The Scarpa Crux is a great all-around approach shoe which scored close to our Editors' Choice and Best Buy award winners, the Five Ten Guide Tennie - Women's and the La Sportiva Boulder X - Women's, respectively. It provides good support for your feet, with a midsole that is more flexible and comfortable when compared to the other shoes that have similar support. While they perform really well overall, there also wasn't anything unique or special about them to set them apart above the rest.
Scarpa Crux - Women's Review
Cons: Short tongue, least amount of sticky rubber protecting the uppers
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Scarpa Crux rated right in the middle of the pack for our group of test approach shoes. They have good all-around performance and can be a good option for many different situations. One unique and awesome feature of these shoes is that they are made of mostly recycled material, so they are the most environmentally friendly of all the shoes we tested.
The Crux has an average yet respectable performance for climbing ability. After our direct foot-to-foot tests, we felt that the Vibram® Vertical Approach rubber used for the Scarpa Crux was a little less sticky than the Idro-Grip rubber used for the La Sportiva Boulder X, but more sticky than the Stealth S1 rubber that is used for the Five Ten Camp 4. Therefore, this shoe's smearing ability is less than the shoes we tested with stickier rubber, like the Five Ten Stealth S4 rubber. The edging skills were average, possibly partly due to the extra flexibility in the midsole. The Crux again showed average performance for crack climbing, mostly due to its higher and stiffer toe box which makes it difficult to get purchase on the rock if needing to climb smaller-sized cracks.
These shoes have a midsole that is noticeably more cushy than any of the other shoes in our test group. They are instantly comfortable for hiking, even long distances. Our testers found them average and true-to-size in both width and length.
The uppers are made of suede and an airmesh cushion to help your feet breathe while also staying durable. This seems to be moderately effective. We found that our feet stayed less sweaty than in the leather Five Ten Camp 4 and the Guide Tennie. While the Scarpa Crux is still not as breathable as the Evolv Cruzer - Women's, they are more durable.
One thing we noticed about the Crux is that the tongue is noticeably shorter than the other shoes we tested, and even shorter than most shoes in general. And possibly partly because of this, it often slid down or to the side, even when the laces were through the "tongue holder" loop. We assume this shorter length is intended to make foot movement easier, but since we haven't really found that an average length tongue really gets in the way in the first place, the shorter tongue for these shoes just became a pain to constantly adjust back into place.
The Crux came in at the middle of the pack for support. Shoes such as the Boulder X or the Camp 4 give your feet better support than the Crux, but the Crux outperforms the Cruzer when it comes to supporting your feet for extended miles and wide-ranging conditions.
The one feature the Crux does have is a system of Kevlar® webbing straps that reinforce the uppers around the forefoot area. This seems to provide extra durability to an area that typically receives a lot of wear and also adds strength to lock your forefoot down snugly if you need added sensitivity for precise footwork. These Scarpas have an average tread design that is similar to the tread designs on both of the La Sportiva shoes — a mix of slightly aggressive tread for when you're hiking on loose dirt and trails, but that also have a flat edging and smearing section at the front and inside part of the tread.
The Scarpa Crux is the second lightest shoe that we tested, coming in at just 10.2 oz per shoe. The lightest was the Evolv Cruzer at a hard to beat 7.5 oz per shoe. Therefore, the Scarpa scored fairly high for this metric. These shoes have the best weight-to-support ratio — giving you an impressive amount of support while still being the second lightest shoe in our group.
The Crux is made of a thick and tough leather upper. We found it to be a respectably durable shoe. The toe box rubber that covers these shoes is the smallest area of toe rubber in our test, which could be a sign of decreased durability over the long term.
These shoes will work for all-around climbing approaches.
Full retail MSRP for the Scarpa Crux is $119. This is the same price as our Best Buy award winner, the La Sportiva Boulder X. One cool thing about the Crux is that it is made with Scarpa's Planet Friendly technology which means that most of the polyester in the uppers is recycled — so in our view, adding some love for the planet adds value to these shoes.
The Scarpa Crux is a good option for an all-around approach shoe. It does well at everything, but doesn't excel at any one thing.
— Sarah Hegg