Review: Scarpa Origin Climbing Shoe

Publish date:
ORIGIN Irongray_gn-web.jpg

Expert Craftsmanship, Bargain Price

Climbing Gear Editors' Choice Awards

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.

See the rest of our 2016 Editors' Choice Award winners.