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Scarpa Instinct Review

   

Climbing Shoes - Men's

  • Currently 4.4/5
Overall avg rating 4.4 of 5 based on 4 reviews. Most recent review: November 24, 2012
Street Price:   Varies from $116 - $145 | Compare prices at 6 resellers
Pros:  Super-sensitive, precise toe placements.
Cons:  Not comfortale for long periods, not the stickiest for toe-hooking.
Best Uses:  Sport climbing and bouldering.
User Rating:     
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 (5.0 of 5) based on 3 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (2/2) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Scarpa
Review by: Chris Summit ⋅ July 28, 2011  
Overview
This is a solid shoe but it is not one of our top picks. We would rather go with a high performance Velcro shoe like the La Sportiva Solution or Scarpa Booster for hard boulder problems and sport or a more all-around shoe like the La Sportiva Miura. To get the most performance out of the aggressively down-turned toe, you need to size these tight. And if you size tight, we much prefer a Velcro shoe like its sibling, the Scarpa Booster, so you can get it on and off fast.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
The aggressive down-turned toe and rubber on top of the toes for toe hooking makes this shoe excel at steeper angled rock. It has a very aggressive shape, which really transfers power to tiny edges. The fit was great no dead air spots. Overall, the shoe exudes quality construction (we did our best to not let the mini Italian flag on the shoe bias us). It uses suede leather uppers and Vibram XS Grip2 rubber (same as the comparable and popular La Sportiva Solution).

How does this compare to the Scarpa Booster? The main difference is the design of the toe box on the Instinct, which seems to be a slight bit more precise and pointy for tiny holds than the Booster. The Booster has a more rounded toe box that is better at smearing but not quite as precise for standing on small footholds.

Dislikes
The toe hooking rubber didn't seem as sticky as other shoes such as the La Sportive Solution. The main dislike was the time required to take these on and off when working on a hard bouldering problem. However, if you are sport climbing this is not as big a deal. The shoe seems to fit so well already that the laces don't seem that necessary; Velcro would be just fine.

Compared to the La Sportiva Miura, the Instinct is better for really steep sport climbs, but the Miura edges better and is a better all-day shoe. We felt we could only comfortable wear the Instinct for 10-15 minutes.

Best Application
These shoes are built for steep angled sport climbs or boulder problems with the aggressive/down-turned toe. We would only use this shoe outdoors and definitely do not recommend it to beginners.

Value
These shoes have lasted us much longer than most. So while they are a bit expensive, we expect them to give a great long-term value.

Chris Summit

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: November 24, 2012
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (5.0)

100% of 2 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 67%  (2)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 3 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Nov 24, 2012 - 01:10pm
to be honest, i find myself disagreeing with most of the outdoor gear lab reviews when it comes to climbing gear that i have used.
you do not need to take these very small, they are perfect at a comfortable size. they also perform much better as an allround shoe than as a pure sport shoe, and are much better at overhanging climbs than the Miura as you noted. overall this is my favorite shoe for hard multi pitch routes on granite and limestone because i can have it on all day when sized properly and still edge well at say 5.12.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Nov 24, 2012 - 11:46am
 
Rankin · Climber · Greensboro, North Carolina
The reviewer is still stuck in the early 90s when he says to size these tight. The only thing you will get out of that is pain. The design of the shoe is such that they will climb very well at a reasonably comfortable fit. Even though they are unlined leather, the stitching is such that they will not stretch a lot.

And they do climb very well. I use them for hard bouldering and hard trad, but not wouldn't use them for cracks.
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   Aug 24, 2012 - 07:21pm
Grambo · Climber · North Conway, NH
I have been climbing and guiding for 20+ years and have worn many shoes from several of the major (and not so major) shoe companies and Heinz Mariacher (now with Scarpa) hits another one out of the park with his design of the Scarpa Instinct Lace. Despite the aggressive look of this shoe with the slingshot rand, steep and deep heel cup and down-turned toe, the shoe performs well on steep slab and cracks as well with its torsional stability and sticky Vibram XS Grip 2 rubber. The design forces a majority of the climber's weight over the big toe to direct precision on inside and outside edges and a slight love bump in the ball of the foot removes that dead space often encountered with a flatter less precise shoe. A larger toe box accommodates a wider foot and enables the climber to fit the shoes a bit more snug without feeling the discomfort that often accompanies downsizing and it does so with just the slightest bit of sacrifice in some cracks (generally the 3" -4" range). These shoes smear with the best of them and, despite a relatively firm platform, are about as sensitive as a slipper would normally be. If you are looking for one of the best all around performers and have liked the way the sportiva miuras feel…but disliked the narrow, low volume toe box…these are the answer for you.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Scarpa Instinct
Credit: Scarpa.com
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