Size Tested: 41
Available Sizes: 35-44
Sole: Vibram XS Grip 2 (3.0 mm)
Closure: Velcro straps
Stated Weight per shoe (size 40): 196 grams / 6.8 oz
Days Worn / Test Location: ~15 days of summer bouldering in New England and Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, and 20+ days of gym use
SCARPA markets the Furia as their “most sensitive shoe ever,” but says that it has good edging power, too.
And while such claims are made about most aggressive bouldering shoes, it is rare for a shoe to truly and effectively integrate these two often contradictory features.
For example, I’ve primarily climbed in the La Sportiva Solution and the Five Ten Team Black in the past, and I found that those two shoes fall toward opposite ends of the power / sensitivity spectrum.
So I wanted to see if the Furia really did find a middle ground.
The Furia claims to do it all in terms of performance, and that claim appears to be supported by the construction of the shoe.
Overall, I found the Furia to be well constructed, and in addition to its build quality, it has a few standout features that earn it a spot in the upper tier of shoes I’ve tried.
The first is its lack of a midsole. This means that there is one less layer between your foot and the rock, which increases sensitivity, especially in the toe box. This also means that there is less material, which leads to a very light shoe (196g in a size 40).
The second feature, and one that is common to all SCARPA shoes, is Active Randing construction. This design is similar to that of La Sportiva’s more aggressive shoes, and incorporates “rubber rands that wrap around the shoe in different configurations… and are tensioned in ways that engage and disengage to support the foot.”
The Furia features a ‘Power-Connection-Band’ up the middle of the shoe that provides increased tension between the heel and forefoot, while allowing the rest of the shoe to be softer and more sensitive. (More on this below.)
The upper material at the entry to the shoe is a super-breathable mesh, which I am a fan of as it keeps my feet noticeably cooler than shoes I’ve worn that use heavier mesh or leather / synthetic tongues. This was something that was key for climbing in Vermont, especially in the summer, where the humidity typically doesn’t dip below 70 percent.
Finally, the inner of the shoe is microsuede, which I really like since it has a little bit more give to it and is less abrasive over time than leather or synthetic. I found that this made the Furia more comfortable from the start than almost any La Sportiva or Five Ten shoe I’ve tried, and pretty drastically reduced the break in time.
Sizing / Fit
I ended up having to go with a size that falls between the other shoes I typically use. In the Furia, I was a 41, which is a good bit larger than my Sportiva Solution size (39.5), but smaller than my Team 5.10 size (and street shoe size), 42.5. I think the major reason for this sizing discrepancy is the materials used for each shoe. Since the Furia uses a synthetic material, it isn’t going to stretch nearly as much as the Solution, which uses leather. So I didn’t need to downsize quite as much.
Given that the rest of the shoe has a pretty sock-like fit, the heel is surprisingly wide. I found that I had a decent amount of space on the sides of my heel. For me, this never seemed to be much of a problem, as the heel is also deep and does a good job of pinching in and forward as the top to increase security. However downsizing a bit further could help the heel to fit a bit more snugly for people with narrow heels.
After a bit of a break-in period, the size 41 Furia felt comparable to my preferred fit in the Solution and Team 5.10—which is pretty tight, since I’m primarily a boulderer.
Out of the box, the Furia, although tight, felt relatively comfortable. And it only took a couple of climbing sessions before it stretched enough for it to feel broken in. Since then, it hasn’t stretched much more. We’ll see if it continues to stretch over time, but I’m guessing it won’t since it is a synthetic material.
NEXT: Getting them on, Performance, Etc.