Scarpa Veloce, $109
Overall grade: B+
Beginner to intermediate
Medium asymmetric; medium width and volume throughout
Most of us daydream from time to time that we’d like to be 5.13+ hardmen. Reality, however, is a harsh mistress, and so are the shoes suited to that level of performance. Realizing that our climbing level is a bit more modest, and that our comfort requirements are a bit more robust, we seek shoes that can both enhance our performance and keep our feet from looking like twisted podiatrical experiments. Scarpa’s new unlined leather Velcro slipper, the Veloce, is a fine example of such a shoe.
“This is a shoe for the ambitious entry-level climber who wants to rapidly move up to solid intermediate ground,” says Scarpa’s Roch Horton. We agree. “This shoe will have no problem taking you from 5.8 up to hard 5.11,” noted one tester. The Veloces are great footwork shoes, providing a balance between support and sensitivity, and smearing and edging. Whether you’re bouldering on technical sandstone edges or pushing on smeary limestone, these shoes deliver well.
We have two criticisms. First is the lack of heel rubber. Heel hooking is very much a part of the sport-climbing learning curve and a fully rubber-covered heel is a requirement. Second, the Veloce suffers from the same fit-adjustment issue as the Boreal Crux — the upper Velcro strap needs to be repositioned for fine-tuning arch fit. On the plus side, the lower Velcro strap, running opposite the upper strap, does a great job of cinching up the toe box.
On a side note, the zesty Italian styling of these shoes, while not relevant to their performance, is a nice departure from the growing movement towards a mainstream athletic-shoe appearance.
Scarpa/Black Diamond: 801.278.5533, www.scarpa-us.com
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