The Italian boot and shoemaker SCARPA has a long tradition of making quality footwear. In recent years, they’ve been stocking their line with top rock performers like the Booster, the Feroce, and the Techno. For spring 2010 they’ve continued the trend with six new models, among them the hard-cranking, well-balanced Instinct. This downturned, bright red lace-up uses 3.5mm Vibram® XS Grip2 rubber and Heinz Mariacher’s Active Rand Technology. It also offers a notably comfortable fit for a high-performance shoe, and the finely crafted suede upper conforms glove-like to your feet over time. For a supportive shoe that can handle everything from bouldering, to sport, to trad cragging, the Instinct gets top marks.
FINE FIT The spacious toe box allows for a comfortable fi t, yet remains sensitive and responsive. Meanwhile, the downturned, pointed toe grabs micro edges and slots into pockets with aplomb. A generous sticky-rubber patch atop the toe makes these shoes highly capable on roof climbs and arêtes, where toe hooking is key.
ACTIVATION COMPLETE With the respected shoe designer Heinz Mariacher’s tensioned Active Rand Technology, the power of each step is sent back to the climber, making it easier to climb the way you’re supposed to: with your feet.
IN STITCHES When sized properly, an unlined suede upper like the one found on the Instinct conforms to your foot. But always on the details, SCARPA added a grid of stitching, too, to ensure that fi t remains dialed throughout the shoe’s life.
$139, scarpa.comSole rubber: Vibram XS Grip2 3.5mmUpper material: LeatherLined: No Midsole: TenoflexSizes available: 34-45 EU