There's no shortage of performance climbing shoes out there. Truth to be told, there are a lot cheaper alternatives to established brands like Scarpa. However, sacrificing a little more money for a proven shoe like the Instinct VS makes a big difference on your actual climb.
"Born in the Dolomites," discovery and attitude share equally deep roots at the Italian based company, and the Scarpa Instinct VS Climbing Shoe is a testament to the brand's continued success in producing high-quality climbing equipment since 1938.
The brand's newly added Velcro shoe continues the legacy of the companies' impeccable craftsmanship. Moreover, the Instinct VS is a performance specific footwear that can survive grueling mountain walls and steep boulder edges highlighted by the brutal conditions of sports climbing.
I've tried a lot of climbing shoes myself, and Scarpa's innovative approach to improvement has undoubtedly made me a big fan. Specially designed for bouldering and steep-sport climbing, the Instinct VS is a no holds bar performance shoe made for climbing aficionados and professional athletes.
Although it's not openly recommended for beginners, the VS' series has an excellent platform designed for both the indoor and outdoor terrain. If you're having second thoughts, this review might come in quite handy.
Featuring the combination of the Instinct Slipper and the Instinct Lace, the Scarpa Instinct VS is an aggressive climbing shoe designed to provide sensitivity and accuracy on foot placement.
Its stiffness sits between the slipper and lace-up platform to ensure all-around performance. The upper is made from microsuede (Lorica) for maximum flexibility and durability, while the Vibram XS Edge or Vibram XS Grip 2 rubber sole provides a firm grip even on the tightest edges.
If you have wide feet like me, the Instinct VS fits nicely without compromising comfort. It's also recommended for beginners because of its reliable platform.
But specifically, it is built for:
It’s not recommended for people that have:
For those that are not familiar with Scarpa shoes, the brand usually has a higher cap toe box and a lower volume mid, and rear section. The same can be said with the Instinct VS. It combines a profile hugging arch and a well-fitting bulbous heel.
People that have a narrow forefoot may find the brand's shoe wide; however other users have praised it for an excellent form to fit ratio. Honestly, it's not the most comfortable shoe to walk with too, but it's designed to push performance athletes to the edge.
"The heel is sufficient and really stable, giving me a lot of reliance on the Scarpa trademark. Also, the velcro strap seems way more firm than other velcro models. I was a bit of a troubled by the evidence that the Instinct XS would substantially not stretch at all after weeks of breaking it in, but I must say that notwithstanding feeling softer (which is great), the form, tightness, and pressure persists during the first sessions of my use. Despite the quirks, I'm quite impressed with it. As for the right size, downsizing half a size from my street shoe went perfectly, which is more half a size less than what the size recommendation. In summary, they are fantastic climbing shoes!"
"From a completely extraordinary vacuum fit heel to a super sensitive toe, these all-around shoes are for anyone ready to take their climbing to the next level. Unquestionably magnificent."
The Instinct VS holds an exceptional balance across its fit, features, and sturdiness. The shoe offers a performance capable of overcoming anything that you throw at its way. It might be a little expensive compared to other brands, but considering what its made out of (Lorica microsuede, performance Vibram soles, Bi-Tension randing), the price is well justified.
The ever-present quality assurance of a Scarpa built shoe, also adds for longevity. It means that the whole package will be worth your investment. With a four and a half star rating in most online retail stores, the Instinct VS' pedigree speaks volumes for itself.
Overall, previous owners praise it for its durable design that is perfect for challenging surfaces and bouldering. Which explains why Scarpa had to go with the stiffer form and toe grab. While the shoe is a bit wide for other people, the snug fit prevents your foot from sliding around them.
It is recommended that you break them in at a gym since it may take a while to become comfortable. Persistent use also improves the overall fit. Regarding quality, the instinct VS are fantastic shoes, and they offer a firm grip given the circumstances.
The velcro strap adds a refreshing option from laced up climbing shoes as they are easier to slip in and out. Although beginners may have a tough time adjusting to the footwear, mid-tier to advance rock climbers will be delighted with its excellent performance.
We highly recommend the Scarpa Instinct VS, especially for athletes that are looking to tackle more challenging courses.