Scarpa Instinct Lace
The Scarpa Instinct Lace is the all-rounder of the Instinct climbing shoe family: stiffer, with rubber made for edging, with a performance heel and a profile that make it perfect for high-end trad and edgy sport climbing.
The Scarpa Instinct Lace is the stiffest climbing shoe in the highly prolific, performance-orientated Instinct family. A longer ¾ midsole adds better foot support for edging manoeuvres, and the TPU cage wraps the foot and prevents torsional movements and roll during extreme edging. Rather than painfully cramming the toes to achieve power, the Bi-Tension System pulls power from the toes to give immediate performance with less tension. Features the award-winning heel from the Instinct VS to ensure the highest performance when heel hooking, and the Stix toe patch has been utilised for superior durability. Best on long sport routes or complicated trad climbs, but can perform in all types of climbing.
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Vibram XS Edge
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Vibram XS Edge™
Rubber compound built for maximum performance on micro holds and extreme edging. This formula uses an improved plastic deformation resistance that ensures the utmost stability, rigidity, and support on footholds in hot or cold weather, as well as generally increasing durability.
A rand that that pulls power from the toes to achieve performance with less tension and less painful toe cramming. The Bi-Tension Rand also reduces the amount of rubber needed under the toes, which means a lower weight and a higher sensitivity.
Full Features List
• The most supportive and shoe in the Instinct family
• Curved, asymmetric shape for steeper climbs but focus on edging power
• A reverse slingshot rand anchored under the toe area and connected to the heel removes the need to cram the toes in the toebox, retaining both edging and overhang ability
• Award-winning Instinct VS Heel for the best in heel hooking performance
• STIX toepatch is highly durable and hardwearing to survive harsh and frequent toe-hooks
• Seamless micro-suede synthetic is comfortable on the foot
3 product reviews
Some background: I'm an intermediate climber (6c or so, 7a on a very good day) and these were the second ever pair of climbing shoes I bought.
Fit: I'm UK 7 (EU 41) on the street and went for UK 6 (EU 39.5) with the Instinct Lace. The first session was agony (or maybe I'm a wimp), but after ~5-6 h of wearing them the fit became fantastic. I have wider feet and appreciate the space in the toebox. As a reference, my big and second toe are about the same distance from my heel. Unfortunately, the Instinct Lace is rather wide throughout, and since my heel is narrow there is air on either side of my heel when in the shoe (other reviews have noted this - it probably will never result in the shoe coming off during a hook, but just to let you know...).
The asymmetry is welcome and I feel I can put a lot of pressure through the big toe. Combined with the rigidity of the upper and the Vibram XS Edge, I can confidently match feet on the tiniest of holds, so I'm happy about that. The manufacturer calls the TPU upper a "cage" and this is accurate - your foot ain't gonna roll any time soon. As such, this shoe is an edging weapon. But this rigidity comes at the price of insensitivity. Sadly, I'm a lighter climber (54 kg) and cannot put enough force through the shoe to get much friction. I simply cannot trust these shoes while smearing on volumes on a delicate slab boulder. So while the Instinct Lace shoes are my top-roping friends, I've invested in a pair of Instinct VS-R (same size) and these are my bouldering babies (man do they stick and smear like a dream - see reviews for that model if interested).
Durability: I've used the Instinct Lace for about ten very long indoor sessions. After already two sessions there was wear on the TPU cage where it contacts the front rubber (where the shoe "hinges" as you step). After ten sessions, I seem to have gone through a noticeable/worrying amount of Vibram sole in the toe area, although this could be related to me deliberately spinning my feet on holds when warming up on routes.
Minor point: the soles of your feet will become very orange after wearing these. You can wash the shoes with warm water to remove some dye, although make sure to let them dry thoroughly. Antifungal spray in the shoes helps keep them fresh.
The shoes has a relatively tight fit , similar to the velcro version. The velcro shoe is definitely better for hard bouldering, whereas the lace version is a good shoe for long sport routes. The sole is stiff and offers great stability on small footholds. Overall great for indoor sports climbing and hard outdoor projects. I prefer softer shoes (la sportiva skwama) for bouldering.
First had the Scarpa instinct VS which fits well but having the laces allows for a more dialed in fit. Sizing is the same as the velcro version, which suits my foot (wider forefoot with a more square toe area) and once broken in are tight but still comfortable, unlike other shoes for me. These shoes are great on overhanging terrain and heel hooking, edging is great as well, and once worn in they are fairly good at smearing as well. They stretch very little, but still loosen up a little bit, I'd say somewhere around 1/4 to 1/2 a size. Overall a great shoe that I will keep using unless I find something that fits better.