Arc’teryx Launches New Footwear Styles Inspired by Athletes

Arc’teryx launches three new footwear styles, designed for mountain climbers who are inspired by runners.

The gorpcore look has evolved over the last few years. Today, utility-focused wearers may be transitioning from wearing head-to-toe performance gear from the hiking trail to the wine bar, but they’re not abandoning the toe. In other words, trail runners—and the slip-ons you slip into postclimb—adorn the shoe racks of stylish athletes everywhere. And Arc’teryx has released three new styles designed for athletes by athletes. “Our team digs so deep into the testing and understanding of where athletes fit in here,” says Josh Herr, Arc’teryx’s senior director, global footwear design, of the brand’s rigorous approach to design and development, during a recent press junket.

Last year, Arc’teryx launched the Vertex, a shoe for runners who are inspired by climbers. Now, the brand is unveiling the Vertex Alpine GTX, designed for mountain climbers who are inspired by runners. It is the “pinnacle Arc’teryx footwear product,” says Adam Campbell, a product-testing specialist at Arc’teryx. The Vertex Alpine GTX comes in four colourways—beige, white, black, and blue—and marries the lightweight agility of trail runners with the durability and grip of technical climbing shoes. A full Gore-Tex liner keeps feet warm and dry, and the sticky Vibram XS Flash 2 outsole enhances performance on the trail and grip in any conditions. Plus, there’s an integrated sock collar to keep debris out. These three mountain sneakers are fully designed in-house.

Campbell, however, is most jazzed about the outsole. Inspired by Arc’teryx climbing athletes like Mike Gardner and Eric Carter, the shoe is engineered for edging and smearing up 5,000 metres of vertical technical terrain—like glaciers and ridges—on the Tantalus Traverse. “This shoe overall is a total mountain weapon,” he says.






The brand’s runner athletes wanted a shoe built for speed that propelled them through mountain terrain. The solution is the new Sylan GTX, a waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex shoe designed for maximizing speed. It also has an integrated knit collar to keep debris out, a lace garage to keep shoes tightly tied, and a six-millimetre lug sole with rocker geometry to drive propulsion on steeps and flats. “We’ve had athletes run over 1,000 kilometres in these shoes,” says Kat Drew, a trail runner and product-testing specialist with Arc’teryx.



The third release, the Kragg, is a technical slip-on shoe for before, during, and after the climb. The idea for the Kragg emerged from conversations with two of Arc’teryx’s designers, both climbers themselves. They wanted a shoe that would allow their feet to recover between climbs. “Climbing shoes are super uncomfortable,” Campbell says. “They’re really, really tight-fitting—they really crush your toes. And so the idea behind a shoe like this is how can you allow the foot to recover between climbs?” The Kragg’s sockliner, collapsible heel, pillowy sole, and breathable upper all make for an ultracomfortable yet still stylish shoe.