they also felt consistently comfortable thanks to the shoes’ TPU support elements in the center of the midsole area, which provide support over the longitudinal arch of the foot while increasing sure-footedness and comfort, and reducing fatigue.
The use of Gripex outsole technology coped with tricky rocky conditions – from scrambling up a Diff on the side of a coastal mountain to downclimbing to an abseil station. It’s clear the features have been designed for the outdoor user who doesn’t want to chose between their activities – this is a performance shoe that’s lightweight, comfortable and helps make the Mammut Ultimate Pro Low GTX shoe a great all-rounder.
The only slight amend would be that the Mammut Ultimate Pro Low GTX only have a small loop on the back of each shoe. This can be clipped to a harness using a small karabiner, fine, but a bigger loop could have added even greater versatility.
Overall, the Mammut Ultimate Pro Low GTX were one of my favourite approach shoes – some small adjustments to improve the multi-disciplinary aspect of these shoes and they will almost certainly be a firm go-to approach shoe.
A former brand ambassador for Merrell and current Ordnance Survey #GetOutside Champion, Jessie Leong’s lifelong outdoor odyssey began with Duke of Edinburgh’s Award walks in the Peak District. This segued into long hill hikes in the Yorkshire Dales, multi-day treks in the Lake District, scrambles in North Wales and adventures scaling alpine pinnacles. When not walking, she can be found rock climbing, wild swimming, cycling, photographing, filmmaking, writing and modelling. Jessie’s most recent claim to fame is playing a Miss World contestant in the 2020 feature film Misbehaviour.