Scarpa Furia S Review

While I’m naturally a much better redpoint climber, I’ve spent the last couple years working to improve my onsight ability. This has been fun, but it also meant the hardest route I’ve climbed I did in a handful of tries, and going into the fall I was eager to push myself and get a sense of where my limits currently were, so I decided it was time to get a proper project.

I don’t like small holds, hence the route I settled on was the steepest for the grade I could find. It starts off with some big moves between big holds and then climbs out a cresting wave of overhanging stone to a crux lip encounter. Despite the handholds being large for the grade, the footholds are generally small edges and smears. With this climb being so close to my limit, I knew my choice in footwear would be important, and when I got the new Scarpa Furia S, it quickly became apparent that this style of climbing was exactly what they were intended for.


These shoes are extremely soft, the only other models I can compare them to are the Five Ten Team VXi and the Scarpa Drago. For the small footholds on my project, I appreciated being able to pull hard with my toes and feel every little bump. After the crux, the angle kicks back but is still overhanging the whole way, and the shoes felt very secure on the little blobs and nubbins I was standing on. The term rubber sock has been thrown around to describe this shoe, and I’d probably add “high performance” to that, it feels like you hardly have anything on your feet, but what little is there is highly functional.

Given how soft they are, they were more supportive than I anticipated, which can be attributed to the IPR Active Randing System and the 1mm Flexan midsole insert. My understanding of the IPR is that it works to keep tension in the shoe as it flexes, driving more energy into the toes. Also, like the Sportiva Genius, you don’t edge so much as “smedge” on small holds, which means you can be less accurate with your foot placements, an added bonus when busting out crux moves on steep terrain when your heart is redlining.

While I used them for some less-steep climbing and some indoor bouldering, I quickly decided to save them for the steeps. They were ideal in Maple Canyon, with slick, smeary cobbles that the soft 3.5mm of Vibram XSGrip 2 rubber glommed onto. They also felt great on the polished black bumps people call footholds in Rifle. Starting to see a trend here? Steep, with poor feet. That’s the name of the game for the Furia S. Use them on anything else and it’s like driving your Ferrari to the supermarket. You could, but why would you?


Comparing the fit of the old Furias and this new iteration, I’d say the Furia S is more comfortable. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about the way the old ones bend my toes just never felt great. I’m wearing the same size in the Furia S, but the fit feels more refined. The new Wave closure strap design immediately stood out as a major change, and I’m on the fence as to whether it was for better or worse. I have narrow feet, so I prefer as much adjustability as possible to really dial in the fit, and the dual straps of the old Furias were perfect for this. With the Furia S, I had to actually add velcro to the strap, as when I pulled them tight, there was only a tiny bit left to attach to the shoe (see photo.)

You can see the janky-looking stitching where I added velcro to the shoe, and also how far the strap hangs off. I’ve been tucking them under but will probably just cut them short.

Additionally, I’m thinking about cutting off the excess, as a good portion of the strap hangs off and flops around too much and actually causes the shoe to come unvelcroed when it catches on various things. This probably won’t be a problem for most, but those with narrow feet should take note. The upside is that for a single strap, it does a better job of securing your foot than you get with the closure on the Drago.

That issue aside, the fit seemed more narrow than most other Scarpa models, including the similarly soft Drago. As with any soft shoe, you don’t want to downsize too much, or the rand will push out over the front edge and can actually push your toes off of holds. My street shoe is a 45.5/46 (12/12.5 US) and I wear these in a 45, which is tight but not painfully so.

Bottom Line

The Furia S is a very specific tool. This will not be the shoe you wear every day, or warm up in, and I wouldn’t want to waste its rubber in the gym (if gym climbing is your main thing, then you may feel differently and these will probably excel at volume hopping). If you climb regularly anywhere with steep rock and small, smeary footholds, these shoes will shine and you should consider add them to your kit.

Unfortunately, the season ended before I could put my project together, despite some really solid one-hang goes. I’ve been training up my power this winter and feel good about my chances this spring. And when I go back, the Furia S will be with me for sure.

Retail: $195
Sole: Vibram® XS Grip2 (3.5mm)
Midsole: Flexan 1.0mm
Upper: Microsuede
Ideal use: Steep sport climbing, bouldering
Sizes: 35 – 45 (half sizes)

More info and specs on the Scarpa website.

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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