Last year I raved about the Scarpa Furia, at the time, the softest, highest-performing shoe I’ve ever tested.

Now it’s time to rave about the Scarpa Drago, easily my favorite shoe for sport-climbing and bouldering that I think I’ve ever worn.

Drago

Scarpa’s most stunning achievement, in my mind, is the Drago’s incredible soft sensitivity—it feels like you’re wearing a light rubber sock that allows you to push and pull with each and every toe—that doesn’t deform or lose it’s high-performing, down-turned last, even after months of wear.

If you have a wide foot, strong toes, and you like the sensation of feeling exactly what you’re standing, the Drago is a winner.

Beyond that, this review will be short and sweet because there isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said in my Furia review. The differences between Furia and the Drago are, for all intents and purposes, indistinguishable.

To test that theory out, I wore a Furia on one foot, and a Drago on the other. (As I’ve pointed out in the past, this is a super-baller move that is the best way to fool those around you into thinking you climb harder than you actually do.) While climbing, I was unable to tell any difference from a performance perspective.

There are some differences that I should point out. The Furia, obviously, has two Velcro straps, while the Drago has just one. This may make a difference to those whose feet aren’t wide enough to fill the shoe. My foot is on the wider side (perhaps one of the reasons I seem to prefer Scarpa’s fit), which is why I didn’t notice a difference. On this point, the Drago wins out for me because it’s one less strap to futz with.

The Furia also has a raised ridge of rubber on the inner heel, a unique feature that, ostensibly, provides additional heel-hooking capabilities. At best, this feature has always felt somewhat gimmicky and I never really noticed it making or breaking my rather mediocre heel-hooking game. Really, it was so minor and out of the way, that its presence never detracted from performance.

The Drago’s heel is a bit slimmer, fits a little better, and lacks that rubber ridge.

My only complaint is the Drago’s high price tag: $199! Dang, that’s twice as expensive as many other climbing shoes. Not to mention the fact that, with its mere 3.5mm of soft rubber, the Drago isn’t built to last and last. It seems a little odd, too, since the virtually identical Furia, even with its extra Velcro strap, is $20 less—so I’m not sure how that price is justified.

If I had to speculate, I can’t imagine that Scarpa will continue to produce both the Furia and the Drago for years to come, since there is so much crossover between the two. Both are favorite shoes for me, and you can’t go wrong with either one. But if I had my way, I’d love to see the Drago stay.

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