Engineered for the climbing gym, the Scarpa Veloce offers an attractive mix of value and performance that will please all but the strongest indoor climbers.
While aimed at beginner to intermediate climbers, this is not the “gym rental” climbing shoe of days past. Implementing Scarpa’s latest technology with its indoor-specific shoe features, the Veloce represents a totally new concept in the company’s product line.
Priced around $50 less than the top tier of rock shoes, the Veloce is an incredible climbing shoe value for climbers pushing past the 5.10-grade range. More advanced climbers with wider feet benefit from a roomier toe box that allows them to size down to boost performance without the penalty of deformed toes.
Scarpa packs a lot of technical features at this price, with two varieties of super grippy rubber and its latest rand and heel tensioning system to improve comfort and support.
- Sensitive shoes with ample sticky rubber to grab holds at any angle
- Mid-level price point delivers above-average performance
- Excels at indoor climbing of almost any type
- Limited in some applications due to softness and durability issues
- A flat toe profile hinders the use of smaller pockets and cracks
- Climbers with low-volume feet may find sizing difficult
A relatively affordable, vegan-friendly shoe that incorporates Scarpa’s newest designs and materials, the Veloce was created from the ground up as a specialized tool for indoor gym climbing on easy to advanced terrain.
Fitting for an intermediate-level climbing shoe, the Veloce avoids extremes. The moderate downturn, moderate asymmetry, and a medium-large volume all contribute to a shoe you don’t need to remove between routes.
The Veloce uses a new last with a more rounded toe box, specifically with more room for your 4th and 5th toes. This feature greatly adds to the shoe’s comfort, but as you’ll see, it does impair performance.
The most extreme feature of the Veloce is its flexibility. A thin, 1 mm midsole and split outsole of soft S-72 rubber make these some of the most flexible shoes available. Specially formulated for artificial holds, the sole is excellent for grip but watch for quick-wear if you take them onto rougher stone outdoors.
A single velcro strap, in a z-configuration, secures the Veloce to your foot at four attachment points. Like Scarpa’s premium models, the Veloce uses M50 rubber on the toe for improved sensitivity and grip.
Scarpa Veloce Women’s Version
Scarpa also offers a women’s model of the Veloce. The women’s Veloce’s last comes with a narrower forefoot and heel than the men’s version, but the same added room on the outside of the toe box. Several reviewers confirmed that the women’s model accommodates wider feet better than most other women-specific models.
The Veloce features a wider, larger-volume toe box compared to Scarpa’s more performance-oriented climbing shoes, which is appropriate given the target audience of beginner to intermediate indoor climbers.
This extra space gives the Veloce a plush feel upon first wearing. Fairly conservative geometry in the shoe’s downturn and asymmetry also aid in keeping pain to a minimum while breaking in this slipper-like shoe.
When it comes to sizing, wearers have a choice. Most Veloce reviewers go down one-half to one and a half sizes from street shoes for a relaxed fit right out of the box. However, a few reviewers seeking more edging performance sized the Veloces down by three or more sizes and still reported little pain and no hot spots during the break-in period.
One other thing you will notice is the light weight of the Veloce, even lower than Scarpa’s ultralight and super sensitive Drago and Furia S models.
Due to its highly flexible nature and sticky S-72 rubber, the Veloce conforms and clings to slabs, volumes, and wall scums with particular aplomb.
The Veloce has a thin, half-length midsole to match the soft outsole, which allows you to stand on less than vertical terrain and get maximum surface area contact between rubber and rock (or, more likely, plastic, in this case). With a sole clad in the softest rubber in Scarpa’s lineup, these shoes smear on textured, artificial walls as good as any shoe, regardless of price.
The one characteristic most beneficial to the Veloce’s edging performance—the softness that allows you to feel the slightest bump in the wall—is its downfall on super technical footwork. There isn’t enough support to allow the shoe to stand up on the tiniest edges.
Climbers with stronger feet praise the shoe’s ability to curl and grab onto smaller positive edges. The Veloce won’t provide much assistance on micro-foot jibs placed on vertical and steeper routes. In such scenarios, a stiffer shoe will be a better pick.
The same forefoot flexibility that informs the Veloce’s smearing capability also aids toe hooking. Scarpa’s M50 rubber on the toe patch and surrounding the heel is even softer than the S-72 sole compound, so it takes less effort to hold toe and heel hooks securely.
The Veloce has a flaw in heel hooking for specific users. A few reviewers with narrower heels and ankles found it challenging to achieve a tight fit in the heel, which led to some slipping during strenuous hooking maneuvers.
Designed as a soft gym shoe, the Veloce is ill-suited for jamming into most cracks. First, the soft rubber compounds and thin synthetic materials will have a short life in this environment. Second, the lack of protection and support makes jamming more painful and difficult than it needs to be.
Best Uses for Scarpa Veloce Climbing Shoes
Have we mentioned that the Scarpa Veloce is an excellent shoe for climbing indoors?
Scarpa has designed a shoe with nearly ideal traits for climbing on plastic: extremely sticky rubber on all surfaces, a flexible platform that easily bends to smear and conform to any available foothold, and a roomy fit and easy on-off access.
If you’re regularly climbing the hardest routes and problems in the gym, you’ll find the Veloce is overmatched and limited by its slight downturn and lack of support. Otherwise, it’s a willing partner on just about anything.
The Veloce is in its happy zone when leading, and top roping indoor sport routes. Gym routes are short, so it’s not as important for your shoes to provide stiff underfoot support. In this scenario, the Veloce’s light weight and flexibility are only a positive. Climbers moving from more rigid entry-level shoes are thrilled by the freedom and sensitivity these Scarpa shoes offer.
While not categorized as a “high-performance” bouldering shoe, the Veloce outshines most beginner-intermediate shoes for indoor bouldering. It’s especially adept in caves with stalactite-type features where one can employ a variety of hooking, smearing, and bicycling techniques.
The Veloce also has the chops to break out of the gym and tackle outdoor bouldering adventures. Just be aware that the rubber may wear quickly in this application, and don’t push the shoe past its limits on steep problems with minuscule toe holds.
Trad and Crack Climbing
As Scarpa would be the first to point out, the Veloce is not a climbing shoe for the traditional climber. As noted above, jamming with the Veloce isn’t particularly kind to the shoe or your foot. The shoe profile is too blunt to stick reliably in smaller, tech-y cracks, and the construction is too soft to support wider jams and heel-toe cams. However, if you enjoy climbing cracks barefoot, the Veloce’s minimal construction may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Climbers who use the Scarpa Veloce for its intended range of purposes give it overwhelmingly high marks. Super flexible and sensitive, with the grippiest rubber available, the Veloce crushes just about every indoor terrain from the bouldering cave to moderately difficult sport leads.
At the same time, the Veloce is a comfortable shoe that allows for extended sessions of pain-free climbing, even when sized down for a precise fit, maximum sensitivity, and more reliable edging.
Aside from minor fit and durability concerns, the Scarpa Veloce offers outstanding value for intermediate climbers who mainly climb indoors. If you’re seeking an affordable shoe that climbs nearly as hard as a premium model, the Veloce is certainly worth a look.
|Weight||6.9 oz / 195 g|
|Sole thickness||4 mm|
|Activities||Bouldering, Sport, Indoor|
|Upper||Pacific (front), Dentex (back), Synthetic Microsuede|
Reference: Scarpa’s official website
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