Scarpa Vapor V 2015 ReviewSeptember 1, 2015
- Comfortable when tight
- Conforms to your foot
- Excels at most angles
- Not very sensitive
- Doesn’t grab holds on roofs
- Too wide for narrow feet
The Vapor V 2015 is an all-around, high-end shoe for indoors and out. The slight downturn and asymmetry of the last makes it aggressive yet comfortable, whether on slabs or 45-degree overhangs. Climbers with normal to wide feet will fit the Vapor V 2015 comfortably even when tight. Climbers with a narrow forefoot may not get the vacuum fit.
If there’s one shoe that can do it all, comfortably, it’s this one. Perfect for edges and pockets at crags like Smith Rock, Eldorado Canyon or Ten Sleep, the Vapor V 2015 also dominates such varied terrain as granite slabs, limestone overhangs and multi-pitch routes. Generous toe and heel rubber make these above average for hooking and scumming, but with a semi-stiff forefoot they’re not quite soft or flexible enough to grab holds on roofs. Its relaxed fit may have you donning a more aggressive shoe for your hardest sends.
This is one of the Vapor V 2015’s strong points, especially on slightly under to slightly over vertical terrain. A thin midsole and durable, Vibram XS Edge rubber helped testers stand confidently on tiny holds while being sensitive enough to allow them to feel when they should readjust a foot. The wide forefoot (standard for Scarpa) fits high-volume feet perfectly, to be able to edge on credit card edges without killing toes.
Despite their semi-stiffness, these shoes smear with aplomb. The slight downturn of the sole becomes flat with full bodyweight. This gave testers the full surface area for excellent smearing.
It’s always a balance between stiffness and sensitivity, and these lean toward stiffness. They’re sensitive for a moderately stiff shoe, but they’re no Instinct S.
Testers wore these babies on sandstone finger cracks and corners up to 5.12 and they performed surprisingly well. When jamming/smearing in a corner the sticky rand and toe rubber kept one tester from slipping off. The narrow toe profile can also stuff into ring-lock sized cracks and above, where the semi-stiff platform kept toes from screaming in pain.
At 4mm thick (average for shoes in this review), the Vibram XS Edge feels clunky out of the box. But after a few pitches the shoe conforms to the climbers’ forefoot and the rubber breaks in, giving you a durable platform that becomes more sensitive with use.
At the low end of shoe prices in this review, the Vapor V 2015 is an excellent value.