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Field Tested: Scarpa Boostic (redesigned)

Basics

The Scarpa Boostic out for spring 2021 is a redesign of the original Boostic performance sport/face/micro-edging shoe that incorporates Scarpa's new PAF heel technology (softer material where the rands meet over the Achilles tendon) for a less intense fit; it also has a wider toebox and narrower heel than its predecessor. The Boostic has a DTS-Tension active randing system, full microsuede upper, flexan midsole, twin-strap closure system, and a 3.5 mm Vibram S-Edge outsole.


Pros

Incredibly precise edging, micro-edging, and pocket-toeing // Versatile + effective double-strap closure system // Wider forefoot and PAF heel yield more forgiving fit than predecessor // Stable, well-balanced feel underfoot

Cons

Smearing performance takes concerted break-in // Sensitivity is muted by shoe's built-up feel (albeit, this construction is a necessary attribute for performance edging)


Our Thoughts

Fans of the old Boostic who perhaps found the boot too stiff, narrow, or unforgiving will be thrilled with the redesign to this classic shoe—the wider toebox, full microsuede upper, and PAF heel soften up fit to let you size down for performance, with much-reduced foot pain compared to the original. These shoes are overbuilt beasts, incredibly precise on micro holds from credit-card-crimps to divots, with a stable, supportive midsole that lets you stand for ages on little nothings, though with some cost to sensitivity; they'll clearly hold up well to multiple resoles. The narrower, PAF (split-randed) heel was great for hooking, and the double-strap closure was effective for customizing fit. For techy multi-pitch climbs and face, pocket, and edging routes in that sweet spot of 15 degrees to either side of vertical, the new Boostic is a total machine.


Size Reviewed

n/a

Weight

n/a

Price

$199

Brand

Scarpa (scarpa.com)


This article, which originally appeared in a shorter form in Climbing No. 378 (the Summer Issue), is free. Sign up with an Outside+ membership and you get unlimited access to thousands of stories and articles on climbing.com and rockandice.com, plus you’ll enjoy a print subscription to Climbing and receive our annual coffee-table edition of Ascent. Outside+ members also receive a Gaia GPS Premium membership, and more. Please join the Climbing team today. 

I’ve been a diehard Boostic fan for years, thanks to their exquisite combination of stiffness and feedback. For thin face and techy multi-pitch, they’re close to perfect. So when Scarpa updated them, I was worried. You grow attached to a favorite shoe, and are always wary of any changes….

For two months, I’ve sampled the latest, slightly softer model on various angles and rock types (basalt, sandstone, limestone, gneiss, and plastic) and reached a few conclusions: First, the wider forefoot and more aggressive asymmetry suit my foot (and that of another tester, who has very wide, high-volume dogs) even better than the old ones. Second, the new PAF heel cup—a split-heel rand to soften things up and allow a tight-yet-comfortable fit—is more sensitive for hooking, and as the Boostics have broken in they’ve become surprisingly comfortable for a stiff shoe. And third, their micro-edging performance has changed—one tester, who typically rocks the softer original Instinct slipper, felt the new Boostic, with its 3.5 mm XS Edge sole, was plenty stiff for micro-edging (“Hands-down the most precise shoes I’ve climbed in,” he says) yet a hair too stiff to his taste for smearing, though with break-in he has noted that they’ve become more pliable and sensitive.

But I had the opposite experience—the softer forefoot left me lacking confidence on the tiniest footers compared to the old model but loving their smearing and “smedging” prowess and “grab” power on mild overhangs. And both myself and the other tester thought they were amazing for toeing into small pockets, as with the Dolomite limestone of Ten Sleep Canyon, Wyoming. The toe is pointy, it digs in deep, and the support from the big toe back to the heel is reliably stable. Which leads me to the epiphany I had on the near-vertical, runneled limestone of The Grail in Arizona, where the Boostics melded perfectly into the blue, water-droplet texture: Once I “softened” my super-stiff expectations, I realized that for all-around sport and bouldering, the new Boostic is among my faves.