Reviewed by Chuck from New Mexico on Tuesday, February 14, 2017
I have just returned from climbing in my brand new Scarpa Helix shoes at the local basalt crags. I was quite shocked, dismayed, and very disappointed that the rubber on the sole was incredibly slippery. Without exaggeration these are the slipperiest rock shoes I have ever worn and that includes a wide variety of shoes including those from before the era of sticky rubber. (I have been climbing for 50 years). What could possibly have gone wrong with these shoes? Did SCARPA use a batch of faulty rubber on their Helix shoes? Have the soles oxidized and lost their adhesive qualities? My previous pair of Helix shoes were disappointingly slippery too, but not as bad as these. After resoling they worked fine. Which brings up another point in their disfavor. The original soles on my first pair wore out at the toe after only a few uses. The sole at the toe is thin and steeply undercut beneath the rand which means that quickly you begin eroding the rand itself. Another problem with these shoes concerns the construction of the leather upper. It is not made from a single piece of leather (as it is e.g., in the Sportiva "Mythos" or the Evolv "Astroman"). Rather, the upper is made of three separate pieces of leather which are butted together along their edge and then sewn with a cross stitch using that pretty red thread. You can see this joint by zooming in on the photo of the shoes. In my previous pair of Helix this joint is beginning to separate. The red threads seem to be pulling through the soft leather. Why, you may ask did I purchase a second pair of these shoes? They're cheap, they fit well, they are well constructed ( if not well-designed) and they are pretty. I cannot recommend you buy these shoes for climbing, but they look very cool on the boulevard or dance floor. You might want to wear them to school. I'm donating my pair to the local climbing gym.