Who doesn’t like a good slipper? Although not quite as warm and cozy as the pair I wear while watching hours of climbing on YouTube, the Scarpa Instinct SR is a new slipper style shoe joining the already popular Instinct line of Scarpa shoes. The Instinct SR does share some similarities with the previous slipper the Instinct S like it’s elastic upper tensioning and Vibram XS Grip 2 rubber, but the SR is essentially a completely re-designed shoe.
The Instinct SR is still the softest shoe in the Instinct line and I found it to be very sensitive. It was easy to judge friction and had a surprising amount of power when standing on small foot holds. The bi-tension system Scarpa uses in the shoe seems to hold tension well considering there are no straps or laces to hold your foot in. Scarpa is using two different types of rubber on the heel. A blue strip of super soft and thin rubber runs straight up the back of the shoe. It sticks very well on plastic, but I did find the heel rubber to be a little thin for slapping up a heel on sharp rock.
The most obvious change to the SR over the previous Instinct slipper is the massive amount of toe rubber. The heel rubber may be a little too thin for my liking but the toe rubber inspires me with confidence when throwing out reckless toe hooks. The rubber is in all the right places and nowhere it doesn’t need to be, which helps the shoe to flex more naturally and increase breathability.
It did take 3-4 sessions of wearing the shoes to fully break them in, but after that I didn’t feel any discomfort even with my toes curled up in the front. I wear a size 11 street shoe and take a 44 in the SR. The shoe is a little bit on the higher volume side of things, but fit my slender foot just fine. My favorite place to pull on the Instinct SR’s was certainly in the gym. The sensitivity and toe rubber make them great for the boulder wall and the breezy on and off slipper style is great for in between quick sends. I wouldn’t reach for these if I was trying to redpoint my edging project, but would certainly grab them for any overhanging boulders or steep sport routes. I have also seen some images of pro climbers wearing these on the speed wall.
The Instinct SR seems to be a great update to the previous version bringing a host of great new features to make the shoe even more capable. If you like sensitive slipper style shoes make sure you give the Scarpa Instinct SR’s a try.