Review: Scarpa Vapor V Climbing Shoe

Post 4 of 15

Scarpa Vapor V Climbing Shoe


I recently made the switch from LaSportiva to Scarpa shoes for my approach and climbing shoes. I have to say that it was a little scary to switch to another brand after 10 or so years of climbing in LaSportiva and being so familiar with a specific fit and sizing.

First off, I got a pair of SCARPA Vapor V. I was looking for an all-around shoe that could still offer a high level of performance. Something that could climb steep sport routes, smear, edge, climb well indoors and outdoors, but still had a comfortable feel for long routes. These shoes are AMAZING!!!

The Vapor V provides lots of performance, incredible comfort, and they break down quickly. It’s not the most performance oriented shoe out there, but it performs VERY well at almost everything. The Vapor V has enough of a downturned toe to be precise on very small holds, but allows for a somewhat “relaxed-fit”.  Scarpa’s innovative Bi-Tension system gives you the power to toe-down hard without the pain: it has a Velcro design with two user-friendly and quick velcro closures that provide easy adjustment. The wide-ish toe-box allows for a comfortable fit and it really focuses power and performance to the toes. The fit is tight without being uncomfortable, and the level of performance is outstanding considering how comfy the shoes are.

The only 2 downsides that I’ve found so far are that the heel can feel a little bit roomy if you don’t size them down enough. They will stretch a little bit, so get them slightly tighter than you think. The second thing is that if you climb cracks with them, the upper material is not very resistant and I wish that the rubber would extend over the toe knuckles.

I highly recommend these shoes as an “all-around” performance oriented tool. Being a rock climbing guide in the Wasatch means that one day I might be climbing a multi-pitch crack route, teaching a sport climbing clinic the next, and doing laps on 5.12’s on a day off. These shoes allow me to do everything without having to switch every time. Well done Scarpa!

Alex Lemieux

This article was written by Alex Lemieux