The Scarpa Vapor V is an excellent addition to the new Scarpa lineup. During a time when most climbers are trying to cram their feet into tighter and tighter shoes; the Vapor V offers a relaxed, all-around shoe that performs aggressively on both overhung and vertical terrain while offering a full day wear for the user.
The Vapor V is composed of a mix of Suede upper and Lorica lower. Straight out of the box, during the initial fit, the shoe offered a very relaxed, smooth fit with a stretchable, free-floating tongue that gave the foot room to comfortably dig into the toe box without a fight. This shoe is great for those with an average to wider foot as the fit allows for room within the toe box without the loss of precision when toeing in. The dual, opposing Velcro straps allows you the option to wear the shoe very loose or cinch it down snuggly over the soft tongue without feeling the straps dig into the top of your foot.
The heel cup is snug, no air pockets were present during the testing and the heel allowed you to pull aggressively on blunt faces, however, during the initial fit the heel cup rises high on the Achilles and rubs until the shoe is fully broken in, which took about 3-4 sessions.
The shoe was tested first on plastic where it excelled on small foot chips and smooth slopers before it was brought outside and used for gently overhanging sport climbing. This is where this shoe excels! Although the shoe edges quite well and can be used for everything from wider crack climbing to thin slab, gently overhanging sport is where this shoe can most readily be put to use. Climbers can enjoy both solid support and comfort during a full day at the crag without worrying about their toes numbing out during a long overhanging route or missing that edge they need during the crux sequence. Comfort without sacrificing performance.
The rubber on these shoes is the Scarpa Vibram XS Grip 2 and it is sticky. During testing the shoe was exposed to granite face climbing, basalt cracks and sandstone boulders and there was no visible slippage. That same rubber is also applied to the top of the shoe sparingly above the toe-box, but it is not recommended for toe-hooking as there is not enough surface area to grab a sustainable hook.
Overall, this shoe would be a great 2nd pair for a climber looking to pursue a full day of sport climbing or numerous nights bouldering at their local gym.
* Great fit for average to wide feet with a roomy toe box
* Free floating tongue offers a comfortable fit and easy-in
* Dual opposing velcro straps allows for an aggressive fit that can be cinched tight
Room for Improvement:
* The heel cup rubs against the Achilles during the initial test periods, but it does dissipate after a few
Note: The Scarpa Vapor V is the velcro (V for velcro) closure model of this shoe. The Vapor also comes in a lace-up as well as the Vapor S (S for slipper).