I like climbing in soft shoes, there’s just something about the sensitivity when placing your feet that always makes me feel like I have more control on the wall. However this can be a double edged sword, with many softer shoes sacrificing raw power to get that desired sensitivity. The Scarpa Instinct VS has long been my favourite shoe for bouldering, as once broken in it provides that excellent sensitivity without skimping on the power.
The Scarpa Furia comes out of the box ready to assert its dominance in performance shoes. The micro suede lining provides breathability along with amazing comfort, and that’s just the initial feeling. A breathable mesh runs most of the length of the shoe providing some nice circulation that gets some air to your feet as well. There’s no midsole between the lining and the sole of the shoe, a big part of why Scarpa are calling this their ‘most sensitive shoe ever’ – it really is just your foot and the rubber underneath. The shoe itself is so, so soft, you can feel every little detail in your feet as the rubber moulds around everything beautifully. They had me reminiscing of the La Sportiva Futura, the edgeless soft rubber rolling around the hold to maximise surface area. However, where I felt the Futura traded power for sensitivity, the Furia provides both in abundance, with an excellent edge to boot. Did I mention they were soft? These shoes are ridiculous, at one stage I found myself standing in a bolt hole just above the chip I was aiming for. I tried this in my Scarpa Stix but to no avail, the Furia was the difference.
Another neat new feature that Scarpa have integrated is the ‘Power-Connection-Band’, where your toe box and heel are structurally linked through the shoe. While that might sound important, what does that actually mean for your climbing? The idea is that it allows the climber to take full advantage of the power of your feet even when standing on the tiniest of chips or on a desperate smear. That all sounds amazing, but the beauty of this is that it directly translates to the real world. Never have my feet felt more secure on the wall – at any angle you feel like you can generate significant power, your toes latch on to the thinnest edge and always feel amazingly stable. Swinging your feet out and trying to latch a footer has never felt easier. It’s quite surreal being able to push and generate power from footers that were almost useless before.
The heel has also seen a design shift from the usual Scarpa heel. On the Furia you’ll find a rather rigid little protrusion on the inner side of your heel. It takes a little getting used to and a slight change in how you would normally heel hook, but once you find that sweet spot it gets the job done, locking down hard on the ridge and providing decent stability. Comparably though, they’re not as sensitive as the heel in the Scarpa Instinct VS or as solid as the Evolv Shaman. It’s a real shame Scarpa didn’t continue the sensitivity trend in the heel as well and I can’t help feeling like we’ve missed out on a really special bouldering shoe accordingly.
In summary, I believe Scarpa have outdone themselves this time. I’ve always appreciated how a pair of Scarpa shoes break in and soften to a comfortable and sensitive level, but the Furia starts off hungry for performance, delivers with sensitivity and allows you to harness the power you’ve been searching for from your feet.
Head Route Setter – City Summit Rock climbing Centre
Edging – 4.5/5
Smearing – 3.5/5
Heel – 3/5
Comfort – 4/5
Sensitivity – 5/5