Who should buy the Scarpa Arpia

The Scarpa Arpia is an exemplary Scarpa offering whose positives inspire confidence on mostly vertical routes. It is a solid option if you:

  • Prefer a climbing shoe that is designed with enhanced sensitivity in mind.
  • Prefer a climbing shoe that helps users transition from flat-lasted kicks to more performance-oriented rock shoes.
  • Prefer a climbing shoe that provides users excellent arch and heel support.

Scarpa Arpia logo

Provides slip and skid resistance

This moderate rock climbing shoe by Scarpa has its supply of slip and skid resistance sourced from its Vibram outsole. It has an overall thickness of 3.5 mm.

Scarpa Arpia outsole

Competition-level surface traction

It uses the XS Grip 2 compound which provides competition-level surface traction. This particular classification of rubber is also ideal for steep routes and overhangs.

Scarpa Arpia outsole 1

Sufficient underfoot support

The Arpia promises sufficient underfoot support with its Talyn midsole. It is adequately protective, thanks to its heavy-duty construction and thickness of 1.5 mm.

Scarpa Arpia midsole

Scarpa Arpia midsole 1


The Scarpa Arpia hugs the foot with its part leather, part synthetic low-cut upper. It comes with a soft-touch liner for a comfier in-shoe feel. A long-wearing rand covers its vital parts to guard the shoe against abrasions and give senders extra climbing assistance where needed. 

Scarpa Arpia upper

Easy to wear

To speed things up during on and off, the engineers over at Scarpa opted to furnish its heel with not one but two pull tabs.

Scarpa Arpia collar

Scarpa Arpia vs. Vapor V

When it comes to rock climbing kicks, Scarpa is known to deliver the goods. This claim is backed by the kind of quality Arpia has. That said, the featured shoe shares the spotlight with another moderately downturned piece—the Scarpa Vapor V. These two have some similarities past downturn; however, if your budget only allows for only one pair, knowing the aspects that set them apart can help you decide which one to keep and which one to pass up. The points that follow will discuss their differences.

Asking price. On this front, the Scarpa Arpia bags the crown for being the cheaper rock shoe. Indeed, it is less expensive than the Scarpa Vapor V by about $15.

Upper. The featured climbing shoe’s upper is made with a combination of genuine leather and synthetic fabric. The Vapor V’s, on the other hand, is wholly synthetic. Between the two, only the Scarpa Arpia has a liner. That said, the competition comes with two adjustable straps—exceeding what the Arpia has by 1.

Randing. Both Scarpa kicks in this comparison are sufficiently randed for protection and additional climbing security. That said, only the Vapor V has a rand covering the inner side of its toe, giving its owners extra purchase in toe-hooking scenarios.

Weight. If you prefer to go as light as possible while ascending your favorite wall or rock, you might want to side with the Scarpa Arpia. Yes, this climb-specific piece is lighter than its rival by about 20 g.

Outsole. The Scarpa Vapor V (men’s) supplies climbers with enough surface grip with the Vibram XS Edge outsole. The Arpia, on the other hand, provides sufficient traction with the XS Grip 2 which, oddly enough, is also the outsole built into the women’s Vapor V. All outsoles, however, have the same thickness of 3.5 mm.

Facts / Specs

Weight: Men 220g / Women 190g
Technology: Leather, Synthetic
Construction: Slip lasted
Closure: Velcro
Fit: Comfort fit
Downturn: Moderate
Environment: Indoor, Outdoor

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Teddy Dondanville
Teddy Dondanville

Teddy is a professionally trained Apprentice Rock Guide with the American Mountain Guides Association and a Wilderness First Responder with the National Outdoor Leadership School. Besides guiding outdoor rock climbing, Teddy also has years of experience in route setting and coaching climbing indoors. Through his guiding, route setting, and coaching, Teddy has experimented with climbing shoes for over a decade.