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!).
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.
Can’t beat that. Next.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Price: Still free!
Can’t beat that. Next.
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!
If you’re keen on adding these to your quiver, you can grab your own pair here.