Gear Review: Used Scarpa X Climbing Shoes

I did it, I did it, I did it!


I am so stoked to receive my first piece of climbing gear to review for this blog from my brother who didn’t want them anymore.


They are Scarpa Force X’s. Or maybe they are La Sportiva Katana (laces)…?


Erm, no. Wait. No. They are assuredly Scarpa Force X’s.


(But hey, La Sportiva, if you are reading this, I would test the Katana (laces) if you had some lying around… PM me!).


climbing shoes.png
Uh, uh, uh. Which one is the Scarpa Force X?!?


Anywho, I am honored that Scarpa thought so highly of my editorial prowess to give me a pair of shoes distributes in the U.S. so my brother could buy them at a second hand gear shop in New Paltz, NY. I am more honored that he decided to give up climbing a few months later and leave them in the closet for me to swipe. Honored, I say!


Now now, let us not bury the lede:


The Scarpa Force Xs are the highest rated climbing shoes ever on this blog.

You seem surprised? Let me enlighten you.


To be diligent and lend a critical eye to this review, I will focus on five carefully selected criteria: Price, comfort, durability, performance, and price.


Price: Free!

Can’t beat that. Next.


Score: 5/5


Comfort: Super!

They are a size or two too large. After an initial break in period (for my feet, not the shoes), I can wear these for hours at a time without discomfort.


The heel is padded, and I may have a low-volume heel (read, small heel), and uh, they are too big, so when heel hooking they sometimes feel on the verge of slipping off.


BUT, they feel quite comfortable when they are shimmying away from my heel!


I wear these for hours straight at the gym, in the shower, and to bed — they are great in all domains.


Score: 5/5


Durability: They still work!

I’ve used them for over a year. And STILL NO HOLES.


Maybe I’m not climbing hard enough, you say? Well screw you!


This is my review and I say these are darn tough. My little bombers of climbing shoes… they once survived a nuclear bomb test, I’ll have you know.


Okay that’s not true.


Heel of Scarpa Force X


The rubber is starting to detach around the heel, meanwhile the sole is noticeably worn, especially at the seems.


All in all, for 1 year + a few months + 0-3 years of wear (indeterminate length of time via the pre-prior owner) they seem to be holding up well.


Score: 4/5


Performance: Good enough!

In the year that I’ve been climbing, these have me sending V6s and low 5.11s (indoors) and 5.10 outside.


They have enough grip for overhangy routes and toe hooks, though I do not always trust the heel. They smear well, but seriously lack edging ability at this stage (which is an impediment at higher grades). As a counter-point: That velcro! Still velcro-y.


These also perform admirably while belaying, keeping me right where I’m standing. Top notch.


Score: 3/5


scarpa-force-new
Apparently new pairs have an edge. Photo from bergfreunde.no


Price: Still free!

Can’t beat that. Next.


Score: 5/5


My Scarpa Force Xs


Total Score: 22/25

There you have it folks, my used pair of Scarpa Force Xs are officially our highest rated climbing shoes (ever) on this blog.


(Backed by objective, hard science.)


Like I said, I am stoked about my first piece of gear!




A New Favorite: Mt. Monadnock’s Pumpelly Trail

Pumpelly Trail is a White Mountains taster. It’s a mini-WM hike: The distance is a bit contracted, it’s less strenuous, and you don’t go as high up, but the ambiance and feel is all there.

This gem is now one of my favorite hikes in the area.

Mt. Monadnock is just over the border in New Hampshire and an hour closer than the larger peaks further north.

The trail features rambling dirt paths under a dreamy canopy, moss strewn rocks reside in rivulets of worn roots, and a carpet of ferns distinguishes unbounded nature from footpath.

The forest melds browns and greens and black into a mosaic of silhouetted titans who have no other care than to be there.

About two miles in the earth juts up… then down, then up, then a little less down, then up and up along the ridge of three small rolling hills. Exposure and light, the path gives you vast patches of unobstructed views to the north, of the Whites, sapphire lakes and New Hampshire freedom.

Approaching the Peak of Monadnock
Forest to rock to forest to rock.

Continuing upwards the path bursts open to the exposed granite top Monadnock is known for. Take your pick for summiting, the rocky desert of marauding boulders calls for traversing. The hike culminates in the bald dome with 360 views, and it is oh so glorious.

 

How to get there: AllTrails has the coordinates

Where to park: This took me awhile to figure out. As soon as you turn onto Lake Dr., there is a parking area to your left. Along the road there are ample places for parking, but it is all private property, and the signs let you know so.

Total miles: 8.3 according to AllTrails. 9 according to the signs on the trail.