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Scarpa Crux Review

A good all-round approach shoe, especially for folks with narrow feet.
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Price:  $130 List | $125.00 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Supportive, durable, very sticky rubber
Cons:  Heavy
Manufacturer:   Scarpa
By Matt Bento ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 5, 2019
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 12
  • Climbing Ability - 35% 9
  • Hiking Comfort - 25% 8
  • Support - 20% 8
  • Weight and Packability - 20% 3

Our Verdict

The Scarpa Crux is a rough-and-tough, do-it-all workhorse of an approach shoe. This shoe is the one shoe that goes to Patagonia for a season of hiking, jugging, even some snow travel with crampons (Yes, you'll do it, but these are not waterproof, so we don't recommend it.) Headed to Yosemite? These shoes have the durability to survive a couple of big walls and climb well enough when you need to step out of your aiders and bust a few easy moves.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Scarpa Crux
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Best Buy Award 
Price $125.00 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$130.00 at Amazon$140.00 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$150.00 at Amazon$120.00 at REI
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Pros Supportive, durable, very sticky rubberLightweight, comfortable, supportive, climb wellAwesome balance of hiking and climbing abilities, great supportLightweight, very packableDurable, great traction in dirt and mud, excellent value, workhorse approach shoe
Cons HeavySynthetic uppers not as durable as leatherRelatively heavy and bulkyFloppy, not very supportiveHeavy and bulky, especially when carrying on your harness or in a pack
Bottom Line A good all-round approach shoe, especially for folks with narrow feet.These are the best approach shoes out there for the majority of climbers.This model combines all-around performance with the ability to handle big loads and big walls.These shoes are most suited to short, mellow approaches.These durable shoes are well-equipped for miles of hiking and scrambling at a great price.
Rating Categories Scarpa Crux La Sportiva TX2 La Sportiva TX4 Arc'teryx Arakys La Sportiva Boulder X
Climbing Ability (35%)
10
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9
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9
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8
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7
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9
Hiking Comfort (25%)
10
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8
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8
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10
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6
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7
Support (20%)
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8
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7
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9
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7
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10
Weight And Packability (20%)
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3
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9
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9
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Specs Scarpa Crux La Sportiva TX2 La Sportiva TX4 Arc'teryx Arakys La Sportiva...
Outsole Vibram vertical approach Vibram Mega-Grip Vibram Mega-Grip with Trail Bite heel Vibram Light Approach Vibram Idro-Grip V-Smear dot pattern
Upper Material Leather Polyester mesh Leather PU coated ripstop nylon Leather
Weight per pair (size 9.5) 27.2 oz 20.3 oz 26.2 oz 19.5 oz 32.8 oz
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Mid Height Available? No No Yes No No
Lining Material Recycled polyester Non-slip mesh Non-slip mesh Synthetic Mesh
Midsole EVA Mem-lex/C2 Combo Cord Traverse injection MEMlex Injected EVA Micropore EVA
Sticky Rubber? Toe Rand? Yes, Yes Yes, Yes Yes, Yes Yes, Yes Yes, Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Sticky rubber and durable leather uppers are key to a good approach shoe. Some of our testers with narrow feet preferred these to offerings from La Sportiva.
Sticky rubber and durable leather uppers are key to a good approach shoe. Some of our testers with narrow feet preferred these to offerings from La Sportiva.

Climbing Ability


For a medium-stiff shoe, the Crux climbs very well. Though it lacks the sensitivity of the thin-soled shoes, its rubber is stickier and more slab ready than many other options. This pair gave our testers more confidence than most other pairs in this review. Not the absolute best, but pretty darn close.

Edging


Don't expect any miracles; you're not wearing climbing shoes. What you can expect is plenty of support so you can toe into holds about an inch wide. Any smaller than that and your edging abilities are more subject to climbing skills than the shoes you're rocking.

Smearing


Armed with Vibram Mega-Grip soles, our testers found these shoes deliver the stick icky when the approaches get slabby. We generally felt confident scrambling around on smooth Yosemite granite. Use your judgment when it comes to hiking on exposed slabs.

We found the Crux to be great for slabby approaches and even a little easy slab climbing.
We found the Crux to be great for slabby approaches and even a little easy slab climbing.

Crack Climbing


The durable leather/mesh (but mostly leather) uppers prevent these shoes from falling apart in cracks. If you're a proficient off-widther, you might even enjoy cruising the wide in these approach shoes.

These tanks are not going to fall apart from crack climbing.
These tanks are not going to fall apart from crack climbing.

Hiking Comfort


While there are more comfortable hikers out there, the Crux balances climbing and hiking prowess well. If long-distance mega slogs are your cup of tea, we are more inclined to bring along a different pair. The Crux is one of the narrower shoes in our review and fits a touch small compared to La Sportiva and Five Ten.

Support


These shoes have a medium-stiff midsole that offers the support we expect from a good hiking shoe. Their level of support makes them a strong choice for aid climbing or schlepping heavy loads.

Though shallow  we felt secure on all sorts of terrain with this face-melting tread pattern.
Though shallow, we felt secure on all sorts of terrain with this face-melting tread pattern.

Weight & Packability


A pair of size 9's weighs in at 27.2 ounces. These are not our favorite shoes to have to hang off our harness. We prefer something much lighter if we will be climbing with the shoes clipped to us. The Crux does feature a robust clip-in tab, so they will remain securely attached to your harness with a carabiner if you choose to do so.

Heavy and supportive  these shoes are excellent for big wall climbing but aren't the best for climbing with them clipped to the back of your harness.
Heavy and supportive, these shoes are excellent for big wall climbing but aren't the best for climbing with them clipped to the back of your harness.

Value


The Crux isn't a sucker punch to the wallet, considering it's a well crafted, durable leather shoe, ready to withstand the use and abuse that accrues from hiking and more vertical endeavors. This pair offers solid value, especially when you consider that it will last longer than several other options out there. Its longevity combined with its well-roundedness push the value envelope.

Conclusion


The Scarpa Crux is a great all-rounder. If you want to save space in your crowded closet, they're a great choice, especially if you have a narrower foot. While it doesn't take home any awards, we highly recommend giving these kicks a try.


Matt Bento