Scarpa Veloce Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Super sensitive, roomy fit, easy on/off, affordable
Cons: Blunt toe, limited protection, too roomy for low volume feet
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Our Analysis and Test Results
We've tested plenty of one-strap velcro climbing shoes. What really sets the Scarpa Veloce apart is the extreme softness of its grey midsole. It's so soft that you can easily bend the shoe in half using only a thumb and pinkie. That means you get extraordinary sensitivity, however, you're probably limited to bouldering or short routes for all but the strongest of feet.
To lock your foot in place, the Veloce utilizes an elastic tongue and a single, zig-zagging velcro strap. When fully tensioned, these measures were effective for keeping the shoe secure to facilitate reasonable edging performance. Testers with low volume feet, however, complained that the velcro strap is too long. In their cases, only a small fraction of the 3 inches velcro on the strap would engage with the corresponding velcro patch on the shoe. Although this limited contact was still able to lock their feet in place, the excess strap material is prone to snagging on obstacles and getting pulled undone.
The downturn angle and supple midsole make the Veloce less than ideal for crack climbing. The downturn causes your toes to curl, which makes narrower jams unnecessarily painful. Meanwhile, the ultra-soft sole provides virtually zero support for foot jams in hand-size and large cracks. The rand rubber, however, does extend somewhat on to the top of the shoe, which boosts grip and durability while crack climbing.
These shoes have several features that make them well-suited for the steeps. The ultra-soft midsole gives your foot extraordinary freedom to flex and improve the angles for pulling your lower body into the wall. The extended rand supplies rubber on the upper to enhance friction and protection for radical toe hooks. For true pocket climbing, however, the Veloce does have some shortcomings. The toe box isn't exactly pointy. Instead it's tall and broad which greatly restricts the size of pockets in can get into. For general bouldering and steeps, this is a great shoe, but it's less effective for routes with a lot of small pockets.
These are a rare pair of climbing shoes that approach the feeling of a rubber sock. The back half of these borderline sock-shoe hybrids — from the arch to the heel — is extremely soft and will fully conform to the shape and movements of your foot. Up front, there's 4 mm of S-72 rubber that dampens sensitivity by a smidge. But after a brief break-in period, the Veloce felt like some of the most sensitive shoes we've ever tested. You really can feel every tiny undulation on a hold, which is great for gym climbing or bouldering. Those with weaker feet, however, may find that the unmatched sensitivity makes them too painful to wear for long climbing sessions.
For short durations, these shoes provide outstanding comfort. The soft, wide sole ensures that they can handle a large variety of foot types with low-risk of constrictions or pressure points. This softness, however, is a double-edged sword that could quickly amplify pain and foot fatigue if you're foolish enough to wear these shoes on a long, sustained route. In other words, the Veloce are exceptionally comfortable for bouldering, but likely to lead to agony on a techy outdoor project or any multi-pitch climb.
These shoes are priced above the bargain category but below ultra-premium. At this position, we think they're a pretty awesome deal. Although slim-footed shoppers and crack climbers should steer clear, anyone with a serious bouldering addiction could save some cash by switching to these shoes.
Ultra-soft climbing shoes are not ideal for every situation or climber. However, if the type of climbing you prefer demands maximum sensitivity, while still supplying ample opportunities to rest your feet, then the Veloce is an affordable shoe to consider. These bouldering beasts are best suited for those with the foot strength to match their massive forearms.
— Jack Cramer