With the growing trend of climbing gyms we have seen more and more requests from retailers to start stocking SCARPA rock shoes. One of the shops that is seeing a lot of success with this is our friends over at Next Adventure in Portland, OR. Jay, their footwear buyer (and avid climber) shares a few tidbits on how they have managed to grow their rock shoe business along with some other insights.
Q: Have you seen a lot of growth coming from the climbing portion of the business?
We have definitely seen growth coming out of the climbing department. The opening of new climbing gyms in the Portland Metro Area: Planet Granite, Circuit Tigard and the expansion of the Portland Rock Gym have been a huge part of that. All of these locations allow more people to access climbing.
Q: What made you pick SCARPA to add to the wall for your rock shoe selection?
SCARPA has proven themselves to be one of the top tier brands. It all comes down to quality, variety, craftsmanship (Thanks Heinz!) and most importantly, availability. A few years ago, (thanks to our sales rep Justin) I got the opportunity to spend some time with the top people at SCARPA. These folks were so nice and welcoming (not trying to pitch me every min), just out there to have a good time and enjoy the climbing. They are truly a family that has just as much if not more passion for climbing as we do. It reminded me a lot of how our company feels, a tight knit family that really enjoys what we do, getting after it and celebrating each other for who we are.
Q : Buying your first pair of rock shoes can be an intimidating process how do you and your staff go about walking those customers through the sizing process and what are some of the road blocks you run into when sizing shoes?
We like to offer our customers a variety of shoes to see which last is the best fit, along with answering a lot of questions. Our staff also does an awesome job listening to the customer and tailoring what the customer wants and needs to help narrow down the style/model. We try to keep it as low pressure as possible, these people are not only customers but people we see at the gym, at the crag and are part of our community.
Q: What has been the top selling shoe for you and why?
The Origin (men’s) is currently one of our best-selling shoes. If the ladies version was released at the same time it would have just as many sales potentially. Close second is the Helix.
Q: What is your personal favorite SCARPA shoe and favorite place to climb at?
Currently the Vapor Lace is my go to shoe. It can handle pretty much everything from bouldering, hard single pitch sport and even some multi pitch. The Vapor Lace is a great tool for Smith Rock where I head to climb a lot but to be honest any place we can climb is our favorite place to climb!