Found A Better Price? We'll Match It.
Price Match Guarantee
"This carousel displays a list of buttons that updates the main product image when a button is clicked"
Scarpa - Instinct Climbing Shoe -XS Edge

Scarpa Instinct Climbing Shoe -XS Edge

50% Off
$89.48 - $178.95 $178.95
Changing the size selection, or changing the selected color after selecting a size, may change the associated price

Item #SCR0253




California Proposition 65


Cancer and Reproductive Harm -

Tech Specs

Upper Material:
Vibram XS Edge (3.5mm)
Asymmetrical Curvature:
Claimed Weight:
[single, size 40] 8oz
Manufacturer Warranty:
1 year

Why We Like The Instinct Climbing Shoe

If you are the type of climber who requires your feet to act more like another set of hands, evolve into a pair of Scarpa Instinct Climbing Shoes, and let the transformation begin. The Instinct’s aggressive shape and sensitive midsole sucks to your foot like a vacuum so you can push, pull, squeeze, hook, and grab your way to the top of the most perplexing problems. Scarpa's Bi-Tension system utilizes a reverse slingshot rand anchored under the toe-box for maximum power in the big toe without crushing your little piggies so you have the power to toe-down hard without the pain so you can show off your technique. Sure, it’s also a favorite of industry testers, but you don’t have to take their word for it. Slip in and let the crushing commence.

  • Aggressive climbing shoes for the most technical climbs
  • Suede upper and full-lace closure conform to the shape of your foot
  • Super-soft midsole enhances sensitivity and precision
  • Vibram XS Edge rubber resists distortion and performs consistently
  • The rubber toe-patch improves toe-scums, hooks, and bicycles

Workhorse for fat feet

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

If you have wide feet the Instinct is the way to go. The forefoot is very wide compared to most shoes and heel is mid volume. It's a great generalist, kind of fills similar niche as like Anasazi VCS but more modern and totally different fit

I'm a 11.5 or 12 and got them in 44.5 first, then switched to 45. I think they work better when sized for comfort with mostly flat toes than with a curl

Sticky bouldering shoe for narrow heels

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: 36.5

I must've tried on 20 pairs before finding these! I realized I need the LACE rather than velcro since my heels are quite narrow, and will slip out with any other type of shoe. (I found La Sportivas to have the largest heel cup by far. I've had 3 other Scarpas and they are the best fit for me).

I upgraded from the Scarpa Boostic and these were definitely a more aggressive fit, yet they never felt uncomfortable even on the first try. Immediately they felt sturdier and stickier. They are slightly less flexible in the middle which gave me the stability I needed on chips and edges. My toe hooks improved a thousand percent with the rubber toe box. And the clincher - they don't slip out on even sharp heel hooks (which I do a lot) like most other shoes I've tried. They are also very comfortable, I can wear them an entire session without taking them off. I've used them 1-2x / week for 2 years and still going. Note that I mostly boulder indoors, but I can see these holding up well outside.

Initial Comparison

  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: 41

I wear size 8.5-9 street shoe/ sportiva tx3/ 42 Miura vcs(baggy but comfy).
Okay so due to sizing availability I bought the Instinct VS in 41.5 and Instinct lace in 41 and the sportiva Solution in 41. These are my try-on impressions.
Instinct VS 41.5- perfect tight fit. Foot slides in and heel cup is tight. Toes slightly curled.
Instinct Lace 41- Foot slides in with some hefty pulling on heel loops. Heel cup tight af. No dead space. Toes curled up. Pain.
Solution 41- slips on nicely. Tight in toe box. Dead space in heal. Farting noise when walking around lol. Nope.

I sent the instinct vs and solutions back. The instinct lace is really tight, but I wanted a tight shoe after not going tight enough on my Miuras. I was a little worried the VS would break in and not be quite tight enough. Anyways hope this helps. I’m psyched to climb in them and I’ll update this after they’re broken in.

My gear head Robert was very helpful as well!

Thanks for the awesome review and great feedback on the sizing here Mitch! I hope these bad boys help you send some awesome routes!

Good Shoe for technical sport climbing

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Really good shoe overall, the edge is very firm and the pointed toe works really well and holds up great. As a couple others have said, it's definitely a little too loose in the heel, I find my heel hooks are less good in these shoes than I want them to be because theres some room in there. They also make a nice farting noise as I walk and squeeze the air out which I'm sure is super fun for everyone around me.

Great for Sport Climbing

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is an amazing shoe, for certain situations. In my opinion the Instinct is good for overhanging sport routes or boulders, however not so great for slabs. This is an excellent shoe, if you realize what you are getting. This is not by any means a do it all kind of shoe. However, if you are an advanced-expert climber looking to add an extra shoe to your arsenal, I would highly recommend the Scarpa Instinct. My only other complaint would be that the heel fits a little big. For sizing reference I wear a size 9 or 42 and purchased a 41, however I could easily go smaller. Most people will most likely want to downsize a full size from their regular street shoe.

Great multi-purpose aggressive shoe

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Very comfortable shoe for someone with slightly wide feet. Nice edges, nice downturn, lots of rubber on the toe and heel. The most comfortable pair of aggressive shoes I've ever used (although obviously this depend on your foot). I can wear them for 30-45ish minutes straight without much discomfort.

The heel is a little large for me, and I slip occasionally, but this isn't really a problem with the shoe, but more my foot. They also will turn your toes orange. I'm not a fan of the XS edge rubber either, it takes some breaking in to be sticky, and never really feels all that sticky.

Overall these are great all-around shoes, nice for overhangs, slab, any and all small foot chips. I've been really happy with them.

My go-to shoe!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: 41.5

I'm a huge fan of all the shoes in Scarpa's line-up, and these are no exception! I've had the Instinct VS for a while now, and it's been my favorite shoe for anything vertical to overhang, indoors or outdoors. I was looking for something that could everything well and still be comfortable on longer multi-pitch route, and the Instinct Lace has been perfect! I sized them for a good balance of performance and comfort at 41.5 EU (my street shoe is a 42), and my toes are just slightly curled at the front of the shoe. I can wear them for multiple routes in row without any discomfort, but they don't ever feel too loose or sloppy. They've been great on everything from techy slabs to mildy overhanging routes, and I've even been pretty comfortable in some cracks with them! They do lack in sensitivity, as the XS Edge rubber is a little thicker and harder on this shoe than some other, but they do give my feet a little bit of extra support. This shoe is undoubtedly a jack of all trades, and a master of a few of them too!
If you have any questions about the sizing on these, give me a call at 801-204-4691 or email me at!

Badass Shoe

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: 41.5

After owning, loving, and starting to wear though my Instinct VS's, I decided to get a pair of the Instinct Laces to add to the rotation. I've got em both in 41.5 and they fit exactly the same. They both have the same curvature in the sole with just enough downturn to create power in the toe (but not enough to make things super uncomfortable), and they both have that same heel cup that sucks your heel in like a vacuum. Love em both.

As mentioned in some other reviews on the net, the lace version is a little stiffer, so it edges a little better at the cost of a little bit of feel (vs the velcro). The material on the top is downright luxurious, and the whole deal is super lightweight and awesome. I don't like stiff shoes, so I like the fact that these are a bit stiff in the front, but only have a 3/4 sole, so you retain some feel/bend overall. I rekon these will be perfect for edgy face climbs outside, just as the velcros seem perfect for steep boulders. I also prefer the softer rubber on the top of these vs the velcros, as it was easier to break in.

Pricey, but worth the $ for this mediocre climber looking for any edge I can get on my next project.


  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs small

These are great climbing shoes, but they do NOT run large, I suspect that reviews stating they run large come from people purchasing the direct translation of their street shoe size to climbing shoes, not sizing down for the snug fit you want from a climbing shoe. Most people wear a smaller climbing shoe than street shoe. Scarpa climbing shoes run notoriously small.

That being said, they are great climbing shoes if you buy the right size. Tight, nice clean toe point for hooking where you need to, and a good narrow heel.

Great shoe

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: 41

Awesome edging power, great toeing power. Stiff but not too bad. It does eliminate your ability to feel for holds somewhat, but thats the nature of the design. Toes were a bit cramped until after a few uses, but all around a great shoe.

Great Shoe

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: Runs large
  • Size Bought: 42

Full disclosure, I'm a relative newbie to the climbing scene but a bunch of friends and family have been doing it for a while so I began bouldering a year ago. I've always been using house shoes but have been told time and time again to invest in a decent shoe.

I usually wear a 9.5 and I initially bought a 41.5 based on reviews here but they killed my toes. I kept taking them off to check to see if my toenails had fallen off because that's really what it felt like.

I went a half size up to 42 and they're still extremely tight, but they seem to be stretching and conforming to my feet well.

As far as the performance of these shoes go, they are pretty beastly. The difference may be more exaggerated for me since my last shoes were house shoes, but I went from climbing V2's and the occasional V3 to climbing V4's. My only issues are as follows:

If they are too small, the knucklebox will be very painful.
The heel is made to hug your entire heel so there will be what feels like a rubber strap against your ankles, and that can get uncomfortable over time.
The top part of the heel has 0 padding, it's just straight cut suede, so you might want to tape up your achilles before putting these things on.

One more note: Backcountry has a jarringly good customer service department. I swear, I wasn't paid to say that, but you'll see what I mean if and when you have to deal with them.

Precision, Comfort and Control

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

The only reason I didn't give these shoes 5 stars is because there is a stitching seam that runs right over the top of my big toe that doesn't feel great.

Pro's: I have a wide foot and that is something I have noticed Scarpa really caters to. I love the leather throughout the shoe compared to synthetic materials some shoes use. They have strong sticky rubber on the bottom, but I have surprisingly good feel on the holds with my feet. I am a big fan of the laces over Velcro straps.

Cons: stitching seam that runs right over the top of my big toe that doesn't feel great.

Overall these are my favorite climbing shoes. These will defanitely be a pair I get resoled !

Precision, Comfort and Control

Performance, and comfort!

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: 37

I recently got a bunch of shoes to try out, and these are pretty awesome.

They are aggressive, downturned and with really good rubber positioning on toes and heel, but, and perhaps it's my foot, they are pretty comfortable.

The laces are a good choice on this shoe because, due to higher comfort than the Boostic shoe for instance, you can leave them on for longer periods of time and really dial in the fit to your foot better than with velcro straps.

Sizing - there run a bit larger than the Boostic (tightest) and also Vapor Vs (in between Boostic and Instinct. I am a european street show 36-36.5; US women size 6-6.5 and i got these in 37. I could have done a 36.5 in hindsight, but it's nice to have a comfortable pair that is also aggressive.

Perfect for vertical, overhung climbs and boulders, really great edging. Not the best smearer, but it's not supposed to be, and this may improve once they break in more.

photo - heel hooking out of the overhang. they stick super well.

Performance, and comfort!

My favorite climbing shoe

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

This shoe has become my go to shoe for most climbs. Edge great, toes are great a fitting right into little pockets, and perform really good on toe and heel hooks. They smear OK, not great, but they are not designed to be a slab shoe. They have held up really well too, I have put close to 150 days of climbing on them, maybe 50 of those inside, but the rest on all kinds of rock, from Maple Canyon cobble, to Wild Iris limestone, to sharp granite of BCC and quartzite of the Uintas, and rubber is still thick and sticky. I have noticed no stretch to them, but the red dye in the leather will leave your feet red for quite some time. I would not recommend them for new climbers, but for those experienced climbers looking for a super good technical shoe, this is it.

Great Lace-Up Performer

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

I use these mainly on technical, aggressive face climbs from vertical to slightly overhanging that require precision footwork on small holds, along with shoe sensitivity. They are comfortable, as other reviewers note, but not sloppy. Often it's a toss-up between these and the Boostics on the same terrain, so I'll just alternate which shoe I wear from climb to climb. For a project, I'll test the route in both shoes and then decide which shoes feel best for the route in question. To me, the Instinct Lace seems a touch more sensitive than the Boostic, while the Boostic seems slightly stiffer. Both aspects have advantages.

Powerful, precise shoe

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

I graduated to the Instincts after using the lace up Vapors for about a year. The shoe shines in a variety of settings. It is stiff enough for hard redpoints on overhangs, but still offers enough sensitivity that you can "feel" around with your feet. These are my go-to shoe for redpoints, onsights, and flash attempts.

The fit is surprisingly comfortable for an aggressive shoe. I wear 42 to 42.5 in street shoes and the Instincts feel great at 41. There is a knuckle box (same idea as Evolv's Love Bump) in the toe that provides leverage without pain. I have wider feet and expected to suffer in these shoes, but they have been surprisingly comfortable.

Overall a great shoe for anyone looking to up their game.

Highly Recommended

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs large

Fit: I'd go a half or full size down from your street shoe size. I went a half size and there is still a bit of bagginess in the heel but if I go any smaller my toes will likely fall off. The toe box is relatively wide, not recommended for people with narrow feet. The leather will stretch a bit to fit your feet nicely and also dies them bright red.

Performance: Great for overhung and excellent at edging. Makes for an excellent bouldering shoe. The rubber is not as sticky as the discontinued Vibram XS Grip2 version that is still available in some sizes (as of October 2013) but it is still superior than most rubber I have ever seen except may be Five Ten rubber.


Footwear & Boots
  3 4 2 34.5 / 35
 21.5 3.5 4.5 2.5 35 / 35.5
 22 4 5 3 35.5 / 36 36 / 36.5
23564 37 / 37.5
23.5 5.5 6.5 4.5 37.5 / 38
24 6 7 5 38 / 38.5 38.5 / 39
25786 39.5 / 40
25.5 7.5 8.5 6.5 40 / 40.5
26 8 9 7 40.5 / 41 41 / 41.5
279108 42 / 42.5
27.5 9.5 10.5 8.5 42.5 / 43
28 10 11 9 43 / 43.5
28.510.511.59.5 43.5 / 44
29111210 44.5 / 45
29.5 11.5 12.5 10.5 45 / 45.5
30 12 13 11 45.5 / 46
30.512.513.511.5 46 / 46.5
31131412 47 / 47.5
31.5 13.5 14.5 12.5 47.5 / 48
32 14 15 13 48 / 49
32.514.515.513.5 49 / 50
33151614 50
*1 EU whole size = 6.6mm = 0.26in
*1 US whole size = 8.4mm = 0.33in
*the 30 EU sizes above cover the same size range as 24 US sizes
more EU sizes provides a better, more precise fit for your intended use

ROCK SHOES: downsize 1/2 to 2 full sizes from street shoe size
*downsizing depends on model, intended use, and personal preference

MOUNTAINEERING: upsize (1/2+ sizes) depending on desired fit
*Scarpa plastic mountaineering boots are based on the UK sizing scale

SKI BOOTS: all Scarpa ski boots are measured in Mondo sizing
*highlighted (or not) sizes share the same shell size; the liners are lasted for each 1/2 size
*some skiers may want to downsize up to 1 full Mondo size, depending upon personal preference
Boot Sole Lengths
Mondo Size22.5 / 23.023.5 / 24.024.5 / 25.025.5 / 26.026.5 / 27.027.5 / 28.028.5 / 29.029.5 / 30.030.5 / 31.0
F1, F1 Race, F1 Carbon 268mm 276mm 285mm 292mm 301mm 310mm 318mm 326mm 334mm
Mondo Size22.5 / 23.023.5 / 24.024.5 / 25.025.5 / 26.026.5 / 27.027.5 / 28.028.5 / 29.029.5 / 30.030.5 / 31.031.5 / 32.0
Maestrale, Gea 271mm 280mm 288mm 297mm 306mm 314mm 322mm 331mm 340mm 348mm
Mondo Size23.5 / 24.024.5 / 25.025.5 / 26.026.5 / 27.027.5 / 28.028.5 / 29.029.5 / 30.0
Alien 262mm 271mm 279mm 287mm 296mm 305mm 313mm
Mondo Size21.5 / 22.022.5 / 23.023.5 / 24.024.5 / 25.025.5 / 26.026.5 / 27.027.5 / 28.028.5 / 29.029.5 / 30.030.5 / 31.0
Freedom 257mm 267mm 277mm 287mm 297mm 307mm 317mm 327mm 337mm 347mm
Mondo Size22.5 / 23.023.5 / 24.024.5 / 25.025.5 / 26.026.5 / 27.027.5 / 28.028.5 / 29.029.5 / 30.030.5 / 31.0
T1 283mm 292mm 300mm 309mm 318mm 327mm 335mm 343mm 351mm
Mondo Size22.5 / 23.023.5 / 24.024.5 / 25.025.5 / 26.026.5 / 27.027.5 / 28.028.5 / 29.029.5 / 30.0
TX Comp 275mm 283mm 291mm 299mm 307mm 316mm 325mm 333mm
Mondo Size21.5 / 22.022.5 / 23.023.5 / 24.024.5 / 25.025.5 / 26.026.5 / 27.027.5 / 28.028.5 / 29.029.5 / 30.030.5 / 31.031.5 / 32.0
T2 Eco, T4 277mm 284mm 291mm 299mm 307mm 315mm 324mm 332mm 341mm 350mm 358mm