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REVIEW: Scarpa Booster

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 UKC Gear 13 Nov 2020
The Booster is definitely a shoe with steeper terrain in mind

The Booster has similar sensitivity to Scarpa's other soft shoes like the Furia Air, Furia S and Drago, says Rob Greenwood, but with the added benefit of some modest edging ability. Shame about the heel.



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 KDennis 13 Nov 2020
In reply to UKC Gear:

One significant difference between the Booster and other Scarpa soft shoes is the rand rubber. Normal rand rubber is used here instead of the one piece M50 rand-toe patch. On more vertical climbs this contains the foot much better when pushing down hard on a small edge. On routes where there's a mixture of overhang and face climbing this negates the need of a shoe change mid route. :P

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 Snozzwanger 13 Nov 2020
In reply to UKC Gear:

Nice write up but I won't be able to use any of the Scarpa performance shoes as they are to small, the size 45 which is often their biggest size is way too small for me. I take a 42.5/43 in la sportiva.

Why they cant make shoes in similar sizes and range to everyone else is beyond me.

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 misterb 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Snozzwanger:

Eh???

They size up the same as sportiva , maybe you have to go up half a euro size or so but not 2 full euro sizes?

Post edited at 21:14
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 misterb 15 Nov 2020
In reply to UKC Gear:

I think the heel is fine, on granite anyway which is all I have used them on

However I don't like the massive straps, they stick out a mile and mean you cannot toe hook properly, certainly not like the drago, chimera, furia etc which are all really rather good at that 

I would go so far as to say the straps are some kind of vanity project designed purely so they could write boos...ster on them

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 Snozzwanger 16 Nov 2020
In reply to misterb:

Eh??? 

I haven't just made the above up, they don't come up anywhere near the same. There is absolutely no chance at all that I can get my foot in, let alone use a 44 Booster whereas I can wear my 43 skwamas indefinitely. Ive tried, and was rather disappointed. 

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 peterp 17 Nov 2020
In reply to UKC Gear:

I have had multiple iterations of the Booster and generally found them to be an excellent shoe. However, the rubber is now soooo soft such that they're a complete waste of money in my opinion. I bought a pair of the latest version (as per the review here) in May this year - I was climbing pretty much exclusively on my board (for obvious reasons), roughly 3x 3hr sessions per week and by August there were massive holes in the toes, presumably because the soft rubber didn't like climbing on small screw-ons. There was no comeback with Scarpa unfortunately as I'd bought the shoes from a third party rather than direct from Scarpa. Scarpa are always my go to shoe company as they just fit my feet so well and I know exactly what size I need - I now have a pair of Instinct Lace-ups which seem to fit the bill for-me as an all round mid-grade boulder shoe. Don't think I'll ever buy a Booster again though which is a shame - a shoe that costs £120 and lasts 3 months is just a pile of pish. 

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In reply to misterb:

> They size up the same as sportiva , maybe you have to go up half a euro size or so but not 2 full euro sizes?

In my experience there's at least a whole European size difference between the Booster and the Skwama. I am a 41 in the former and a 39.5 in the latter, although that was realistically a little on the tight side - hence a single size (rather than a size and a half)

That said, the one thing I've learned from writing reviews over the years though is that everyone is different when it comes to fit, so there's no doubt in my mind that if that's what Snozzwanger has experienced, that's probably how it is for their foot shape/size. Such is the complexity of finding a suitable fit within a rock shoe (and advising people on what might/might not work)!

Post edited at 09:56
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 misterb 18 Nov 2020
In reply to UKC Gear:

Fair one,  people's foot shape does make a big difference 

The booster is smaller in the equivalent size than other scarpa models by half a euro size but they do stretch quite a bit

I had to use bags to get them on the first few times now I can happily boulder in them as normal after 3/4 short sessions

I am hoping they last longer than the furias

Post edited at 07:13
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 Rob Kelly 18 Nov 2020
In reply to UKC Gear:

Anyone know how they size and perform in comparison to the old Boosters? The old model is one of my favourite all rounders but my stocks are slowly dwindling!

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 peterp 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Rob Kelly:

Identical for me, though see my comment above about durability!

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 Andy Farnell 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Rob Kelly:

To put it simply, they're not as good. 

The toe is pointier and softer, so great for bouldering but not for routes. They lack lateral stiffness and don't edge anywhere near as well as the originals. The new heel doesn't fit (me) as well and the build quality is poor compared to older models.

My pair have splits in the internal heel material and one strap is falling apart, despite fairly limited use.

I won't be getting another pair. Which as a Scarpa fan is unusual.

Andy F

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 afx22 18 Nov 2020
In reply to UKC Gear:

I have a couple of pairs, half a size apart.  I was initially disappointed that they don’t have the stiffness of the previous generation.  I used to like the old ones for when I needed power out of small footholds - such as standing on a pebble, while bouldering in the grit.

The new ones are poor at that, way too soft.  But I like them for indoor bouldering. They’re great for iffy, small foot holds, roof climbing and smearing.  The forefoot seems wide but puts my toes into a semi-crimped position without being uncomfortable.  That fit really suits me.

The heel is way too baggy for me.  Loads of flappy, loose rubber - which may work sometimes - but I’d prefer a snug fit instead.  The smaller size is better but still too baggy.

I’m not sure I see what Scarpa make that fits what the old Booster used to do.  Stiff, powerful and downturned.

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 Andy Farnell 18 Nov 2020
In reply to afx22:

The Stix was stiffish, powerful and downturned... But they've stopped that as well. Unsurprisingly.

I've not tried the instinct lace, but the toe shape and rubber on top does look Stix-like.

Andy F

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 afx22 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Andy Farnell:

I never tried the Stix.  Nor have a tried the Instinct lace.  I prefer Velcro straps for whipping them on and off quickly.

I use the VSRs (on my 4th pair now) but they don’t have the same ‘pop’ that I remember the Boosters having.   They’re a great all round shoe.  Have you tried them?

I have also have a pair of VSs, with the stiffer rubber.  I’ve had them ages and they’ve not worn out, but the downturn disappeared ages ago and they’ve never been comfortable.

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 Rob Kelly 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Andy Farnell:

The instinct lace is a good shoe but quite different to the old booster. A fair bit stiffer with a firmer rubber. Never wore the stix so I can't compare it to that, but I have worn the new instinct slipper and the lace is like that, just a bit better in every department!

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 Andy Farnell 19 Nov 2020
In reply to afx22 and Rob Kelly: 

I've not tried the VSR. I've got the VS (too stiff, numb and uncomfortable) and SR (good in most areas but not great in any particular area). My foot prefers the toe profile of the Stix, which is very similar to the new Booster. 

If only Scarpa had put a strap and decent heel on the Stix V2 and called it the New Booster. Like they did with the original Booster...

Andy F

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 misterb 19 Nov 2020
In reply to UKC Gear:

Chimera forefoot stiffness in a furia would be the perfect scarpa shoe mix I reckon 

the heel is really good on the furia and the chimera is miles better than any of the new shoes on tiny edges and crystals for laying the power down and getting leverage

New booster is not great for sure, I agree it is too soft. Seems ok on a steep board but very expensive just for indoor

Styx is good and the idea as mentioned of a velcro strap and a slightly snugger heel would have perfected it

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 racodemisa 20 Nov 2020
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

I concur 

The Scarpa's I've had are 38 (booster S chimera and instinct VS).These all directly translate to LA sportiva 37 (futura and solution).

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