James From Outside

Having been a fan of the Instinct S for ages (and the whole Scarpa range for that matter!) I was excited to try out the new Instinct VS. About the only trouble I ever had with the slipper version was that if pulling very hard on the heel it could sometimes pull off, so the Velcro strap seemed a worthwhile addition.

training at home on the woodyIn practise the Instinct VS actually feels pretty different to the rest of the Instinct range, the toe is more pointed which is great for getting in narrow pockets. It also feels stiffer than the slipper, which for me is great. The heel is lower volume and with the single Velcro tab it is by far the best heelhooking shoe I have ever used, it just wont budge at all! The shoe is built like a slipper, ie a sock feel tongue with no split, which makes it feel so secure. Its fit is further enhanced by the Velcro strap and the Bi-Tension technology (a tensioned band which runs under the arch) makes it extremely powerful, a performance boot all the way from toe to heel.

The entire toe box is covered in rubber which makes toe hooking and dragging brilliant. I have been totally convinced by Vibram rubber for years now and so there was no surprise that the XS Edge is once again sticky as a very sticky thing!

Basically the Instinct VS is a beast! I use my Instinct S for most things, including big routes in the Alps, as it is so comfy. I’m not convinced I would do the same with these but what it lacks in comfort it makes up in power and brilliant heel hooking and is no doubt designed more for short steep hard problems or routes. I have no doubt it will become hugely popular for boulderers, sport climbers and even trad climbers who are looking for that little bit more oomph!

View the Instinct VS page

James works at Outside Hathersage