There aren’t many encouraging trends in the climbing world these days, especially when it comes to gear, which has generally gotten much lighter, but also flimsier and more disposable.
For example, when it comes to ropes, you could ask yourself: Am I really going to perform that much better with a lightweight 9.2mm rope as opposed to a 9.8mm? And is that improvement in performance, however measurable, worth the additional cost of going through thinner ropes quicker (presumably) than thicker ropes?
These are the same types of questions that you are going to have to weigh if you are interested in the $179 Scarpa Furia, which, in my opinion, is currently the highest performing shoe on the market (not to mention one of the most expensive), but it is also one of the quickest to wear out.
The Furia is the second softest shoe I’ve ever worn after the Five Ten Team XVi, and it’s my most favorite slipper from Scarpa to date. I credit the Team XVi for turning me on to the benefit of extremely soft climbing shoes, which allow you to use your toes in ways that are simply not possible in traditional climbing shoes. I laughed when I first picked up the Team XVi and saw that there wasn’t much more to it than a piece of sticky rubber and a sock-thin lining. But after giving it a genuine test, I was soon singing a different tune when I realized how much more security I felt on shallow, precise pockets, slippery smears, and even edges.
The Furia offers that same degree of super-soft sensitivity, but it comes with a number of other features that make it much more comfortable, better designed and better made than the Team XVi.
What has amazed me about the Furia is how it has kept its shape over the last six months of consistent wear, despite the fact that it lacks a midsole. It hasn’t stretched or deformed, retaining its performance downturn thanks to a stretched rubber rand that Scarpa calls the Power Connection Band.
The Scarpa Furia is a precision weapon for high-end sport climbing and bouldering, especially steep stuff, though I would even use it on slabs. Obviously, strong toes and advanced footwork are a prerequisite to taking advantage of all the Furia has to offer.
Other testers that I’ve spoken to have complained about the Furia wearing out quickly. Honestly, I can’t say that that’s been the case for me. Maybe I haven’t been climbing on sharp/abrasive rock? Maybe their footwork is _shit_, while my footwork is _the shit?_ Who knows? Will you wear through the edge on the Furia? Yes. Will it be _that_ much faster than with other shoes? I would say it’s comparable to other sensitive slippers that I’ve tested. I’ve been wearing these shoes for the past five months, and they’ve stood up to my weekend warrior schedule.
Bottom line, this is the price you pay for sensitivity and performance. Thus far, the Furia has exceeded my expectations on both of those fronts, while remaining extremely comfortable.