Scarpa North America Blog

Introducing the New SCARPA Origin

Mar. 22nd 2016

The first time a climber pushes off the ground and ascends into the vertical can be a life-changing experience. Instincts fire, movements refine, and the climber experiences a feeling that’s both unsettling and completely natural. It’s addicting. This feeling has drawn thousands to climbing in recent years and helped build the critical mass needed to support countless state-of-the-art gyms around the country. With this explosion of growth SCARPA recognized that it needed a shoe that would appeal to the masses of new climbers exploring the gym and the rock for the first time. So SCARPA’s legendary rock-shoe designer Heinz Mariacher went to work. The result is the new SCARPA Origin, an $89 (USD) rock shoe that’s edgy and supportive in all the right places, while offering an approachable and super comfy fit.

The New SCARPA Origin. ($89 USD)

The New SCARPA Origin. ($89 USD)


From there, SCARPA put the shoes on gym rats, routesetters, and the media, asking them to think like first-timer but climb hard. The response came back resoundingly positive. Everyone marveled at the amount of performance packed into such a friendly package. Climbing Magazine awarded the new Origin with the coveted Editor’s Choice designation. Of the Origin, one Climbing Mag tester felt “the flat, neutral last was great for edging and for weighting my feet as I scoped longer than usual for handholds. The suede upper was roomy enough for long-term comfort but snug enough to toe in confidently on small jibs.”

SCARPA Origin Editor's Choice

While a disproportionate amount of industry attention usually falls on the high-end models, the response to the Origin is a badge of honor for Heinz and the rest of the SCARPA design team. Climbing Category Manager Mark Busby calls the Origin one of the most important shoes SCARPA has ever developed. And for those looking for a bit more backstory on the project, he’s answered a few more questions.

Why did SCARPA develop the Origin?

We realized a couple of things. First, we wanted to make a shoe that met the technical needs of a new climber but that didn’t label them as an outright beginner. We felt that many of the existing entry-level shoe out there look cheaply made and feel flimsy. We believe that just because you are buying your first rock shoe, you don’t have to settle for something that’s gaudy or ugly. An entry-level shoe should feel velvety and luxurious and have performance features and a look that will match them as the new climber progresses.

What are the Origin’s key features?

The Origin is built on a supportive platform that is not too asymmetric or uncomfortably aggressive for a first time user. It’s made with comfortable leather across the fore foot, a padded aero mesh tongue, and some cushion in the heel cup. It’s capped off with SCARPA’s sticky and durable Vision rubber. In short, the Origin is an $89 shoe that looks and feels like a $140 shoe.

Who is the intended user of the SCARPA Origin?

This is a shoe that will welcome new climbers to the sport and allow them to focus on improving their climbing. It’s designed a bit more with the gym climber in mind, but it’s ready to take on the rock if the climber wants to explore beyond the gym.

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