Review: Scarpa Instinct Climbing Shoes

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Scarpa instinct lace up review

Shoe Profile



These aggressive lace-ups balance sensitivity and support on all kinds of climbs. They crush heel hooks with “my favorite heel in the Scarpa line...well-built shoes that will last forever.” Super-narrow toe for max precision.


Laces and a suede upper offer an adjustable fit for all-day use, but their aggressively downturned toe and tight heel perform best in single-pitch and bouldering settings. Narrower toes fit these best.


The Goldilocks of stiffness, the Instinct’s rigid Vibram rubber puts them “on the stiffer side of high performance” (Scarpa says stiffest in the Instinct family), but a flexy two-thirds midsole helps retain sensitivity.


Though they take a while to break in, the Instincts are ultra-sticky, quite stiff, and aggressive, with a “perfect heel that won’t budge.” Single-pitch sporties and boulderers look no further for your next favorite shoe.


Further reading
Review: Our Top New Climbing Shoes for 2016