Hey it’s Alex H here,

I have owned all the different pairs of Instincts from Scarpa, the VS (both laced and Velcro) and the VSR, over the course of several years now and have found them all fantastic.

I enjoy the Scarpa Instinct VS for tiny limestone edges however as an all rounder, no shoe has quite cemented itself in my heart like the Instinct VSR. To me they strike the perfect balance, stiff enough to be a great all-rounder indoors and out, even using it for the odd single-pitch trad route, but soft enough to feel truly comfortable smearing, hooking and scumming on the most disgusting of foot holds in Fontainebleau for example.

My hardest ascents have all been in the VSR’s and there is a reason for that, I just feel so comfortable and confident in them! I downsized a little bit to get a slightly more aggressive, performance oriented fit (size 9 wearing size 7.5), yet even out the box they felt great and have stretched a small amount since, creating the ultimate balance of performance and comfort.

The toe box wraps nicely and conforms to my feet superbly with no dead space, amazing for those tenuous toe hooks and the narrower heel cup almost forms a vacuum around the back of my foot, allowing for those bomber heel hooks. As for the midsole it feels snug underfoot and allows plenty of flexion in my foot during rock overs.

The rubber is phenomenal, utilising the Vibram XS Grip 2 compound, they stick like glue! In terms of durability I haven’t been able to fault them whatsoever, even when I’m yarding on the straps to get them that little bit tighter for my projects etcetera, the straps and tabs have remained intact and only shown the most minimal amounts of wear as has the rest of the body of the shoe, including the stitching all over, despite being thrashed 4 times a week.

Now of course the fit is crucial and not all shoes fit everyone’s feet the same, but what I can guarantee is that should these shoes fit you, you won’t be disappointed, they’re truly epic!

Written by Shop Staff

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