scarpa_mago__66941_zoomThe Scarpa Mago is one of the best shoes I’ve ever worn for sport climbing, and after years of using them to make brilliant ascents of the Rifle warm-ups, I cannot say that this opinion has changed. The Mago, designed by genius cobbler Heinz Mariacher, manages to perform well in every type of face-climbing situation—granite slabs, limestone drips and tufas and anything that requires advanced edging and heel or toe hooking.

That Mago is comfortable, which makes it a great candidate for the new wave of rope-stretching pitches that everyone seems to be getting after. It’s high quality throughout: plush suede upper and comfy lining, laces that don’t break (imagine that!) and, with the proprietary X-Tension TM last, the Mago sucks itself to the shape of your foot, leaving no annoying pockets of dead space. Sweet!

The shape of the toe is different than most shoes in this category: the Mago’s toe is more rounded, and to be honest, that shape takes some getting used to. I like it for really hard-t0-stand on edges that are plush to the blank wall. It feels like you’re getting more surface contact on the edge with this toe shape.