Reyce’s Rad Rec Reviews: SCARPA Climbing Shoes

In this edition of Reyce’s Radical Recreation Reviews, I’ll be looking at SCARPA Origin men’s climbing shoes. SCARPA is a popular manufacturer of climbing gear used in the industry.

I’ve been climbing with the Origin since September 2018, shortly after my very first climb. The Origin is specifically designed with beginner climbers in mind with its specifications.

The price for these shoes vary depending on the retailer, but on the SCARPA website they are listed as $95.00. I purchased mine at Desert Rat in St. George for about $84.00 

The Origin is made of a leather/suede upper with velcro closures. Its weight is on the lighter end comparative to most Scarpa shoes at 7.9 ounces, and features Vision™ rubber outsoles designed to accommodate a variety of surfaces a new climber might encounter.

As a novice climber myself, I find the SCARPA Origin to be an excellent introductory shoe. It has a flatter profile comparative to most climbing shoes which are moderately to aggressively downturned. 

This helps a beginner adjust to the tight fit of climbing shoes without much discomfort.

The velcro straps are a great feature that makes slipping the shoes on and off much simpler and more comfortable, though they may sacrifice a degree of snugness that laces retain. I find they stay secure throughout my climbs

Ultimately the type of closure differs from person-to-person according to the fit of the shoe.

As far as performance, these shoes hold up well against a variety of surfaces. I’ve climbed on sandstone, granite, limestone and synthetic rock walls with these shoes.

The shape is slightly asymmetrical, again for comfort’s sake, but the more subtle design doesn’t impede my positioning on the rock.

I find I can still get my toe in cracks and edges with the tip of the shoe and I get a decent grip when edging and smearing on flatter, low-angle surfaces.

My feet are a size 12 and having tried on several different brands, some lace-up, some velcro, I found that the SCARPA Origin shoes felt the best, and they have proven comfortable and sturdy.

Story and Photos by: Reyce Knutson