The Scarpa Instincts (laced)

I’ve decided to do a preliminary gear review on these climbing shoes because I’m really enjoying them a lot.  The Scarpa Instinct (laced) climbing shoes are a force to be reckoned with on the wall.  I have yet to try them outside due to the weather being uncooperative (to say the least), but I hope to do the Bozeman Six with Lou and Leon in mid-June with them this year.  Yes, that’s how impressed I am with them.  Lou has a pair, I found out, and he likes them as well.

Instints and Shield Warrior Liquefy

First, they have a split sole instead of a solid piece of rubber that runs heel-to-toe.  The forefoot is wide enough to accommodate my foot if I size up a whole EU size from my normal size in the La Sportiva brand.  So, for example, my La Sportiva Solutions are a size 39 (M) EU and my Scarpa Instincts are a size 40 (M) EU.  These shoes are a perfect fit for my feet when I size them this way.  I like the toe box.  It comes quite a point so that I can really toe in on tiny holds, but the forefoot is wide enough to smear well with.  I also like the heel.  It’s not a molded cup like the Solutions, but is instead a strap of rubber running across the heel and up the back of the shoe in the Instincts.  This provides a comfortable, yet secure fit, and allows for some awesome heel-hooking.  Toe-hooking is enhanced by the rubber on the top of the toebox of the shoe.  The laces top off the whole package by making the fit truly custom.  I like the customization of fit that I can achieve throughout the day as my feet swell a bit later in the day and I can always adjust the laces to accommodate this normal phenomenon that naturally happens in many climbers.  The last of the Scarpa Instincts is aggressively downturned, but not as uncomfortable as one might expect for this type of shoe.  As a matter of fact, the way I have mine sized, they are relatively comfortable for a performance shoe.  The sole is Vibram XS Edge rubber and holds up fairly well to the indoor climbing wall abuse that I’m putting it through right now.  Outdoors, the punishment may not be as severe on the rock, when I finally get to try them out on real rock, that is.  Updates pending on that…

In short, for my first Scarpa climbing shoe, the Instincts (laced) are very impressive.  I can  totally trust my feet in them on what climbers who climb higher grades than me have considered sketchy footholds.   I’m very confident in these climbing shoes and so far, I would highly recommend them.  Yes, they are on the pricey side, but they are an excellent performance shoe if you size them properly.  They are versatile and durable.  As a La Sportiva fan, I must say that the Scarpa Instincts are my go-to shoes at the moment and I’m definitely going to give them a fair trial outdoors on every type of rock I can find!  As stated before, updates pending…remind me!  I’m so excited to try them outdoors!

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