Scarpa Furia Review


While positioned as a high-end sport climbing shoe, the Scarpa Furia excels as an all-arounder that’s as comfortable on less-than-vertical limestone as it is on steep cobbles.

Putting them on the first time, I thought I got these too big, but that seems to be a common trend for me with the latest Scarpa shoes. They are so soft, there isn’t much pressure on your foot when you cinch them down tight. Don’t be fooled though, as soon as you start climbing in them, you’ll feel the power afforded by the Active Randing system.

These shoes have no midsole, and with only 3mm of XS Grip2 rubber between your foot and the rock, it’s one of the most sensitive shoes on the market. They aren’t quite as soft as the Five Ten Team VXi, but felt quite a bit softer than the Sportiva Futura. If your feet aren’t used to sensitive shoes, it might be a big adjustment to get used to how they feel.

With many softer shoes, you lose edging performance, but after taking them for a test spin on some tiny edges in the gym, I was impressed, and feel that these offer the best edging performance of any of the super-soft shoes currently on the market, thanks again to the Active Randing and the Power Connection Band that runs along the bottom of the shoe.

Orange strip is the Power Connection Band.

Orange strip is the Power Connection Band.

As you would expect from a soft and sticky shoe, they smeared like a dream. Slick cobbles in Maple Canyon were no match for these kicks, glomming onto the polished river rocks like flies onto, well, stuff flies like.

While they are an obvious choice for steep climbing, they excel on vertical terrain as well. I’ve climbed a number of easier pitches in them at Rifle Mountain Park, and I’ve never felt so confident standing on those slippery little smeary dishes and bumps. In fact, I had an a-ha! moment with these when I decided to try them on some lower-angle climbs, even though that’s not the intended use. I was blown away by how secure my feet felt and loved the sensitivity and precision. (For anything truly slabby, if you don’t have foot muscles of steel, you’ll likely feel the fatigue pretty quickly.)

There is ample rubber covering the top front of the shoe for secure toe hooking, and it’s actually one of the more unique aspects of the design. In talking with Heinz Mariacher, the mastermind behind the shoe, he explained there are only three cobblers in the world capable of creating the unique tension when the toe rubber is pulled across the top of the shoe.

All rubber all the time on the toe.

All rubber all the time on the toe.

Some have complained of the heel being a little baggy, I haven’t found this to be a problem, but then again I don’t use my heels like the kids do. Also, there is a little raised piece of rubber on the heel, which apparently Heinz put there because his latest project required a heel hook/scum that needed that piece to work.

Fancy heel hooking fin.

Fancy heel hooking fin.

The only downside I have found so far is that the rand rubber is softer than normal rand rubber, and it’s showing wear much quicker than I’ve seen on other shoes. This means increased performance, but less durability/longevity than I would like. As such, the folks at Scarpa recommend it for a project shoe, so you get the most out of it and don’t blow through the soft rubber too quickly. I’d happily take a version with more durable rands, as I have been using this shoe for everything. Maybe next year?

For those who prefer the added precision and sensitivity of an ultra-soft shoe, Heinz has given us another incredible addition to our quiver.

Fit: Similar to other Scarpa models, in which I wear a 45, (my street shoe is 45.5 in this brand). The toe box is narrower than other Scarpa models like the Instinct VS, so be sure to take that into account when sizing. They are easy to get into, and won’t really stretch much at all.

Retail: $179
Sizes: 35-45
Upper: Microsuede
Sole: 3mm XS Grip2
Stretch: Minimal, don’t expect much.
Break-in time: Several sessions.
Ideal use: Sport climbing, from just under vert to the steepest of the steep.

More info available at

Disclaimer: Wait! Before you go handing over your credit card number, ask yourself, do you really need to buy more new stuff? If so, this product is worth a look. In the spirit of full disclosure, it was provided to for the purpose of reviewing. Don’t worry, though, our integrity can’t be bought!

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