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88 / 100 based on 9 expert reviews
What we wanted to do here is design a boot that was a lot stiffer and a lot more supportive than the Velcro model.
What I found surprised me, as this is the best trad climbing shoe I’ve worn in a long time.
They scored slightly above average in all metrics and didn't have any huge drawbacks, besides the blisters and their difficulties with small holds.
A great all-round technical shoe that provides exceptional performance in a very comfortable package.
I would like to start out this review by saying: These are my favorite rock climbing shoes I have owned or tried to date.
This shoe comes close to being a jack-of-all trades; it performs at a high level on a variety of rock types and angles.
- The Scarpa Vapor Lace comes back with a sleeker look of the upper. Its rubber toe patch has been reinforced to provide extra rock adhesion. All of its eyelets are directly punched into the vamp, creating a sturdier closure system. The pull tabs are now colored differently to enhance aesthetics.
- Underfoot, it still carries the Bi-Tension Rand system (a feature also present in the Instinct from Scarpa) for optimal climbing performance. Its Vibram outsole, previously 4 mm thick, is now configured with 3.5 mm thickness only for increased sensitivity.
Downturn. The Vapor Lace is an asymmetrical and moderately downturned offering from Scarpa. Its slightly cambered design allows climbers to tackle almost all types of terrain.
Application. Scarpa markets the Vapor Lace as a technical trad shoe. It is equipped with features that provide stability and comfort. This all-around pair can be used bouldering, sport and face climbing.
The Vapor Lace caters to male and female climbers. The suede/synthetic upper of this rock shoe has a little give to it and will barely stretch. It has a lace-up closure that aids in the configuration of overall fit and volume.
This shoe for rock climbing uses the FR last. This element gives the Vapor Lace a curved and asymmetric profile. The ladies’ version use the FRW last that yields a women’s specific fit.
Midsole. Providing a supportive platform is a 1 mm Flexan midsole. It renders a decent amount of flexibility that will allow climbers to slip into cracks.
Outsole. The Vibram XS Edge (3.5 mm) outsole is developed to render optimal edging prowess. Its resistance to plastic distortion helps keep its shape and withstand abuse. It is formulated to work in both hot and cold temperatures.
The Vapor Lace wears a durable 1.8 mm microsuede. It employs a patent-pending feature, the Bi-Tension system. It is a reversed slingshot rand placed under the forefoot and is connected to the heel rand that pulls power from the toes. It uses less rubber, minimizing weight yet increasing sensitivity.
The closure system employs a flat lace that goes through six pairs of punched eyelets. The pull tabs (with distinct colors) are placed at the heel to assist in donning and doffing
These two climb-centric offerings from Scarpa are engineered to give performance for various disciplines. Shown below are some of their qualities that differentiate these two products from one another.
Application. The Vapor V is designed by Scarpa to be used mainly for bouldering sessions, trad routes, and sport climbing. Its set of technologies also enables the shoe to be employed for overhanging terrain. Moreover, this Scarpa offering can be worn for both indoor sessions and outdoor climbs. Meanwhile, the Scarpa Vapor Lace, as stated above, is built for technical trad climbing. It can, however, be used for bouldering, face and sport climbing as well.
Closure. Scarpa’s Vapor V sports a Velcro closure system. Wearers may adjust the shoe’s fit until they can get a secure and personalized lockdown using its Velcro straps. The Vapor Lace’s closure, as the name suggests, consists of a traditional lacing system with 6 pairs of eyelets.
Downturn. Both the Scarpa Vapor Lace and Vapor V are built with a moderate downturn. This particular shoe shape enables climbers to gain a secure foothold on tiny nubbins and micro edges. It also provides senders with ample precision when tackling these climb-related challenges.
Upper. Scarpa equipped both the Vapor Lace and Vapor V with a 1.8mm-thick microsuede upper. Both also feature a rand wrapped around its lower section to give lateral protection. A secondary rand is also positioned on the heel zone for extra rearfoot support. The Vapor V’s toe box, however, has a protective covering, which gives added grip when toe hooking.
- Individuals looking for a beginner-friendly climbing shoe may also look at the Momentum Lace from Black Diamond and the Tarantulace from La Sportiva.