Summary

We spent 8.7 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what climbers think:

6 reasons to buy

  • Almost everyone who has reviewed the Scarpa Mago finds the shoe's performance on both indoor and outdoor climbs quite incredible.
  • According to many climbers, this product yields excellent toe and heel hooking abilities. 
  • The stickiness of the Mago is very reassuring, a couple of experts claim.
  • Based on a majority of user reports, this impressive Scarpa rock shoe provides heaps of comfort.
  • Several climbers like the superb precision of the shoe's toe box, especially when mounting on micro-edges.
  • These Scarpa climbing shoes encourage good foot placements, say a multitude of buyers.

2 reasons not to buy

  • The somewhat long break-in period of Scarpa’s Mago is a disappointment, a small number of gear testers claim.
  • Its closure system could be a bit more adjustable, according to a couple of patrons.

Bottom line

Climbers looking for a high-performance rock shoe are likely to be blown away with the advantages of wearing a pair of super-comfy Scarpa Mago. They also had better prepare to be floored by the shoe's excellent hooking capabilities and astonishing precision.

However, its drawn-out softening phase might put off some folks. Nevertheless, it can be said that the benefits of the Scarpa Mago are enough to woo in even those who are still on the fence about it.

Facts

Rankings

A popular pick
It has never been more popular than this July

Expert Reviews

97 / 100 based on 8 expert reviews

  • 100 / 100 | UKClimbing TV | Level 1 expert

    I'm just raving about this shoe because I've been using it pretty much nonstop for two months.

  • 100 / 100 | UKClimbing | | Level 3 expert

    It's comfortable, technical, and performs well on a variety of angles, gradients, and rock types. In short: it's a good all-rounder.

  • 100 / 100 | Ontario Climbing | | Level 3 expert

    In over 30 years of climbing, I have never encountered a high-performance climbing shoe that feels as precise and locked-in as the new Scarpa Mago. Yes, I realize that these are some pretty bold statements, but the Mago really is that good.

  • 98 / 100 | Rock and Ice | Level 3 expert

    The Mago is one of the best shoes I’ve ever worn for high-end sport climbing.

  • 97 / 100 | Climbing | | Level 3 expert

    [T]hese shoes are more beastly than ever, and it’s great to have them back in their Mago 2.0 form.

  • 93 / 100 | Splitter Choss | | Level 3 expert

    I throw these in my pack more and more these days, and if you’re in the market for a precision edging shoe, these are worth trying on.

Become an expert

The revamped Scarpa Mago comes with an updated look of the upper. A few design tweaks include a larger toe patch, a blue-colored tongue and dual-toned pull tabs at the heel. 

Making a comeback in the updated Mago are the TPS (Toe Power Support) and X-Tension technologies. These two features enhance the shoe’s performance by maintaining a supportive and stable ascent. A Vibram rubber outsole still makes it ground-adherent.

Downturn. These aggressively downturned rock climbing shoes from Scarpa offer optimal performance. Its profile gives climbers focused toe-power for tiny nubbins and footholds.

Applications. According to Scarpa, the Mago is the brand’s culmination of their proprietary technologies. That said, it is ideal for use on bouldering, sport and trad routes, and indoor climbing

The Scarpa Mago is a men’s-only climbing shoe. The brand engineers use the FH last in designing the Mago, giving it a highly downturned and asymmetrical built. It has a low-volume heel zone that eliminates baggy spots. The shoe’s lace-to-toe closure system helps in keeping a snug fit.

Midsole. This rock climbing shoe carries a TPS Insert midsole. TPS or Toe Power Support is a thermoshapable unit placed under the forefoot. Its customizable fit provides better performance when pushing and pulling and increases precision.

This offering also employs the X Tension system, an active randing that crosses under the arch. It helps lift the foot during motion and renders optimal support and stability. 

Outsole. The Vibram XS Grip 2 outsole makes the Scarpa Mago rock-adherent. It is 3.5 mm thick, rendering a balance between grip and durability. The pronounced rubber that wraps the base of the upper yields extra adhesion when edging and smearing.

Scarpa designers use 1.8 mm suede and microsuede (synthetic leather) in the Mago’s upper. It is constructed using an intricate stitch pattern providing seamless panels at the toes. This feature helps maintain form and comfort, especially when toe-hooking. 

Dual tabs are attached at the back of the shoe to assist climbers in donning and doffing. Its closure system helps in managing the overall fit.

Both the Mago and Instinct are climbing pieces manufactured by Scarpa for male senders. Shown below are some of the differences between these two climb-centric offerings.

Downturn. The Scarpa Instinct is a moderately downturned shoe for climbers. This design allows individuals to climb multiple pitches with ample comfort and support. Optimum performance on the tiniest footholds, on the other hand, can be expected from the Mago’s aggressively-downturned shape.

Application. The Instinct is designed by Scarpa to be used for sport climbing and bouldering sessions. Its set of components and technologies also enables users to handle cracks and vertical faces set in the great outdoors. Moreover, this Scarpa climbing piece is crafted mainly for intermediate senders. Meanwhile, the indoor and outdoor Mago can handle trad, sport, and bouldering projects like a champ.

Upper. The Scarpa Instinct’s unlined upper is made of microsuede. It comes with a heavy-duty rand around the forefoot zone for extra grip for toe jamming and hooking. Its heel section features a Bi-Tension rand to hold the wearer’s rearfoot securely in place while delivering protection from abrasive elements. On the other hand, the hybrid Scarpa Mago, as stated above, is crafted with both leather and synthetic to offer comfort while maintaining its form.

Midsole. The Instinct from Scarpa is equipped with a 1mm-thick Flexan midsole. It has a stiff construction, granting climbers with ample support and underfoot protection. The Mago’s medium-stiff midsole information, meanwhile, offers both stability and precision.

Outsole. The Scarpa Instinct sports a 4mm-thick Vibram XS Edge outsole for surface traction. It covers the shoe’s heel and forefoot sections only, granting the arch zone added flexibility. The Mago uses a thinner Vibram XS Grip 2 outsole, which is explained further in the Performance section.

-Individuals looking for a less aggressive rock climbing shoe best suited for beginners may check out La Sportiva’s Tarantulace.