Winter has given way to Spring, and those with Instinct are shelving their AT boots for rock climbing shoes, and headed for the warmer climates to return to the sharp end. From sport crags to boulder fields, SCARPA’s Instinct VS is the tool for versatile precision and performance in a sophisticated package. “The Instinct models are my favorite and most used in the entire line,” says SCARPA athlete Sam Elias. “And though it’s called the Instinct VS, and is supposed to be an ‘Instinct,’ it’s truly a different shoe.”
Combining a powerful Bi-Tension rand system with all-Lorica® construction allows the shoe to dynamically adjust to different kinds of high-grade climbing. “This results in the shoe “pulling” harder on the footholds, aka more consistent power to the toes,” says Elias. Lorica® is a synthetic leather that stretches but won’t stretch out, meaning it will move with the contortions of your feet but won’t lose its structural consistency the same way that a leather shoe will over time. The result is a shoe that combines high performance for bouldering, sport climbing or hard trad with a surprising amount of comfort.
Moderately downturned, the Instinct VS employs a very powerful, slipper-like elastic top, and then improves control, power and fit even more with a power strap over top of that. “The shoe toes in super well,” maintains fellow SCARPA athlete Gord McArthur, “sticking you to the smallest of holds on the steepest of routes.” A two-part sole, with 3mm thick Vibram XS Edge rubber, allows the front and back of the shoe to work independently of one another for dynamic climbing. “The sole isn’t one piece like the slipper and the lace versions,” says Elias. “It does fit exactly like the slipper and the lace, but it’s tensioned differently, and will definitely hold its downturned shape throughout its life, especially through the midsole.”
The heel is something special too; it’s the only model in the entire SCARPA line that has rubber on the entire outside. “I heel hook a lot, and am always heel hooking on fabric,” says Elias. “This won’t be a problem with the Instinct VS, and it will heel hook the best. This shoe is kind of a cross between the Instinct Slipper and the Booster, and it will be the shoe that I use the most.”