Scarpa Veloce Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Super sensitive, roomy fit, easy on/off, affordable
Cons: Blunt toe, limited protection, too roomy for low volume feet
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|Price||Check Price at Backcountry|
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$164.19 at REI
|$149.25 at Backcountry|
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$96.69 at REI
$66.69 at REI
|Pros||Super sensitive, roomy fit, easy on/off, affordable||Versatile, stiff, durable, comfortable||Extremely precise toe, extra heel sensitivity, comfortable for an aggressive shoe||Comfortable design, respectable edging, low-profile toe, excellent price||Affordable, flat midsole is comfortable all day, well-balanced performance across many areas|
|Cons||Blunt toe, limited protection, too roomy for low volume feet||Expensive, limited sensitivity||Pricey, tall toe box, too narrow for some feet||Mediocre precision, subpar on the steeps, somewhat insensitive||Insensitive, imprecise fit, ineffective design for steep terrain|
|Bottom Line||An ultra-soft shoe that's ideal for the climbing gym or a bouldering session||This stiff shoe is an all-day workhorse that also performs well on edges and slabs||An ultra-high-end shoe that is designed for performance||Decent overall climbing performance at an affordable price make these a sold choice||An entry-level shoe ideal for beginners that comes at an awesomely low price|
|Rating Categories||Scarpa Veloce||La Sportiva Katana...||La Sportiva Solutio...||La Sportiva Finale||La Sportiva Tarantu...|
|Steep Terrain (20%)|
|Specs||Scarpa Veloce||La Sportiva Katana...||La Sportiva Solutio...||La Sportiva Finale||La Sportiva Tarantu...|
|Upper||Synthetic||Leather / Microfiber||Leather / Microfiber||Eco Leather / microfiber||Leather/Synthetic|
|Lining||None||Pacific (forefoot and back)||Pacific, lycra||Unlined||None|
|Rubber Type||S-72||Vibram XS Edge||Vibram XS Grip2||Vibram XS Edge||FriXion RS|
|Rubber Thickness||4 mm||4 mm||4 mm||5 mm||5 mm|
Our Analysis and Test Results
We've tested plenty of one-strap velcro climbing shoes. What really sets the Scarpa Veloce apart is the extreme softness of its grey midsole. It's so soft that you can easily bend the shoe in half between a thumb and pinkie. That means you get extraordinary sensitivity, however, but all but the strongest feet will probably be limited to bouldering or short routes.
The Veloce utilizes an elastic tongue and a single, zig-zagging velcro strap to lock your foot in place. When fully tensioned, these measures were effective at keeping the shoe secure to facilitate reasonable edging performance. Testers with low volume feet, however, complained that the velcro strap is too long. In their cases, only a small fraction of the 3 inches of velcro on the strap would engage with the corresponding velcro patch on the shoe. Although this limited contact was still able to lock their feet in place, the excess strap material is prone to snagging on obstacles and getting pulled undone.
The downturn angle and supple midsole make the Veloce less than ideal for crack climbing. The downturn causes your toes to curl, which makes narrower jams unnecessarily painful. Meanwhile, the ultra-soft sole provides virtually zero support for foot jams in hand-size or larger cracks. However, the rand rubber does extend somewhat onto the top of the shoe, which boosts grip and durability while crack climbing.
These shoes have several features that make them well-suited for the steeps. The ultra-soft midsole gives your foot extraordinary freedom to flex and improve the angles for pulling your lower body into the wall. The extended rand adds rubber on the upper to enhance friction and protection for radical toe hooks. For true pocket climbing, however, the Veloce does have some shortcomings. The toe box isn't exactly pointy. Instead, it's tall and broad, which greatly restricts the size of pockets it can get into. For general bouldering and steeps, this is a great shoe, but it's less effective for routes with a lot of small pockets.
These are a rare pair of climbing shoes that approach the feeling of a rubber sock. The back half of these shoes — from the arch to the heel — is extremely soft and will fully conform to the shape and movements of your foot. Up front, there's 4 mm of S-72 rubber that dampens sensitivity by a smidge. But after a brief break-in period, the Veloce felt like some of the most sensitive shoes we've ever tested. You really can feel every tiny undulation on a hold, which is great for gym climbing or bouldering. However, those with weaker feet may find that the unmatched sensitivity makes them too painful to wear for long climbing sessions.
For short durations, these shoes provide outstanding comfort. The soft, wide sole ensures that they can handle a large variety of foot types with low risk of width constrictions or pressure points. This softness, however, is a double-edged sword that could quickly amplify pain and foot fatigue if you're foolish enough to wear these shoes on a long, sustained route. In other words, the Veloce are exceptionally comfortable for bouldering, but they're likely to lead to agony on a techy outdoor project or a long multi-pitch climb.
These shoes are priced above the bargain category but below ultra-premium. At this position, we think they're a pretty great deal. Although slim-footed shoppers and crack climbers should steer clear, anyone with a serious bouldering addiction could save some cash by switching to these shoes. However, keep in mind that their soft rubber can wear quickly, so their value isn't quite as awesome as it might seem, especially for beginners whose imprecise footwork might cause premature wear.
Ultra-soft climbing shoes are not ideal for every situation or climber. However, if the type of climbing you prefer demands maximum sensitivity while still allowing ample opportunities to rest your feet, then the Scarpa Veloce is an affordable shoe to consider. These bouldering beasts are best suited for those with the foot strength that matches their massive forearms.
— Jack Cramer
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