Built to do Everything – The Scarpa Quantix SF
The new Scarpa Quantix SF is the brand's most comfortable, all day, all round performance climbing shoe
Certain shoes lend themselves description due to the strengths of their abilities. Some stick and others hook, and others take the smallest features of a wall and turn them into platforms. The Scarpa Quantix SF takes edging further.
When it comes to performance, comfort often comes close to the end our list. Performance often comes at the cost of comfort, or at least requires a brutal downsize to climb effectively.
Only Scarpa has managed to consistently find comfort out of the box across all of their newest bouldering shoes. Their softer Drago, Chimera, Booster, and their siblings all slip onto the feet with relatively little discomfort propelling users from gear shops up projects. The Quantix SF retains this trend, and goes further with its Single Frame design.
Out of the box, the stretchy synthetic provides users space to push into the edge of the shoe. Once it’s on, the wide-platform, and the creases in the outer edge of the toe wrapping rubber expands to support the foot as it’s weighted.
The split-strap closure system also allows for a tight fight while retaining foot rotation in the shoe. With that said, narrow footed climbers will want to try these on first to ensure that they are not too comfy or wide for a slimmer foot shape.
There are several performance characteristics to unpack with this monster, but to begin, the edge. Unlike many Italian-made edging shoe, the Quantix SF utilizes a softer Vibram XS Grip 2 compound most often used on softer, sticky bouldering shoes.
It pairs this rubber with a full-length sole, moving away from the popular split-sole design made famous by shoes like the Solution and the Instinct VS. By using sticky rubber with a full sole, climbers get stability when edging and toeing in on small footholds of low-angle sport climbing.
Although this shoe can also be used in bouldering as well, the sticky soles climb hard on polyurethane, the minimalist design of the upper and the sensitive heel cup seem to suggest a slower style of movement.
On low angle smears, few shoes approach the Quantix in terms of control and consistency. A climber can step their leg through and instantly trust the otherwise nerve-wracking edge-based weight transfer that so often occurs on low-angle climbing.
Although the heel lacks the tension of the Instinct VS, the malleability of the Quantix heel provides a soft, pliant platform from where the shoe can rotate.
The Quantix heel is a new development in terms of climbing shoe technology. It utilizes a synthetic fabric with rubber thatchwork overlay in order to provide friction. As the pressure rotates from this baggy portion into the spine, Vibram XS Grip 2 returns to provide more solid opposition. Scarpa also took material out of the spine of this heel to allow for delicate and sensitive perches on route.
On to front of the shoe, a certain amount of friction is allotted through a thin strip of Grip 2. Toe hooking is not the main strength of this shoe, but the parrot shaped toe hooks well by shape alone, with the last further aiding the climber in hooking.
Although this shoe seems best on longer routes, the hooked beak at the front of the shoe, and the subsequent Vibram XS Grip 2 rubber supporting it, bares down hard. The pointed toe that picks at barely-there edges also digs into the simple shapes of your favourite standard boards. On a MoonBoard, the shoe responds well to the high pressure of limit bouldering, while its ability to edge further supports it on the often-glassy kickboard holds.
On perched heels or bigger heels the soft Quantix heel hunkers down to provide a large, sticky contact patch. Buy the Quantix SF here.