Jonowrote a review of La Sportiva Skwama Climbing Shoe - Men's on October 11, 2016
Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
I have been climbing in the Scarpa Instinct VS for the last ~3 years or so, but I wasn't able to find them on sale anywhere ($170 vs. Skwama $118 on sale) and was desperate need of new shoes. These are the closest things to the Instinct VS that I have found. I used to compare Pythons to Instinct VS but everything that was different between those two is practically gone when you compare the Skwama and Instinct VS. The only big difference is the slight "hook" or concave toe on the Skwama. I don't know what to say about fit though. Like most other La Sportiva shoes, you have to size way down for these. I wear street shoe size US 8.0 (40.5) but fall between a 37.5 and 38 (US 5.5 and 6) in these. They are definitely larger than Solutions but since they're a slipper style shoe (with a velcro strap) there's a bit more wiggle room. Plus the toes are a bit wider which is another reason why these are comparable to the Instinct VS. My favorite part about these shoes is the heel. It is a snug fit and doesn't flex much. But unlike the Solutions, these heels don't feel like someone strapped a lacrosse ball to your foot. And the biggest problem I found with the Instinct VS is that the rubber on the heel has a seam close to the bottom of the shoe--right in the sweet spot for heel hooks, which caused them to peel after about a year. These have rubber that wraps up the side quite a bit which means they aren't very likely to get torn off. Definitely recommend these shoes as a relatively cheap, aggressive, shoe ideal for toeing in hard and heel hooking like no other shoe.