Scarpa Boostic | www.scarpa.com | $170 | ★★★★★
The Scarpa Boostic is a contender for my new favorite high-performance shoe. Supportive but sensitive, with a near perfect suction-cup fit, the Boostic is my go-to slipper for hard routes and boulder problems.
The Boostic seems only distantly related to the much stiffer Scarpa Booster, which debuted five years ago. With the Boostic, the shoe designer Heinz Mariacher has dialed in that fine balance between support and sensitivity. The Boostic is on the softer side, yet delivers a surprising amount of toe power on steep angles. The toe itself comes to more of a point than, say, that of the Scarpa Mago. This may be a personal preference—or even just a visual trick—but to me, a pointier toe helps guide me onto pin-sized sweet spots.
I’ve used these shoes with confidence on steep granite, sandstone and some of the slickest limestone that I’ve ever encountered. The placement of rubber on the top of the toe box and on the heel adds hooking functionality as well.
Unlike some slippers, the Boostics are easy to get into. The unique sock-like material used at the shoe’s opening is dually functional: It stretches open when you are putting the shoe on, and then sucks around your foot once you’re inside; plus it’s comfortable and it breathes.
The one glaring down side to this shoe is its price—$170 seems hefty, especially if you climb a lot and go through two or more pairs of shoes per year. But if you ask me, you’ll be getting your money’s worth.
4Sizes: 35-45 (half sizes).
4Twin opposing Velcro closure straps are thin and well-placed, staying out of the way when you’re climbing.
4Lorica synthetic leather and suede upper.
4Vibram XS Edge.