Arc’teryx Konseal FL: New Essential Outdoor Gear Sanja and Sean October 30, 2018 All Arc’teryx is clearing the path as industry leaders when it comes to the best outdoor gear on the market, striding ahead of the pack with its innovative, high-performance outdoor equipment. If you’re keeping up with the latest in all things gear, you would be well acquainted with Arc’teryx and its reputation for producing durable gear that integrates climbing, skiing and alpine technologies. With its sturdy roots steaming from the Canada’s mountainous west coast, Arc’teryx’ purpose-built outdoor brand amalgamates design aesthetics with functionality, built to withstand harsh environments. The Arc’teryx Konseal FL Men’s and Women’s Shoe is one of the latest approach styles in the market, providing versatility and durability, compacted into a lightweight shoe perfect for all outdoor and endurance activities. Two of our adventure experts, Sean and Sanja were asked to review the latest essential hiking gear and share their intuitive feedback with us. We asked our mountain athletes to try out the latest Arc’teryx Konseal FL Shoes, putting sole to dirt, and to let us know the ins and outs of quality assurance. By the sounds of it, these shoes are the all-in-one versatile shoe you must have in your gear shed, suiting activities including endurance running, bushwalking, outdoor trekking and trail running. First Impressions Sanja: “What are those?! Are they a trail runner? A hiking shoe? (No!) Meet the new Arc’teryx Konseal FL Approach Shoe!” Sean: “I am excitedly looking forward to spending more time in these shoes over the coming months. Maybe I’ll take them with me to Patagonia for the summer!” So, What is An Approach Shoe? It’s hybrid footwear that’s great for both hiking and climbing. In a nutshell, approach shoes are the love-child of a trail runner, hiking boot and rock-climbing shoe. An approach shoe offers the lightness and mobility of a trail runner, the support of a hiking boot and the sticky rubber of a climbing shoe for when you are scrambling. Arc’teryx Konseal FL ticks all the boxes, with the ability to tackle terrain across all adventure destinations. A Little About Sean and Sanja When these two mountain adventures aren’t hitting the trails in some of Australia’s most diverse outdoor destinations, we’re lucky to have them on the floor at Paddy Pallin. They’re all about helping customers get the ultimate essential outdoor gear and providing expert tips for adventure destinations both here in Australia and worldwide. Sanja is a super enthusiastic trail runner, cyclist, and adventure climber. You’ll likely find her working in the mountains of Tasmania where she’s a guide to fellow adventure athletes, guiding them over the Overland Track and Three Capes Track. Back in Hobart, she works at the (soon to open) Paddy Pallin store where she gets giddily and excited over new and upcoming gear. Hailing from sunny Queensland, when he’s not on the floor at our Fortitude Valley store, Sean is keen on climbing, having recently thrown himself into bouldering due to his “inability to tie knots.” His passion is to reach global outdoor adventure travel destinations is fuelled by an attempt to escape the 9-5. Whether it’s to go hiking and mountaineering in the Himalayas, adventure climbing in Tasmania or outdoor trekking in the Andes, he is always keen to show off outdoor gear to fellow mountain athletes, trekkers and climbers. Arc’teryx – a Brand Built on Embracing Diverse Conditions and Challenging Climates “At Arc’teryx, the goal is to create equipment that enables a person to be immersed in the moment of doing, regardless of external conditions” Arc’teryx is arguably the most coveted brand in the global outdoor community. Their outstanding attention to manufacturing detail, fastidious choice of materials and ever-evolving designs are world renowned. Sean: When the opportunity came my way to road test the new Arc’teryx Konseal FL approach shoe I ungraciously did little to conceal my excitement to my patient work colleagues. I’ve always loved my Arc’teryx gear. Admittedly, when on any mountain adventure, I am typically a walking billboard for the brand. I can seamlessly blend in with any group of Canadians until I open my big Aussie pie hole. Now that my biases have been exposed to the entire world, I will proceed to lay down the skinny on the Arc’teryx Konseal FL. Sanja: I was super excited to write a review for the Arc’teryx Konseal FL Approach Shoe for many reasons: I love approach shoes! The Arc’teryx Konseal FL Approach Shoe is the 5th pair I have now tested, and they are all so different. Approach shoes are sometimes thought of as a niche product, and some confusion exists around them. I hope to shed light on the awesomeness and practicality of these shoes. Paddy Pallin is stocking ARC’TERYX SHOES! … come on, now that is really exciting stuff. The Build of the Shoe Arc’teryx is a Canadian brand built on the principles of obsessive, precision, design and production. All of their outdoor gear has an element of ‘wow’ factor and the Konseal FL shoes are no exception. Lightweight Sanja: I could not get over how slick they looked considering approach shoes have never really been known for their aesthetic appeal. The ‘FL’ in Konseal FL stands for ‘fast and light’ and they live up to this moniker. Sean: They are super light technical approach shoe weighing in at 318 grams per shoe. That’s light considering my other Scarpa approach shoes weigh in at over 480 grams. Moreover, they are barely heavier than my lightest trail runners (S-Lab sense 6 – 225g). Breathability Sanja: The tight-knit, ripstop mesh upper is constructed with a seamless polyester weave woven tight enough to keep out debris but breathable enough to keep your feet cool in warm conditions, which is more than ideal for us mountain athletes taking on the Queensland heat. The ripstop grid and raised rand should ensure that these shoes are still tough and abrasion resistant despite the lightweight construction. I found that the upper to initially feel quite rigid, but this has softened over time. Sean: The Konseal FL is most certainly not waterproof. This is a GORE-TEX free zone. Yes, your feet will get wet as you skip down the trail in the rain, or pitter-patter across a shallow creek, but that’s a good thing in my books, especially for those of us who live in the warmer parts of the country. For those who have worn waterproof footwear in the heat will attest, they are hot and sweaty. A non-waterproof shoe is significantly cooler on hot days and will drain and dry faster in wet conditions than their waterproof counterparts. The Konseals in action, proving to breathe well and drain easily. Traction Sean: The most striking feature of this shoe for me is the grip. I love sticky shoes. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people doing the terrified bum drag down the Pyramid at Girraween National Park, not confident that their shoes have the ability to keep them upright. The Vibram Mega grip outsole will hopefully save your pants and your dignity. Vibram states that the Mega grip sole provides +38% more grip than a standard sole on wet surfaces. I have on occasion become unexpectedly horizontal on the trail, so I carefully tested the grip rock hopping through a creek bed in the rain and managed to stay upright. Sanja: I did notice that the shallow lugs did not perform so well on loose, steep terrain. The soft rubber provides amazing grip, but this is typically at the expense of a faster wearing sole. Vibram Mega grip outsole sticking gripping to the rock! Comfort & Fit Sean: The woven polyester upper is protected by a 3D moulded toe cap and surrounded by a TPU rand much like that you would see on a rock climbing shoe. I particularly like the lack of foot rubbing, blister-inducing seams. Furthermore, the tongue is gusseted, and the nylon eyelets are concealed under the upper to prevent abrasion. On the inside, your footbeds down on a 4mm thick OrthoLite inner sole. Generous cushioning comes in the form of an EVA midsole and a TPU chassis provides stability and comfort. I found that this shoe has a trail runner feel in the back and a traditional approach shoe fit in the front. Just like a mullet: party at the back business at the front. The lacing goes right to the toes, giving this shoe a wide range of adjustability from a precision fit for scrambling to a more relaxed fit for walking. Sanja: When I first pulled the Konseal FL out of the box, I was a bit concerned about their narrow appearance. But once I slipped them on I realised that, through some sort of Arc’teryx wizardry, that there was ample room in the toe box for my wide foot. In addition to the wide forefoot, the narrow heel and the to-the-toe lacing provided an individualised precise fit. Before getting too technical with the shoes, I thought there would be no better test than to wear my shoes for a full day of work on my feet at Paddy Pallin. This is a stretch for most outdoor shoes, which are designed to be worn on softer ground and are not designed for asphalt or hard wooden floors. Admittedly, I do have strong feet, but I have experienced comparatively little fatigue in contrast to some other shoes I wear regularly. The Konseal FL does not provide the level of arch support that you would find on a shoe such as a Salomon, but they can be easily adapted with a pair of Superfeet Inner Soles for those who require it. After a couple of days of inner-city testing, I was amazed at how comfortable they were in an environment they are not really designed for. Now, I was extremely excited to test their versatility on the trail – hiking, scrambling and running as I hit the trails back in Tassie. The EVA injected midsole and 4mm Ortholite 3D moulded insole provided enough cushion that made running and long stretches of hiking more comfortable than other shoes in this category. Those wanting to do more technical climbing in the Konseal FL should consider that this extra cushioning will compromise sensitivity, however, the climbing-oriented edge and precise fit definitely make up for it. Who would use this shoe? Sean: Using the term “approach shoe” can easily pigeonhole a perfectly good versatile piece of footwear. Although the Konseal FL was designed with climbers in mind it certainly works within a much broader scope. These puppies make for a great lightweight hiking shoe. The precision fit provides sure-footed confidence and the shock absorbing EVA heel takes away the teeth-rattling jarring from long descents. Hopping off the track with the ability to tackle a range of terrain. Sean: I am excitedly looking forward to spending more time in these shoes over the coming months. Maybe I’ll take them with me to Patagonia for the summer for a spot of light hiking (p.s. If you’re on board and interested in Patagonia, check out our blog on How to Hike the Torres Del Paine O Circuit). Maybe I’ll head to the Granite Belt for a bit boulder hopping. Without a doubt this will be followed by a Neolithic coconut milk latte the local hipster café purely because of the shoe’s aesthetic look – or even more likely, for a post-hike beer in the Fortitude Valley. Sanja: Of all the approach shoes I have tested, the Konseal FL win the award for weight, comfort and most definitely appearance. If you want a pair of shoes for a day walking in Tassie, scrambling in the Glasshouse Mountains, to clip to your harness on an adventure climb or to approach the pub at the end of an epic day outdoors, the Arc’teryx Konseal FL should be part of your essential outdoor gear. Check out the latest Arc’teryx Konseal FL Approach Shoe at your nearest Paddy Pallin Store and elevate your outdoor adventures to new heights. Trust us, you’ll be blown away with the impressive Arc’teryx Konseal FL Approach Shoe as much as we are, so take a look at essential hiking gear and browse Paddy Pallin online today. Do you have an amazing outdoor adventure destination lined up that’s going to be guided by your new approach shoe? Whether it’s in Australia or you’re out trekking the globe, share your experience with us on Instagram by using the hashtags #ExperienceIsEverything and #PaddyPallin! #ExperienceIsEverything | #PaddyPallin Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.