Base model: Scarpa Instinct
Construction: Slip lasted
Closure: Velcro
Fit: Performance fit
Downturn: Moderate
Environment: Outdoor
Material: Synthetic, Vibram sole
Lining: Unlined
Last Shape: Asymmetric
Stiffness: Medium stiff
Thickness: 3.5mm
Top: Low
Use: Bouldering, Sport, Overhang, Face, All around
Price: $185
Weight: Men: 8.1oz | Women: 7.4oz
Brand: Scarpa
Colorways: Black
Special editions: 1 special editions
Small True to size Large
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Expert Reviews

Experts are climbers, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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86 / 100 based on 14 expert reviews

  • 89 / 100 | Sebastian Cheung | Level 2 expert

    [I]f you're looking for a first downturned shoe, this is it.

  • 96 / 100 | Callus Climbing | | Level 1 expert

    It's precise yet comfortable.

  • 93 / 100 | Gear Institute | Level 4 expert

    A superb, hyper-precise, form-fitting, powerful shoe for high-end face, trad, and steep climbing, and bouldering/gym climbing.

  • 74 / 100 | OutdoorGearLab | | Level 4 expert

    If you want a shoe that can edge on a dime and has a heel that won't blow before your knee does (as our lead testers did), grab yourself a pair of Instincts.

  • 98 / 100 | Climbing | Level 3 expert

    [A]n amazing shoe that masters all angles.

  • 91 / 100 | UKClimbing | | Level 3 expert

    In short: the Instinct VS really has been my 'shoe of choice' over the past 12 months.

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-The Scarpa Instinct VS, the Instinct’s Velcro sibling, is an all-around performer built to give climbers increased flexibility and sensitivity in every send attempt. It is part of the company’s Performance line-up, making it a kind of shoe that supports a variety of climbing styles.

-It is imbued with one of Scarpa’s Tension systems—the Bi-Tension. This particular technology uses a reverse slingshot rand to make the shoe more reactive and lighter. It also works for the wearer’s climbing performance when it comes to precision.

Downturn. The Instinct VS from Scarpa is a rock shoe engineered with a moderate downturn. The shape and sturdiness of its toe zone provide surefootedness over technical routes, especially where edges and micro-holds are concerned. Climbing kicks with this kind of downward camber offer enough comfort for multi-pitch projects.

Applications. This climb-centric piece is built for sport climbing and bouldering sessions in the great outdoors. It is armed with a set of technologies that gives wearers well-rounded performance on vertical faces and overhangs.

The Scarpa Instinct VS is a below-the-ankle rock climbing shoe for men and women. The shoe’s Velcro closure provides climbers with a customized and secure lockdown. The stretch is minimal because of the unlined synthetic upper. With its asymmetric last, a curved interior can be expected.

Midsole. The Instinct VS is equipped with a midsole called Flexan to give owners sufficient support underfoot where needed. It comes at a thickness of 1 millimeter.

Outsole. Two kinds of Vibram outsoles give climbing enthusiasts the right amount of surface traction in the Instinct VS: XS Edge at the forefoot and XS Grip 2 at the heel. The former is 3.5 millimeters thick, while the latter has a thickness of 2 millimeters.

What encapsulates the user’s foot in the Scarpa Instinct VS is the shoe’s low-cut upper made of microsuede. Its interior does not come with a liner. Its heel, sides, and forefoot are randed to protect the shoe from abrasive hazards and grant senders additional climbing security at the same time. Scarpa designers put a heavy-duty patch around its toe box to give climbers extra bite when toe hooking.

This synthetic rock climbing shoe technically has three pull loops for on-and-off convenience. Its closure system consists of an adjustable hook-and-loop strap.

The Instinct VS from Scarpa is arguably among the most sought-after climbing shoes out on the market. As such, it often gets compared with other climb-centric kicks out there. In this comparison, the Instinct VS finds competition in the Solution—one of La Sportiva’s high-quality rock shoes. Discover the aspects that set them apart in the list that follows.

Weight. Do you prefer sending problems with as much agility as possible? If so, the Scarpa Instinct VS is for you. Indeed, this Scarpa piece is lighter than the competition by an average of 40 grams.

Downturn. The Scarpa Instinct VS, as previously discussed, has a moderate downturn. The La Sportiva Solution, on the other hand, is a climbing shoe with an aggressive camber.

Upper. The Solution from La Sportiva has its main shell made of genuine leather, contrasting the synthetic upper of the Scarpa Instinct VS. When it comes to lining, only the competition has it. They both use Velcro closure for fit management, however.

Asking price. On this front, the La Sportiva Solution bags the crown. Yes, it is about $5 less expensive than the featured Scarpa rock shoe. Scan through some of the budget-friendliest climbing shoes featured on this site if spending less is more your thing.

Outsole. The Scarpa Instinct VS has double the outsoles (see Performance: Outsole). The La Sportiva Solution, on the other hand, only has one—the Vibram XS Grip 2. The rival shoe’s outsole is thicker than the one in the Instinct VS by about 0.5 millimeter.