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Scarpa Instinct VSR Climbing Shoe
The Scarpa Instinct VSR is the soft and supple climbing shoe of the Instinct family tree, with a technical and sensitive design made for hard sport climbing and bouldering.
The Scarpa Instinct VSR shares a similar design to its sister shoe, the Scarpa Instinct VS, but it features a velcro closure for a more precise fit as well as a slightly thicker rubber for better durability. With a focus on friction over edging, the Instinct VSR is better suited to overhanging and steep routes, glassy and polished rock, and smearing on slabs. The Instinct family is known for its high levels of sensitivity, and the VSR is no different. The signature Bi-Tension rand, which drives power through the toes without causing discomfort, and the high-friction toe patch, for maximum grip during toe-hooks, that make the Instinct family so renowned still feature on the Instinct VRS, but it's its softer nature and XS Grip 2 rubber that makes it the golden child for technical sport routes and hard boulder problems. Also ideal for lighter climbers.
The Instinct VSR features a microsuede upper which will break-in, but will not stretch. This will maintain the shoe's performance over its entire lifespan. Size accordingly.
|Upper material|| |
|Closure type|| |
|Sizing and fit|| |
Blue / Black
0.43 kg (Size 40 EU)
|Sole material|| |
Vibram XS Grip 2
|Sole thickness|| |
Vibram XS Grip2™
Rubber compound built for pure friction, recommended for use where maximum grip is the primary need - bouldering and sport climbing, indoor climbing, or extremely smooth, polished routes.
A rand that that pulls power from the toes to achieve performance with less tension and less painful toe cramming. The Bi-Tension Rand also reduces the amount of rubber needed under the toes, which means a lower weight and a higher sensitivity.
Full Features List
• Specialised toe patch is made from softer rubber for high-friction toe-hooking
• Lorica® upper allows for zero stretch, maintaining the same performance-fit forever
• Floating velcro strap secures the fit without affecting suppleness
10 product reviews
After climbing in the very (sometimes too) comfortable Moccasyms for half a year, I wanted something more aggressive for my harder projects.
I bought them half a size above my street shoe size. These shoes are surprisingly comfortable, while being very snug around my entire narrow foot.
Since I love climbing slabs the most, I wanted a soft rubber for good sensitivity and also smearing. After falling in love with 5.10's Stealth c4 soles, I didn't think any other rubber would come close, but the Vibram Grip 2 feels just as nice and sticky on the wall.
The big patch of rubber on top of the shoe was also a nice surprise on the wall. Apart from a very steady toe hook, the rubber also makes flagging a bit steadier when the top of my toes are resting against the wall. But maybe I'm just flagging very weirdly, haha.
Apart from how well they feel on my feet and on the wall, I really like the badass design these shoes have.
A very good first experience with Scarpa's!
Climber profile: male / 176 cm / 77-79 kg
Used to wear 41.5 Skwama. Bought 42.5 of Instinct VSR; could possibly go down to 42.
I particularly like this pair of shoes because I am able to create a toe profile (like those with La Sportiva), and the heel is sensitive and fits nicely without the bulkiness like in Skwama or Solutions. I think this shoe is on the stiffer end which was something I looked for after the softness of Skwama. Though stiff, I am able to use them really well even on roof climb where you may need to dig your toes into the hold.
Lastly, it took me about 4 or 5 two hours indoor bouldering sessions to break them in.
I saw that Matt (on YouTube) said these were his fav bouldering shoes of 2017 and since he also said that he's a street nine (EUR 43) and has narrow feet, just like me, I was keen to give them a try. The Epic TV size calculator suggested a EUR 44 for me, but Matt said that he used a EUR 42. So I ordered those two pairs and all inbetween, so that I could find the perfect fit. I ended up going for EUR 43 - my street shoe size. The size down (EUR 42.5) just made my toes overlap and were painful to the extent that I couldn't concentrate on anything but my feet. These are good shoes. The rubber is very sticky and the sole is soft enough that you can open it up to smear, despite the aggressive downturn. The heel is a bit baggy at the bottom, but it stays in place.
My background: I'm a short (163 cm), light (54 kg), intermediate indoor climber (onsight 6c routes, top 7a+ after a few attempts) and these were the third ever pair of climbing shoes I owned.
Fit: I'm UK 7 (EU 41) on the street and went for UK 6 (EU 39.5) with the Instinct VS-R.Out of the box, the fit was perfect (in stark contrast to the Instinct Lace, which has much less give). I have wider feet and appreciate the space in the toebox. As a reference, my big and second toe are about the same distance from my heel.
As my first pair of soft shoes, I've really noticed that these shoes make it hard to focus your weight on small holds. They are unforgiving! But I'm guessing over time my technique will develop so that I'll be better able to use those toe muscles to get weight transfer. In contrast, a more rigid shoe like my Instinct Lace (featuring Vibram XS Edge) has no problems. Of course, these soft shoes (featuring Vibram XS Grip2) are smearing beasts. I never have any fear of coming off a volume on a slab or when bridging onto a wall while climbing in an indoors corner route. This grip is important, because being downturned, while advantageous for transferring weight onto holds on overhangs, is not working in their favour regarding smearing. you gotta protect these shoes - one slide down an indoor slab can take a while millimetre of rubber off the edge. I use these shoes only for hard bouldering, because even though I only climb once a week and try to climb with little foot readjustment, they do get worn fast.
I hear that the Instinct VS is somewhere between the two shoes in terms of flexibility. This might be my next purchase!
Minor point: the soles of your feet will become very orange after wearing these. You can wash the shoes with warm water to remove some dye, although make sure to let them dry thoroughly. Antifungal spray in the shoes helps keep them fresh.
Purchased them because i needed to replace my Instinct SR shoes, and that was a tough task because SR were a perfect pair of shoes for me. After a few sessions they started to break in and now the heel hooking is perfect, toe hooking is just as good. The velcro strap makes it easy to put no and off. Hope this review persuades you into purchase, cause they won't dissapoint.