Expert Craftsmanship, Bargain Price
More often than not, awards are showered upon gear at the forefront of performance and innovation (for rock shoes, think almost $200 and extremely downturned) designed for the most elite climber. This leaves development in other areas of a product line, particularly the entry level models, to progress at a snail’s pace. With the Origin, Scarpa flipped the script. Their legendary designer Heinz Mariacher put his energy into this $89 Velcro job with leather upper “to encourage people to start climbing,” Scarpa says. That’s a mission we can get behind, and slipping into this shoe was a dream. Our primary tester was a seasoned climber who hadn’t touched rock in more than six months due to a shoulder injury, and he found the Origin to have a plush yet supportive feel. “The flat, neutral last was great for edging and for weighting my feet as I scoped longer than usual for handholds. The suede upper was roomy enough for long-term comfort but snug enough to toe in confidently on small jibs.” And they’re not for beginners only: High-mileage gym climbers will love the price and durability, and moderate multi-pitch trad climbers will find a new go-to with the Origin as well.