Scarpa Vapor Climbing Shoe - Men's

Performance and comfort in one.

The Scarpa Men's Vapor Climbing Shoe combines aggressive performance with smooth comfort for boulderers and sport climbers. Its suede and microfiber upper uses minimal stitching to eliminate hot spots, and the padded tongue enhances comfort on long climbs. Scarpa's Bi-Tension randing keeps the Vapor at a moderate downturn, and the Flexan midsole helps the shoe stay stiff for life. Vibram's XS Edge rubber gives this shoe a good grip on granite edges, slippery limestone, and soft sandstone alike.

  • Suede and microfiber upper
  • Bi-Tension active randing
  • Padded tongue
  • Flexan midsole
  • Vibram XS Edge sole
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

The Vapor Lace

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I am five feet eleven inches tall, 148 pounds, and measure 9 -1/2 D on the Brannock. Most Nike running shoes fit me perfectly (room at the toe, no movement in the heel) in a size 10. In the Scarpa Crux approach shoe a size 42.5 is all-day comfortable.
The Scarpa Vapor Lace Yellow (I include the color because there was once an orange Vapor lace that didn’t work for me) seems to run a little wider than La Sportiva rock shoes. It also has a relatively tall and structured toe box, as opposed to the chiseled or amorphous toe of some shoes. Although I cannot wedge the Vapor into finger-sized cracks, my toes completely fill the front part of the shoe – a definite plus for edging. The fit of the heel pocket is snug without cutting into the Achilles tendon. I tried out two sizes (a 42.5 and a 42) from Backcountry and decided to keep both: the larger pair for all-around and gym climbing, and a performance pair for steep edging outside.
Although some photos appear to show the Vapor lace with camber, the amount of downturn is minimal. After several gym sessions, it felt basically like a flat lasted shoe. What was new and different for me was the small, shallow cavity in the outsole just under the ball of the foot and the corresponding convex area inside the shoe. This felt weird initially, however, I soon got used to it and discovered that I could use footholds in new ways. The shape of the sole lets me better snag the edge of buttons and bulbous holds on overhanging terrain, and on slabs and vert the curved shape of the sole allowed me to wrap a little more rubber onto a hold, especially those out to the side, either pushing or pulling.
Another advantage these shoes offered was in crack climbing. Performance in the Mythos (my shoe of choice for several years) came from downsizing and then cranking the laces such that the bones in the ball of my foot were slightly stacked and bundled. The edging is quite good, but for me the crack climbing with such a fit was purgatory. What I discovered with the Vapor is that even with a performance fit and my toes curled, the relatively wider toe box allowed my feet to lie flat laterally and foot jams as such are much less painful.
The shoes broke in quickly after three or four sessions indoors. I have been using them 2-3 times a week since January 2017 and the size and shape have not changed. I can think of nothing negative about this shoe. Even its color, a vibrant yellow, has grown on me.

Great All-Around Shoe

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: 45

I've used the Vapor V's for about 18 months and I love them. I needed a new trad/crack climbing shoe to replace my Miura's and decided I'd give these a try, I could not be happier. They are fantastic as an all day multipitch shoe and I've been impressed with their ability on sport climbs and bouldering (5.11-12/V5-6) as well. I have a slightly wider foot and La Sportiva shoes just never feel right for me. The Scarpa Vapor line is straight Goldilocks just right for me.

Great!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: 41.5

I bought these to replace a more casual pair of Scarpa climbing shoes after I developed a nasty case of sesamoiditis in my right foot. These are stiffer, more aggressive, and have a noticeably thicker sole compared to the softer lines of Scarpa shoes available (for a high arched foot like mine, the softer/more casual climbing shoe wasn't a good fit, thus going with something a bit more solid like the Vapor). I find that overall, the weight distribution of these shoes places less stress on the ball of my foot and has almost eliminated the pain I was getting while using big toe edge on my right shoe. Also, these things are amazing for edging and tiny holds, while also being really comfy and supportive at the top of the foot. The laces make it really easy to dial in the perfect fit, and overall I'm SUPER happy with these. One thing to note for women (my feet were ever so slightly larger than the biggest size in the women's lace-up vapors): the back edge just above the ankle sometimes rubs a tiny bit, since they come up higher on your leg than a women's specific model might. However, I haven't found it to be a big issue while actually climbing, but seems like maybe more of a thing when walking around in them. This hasn't really caused any issues, it's just something I notice here and there.

Also looking at these shoes because I am prone to sesamoiditis. Its not at that point yet, but moving in that direction. Thank you for your review, it has convinced me to buy them.

Premium

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: 42.5 (wear 10.5/11 daily street shoe)

The synthetic suede is plush and forms comfortably to the foot. I wear a 10.5 street shoe / 11 in Brooks Cascadia and have a 42.5 Scarpa for an agrgessive fit. The heel also holds very nicely in hooks with little dead space. I'm blown away at the precision of the toe and overall edging power. The one caveat to all the greatness is that the upper is a little fragile. A sloppy toe drag roughed a spot of it up pretty noticeably. Overall very happy.

Sizing & fit advice for multi-pitch trad climbing?

For reference, here is a list of the other shoes that I have worn:
- Scarpa Techno, Size 42.5 (Good fit lengthwise and in forefoot, toe box width and height feels a bit too tight)
- TC Pro, Size 42.5 (Good overall fit, leaving laces in forefoot relatively loose)
- Tenaya Masai, Size 42.5 (Good fit lengthwise and in toe box, too narrow at forefoot, heel slightly baggy).
- La Sportiva Futura, Size 42.5 (Tight, performance fit, except for slightly baggy heel. Not wide enough for comfortable toe splay on slab and less than vertical climbs).

You'll most likely wanna go 43 if you're wanting to use them on multi-pitch. They will be more comfortable than the 42.5 so you'll be able to wear them all day.

Comfy Thin Crack and Edging Machine

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Size Bought: US 9.5/EU 42.5

This shoe is incredibly comfy, even for a very wide forefoot. At street shoe size (9.5/42.5), I have a snug fit all around, especially in my small, narrow heel. My toes are a little curved and my second-biggest toe is a little knuckled due to the taper of the shoe, but the fit is comfortable. I can jam .5 camalot and even smaller cracks with ease due to the combination of the thin, chisel-tip toe profile and pleasant torsional stiffness of the shoe. Additionally, I can stand on microscopic edges with confidence. The Edge rubber is a bit icy in cold temps, but with a little warmth and texture, they smear surprisingly well.
The standout features of this shoe are the thin, precise toe profile, ridiculous comfort, sensitivity, very thin stack height (between the bottom of the sole and the bottom of your foot), and the supportive stiffness and edging prowess.
The biggest con is the aggressive taper which slightly detracts from outside edging performance, but this could fit other feet better.
I had the piping around the tongue removed at Rock & Resole and the tongue stitching altered to eliminate the only hot spot behind my big toe.
I am planning on using this shoe as a hard, thin crack shoe and an all-day hard trad shoe. I intend to resole with Stealth Onyxx rubber to trade a small amount of edging ability for improved smearing.
I will purchase another pair a half size above street shoe size (43) for a dedicated thin crack shoe and all-day shoe. 43 fits my toes completely flat and the heel is a bit baggier, but the comfort is unparalleled.
This might just become my favorite all-around shoe. It does just about everything pretty damn well, from edging, smearing, and toeing in on steep terrain to heel-hooking and jamming. It fits my foot much better and edges much better than the 5.10 Anasazi VCS Blue, which was my favorite all-arounder before. The construction also seems to be of higher quality and the midsole is made of a thin sheet of plastic rather than cardboard.
To clarify, the toe is slightly down-cambered, but the shoe flattens out pretty quickly after breaking in. I would NOT consider this a downturned shoe, although it has the toe-in precision of one.
As a side note, this shoe has performed well on routes up to 12+ in the gym and crack lines on smooth basalt up to 12. On a particularly cold day in Eldo, I couldn't feel my toes and the rubber felt a bit icy, but the edging performance was undiminished.

Did you notice any stretch with this shoe?

Great All-Rounder

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: 44 (US M10.5)

Having had a lot of success fitting the Scarpa Instinct VS, but looking for a shoe which could smear more capably, and had more support for longer, less overhung climbs, I was interested to give these a shot. The shoe is sized very similarly to the instinct (I wear a 43.5 in the instinct vs for bouldering, and I ordered a 44 in these for all around use), and is definitely more comfortable. As a result, it doesn't have as much of that vacuum like fit that the instinct has, but that's to be expected for a more comfortable shoe. For bouldering it is slightly less capable, but more than makes up for this with its versatility. On slabs, you can get a lot of rubber down on the rock, so friction smears and very marginal feet feel quite solid. They aren't particularly stiff, maybe as stiff as the Instinct VS, so they sacrifice some hard edging ability in exchange for gaining some smearing confidence. A friend got the la sportiva otaki, and they are noticeably stiffer, so likely better for edging. I would highly recommend it to anyone who tends to fit well in Scarpa shoes (i.e. wide forefoot, lower volume heel), and maybe has trouble getting proper fit from narrower brands like sportiva.

Update: I've worn these for maybe a total of 20 days outdoors, and on a recent trip I was pulling the right shoe on and I managed to tear the tongue out of the shoe. It looked like it had been sewn in with a loop or two of thread, however the other shoe seemed more substantially attached... The tongue itself is just a rectangle of padded fabric, so it only needed a strong tug to rip out. Thankfully neither the tongue nor the leather was damaged and I actually climbed the rest of the day with the tongue held in place by the laces. Bought a needle and thread and reattached it. Still annoying though, since the rest of the shoe seems so solidly constructed.

Great All-Rounder

Comfy climb

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: 42

I liked climbing in these shoes, pretty good edging, fun sport route and bouldering shoe. my main complaint was a narrow toe box (similar to a la sportiva Katana) and not a great heel hold. (shallow heel)

like a glove

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs small

These shoots are comfortable enough for multi pitch climbs. they have excellent grip on any surface of rock. I prefer the lace up model because it gives me a truer fit and grip around my whole foot as opposes to the Velcro model.

Edge on a Dime

  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: 42

I'd consider this shoe a high performance agressive all - rounder. Supple sensitive and pretty comfortable for its aggressive downturn, i'm able to jam this shoe in cracks.

But where it really excels is on dime edges. When you need to stick to that match book edge, these are killer. I've padded my way up slabs, but also have pulled on overhanging boulder problems. Great revamp to an already killer shoe!