Pretty great shoe
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I had the pleasure of living in Yosemite over the summer and found myself using these as my main bouldering shoe. My first impression of these shoes was not great, however. I decided on a 42.5 since I size my muiras the same way, and holy sh*t these things were tight out of the box. I couldnt stand to wear them for more than five or ten minutes at a time. That being said, the uppers are unlined leather, and after a while they stretched quite a bit and now provide an aggressive, yet comfortable fit. (though sizing aggressively means losing out on comfort no matter what shoe you wear)
As far as performance goes, the instincts dose not disappoint. Theyre very, very sensitive and edge almost too well. Ive also found that the added bit of rubber on the toe makes these shoes decent for short bouts of crack climbing, even with your toes curled up in a down turned toe box. I will say that these shoes arent entirely stiff enough for me, which is why I prefer Muiras, but I do think that the soles on these out perform the soles on my Muiras (XS grip2 vs. XS edge). I can stand on the smallest of edges comfortably, smear slabs all day, and even get after the cracks in these, but where they REALLY excel is overhanging sport routes. They just get the job done. The only downside, other than being incredibly tight out of the box, is that the heel does not work for hooking AT ALL. Granted, an experienced climber will make due without, but the heel does little to ease your mind when you find yourself in that mandatory heel-hook situation.
Bottom line: Great aggressive slipper. Works well for bouldering and sport, excels at overhangs, stymied by heek-hooks.