James S.wrote a review of Scarpa Helix Climbing Shoe on May 26, 2016
Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
After ten years away I return to climbing only to find that my tolerance for foot pain has vanished along with my desire to climb hard and scary or long and heavy right now. What's a guy with narrow feet who wants comfortable shoes for moderate routes from Smith Rock to Yosemite to do? Buy these beauties. Ironically, my first "beginner shoe." Gotta love the price point!
Here is what I wanted: soft, flat last, laces, multipitch all day comfort. I knew that I would loose some edging but I would gain some smearing...yes. Heel hooking? Overhang toe pointing? Nah. And to be fair, should I want performance at the price of pain I've got some Stingers and some Kaukulators waiting if I get all my mojo back for overhung sandstone or trad racks in the valley.
The shoes are soft, comfortable, and gentle. But their not bunny slippers. Some toe curl for a good fit but in a way that seems right not cruel. Given the rubber and the last I went with between a full and a half size down to start so there is room to stretch but even with my narrow-ish feet the laces are have plenty of room before they will meet. They lace up in a snug and reassuring fit and if needed I could really crank them down. On the rock they are soft with good feel. They smear confidently and are joyful on slabs. I did have some problems popping off smaller slick holds on general Smith Rock junk but chalked that up to habitually trying to edge instead of smear and climbing in the near dark to clean my partner's last lead of the day. On the plus side, once it was too dark to really see foot holds I stuck to just about everything. And my feet didn't hurt. Joy. True Joy.
Slabs and 10b range? YES!!! Crimpy technical edges? Maybe if you can stay on the smearing side of things. Overhangs? Maybe. Cracks? I wouldn't want to jam in these for long but I haven't tried yet, people climb cracks in Mythos so...
No long term beta but in my experience, other than slippers, most of the shoes I've had don't change much in performance even if they bag out a little. But I'll come back and update.