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Quick-on, quick-off, quick-up.

The Scarpa Instinct S Climbing Shoe combines a seriously aggressive down-turned toe with the convenience of a slip-on design to get you sending quickly. To top it off, Scarpa added a super sticky Vibram XS Grip2 sole and wrapped the rubber over the toe to give you an edge on the steepest routes out there.

  • Unlined uppers will stretch about a full size
  • Down-turned toe for better performance on overhanging routes
  • Slip on design ideal for bouldering

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Scarpa Instinct S Climbing Shoe - Vibram XS Grip2

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

Best performance shoe

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

These are my go to performance shoes. They work for everything. XS Grip2 rubber provides sensitivity right out of the box, but the rand is thick enough to provide rigidity enough for even the smallest of feet. The last is slightly downturned which allows aggressive pulling on overhangs while still maintaining comfort on less steep terrain. Toe and heel hook like a dream. My pair sees regular use from slab to 60+degree overhangs. Very reminiscent of the five ten dragon, but the heel stays on better (does bite the Achilles for the first weekish) and the toe maintains precision much longer (no bulging of the rand).

5 5

If You Hate Lacing Up Your Shoes...

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

Sometimes -- usually later in a climbing sesh or during a second day on -- even tugging on a couple pieces of Velcro to close my shoes seems annoying to me. Enter the Instinct S. I wear these shoes on my warm ups, bouldering, in the gym, and even on easier vertical face-climbing terrain -- pretty much anytime I am "over" putting on shoes with laces or Velcro closure, or I want to be able to quickly pop my shoes on and off. I downsize my shoes two sizes down from street shoes (I like them tight!), so after a couple days of climbing, my feet want out as soon as I get to the top of a pitch -- and being able to reach down and quickly pull these off my heels is always sweet relief. As an added bonus, they offer precision and sensitivity!

5 5

Best Red Rock Sport Climbing Shoe Ever!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs small

Amazing shoe! Great fit, great toe box, nice pointy toe! Great at Red Rock and reasonably comfortable. I like it 1/2 Euro size bigger than Sportiva. These are soft/sensitive, so not ideal for Mt Charleston, but an amazing shoe at Red Rock and on steep climbs where edging power is not the top priority. My go to shoe for all climbs that are not edge (stiffness) intensive. I am now my second pair. I have found that rock and resole really knows how to resole these, FYI! They know how to maintain the cup and camber for a resole or two.

5 5

Easy on and off + Performance

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I loved the instinct lace-ups, but I needed an easy on and off shoe as I am beginning to get more into bouldering. This shoe has the same great performance as the lace-up, but the slip-on feature makes them ideal for the "3 moves and rest" nature of bouldering. For my wide feet, these seem to provide all the performance I need while not crushing my pinky toe and outside arch into smithereens. Very pleased after almost a month of very consistent use. I wear size 10 street and am very happy with size 42 in these. I've attached a cheesy little video the put the Instincts to the test.

5 5

A Great All Arounder

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

Super comfortable and high performance slippers. Extremely sensitive and edge very well. Overall they perform great on generally everything. I love using these primarily in the gym and on sport climbs that I know quite well. They slip on and off in seconds and seem to stay a good fit even after a lot of use. In some respects, the more you use them the better they get, and they resole really well.

4 5

Nice Slipper

I got these shoes almost a year ago because I wanted an aggressive high-performance shoe that I could use both for sport climbing and trad routes. I've got a size 9 (men's) foot, wide up front and narrow in the back, and got the 41.5. I sized them for comfort, and many folks my size would probably want a half or full size smaller. I've read some of the other reviews and pretty much agree with what others have to say. They take a few sessions to break in, but once they do, they are pretty comfy for such a downturned shoe. I've worn mine on multi-pitch routes and I'm OK as long as I slip my heels out when belaying. They even do OK for crack climbing (not too painful). They are definitely all business up front: super precise and powerful, especially for a slipper. They are great for techy granite footwork and sport climbing on steep routes. But they are also a little bit party in the back: the heel cup is baggy on my narrow heel. I don't do much heel hooking, so it doesn't matter, and the slingshot rand does a great job of driving your foot into the front of the shoe anyways. Full disclosure: SCARPA hooked me up with a pair of these shoes. However, I think I'd buy another pair to replace them. There's just something about Italian shoes that set them apart, and the Scarpa shoes tend to fit my wide foot better than the LaSportivas I've tried.

5 5


I love Italian climbing shoes!

Out of the box these things were awful... I wear a street size 10.5-11 US mens and got these in a 9.5. I had owned a pair of "Boostics," also from Scarpa, and I thought the similar sizing to be a mistake at first...

However, after a few sessions they stretched and are perfect now!

I have been developing a lot of boulder problems in the Western Sierra and they are holding up on the VERY sharp granite. I had the pleasure of jamming my feet into a crack yesterday and they performed well. They stick to micro-edges, smear comfortably, and have been great holding up to the abuse that developing causes.

In situations where moss wasn't cleaned before climbing newer routes, they still stuck to holds and safely got me to the top.

Also, they are SUPER comfortable now... Took a little while, but they're grrrrreat!

I will resole and order again from Scarpa as they remain one of my favorites. I say this shoe stands at the tip-top with the Sportiva Testerossa etc!

Thank you!

Responded on

So, after a short time these ended up falling apart on me pretty badly. They get to a certain point and de-laminate. The edge ripped away from the shoe, heals get SUPER SOFT and aren't great to begin with.

I prefer Sportiva to anything else on the market.

How is the sizing compared to the Mago?...

How is the sizing compared to the Mago? Should I get these in the exact same size or up/down?

Responded on

I don't know if this helps but I ordered one size lower than my street shoe size and they are wonderful-not too tight, not too loose and sloppy.

3 5

Good boulder shoe. Some downsides.

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have had these shoes for a little over a year now. I prefer to really put a product through the loops before offering my opinion. And this is just that, my opinion. I will start at the front and work my way back. (good news first)

The front section of these shoes are amazing. The rubber was always top notch, from frigid January boulder days to the warmer months and ample time spent at the gym. Everything from edging to toe hooks was phenomenal. The only down side to the shoes was the rubber section on the toes. After a day or two of projecting some overhanging problems and really digging with the toe hooks the rubber started to separate. Weird enough it didn't ever seem to hinder the usefulness of the shoe. After a year the front section could use a re-sole. But I would give it 3-4 stars for durability minus the upper toe section. I tend to drag my feet a bit when flagging out and my big toe is poking out on both shoes. (this is after a year of hard climging indoor and outdoors)

The in and out action was easy to get used to and they wore in excellent. After a couple weeks or less the leather really formed to my feet. The elastic section still holds firm after a lot of wear.

The only downside to these shoes is a loose heel section. I have spoken with several others that use these shoes and the consensus is the same. Amazing front, poor execution in the heel. They are not the best for aggressive heel hooks and if you really crank on them they tend to slip. Keep in mind I wear my shoes VERY aggressive and even sizing down a half size more than I normally do (in other scarpa's.) I do love these shoes though overall. If and when scarpa makes a shoe with a smaller heel section they will be on my list.

4 5

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.

Responded on

Paul - What is your street shoe size and what type of foot do you have? I have a narrow, low volume foot. I wear the same size in Muiras that you do, so I'm just wondering if you would recommend sizing up or down from the muiras as they tend to fit a low volume foot whereas other shoes might not. I wear a 10.5 to 11 in street shoes.

Responded on

I would recommend going a half size up in the Instinct to have a comparable fit to your Miuras.

Responded on

Agree, 1/2 size up from Muira VS (or any Sportiva's in my experience)