SCARPA’s Maestro Mid ECO Women’s rock climbing shoes are my go-to, all-day-long trad (traditional) climbing shoes. They are burly and last many seasons and resoles, only getting better with time.
I got my first pair of rock shoes in 1983––hand-me-down EB Super Grattons, which after a couple of seasons became threadbare. So I invested in the new Boreal Firé (pronounced “Fee-Ray”). The Firés had sticker rubber, more flexible soles and they looked super fly. The increased technical performance inspired my confidence and my rock climbing ability soared.
I don’t know how many rock climbing shoes I’ve owned over the past three decades, but one thing is certain: shoes are the most important tool for my rock climbing game.
Advice for Choosing Rock Climbing Shoes
Go into retail stores and try on many different models and brands to find the perfect fit.
I’ve found that SCARPA fits my foot the best. So SCARPA has been my brand since the Firés.
Choose a model.
Think, “What’s the job this shoe needs to do for me? What type of rock climbs will we adventure on together? Do I need to be in these shoes all day for longer routes? Or, will I be pulling them on and off at the base of sport climbs? Do I want a lace up, velcro closure or a slip-on shoe? Will I be edging on small holds, smearing on slabs or jamming my feet into cracks? Does an asymmetrical last suit my foot, or is more of a symmetrical toe box ideal?
Chose the size.
Unlike many, I prioritize comfort in my climbing shoes.
Instead, many of my climbing partners prefer super tight shoes for the performance. I find I need to focus on my footwork more than I need to focus on how much my feet hurt. So, I size all my rock climbing shoes (except for my high-performance, sport climbing shoes!) up a full size from my approach shoes.
Sizing a full size up from my approach shoes works great for me. This also allows me to wear a thin pair of socks if it’s cold. And, if my feet swell due to heat, the additional space is a savior.
When it comes to size, find the formula that fits for you.
Maestro Mid ECOs come in both women’s and men’s versions which can also help get the best fit.
SCARPA is one of the few if not the only company that employs sustainable tanning and dying for their leather uppers. They use a more enviro-friendly method, whereas most shoe companies use toxic chemicals on their leathers.
Yes, SCARPA Maestro Mid Eco Women’s rock shoe is a mouthful. It is also one of the most expensive rock shoes on the market. But with that comes durability, attention to detail and Italian craftsmanship that can’t be beat.
Out of the box, the Maestro Mid Eco shoe is extremely comfortable, helped by a well-padded tongue that stays in place. The lace system also helps add durability and insure less lace wasting after seasons of jamming into cracks. The entire shoe feels like a safe haven. With it’s burly leather and generous rubber rand, the SCARPA Maestro Mid ECO is less like a high performance Ferrari, especially on thin cracks and dime edges, and more like a Land Rover for all-day adventures.
And they look great to boot!
Check em’ out at https://www.scarpa.com/maestro-mid-eco-wmn