Shoe Review: Scarpa Booster S

Scarpa Booster SAs the climbing community grows and pushes the boundaries of climbing, so does the demand for high quality, aggressive shoes. Scarpa, a longtime player in the climbing shoe game, continues to evolve their designs to meet the demand of climbers and the boundaries of what a climbing shoe can do. Check out Scarpa’s latest team member, fresh out of the gate and looking for action: the Booster S.

Fit: To be perfectly honest, I had given up on Scarpas fitting my feet as they had in the past caused more pain than gain in their fit. However, the promise of a new, sensitive shoe convinced me to give them one more try and I couldn’t be happier that I did. I ended up going a half size down from the Scarpas that I owned back in 2008, also aware that Scarpas tend to run small. For reference I wear a women’s street size 8 and went with a 38.5. It fits like a glove! (Granted I have to perfectly tuck my toes into the correct bent position before strapping the shoe tight, but these are the sacrifices of climbing). The only place the shoe runs a little big is across the top, but this is easily amenable by tightening the velcro straps.

Form: I adore the form! Not to sound too girly, but this shoe just looks cute in the most down-to-earth way! (And as an added plus – it’s not pink OR flowery!) The fit compliments the form, giving the shoe a petite and sporty look, all at once. Trying them out at the crag last weekend, they were a definite head turner, from both the ladies and gents.

Function: Despite being a very sensitive, flexible shoe, they took a little breaking in. But after just two gym sessions in them, they crushed at the crag and maintained their sensitivity and flexibility. As I worked my overhanging project this past weekend involving smears, small foot chips, heel hooks, and more, I trusted the Booster S in every moment. What I liked most of all was the ability to feel the foot holds and thereby be able to absolutely commit. The Booster S is modeled after Scarpa’s Boostic, with an emphasis on softer sensitivity. I prefer overhanging climbs, so this shoe is great for me. It should be noted that these are very aggressive shoes and therefore may not be the perfect shoes for someone climbing mostly slab. (In fact, I think your feet would hate you climbing in these on slab).

Finances: The Booster S retails at $179 but I can find them online for around $130. Although I cringe at dropping so much money, once a year I’m willing to suck it up, save it up, and make the purchase for my “sending shoes” of the year. For all that these shoes offer, I happily made these my “sending shoes” of 2015, and potentially beyond. The price is compatible with the cost of other high end, aggressive climbing shoes.

Crush Status: The Scarpa Booster S provides the variety needed to spice things up in your shoe department. It delivers the promises of being a sensitive, aggressive shoe and manages to look cute while doing it – not a small task!

Climb on!
~Cate

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