Tom Newman From The Climbing Depot
Scarpa Instinct VS Review
Just before heading to Switzerland in August 2012 I was lucky enough to obtain a prototype pair of Scarpa Instinct VS’s. After spending a week or two breaking them in I can honestly say these are for me, the best Scarpa’s I have used so far.
The toe down nature of the shoe obviously lends itself to steep climbing and does the job more than adequately. I found myself always going for this shoe when I went anywhere near climbs like High Spirits (8a+) and The Roof of Darkness Direct (8a+) which both involved needing to keep your feet on to be able to pull on the tiny handholds.
Before using this shoe the Scarpa Instinct Slipper was my shoe of choice, however, the one obvious draw back with the slipper was the heel. When using intensive heel hooks I found the slippers didn’t offer the ultimate performance of a Velcro of lace-up alternative. However, the new Velcro strap on the Instinct VS ensures this no longer happens. The heel is also fully coated in rubber which gives that extra grip when you have to place your heel sideways on edges.
As I mentioned earlier, the shoe is down turned and effective on steep climbing, yet it still maintains the softness of the normal instinct slipper. This allows the shoe to still be great on those slab smearing problems. I found this boot especially effective on a climb at the roaches called Trust (7a), which is an unsettling move off an improbable smear.
The rubber on the top of the shoe is an extra addition to the boot that only adds to its all round capability to work well on all terrains of climbing. This feature proved especially effective in helping me climb Permanent Midnight (8a+), a in Switzerland that involves a crucial toe hook move to have any chance of success on the climb.
Although the current retail price comes in at a hefty £119,99 I think this boot is well worth the money, especially when compared to other highly priced shoes that are on the market at the moment. And when it comes to buying a top-end shoe and parting with your hard earned at least with Scarpa you know you are getting the best build quality in the business.
Tom has been a member of the Scarpa UK Team for a good number of years and has progressed nicely as a boulderer. With ascents of grit test pieces like The Ace (8b) and Voyager (8b) he's certainly no slouch on the rock!!
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