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Hands-on Gear Review

Scarpa Boostic Review

Price:   $180 List | $178.95 at CampSaver
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Pros:  Excellent edging, snug fit, precise
Cons:  Expensive, uncomfortable
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Scarpa

Our Verdict

A product of revolutionary shoe designer Heinz Mariacher - a man who wore his EB's so tight he had to slip them on with plastic bags over his feet - the Scarpa Boostic is a marvel of climbing technology and bone crushing agony. With a highly asymmetrical shape and a narrow, tapering fit towards the toe, the Boostic focuses all of the weight of the climber's body through the toe. This makes for an extremely precise climbing platform and some seriously mangled digits at the end of a pitch. The Boostic is an excellent synthesis of down-turn, toe point precision, and rigidity. These combined design features create an edging machine that compensates for its limited sensitivity with the ability to apply tremendous force.


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select up to 5 products
Score Product Price Style Upper Lining
86
$195
Editors' Choice Award
lace Suede Leather/MIcro fiber none
86
$185
Top Pick Award
lace Leather/Lorica Pacific (forefoot and back)
86
$185
velcro Leather/Synthetic Leather Unlined
80
$185
Top Pick Award
lace Leather Sentex/PU Foam
76
$165
lace Leather dentex
76
$175
velcro Cowdura⢠Synthetic synthetic
76
$165
velcro leather synthetic
74
$180
velcro Leather/Lorica HF
74
$130
velcro Non-stretch Synthratek synthetic upper microfiber leather cotton
74
$175
velcro Leather synthetic
74
$160
velcro synthetic Unlined
72
$145
lace Leather none
72
$175
lace Synthetic (Cowdura) none
72
$83
Best Buy Award
velcro Leather / Synflex none
70
$125
slipper leather none
70
$175
velcro MicroFiber (Synthetic)
66
$139
Lace 1.8mm Suede/Micro Suede none
66
$90
velcro Leather/ Synthetic Leather synthetic (tongue and arch only)
66
$180
velcro Suede/Micro Suede none
62
$150
velcro Leather synthetic
58
$89
velcro Elastic Synthratek synthetic upper nylon

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Thomas Greene
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Thursday
September 3, 2015

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The Boostic thrives in the beyond-vertical world of hard sport climbing and bouldering. Much like the La Sportiva Miura VS, it is a function specific climbing shoe that will enable serious grade pushing, at the expense of comfort and wearability. The very tapered toe box of the Boostic provides little extra room for the arching of your toes and the sole and upper are both extremely stiff. These design features make it difficult to get the shoe on and can make the Boostic very painful to wear. The Velcro closures make a snug fit even tighter and provide a locked in feel that provides a sense of security and confidence moving on thin features. The rubber at the top of toe the makes hooking a piece of cake. The heel is very stiff and can make heel hooks feel a little blind, and the V-tensioned Randing is so stiff it can be hard to smear in them.

Performance Comparison


The Boostic focuses all of the weight of the climber's body through the toe  making for an extremely precise climbing platform.
The Boostic focuses all of the weight of the climber's body through the toe, making for an extremely precise climbing platform.

Edging


With pin-point precision and active support for your entire foot, the Boostic will do a lot of work for you in the edging department. The Boostic excelled on sharp edges and nubbins where the narrow toe found good purchase. The V-Tensioned Active Randing supports snd augments your toe power but can make it hard to get maximum rubber over sloping holds. The outside edge of the toe aggressively slopes away, offering less surface area and forcing the climber to use a toe in a stance which can push him away from the rock. These features take a little time to get used to and can make the familiarizing period of the Boostic a little trying.

Crack Climbing


The Boostic is not a crack climbing shoe. The rubber toe patch offers a little protection for the top of your toes, but overall the shape of the shoe isn't conducive to jamming or standing in cracks.

A week of climbing in Washington pass and the gear for the trip.
A week of climbing in Washington pass and the gear for the trip.

Pockets


The Boostic was made for pockets on rock of all angles. The toe point of the Boostic is among the most precise we've tested and will hook into even the smallest pockets with ease. With an adequately aggressive down-turn and sticky XS Edge rubber, the Boostic will hold your foot in when the climb gets steep. The V-Tensioned Randing will take a lot of the pressure off your mid-foot and keep you feeling secure even when pockets are shallow. Once they are worn in, their performance on pockets actually improved as they were slightly more supple, allowing the rubber to apply more uniformly to the rock.

The Boostic is made for pockets. The V-Tensioned Randing will take a lot of the pressure off your mid-foot and keep you feeling secure even when pockets are shallow.
The Boostic is made for pockets. The V-Tensioned Randing will take a lot of the pressure off your mid-foot and keep you feeling secure even when pockets are shallow.

Sensitivity


The Boostic is stiff and has an almost elastic rebound off the rock. While this provides excellent support and edging power, it diminishes the sensitivity of the shoe. The XS rubber used both by La Sportiva and Scarpa feels almost glassy on the Boostic and doesn't mold itself onto features in the rock. The lack of sensitivity is largely mitigated by the amount of power the Boostic allows you to apply to the rock, but the shoe still feels a little blind on blank rock.

Comfort


The Boostic is not easy to get on and isn't comfortable out of the box or after a decent wear-in period. This Boostic belongs in the category of shoes that you wear and take off immediately after sending your project. It will up your grade as long as you don't let the discomfort diminish your psyche.

With an aggressive down turn and asymmetric shape you'll want to size the Boostic tight for it to perform.
With an aggressive down turn and asymmetric shape you'll want to size the Boostic tight for it to perform.

Best Application


Take the Boostic out sending. It performs best on steep sport and bouldering routes, excels at pockets and edges, and toes and heel hooks respectably well. The Boostic is not a quiver of one, so don't depend on it for a variety of climbing.

Value


This is an expensive, high-end shoe that will not be useful on a variety of rock climbs. It will let you push your grade to the limit but has limits of its own. Buy it as an excellent addition to your rock arsenal.

Conclusion


Scarpa has crafted a great shoe in the Boostic. The sky is the limit as long as you use it within its terrain limitations. It is worth the price and the pain.

Other Versions


Scarpa Force X
  • $139
  • Flat, functional, and able to tackle the walk off in a pinch
  • A solid beginner shoe for gym or outdoor use
Thomas Greene

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: April 14, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.7)

100% of 3 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
4 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (2)
4 star: 25%  (1)
3 star: 25%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Jan 21, 2016 - 08:33pm
michalm · Climber
I also entirely disagree with this review. Perhaps the Boostics didn't fit the editor's feet very well or were sized too tight.

The Boostics are the second downturned shoes I've ever tried on that actually fit my foot. (The first were Evolv Shamans.)

I have a wide forefoot and a small, narrow heel. The toe box of this shoe was designed for my foot shape. The fit is actually so good that I usually leave the velcro straps fairly loose when I climb.

Putting on this shoe can be challenging when the shoe is cold. It really shrinks. Warm it up! When the shoe is warm, especially after climbing a few routes, it feels like a pair of socks.

This shoe edges better than any shoe I've tried, including Anasazi VCS and Testarossas. I would give it a 9 or 10 out of 10 for edging IF SIZED PROPERLY.

This is not a crack shoe.

This is one of the most comfortable shoes I've ever climbed in, short of my mocs. I've had a pair of 42.5 (street shoe 9-9.5) for over a year now, and the leather inside only gets smoother. I would give it an 8 out of 10 for comfort. It would be hard for a stiff, aggressive shoe to be much comfier.

This shoe kills pockets. The tapering toe profile feel really secure for hooking into small pockets. If it were a bit softer, it would feel even more secure. 8 out of 10.

The sensitivity of this shoe isn't the best out of the box. It is rather stiff. After wearing through the outsole about halfway, the rubber gets thinner, and the edges wear down, however, it becomes much more sensitive; somewhat like a Genius or Futura. Why pay more for a shoe that climbs like it's been worn for two months? You get two shoe for the price of one: a superb edging shoe which could be more sensitive, and then a sensitive shoe which smears quite well after a bit of wear. Additionally, the shoes become more sensitive when resoled with a softer rubber (recommended). 6-7 out of 10.

Finally, I would like to add that the durability of these shoes is really quite impressive. I have resoled my shoes twice now (at Rock N Resole), and will probably resole them one or two more times (with C4 or XSGrip2 rubber, which I wish the shoes came with). Due to their stiff and beefy construction, I have had no issues with any of the upper wearing through, and have had no delamination issues. I use my pair primarily for gym climbing (2-4 days a week, 2-4 hours a day). I like these shoes so much that I ordered a pair in 43 for hard sport routes.

I typically appreciate the reviews on this website, but the editors did not give this shoe the time of day. Here's to more informed and more objective reviews in the future.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Sep 3, 2015 - 03:11pm
I highly disagree with this review.

I think this shoes are amazing for their intended purpose. They are pretty stiff, and let you edge on the smallest things. They are not crack shoes, of course.

Yes, they have a highly asymetrical shape, and they will not fit all shoe sizes. However, I found them way more comfortable than the Solutions.

If you live in california, you can try these (and the entire scarpa line of shoes) at wilson's eastside sports in bishop.


These shoes do not stretch very much, if at all.

I wear a size 41.5 TC pro, and a size 43 in these.

With respect to price-- yes they are expensive, but they are the same price as equivalent la sportiva offerings.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Apr 14, 2016 - 03:58am
snowspark6 · Climber · squamish
Hey there, just wanted to add my personal experience from a season of climbing in Boostics.

I like them a lot, and I actually find them very comfortable, they fit my wider forefoot nicely. I didn't buy them stupid tight, but still a performance fit, and I experienced very little break-in time and it never even crossed my mind to complain about foot pain. Occasionally I get a cramp when squeezing in for the first laps of the day, but it's never a wrestling match.

Actually, I find that the different tensioning system helps to preserve the room that I've got in the toe box instead of bashing my toes into the end like I get in other styles of performance shoes.

AND, call me crazy, but I would love it if they were stiffer - might make it easier to stick and hold on tiny edges???

I own Miura VS as well and would say my Miuras edge a little better and are a bit stiffer in overall construction. The Boostic is more of a sport only shoe - wouldn't want to climb a long Squamish trad route of crack and slab in my Boostics, but I've done it in my Miuras, removing them at belay stations occasionally.

One last funny note - last summer swapping between Boostics and red Moccasyms I damn near had the whole rainbow of colours dyed into my feet.

Final words… Try them on and see how they feel. I tried them side by side with the Shamans and went with Boostics based on fit

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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