Are Scarpa Instinct VS Women’s worth a try?

Short answer: YES. I have been wearing my Instincts for two climbing seasons now, and they’re my bouldering go-to and my stop choice for steep climbing.

  • Best used on steep, vertical, and tech climbing (like the Red River Gorge, Smith Rock, Maple Canyon, Hueco Tanks, El Salto, etc.)
  • Really great bouldering shoe!
  • Awesome heel and toe hook performance
  • Stiffer and flatter design than most other bouldering shoes, making it an all-around more comfortable fit
  • The fit and support is comfortable, especially since it’s an aggressive shoe
  • Velcro closure – no laces for the VS (men or women)… guess this could be a con, but I like velcro 😀
  • You’ll need to break them in – a couple of climbing sessions should do
  • Do NOT get these if you are crack climbing
  • They are NOT for slab climbing
  • They are NOT for vert/slabby multi-pitches
  • If you have a narrow foot, the toe box might not be as snug as you’d like. The toe box is perfect for medium to medium-wide feet

Baldwin Bash, v7

Climbing Magazine’s: The Science of Sticky Rubber

“Most sneakers you buyuse standard, mass-produced rubber formulas. Companies like Vibram, a manufacturer that produces much of the rubber found on climbing shoes, try to thrive in the niches. Vibram makes soles for smokejumpers who parachute into wildfires and for soldiers operating in both scorching Middle Eastern deserts and above the Arctic Circle. They make rubber for climbing-shoe companies like Scarpa and La Sportiva. Climbing-shoe rubbers XS Edge and XS Grip 2 are two of Vibram’s best-selling compounds.“


Scarpa has always delivered on high-quality, performance shoes. The rubber is a key aspect to a good shoe. Using Vibram® XS Edge, Vibram® XS Grip2, your edging, smearing, and toeing game will be ON POINT.

XS Grip2 is known for its high performance in the competitive field. It has a grip that provides pure friction when you need it. XS Grip2, rubber used to create the Scarpa Instinct VS shoes, is also one of the best for overhanging routes.

The XS Edge rubber is self-explanatory: best rubber out there for edging. From precision to durability, the utilization of EX Edge rubber on the Instinct VS offers the climber the best chances of sending and performing even on the smallest edges.

Small, next-to-nothing feet on The Angler (Joe’s Valley)

Sizing and Design

The sizing for the Instinct VS Women’s shoe is known for it’s wider toe box and appeals more to people with wider feet. They fit comfortably well – even for them being on the more aggressive side.

This is not a shoe you’ll be sliding onto your feet for slab routes because of how aggressively fit they are.


The Instinct VS Women’s shoe performs very well while you’re bouldering and climbing vertical to steep, overhanging routes. The real science and magic is behind the fit, style, and rubber.

Bi-tension rand and Flexan midsole provides the climber with prime confidence and performance in edging. Instincts are unique in the sense that they have given me the stability I need on the wall from heel to toe! The stiff toe allows for the most technical edging and footwork, whereas the down-turned shape will always be there to support your heel hooks and toe hooks when the problem calls for it.

Bicycle action with the Scarpa Instinct VS Women’s
In Conclusion

I’ve used my Instincts for the techy, vertical climbing. When I was in Ten Sleep and trying hard on my projects, the Instincts were my go-to shoes because of their comfortability, how they perform on small edges, and the precision the overall design of the shoe offers.

My Instinct VS Women’s shoes have also allowed me many redpoints on routes at the Red River Gorge – a climbing Mecca area known for it’s steep, pumpy, and overhanging routes! The shoes heel hooked and toe hooked their way up some pretty rad routes. I rely heavily on these shoes, and they seem to get the job done.

If you’re looking for a versatile shoe for single pitch climbing that calls for vertical to overhanging routes and need to step up your technical climbing game, I’d suggest trying out a pair of these shoes. The aggressive shape to the shoes support you on steeper routes, and the stiff sole on the shoe allows for more technical climbing and small edging. They really do support you while you’re either hang dogging or redpointing. The Instinct VS women’s shoe is an all-around high-performing shoe. Click here to find them on Amazon.

About Taylor Stogsdill

Hi! I'm Teacher Taylor. I teach, travel, and climb. I live for adventure, new experiences, and take pleasure in meeting new people! I share my experiences with anyone who is interested and curious. Teach On. Travel On. Climb On.

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