We pop on the super comfortable Veloce climbing shoes and give them a thorough test out both indoors and out.
Indoor climbing has finally come of age with it’s inclusion into the 2020 Olympics. It’s been a long time coming and the completion side of climbing has come on a long way since I first competed in 1989. Then you didn’t have any specialist equipment you just spat on your climbing shoes to clean them free of sheep droppings and that was it. You used the same kit you’d been repointing in the day before for competitions.
Fast forward to 2020 and there has been an explosion of competitions and indoor climbing has become a mainstream fitness sport that has developed it’s own equipment – especially climbing shoes. There are good reasons to have an indoor specific climbing shoe: they are often softer and more comfortable, they are lighter and the rubber is often a little softer so that they can offer a more sensitive feel on the holds.
Te new Scarpa Veloce (pronounce Vel-och-ey) fits all the above requirements, these are the Scarpa offering for indoor intermediate climbers. Although I have happily sent some harder climbs in them and used them for outdoor bouldering. They have quickly become my go to shoe for indoor climbing and I now find using my outdoor shoes too clumsy for indoor use after using these. Straight out of the box they were incredibly comfortable and fitted like a glove due to the breathable, elasticated tongue. The colour way isn’t too garish which is nice (but then I’m British after all).
This is finished off with a neat, microfibre, tab that you use to pull the tongue into the position you want before using the one piece z strap to tension the shoe for a precise fit. I could get a good fit without the shoe feeling baggy, although I did have some issues with the narrowness of the strap where it has the telco fastening. I feel the shoe would be better more surface area where the velcro meets the shoe. However, I haven’t had the shoe come undone yet so it has worked as it is supposed to do. The heel is finished with two heel tabs to help pull the shoe on and are big enough to clip onto a harness if needed.
The Veloce is fully vegan in production (including the glue) and the microfibre sock has given a leather like feel without feeling too sweaty when the temperatures have begun to rise. Since my review of the Chimera, Scarpa seem to have got the microfibre right and I haven’t been subjected to smelly shoes at all with the Veloce. The microfibre is robust enough to take the new resole service that Scrapa offer (see our review of this for details) and hasn’t shown any signs of wear even though I’ve been wearing them constantly over the indoor season (which has been long this year in the UK as it been a very wet winter).
The new FKJ last gives the shoe a wider, more square profile which is fine for indoor climbing where foot placements don’t need to be too precise. The heel is also wide which means that the shoe should give a wide range of foot shapes. I’ve been using a size UK7 (EUR41) which is a half size smaller than my outdoor shoe and they have been perfectly fine. I can easily wear them for an hours worth of bouldering without having to take them off. I can also belay in them between routes on the roped wall. To be honest if I had got a UK7.5 they would have been too big for me – they are a super comfortable shoe. They fit well enough that when I’m attempting harder problems and only when I’m on the smallest of smears have I felt on movement in the shoe and I think this is more to do with the flexibility of the shoe (or more often my shoddy footwork!).
The new S-72 sticky rubber is brilliant. I’ve use the shoe both indoor and out and found the rubber well suited to gritstone bouldering. It’s also performed well on small smears and wooden holds alike. The compromise here is durability – the softer the rubber the quicker the wear. Especially if you are intending to wear them for outdoor climbing. Scarpa have added an extra 0.5mm to give 4mm of rubber on the sole and have stated that the wear is similar to he Vibram XS Grip S2 that you can find on the top end shoes such as the Furia and Drago. Whatever – they have been super sticky and I can’t fault the rubber as when I have tried to be more precise on a foothold after failing I’ve found that it’s not the shoe! The sole can be refurbished using the Scarpa Resole Service so after the initial outlay you will be able to be more sustainable and better off as you will not need to buy another pair.
The well tested toe rand is similar to the Drago and Furia and offers plenty of surface area for toe hooking and even the occasional crack. It has also kept the shoe profile as it should be without any stretch.There is also a grey power band (the PAF system) that encased the arch of your foot to help keep the shoe tensioned and offer some performance enhancement by giving the Veloce a slight down turn to help push the toe into the toe box. How tensioned the heel is is shown by how many holes are at the top of the heel. The Veloce has two holes which indicates it is a mid tensioned shoe.The heel also has enough rand to perform a variety of heel hooks when you need to.
OK, so they are not the super technical Drago or Furia which are super technical and often more uncomfortable to wear. But for the majority of beginner or intermediate climbers who want a bit of Drago or Furia performance but with more comfort then the Scarpa Veloce will be perfect. I have been really impressed with them and I’ve worn them all winter indoors. I’ve easily got the rest of this season and possible most of next before I’ll need to send them off for a refurb and in the meantime I’ve got several indoor projects I need to see off before I hit outdoors with renewed fitness. I’ve used for indoor bouldering and roped routes and outdoor bouldering. I don’t think I’m going to be using them for outdoor bouldering often but as an indoor training shoe they have been brilliant.
The Scarpa Veloce comes in men’s sizes 38 to 48 in half sizes to 46.5. There is also a wanes specific version which comes in sizes 34 to 42 in half sizes.
The SRP is £115 and they can be purchased direct from Scarpa UK or specialist retailers.
Disclaimer – CGR reviewers and writers are never paid to provide a review and the website does not take advertising or link to affiliate sales. We are a bunch of keen climbers and travellers that accept sample products and offer an honest and independent review of the item. The reviewer will often keep the sample after reviewing it for both hygiene and safety reasons and more often it’s in no fit state to return!