Scarpa Instinct S Climbing Shoe – Vibram XS Grip2

We’ve read the reviews across the web for the Scarpa Instinct S Climbing Shoe – Vibram XS Grip2 and summarize the results below:

Universal Ranking

PeakScore: 85 (out of 100)
User Rating: 4.2 stars 
Expert Rating: 4.5 stars

Number of Ratings Reviewed: 92

Pros & Cons

Reasons to buy:

User Reviews

  • Very sensitive and precise toe.
  • Great for bouldering.
  • Great edging power.
  • The rubber breaks in quickly for a strong grip.
  • Easy to take off and put on.
  • A great fit for people with wider feet.
  • Excels at overhanging routes, except for its weak spot of heel hooks.

Expert Reviews

  • Very versatile.
  • Great at toe-hooking, jamming, and scumming.
  • Very sensitive rubber.
  • Top performer on vertical-to-overhanging terrain.
  • Inexpensive for the performance they offer.

Reasons NOT to buy:

User Reviews

  • The slipper design makes heel hooking less secure than laced shoes.
  • Stretch a lot during the break-in period.
  • Not extremely durable, but do hold up well to re-soling.

Expert Reviews

  • The rubber losses its stick in less than a year of heavy use.
  • Need a skin-tight fit to get their best performance.
  • As the shoe breaks in, the midsole softens up considerably and the edging power decreases.


The Scarpa Instinct S Climbing Shoe with Vibram XS Grip2 rubber is a comfortable and exceedingly sensitive shoe that excels on steep to overhanging terrain. The Instinct S offers a precise toe and great edging capabilities, but the slipper style does not offer great stability for heel-hooks, and the durability is questionable for the sticky rubber. The Instinct S requires some breaking in to achieve the best fit and stick, but it is an all-around favorite once it becomes well-adjusted.


Note: User and expert rankings were reviewed across the web. Some expert reviews include these: 1, 2.