The Scarpa Crux is the latest approach shoe from the renowned Italian manufacturer, and has clearly been designed to appeal to the avid climber.
The name, of course, refers to the critical, or most challenging part of a climb, and the design of the shoe itself is very reminiscent of an actual climbing shoe – particularly with the laces running right down towards the toes and the pull on loop at the back lifted straight from their climbing range.
So how did I find the shoe?
I absolutely love the look of these shoes – the colours, design, shape, it is a very nice looking shoe! It’s not all just about looks though. The extended laces allow you to adjust the tension throughout the entire length of the shoe, helping you to achieve the perfect fit.
The main issues faced on the approach are usually having to deal with a mix of soft grass and mud, combined with hard rock. Typically your approach shoes are suited more to one than the other, and you end up sliding around half of the time.
The Crux sports a Vibram sole called “The Vertical” which has taken this into account: Around the toe is a smooth section, great for smearing on rock or applying pressure through ridges and lips. The remainder of the sole however has more conventional off road tread, to provide braking power and traction on softer surfaces.
On potential downside from the shoe is that it isn’t waterproof, so go out in wet conditions, and you’ll end up with soggy feet.
In all honesty though, I don’t generally go climbing in the wet, so it’s not really a major concern of mine.
The upper is very comfortable, the shoes took no breaking in, and allow your feet to breath thanks to some polyester mesh around the tongue and heel area.
My only complaint with regards to the feel of the shoe, is that the sole is a little thick – I generally prefer more minimalist trainers with a thin sole to provide more feedback to the foot. These feel a little clunky in comparison.
Having said this, if you’ve got a long approach over sharp rocks, this rigid sole combined with EVA midsole, could provide some much appreciated protection.
It’s always hard to assess a product’s durability from only a few uses, but the Crux certainly appears to be a well built shoe. Although the upper is sufficiently soft and flexible to be comfortable, it also seems sturdy enough and well stitched.
These shoes look like they’ll last an extremely long time, particularly if you just keep them for their intended use – though as they are such an attractive shoe, it may be tempting to wear them out and about too!
I am more than happy with these shoes – they’re functional, comfortable and look very nice. The sole is a little thicker than I generally prefer, but when stomping back down the crag over sharp rocks carrying a bag full of gear, I’ve actually been quite thankful for this at times. The Scarpa Crux retail for around $99 / £80 which is decent value.
[note]The Scarpa Crux were given to us for the purpose of this review. We try our best to not let this affect our views in any ways. Our gear tests are done in real life, during our own outdoor activities.[/note]