Gear Review: Scarpa Force X Rock Climbing Shoe

Stay comfortable without sacrificing performance with the Scarpa Force X Rock Shoe.

[luxe shoes]

Who says performance rock shoes should be painful? The Force X has a flat last, similar to the sole of a hiking boot, and a plush synthetic liner from midfoot to heel that delivers cloud-like cush. Right out of the box, they’re “instantly comfortable, easily among the best-feeling climbing shoes I’ve ever worn,” reports one tester.

The Force X’s stiffness delivers superior support in the arch and heel, which, combined with the 4-mm Vibram XS Edge sticky rubber, allows you to easily stand on miniscule edges. However, a semi-flexible forefoot means you can still smear on slabs. Our testers used the Force X for multipitch routes and three-hour-long sessions in the climbing gym with zero complaints. $129; 1 lb. 2 oz. (m’s 40); m’s 36-48, w’s 34.5-41;