Verdict from 24 experts and +100 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • Bloggers who have tested the Scarpa Instinct VS a number of times adore its super-snug heel fit.
  • Many of those who have purchased this exemplary rock shoe love its astonishing edging prowess.
  • This remarkable Scarpa climbing shoe is fantastically grippy, based on several reports.
  • The Instinct VS toe hooks like a champ, say numerous climbers who have purchased it.
  • Some owners like its confines for being accommodating enough of feet wider than usual.
  • About a handful of patrons are impressed with the shoe's climbing precision.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Based on reviews written by professional footwear critics, the Scarpa Instinct VS has a criminally drawn-out break-in period.
  • Its ability to scale cracks and fissures leaves a lot to be desired, say a couple of senders.

Bottom line

An edging superstar with an amazing heel zone—this is likely what climbers will say about the Instinct VS the moment they start climbing in it. Those who would choose to sport this incredibly sticky Scarpa piece are also bound to pull off toe-hooking maneuvers with great skill.

That said, every benefit the shoe has on offer may only be accessible after a lengthy softening stage. Nevertheless, the Instinct VS has what it takes to be the crowd favorite of many, thanks to its slew of climb-focused qualities

Tip: see the best climbing shoes.

Good to know

-The Scarpa Instinct VS, the Instinct’s Velcro sibling, is an all-around performer built to give climbers increased flexibility and sensitivity in virtually 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. It has a curved (asymmetric) interior, which can give the arch a bit of pressure.

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.


How Scarpa Instinct VS ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 13% moderate climbing shoes
All moderate climbing shoes
Top 14% Scarpa climbing shoes
All Scarpa climbing shoes
Top 6% indoor climbing shoes
All indoor climbing shoes


The current trend of Scarpa Instinct VS.
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