Scarpa Instinct SR Review – Climbed & Tested

Scarpa Instinct SR Review featured image

Stop your search for climbing shoes you can actually rely on–Scarpa has got you covered.

Today we’ll look at one of their most popular models: The Scarpa Instinct SR.

Let’s get into the Scarpa Instinct SR Review…

Scarpa Instinct SR Review – A Complete Climbing Shoe Review

Updating a climbing shoe that is already considered one of the best on the market can be daunting. Scarpa was tasked with introducing the Instinct SR, a slipper-like addition to their family of shoes.

They had to come up with something special, and I think they did.

Scarpa designed this product with indoor bouldering in mind, and for good reason. It is both no-fuss and impressive, easy to use yet technically powerful—the perfect shoe for someone who wants to get the most out of their sessions.

I’ve used it for single-pitch trad routes that are easy to medium-hard, and it performs exceptionally well. It’s also comfortable enough to use for long sports pitches where you know you’ll be there for a while.

Not only does this shoe work great for outdoor bouldering, but it is also perfect for indoor technical use. They are additionally quite durable and built to last.

The Scarpa Instinct SR Toe Box

Scarpa Instinct SR review of the toe box

The toe of the shoe, like all interactions of the Instinct shoes, is designed to be uncomplicated and effective. You can rely on it to provide power whenever you need it without any hesitation or doubt.

The molding and shape on the toe are elegant, making the shoe just as appropriate for slabs and overhangs.

The shoe is able to push hard off slopey plates or tiny nubbins and provides a consistently uncomplicated experience, something that I really value in an indoor shoe given the amount of time spent on circuit boards or routes.

The rubber foot coverings fit snugly onto the top of the foot, and like all other Instinct shoes, it is great for hooking because there is plenty of easy contacts.

The Scarpa Instinct SR Heel

The heel on the SR can, like all slip-on climbing shoes, potentially slip. The amount of comfort vs performance you desire will come down to how much heel slipping you are willing to endure for your selected use.

If you’re going to be competitive in these shoes, you’ll need gear that works well. Make sure your hooks are small enough so they grip the wall securely, and then use the heel as a great tool.

If you know you’ll be wearing them for long hours, buy half a size up from your regular shoe size for increased comfort. Additionally, as the age of shoes, they may become more pliable and roomy.

The heel is adequate, if not slightly excessive in design with unnecessary bumps and dots that don’t add any value. Even so, the heel works well for different types of indoor and outdoor dancing, and it adheres when necessary.

The Rubber of Scarpa Instinct SR Climbing Shoes

With XS Grip 2 rubber on almost all their performance shoes, as well as M50 rubber for the heel and toe hook panels- Scarpa provides a firm grip. The shoes are durably made to resist extensive wear and tear, perfect for climbers who love longer bouldering sessions.

Even so, they can compete with other shoes in the same category by providing great sensitivity and power transmission. I’ve used them for various activities indoors and out, and they show no sign of wear after almost a year.

How The Scarpa Instinct SR Fit

The shoes are comfortable when sized slightly bigger than what is recommended. This was briefly mentioned in the heel section, but it is worth its own note.

You may lose out on a couple of percent of performance, but you’ll be able to wear these for long indoor sessions or outdoor excursions.

If you size down for a snugger fit, they’ll work great as a performance shoe on steeper routes.

I wear the same size as my street shoe, which is comfortable but not aggressive. The recommended downsize from street shoes is between .5 and 1.5 sizes.

The Scarpa Instinct SR Verdict

The Queen of Shoes. Comfortable, affordable, and with a history of greatness from a line of shoes climbers everywhere adore. In the last year, Scarpa has become my favorite brand of shoes. A lot of their models are really good, but these are the best ones yet.

The Instinct SR is an all-rounder made for indoor and outdoor enthusiasts. They provide great performance in a wide range of terrain, from slabby edges to complex overhangs.

The Scarpa Instinct SR on a boulder

Is Scarpa Instinct Aggressive?

The Scarpa Instinct SR climbing shoe is not classified as an aggressive shoe. It’s designed to be comfortable, allowing you to wear them for long hours while maintaining excellent performance.

Do Scarpa Instincts Break In?

The Scarpa Instinct SR is not a shoe that needs to be broken in. It fits comfortably right out of the box and, as it ages, may become more pliable and roomy.

Does the Scarpa Instinct Stretch?

The Scarpa Instinct does not generally stretch. It is designed to fit snugly as soon as you put them on, but if you buy a half size up from your usual size, you may experience some extra room.

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