Scarpa Instinct climbing shoe review

by Anthony Lesik

Finding the right climbing shoe is not necessary easy business, however I personally believe that the time spent finding the right shoe is worthwhile. My climbing is definitely benefits from having shoe that fits me. Last summer I decided to try out the first versions of the Scarpa (the red ones) for a trip to Squamish; I had some mixed opinions about it after the trip. The shoe was very painful and stiff at first and took about 3 weeks until I was comfortable climbing with them. After about two months of climbing with them I was pretty disappointed on how they broke down, instead of having usual expected progression of first softening and then getting hole, for this shoe the rubber on the toe and the heel just started peeling off which made it very uncomfortable to climb. While looking for a new shoe I saw the new version of the Instincts (the black and orange ones), I liked how they looked and decided to give them a try. Here are some facts and observations I would like to share about the shoe.

  1. The first thing I noticed is that they put a thin piece of rubber over the heel exterior so it wouldn’t peel off (previous model suffered from it), also looks like they fixed something with the toe since it breaks like any other shoe now.
  2. Since the shoe rubber is noticeably softer it doesn’t take long to break in compared to the old Instincts. In two sessions, I could already climb hard in them.
  3. Has the perfect amount of stiffness.
  4. Lasts for a reasonable amount of time compared to other shoes I’ve used.
  5. One of the top aggressive lase up shoes; despite its aggressive sole it still works on slab.
  6. Good for both rope and bouldering.
  7. Ventilation works all right and the materials do not accumulate smells.

Overall this is probably one of the best climbing shoes I’ve worn so far, it performs great and doesn’t have anything I dislike about it. Verdict: I would recommend this shoes to anyone looking for a good aggressive shoe.

Picture of me sending Ride White Horse V10 in Scapra Instinct: