26 February 2010
My sponsors Scarpa have several major new rockshoe models coming through this year. First up of these is the instinct slipper. Trying them on at the trade show in Germany, I thought Wow! They are super comfortable. In fact, excellent comfort is one of the biggest things I have to say about the slippers. The fit seems well designed with no nasty pressure points and my toes feel exceptionally comfortable yet still held firmly enough for good performance. Like the Stix before them please don’t be put off by the toe downturn which feels normal as soon as the boot starts to break in after an hour or so bouldering.
Performance - The shoes have an all new rubber which seems to perform well and the grab is excellent on steep ground. In fact, I’d say they were the best shoes I’ve climbed in for training on steep ground or indoor walls and have now become my staple climbing shoe for all training, indoor climbing or coaching.
The only downside for me is the softness. My Scarpa colleague Andy Earl loves them for this very reason, and I guess it’s a matter of taste, but for long trad pitches or sport routes which aren’t so steep I do like 4mm rubber rather than the Instinct’s 2mm.
So like most people now I wear my Instincts for all training/indoor for it’s grab on steep rock, sensitivity and unbeatable comfort. But for trad or big sport pitches I’ll still be in my beloved Stix until I get my hands on the first 4mm Vapour slippers when the stock arrives.
For indoor use I’d rate the Instincts 9/10. Lovers of stiff shoes might think 8/10 and lovers of soft shoes might think they are the best on the market. For trad/easier angled use it’s a 6/10 from me but then my feet seem to need that 4mm rubber or they get tired!
youtube of them in action on my board below: