Scarpa Instinct VS Climbing Shoe – Vibram XS Edge

We’ve read the reviews across the web for the Scarpa Instinct VS Climbing Shoe – Vibram XS Edge and summarize the results below:

Universal Ranking

PeakScore: 90 (out of 100)
User Rating: 4.7 stars 
Expert Rating: 4.1 stars

Number of Ratings Reviewed: 214

Pros & Cons

Reasons to buy:

User Reviews

  • Able to fit wider feet comfortably.
  • Contours to the shape of the foot without needing to constantly adjust your laces.
  • The moderate downturn of the shoe makes it proficient for edging.
  • Can be comfortable when worn for multiple hours.
  • The toe box isn’t too narrow, so doesn’t jam your toes on thin edges.
  • The heel is solid and stiff, promoting support, with the outside being narrower and making the shoe ideal for heel-hook holds.
  • The toe is stiff, which provides greater power for foot holds.
  • The Vibram XS Grip 2 is placed on the heel, creating traction and stick for toe and heel-hooks.
  • No exposed leather on the shoe means stretching won’t happen, and you can purchase true-to-size.
  • The rubber still allows your foot to get a feel of the surface underneath.
  • An ideal shoe for overhanging holds.
  • You have the ability to use your toes in multiple angles and positions, adding to the functionality of the shoe.
  • The separate front and rear parts of the shoe have a joint between them, making the on-and-off process easier.

Expert Reviews

  • The shoe will lose very little of the downturn, even after multiple smears.
  • The Velcro closure ensures a snug fit.
  • Once you slip your foot into the shoe and hear the ‘pop’ sound, there is no more air in the shoe and it remains very snug.
  • The bi-tension rand allows the shoe to edge proficiently without being too tight on the foot.
  • Feels comfortable and stable in hand/wide-hand cracks.
  • Great for standing on the edges of vertical pockets.
  • The stiffening up towards the toe increases responsiveness, allowing for a greater feel of the terrain and power output.
  • Top choice for steep bouldering and sport climbing.
  • Instinct VS is the ideal shoe for limestone sport climbing.
  • The light feel allows you to navigate steep boulders and tight edges.
  • The extra rubber on the top provides extra grip on small footholds.
  • The downturned-make and rigidity make this an ideal all-around shoe.

Reasons NOT to buy:

User Reviews

  • Does not hold up as well during prolonged outdoor climbing.
  • The shoes can feel a bit stiff out of the box.
  • Despite the sole being extremely durable, there have been some reports of the toe cap splitting after a few months of use.
  • Some users may need to size-up for a more comfortable fit if you are not used to tight climbing shoes.

Expert Reviews

  • Longer break-in period compared to the competition.
  • This shoe is not recommended for those with a history of plantar fascia injuries.
  • Aggressive shoes with a stiffer make will be much more suited to crack climbing than the Instinct VS.
  • The shoe has too much volume in the toe area to fit into tight hand cracks, finger cracks, and pockets.
  • The stiffness reduces the proficiency to smear in crackless-corners.
  • Not sensitive enough for feedback on slabs.
  • Would not recommend these shoes for multi-pitch routes due to the comfort, specifications, and durability.
  • They resole well, but the upper portion can develop a hole over the toe if you size your shoe too tightly.


The Scarpa Instinct VS Climbing Shoe – Vibram XS Edge is designed for climbers who spend most of their time working in edges and want a durable, snug, and comfortable shoe. The moderate-downturn makes these shoes great for those into sport climbing, bouldering, and edging.


Note: User and expert rankings were reviewed across the web, including here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.