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Scarpa Veloce Review

An ultra-soft shoe that's ideal for the climbing gym or a bouldering session
Scarpa Veloce
Photo: Backcountry
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Price:  $139 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Super sensitive, roomy fit, easy on/off, affordable
Cons:  Blunt toe, limited protection, too roomy for low volume feet
Manufacturer:   Scarpa
By Jack Cramer ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 30, 2021
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 29
  • Edging - 20% 7
  • Cracks - 20% 6
  • Comfort - 20% 8
  • Steep Terrain - 20% 7
  • Sensitivity - 20% 10

Our Verdict

If you've longed for an intimate feel with the rock, but aren't ready to go fully barefoot, then the Scarpa Veloce is here to answer your prayers. It's one of the absolute softest climbing shoes we've ever tried, and it supplies sensitivity that borders on extraordinary. The price is also affordable, which makes it a great choice for any obsessive boulderer or gym climber who burns through rubber as fast as their paycheck. Its principal drawbacks are subpar crack climbing performance and a blunt toe that's reluctant to fit into small pockets. Nevertheless, there's plenty to like about this supple slipper and we recommend it to anyone seeking the Shangri-la of climbing shoe sensitivity.

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Scarpa Veloce
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Scarpa Veloce
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$185.00 at Backcountry
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$149.95 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
76
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64
Star Rating
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Pros Super sensitive, roomy fit, easy on/off, affordableExtremely precise toe, extra heel sensitivity, comfortable for an aggressive shoeExcellent edging, reasonable price, great for cracksComfortable design, respectable edging, low-profile toe, excellent priceAffordable, flat midsole is comfortable all day, well-balanced performance across many areas
Cons Blunt toe, limited protection, too roomy for low volume feetPricey, tall toe box, too narrow for some feetPainful break-in period, limited usefulness on steep terrainMediocre precision, subpar on the steeps, somewhat insensitiveInsensitive, imprecise fit, ineffective design for steep terrain
Bottom Line An ultra-soft shoe that's ideal for the climbing gym or a bouldering sessionAn ultra-high-end shoe that could put you on the podium of your climbing competitionA quality trad shoe with solid performance across the board and a reasonable priceDecent overall climbing performance at an affordable price make these a sold choiceAn entry-level shoe ideal for beginners that comes at an awesomely low price
Rating Categories Scarpa Veloce La Sportiva Solutio... Black Diamond Aspect La Sportiva Finale La Sportiva Tarantu...
Edging (20%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Cracks (20%)
6.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
Comfort (20%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Steep Terrain (20%)
7.0
10.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Sensitivity (20%)
10.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Scarpa Veloce La Sportiva Solutio... Black Diamond Aspect La Sportiva Finale La Sportiva Tarantu...
Style Velcro Velcro Lace Lace Lace
Upper Synthetic Leather / microfiber Leather Leather / microfiber Leather/Synthetic
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Lining None Pacific, lycra Hemp Unlined None
Rubber Type S-72 Vibram XS Grip2 NeoFriction Force Vibram XS Edge FriXion RS
Rubber Thickness (millimeters) 4 mm 4 mm 4.3 mm 5 mm 5 mm

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 between a thumb and pinkie. That means you get extraordinary sensitivity, however, but all but the strongest feet will probably be limited to bouldering or short routes.

Performance Comparison


The Veloce is extremely flexible across its long axis, as shown, and...
The Veloce is extremely flexible across its long axis, as shown, and also across its short axis -- a rarity for a climbing shoe.
Photo: Jack Cramer

Edging


The Veloce utilizes an elastic tongue and a single, zig-zagging velcro strap to lock your foot in place. When fully tensioned, these measures were effective at 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 of 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.

As you can see here, anyone with low-volume feet is left with a...
As you can see here, anyone with low-volume feet is left with a couple inches of excess velcro strap.
Photo: Jack Cramer

Crack Climbing


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 or larger cracks. However, the rand rubber does extend somewhat onto the top of the shoe, which boosts grip and durability while crack climbing.

Although this tester isn't very flexible, the Veloces definitely...
Although this tester isn't very flexible, the Veloces definitely are. The softness of the heel also supplies plenty of sensitivity for heel hooks.
Photo: Jack Cramer

Steep Terrain


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 adds 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 it 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.

The softness of the Veloce can increase foot fatigue, but it ensures...
The softness of the Veloce can increase foot fatigue, but it ensures you can feel every subtlety of a foothold.
Photo: Jack Cramer

Sensitivity


These are a rare pair of climbing shoes that approach the feeling of a rubber sock. The back half of these shoes — 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. However, those with weaker feet may find that the unmatched sensitivity makes them too painful to wear for long climbing sessions.

The limited support of these shoes means that they're best for...
The limited support of these shoes means that they're best for bouldering or steep sport climbs where you don't have to spend too much time on your feet.
Photo: Jack Cramer

Comfort


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 width 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 they're likely to lead to agony on a techy outdoor project or a long multi-pitch climb.

Value


These shoes are priced above the bargain category but below ultra-premium. At this position, we think they're a pretty great 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. However, keep in mind that their soft rubber can wear quickly, so their value isn't quite as awesome as it might seem, especially for beginners whose imprecise footwork might cause premature wear.

The Veloces occupy a nice middle ground between bargain and premium...
The Veloces occupy a nice middle ground between bargain and premium prices.
Photo: Jack Cramer

Conclusion


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 allowing ample opportunities to rest your feet, then the Scarpa Veloce is an affordable shoe to consider. These bouldering beasts are best suited for those with the foot strength that matches their massive forearms.

Jack Cramer