2019 Climbing Shoe Review: Scarpa Furia Air
Light Done Right
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Supremely comfortable fit—zero break-in. Both testers came down one size European off their street shoes, though would recommend coming down 1.5 sizes, as these soft shoes can get baggy.
Downturned, asymmetrical shoe. Perforated, eight-panel microsuede upper; MLT-Tension active rand; toebox has high-tech synthetic Alcantara lining, and 1.0 mm Flexan midsole underneath; perforated M50 toe-rand rubber; 3.5 mm Vibram XS Grip 2 outsole.
So light (5.3 oz per shoe, size 40) that they’re “the closest I’ve come to climbing barefoot.” Über-comfortable—great for long bouldering and gym sessions, or on hot days. Superlative smearing and sensitivity: You can feel everything. Solid heel-hooking and toe-scumming—killer on gym volumes.
The pros, in a way, are also the cons—the Furia Airs provide instant feedback, so sloppy footwork is rewarded with pain and gym jibs can hurt. Only usable for bursts of edging and jamming.
Perhaps the most specialized shoe in this review, the Furia Air takes Scarpa’s recent push toward light and soft to its logical extreme, rendering a minimalist, single-strap slipper that wears like a grippy sock. “The sensitivity is incredible, which allows you to climb with an awareness of the imperfections in the stone that’s not possible with other shoes,” said one tester. Our other tester echoed this—the shoes were a blast for big-hold climbing on overhanging granite, and he found himself pushing off smears, dishes, flat panels, and other features not usable in stiffer boots. “They were also an incredible gym-bouldering and MoonBoarding shoe,” he said, for holds that stick out, hand-foot matches, aggressive heel hooks, sneaky scums, and glomming onto volumes. Durability has been good for such a light shoe, with only light delaminating on one tester’s pair where the M50 rand rubber meets the upper. The Furia Airs encourage good footwork, and will strengthen your feet—for training, bouldering, gym climbing, and steep, big-hold sport, they’re “hella fun.”