The new SCARPA Vapor is an evolution of the classic Vapor V climbing shoe. It features a stiffer last than the Vapor V and a redesigned one-piece leather upper. Straight out of the box the soft leather upper and shape of the shoe yells comfort.
My initial impression was the stiff last and sharp edges would be ideal for long routes with lots of edging. Happy to see these appear in my mailbox, I headed down to Dierkes outside of Twin Falls to test the Vapors out on overhung sport routes and the many boulders the area has to offer.
My initial impressions were confirmed when I pulled on the Vapors and climbed the first edgy, overhung route at Dierkes. The stiff last and sharp edges around the toe box allow for great edging while making techy sport moves. These could be a great shoe for Red Rock’s technical edging and long routes. While I did not get on any thin crack routes with these shoes, I think the Vapor could shine there as well. The toe box greatly narrows right at the tip of the toes, allowing for good contact in thin cracks and corners. The Vapors did not excel climbing on Dierkes’ pockety boulders but this was to be expected by their shape and intended use. It was a nice change to boulder in such a comfy shoe though. For easy and moderate boulder problems these shoes perform perfectly well.
My street shoe size is an 8.5 US Mens. My feet measure in at 25.5 centimeters (Mondo Sizing). I tested the Vapors in a EU size 40. I think these shoes run a bit small and next time I would size up at least a half Euro size. If I was planning on using these solely for longer routes, I might consider going up a full size. Even using them for techy edging I think I would still go up a half size. These shoes also fit a wider, higher volume foot.
Overall I think the Vapors are a very good shoe for technical edging and climbing longer routes where comfort is important. These could also make a great moderate alpine climbing shoe if sized appropriately. They are very light and comfortable which is ideal for bringing into the mountains. I am curious to try the Vapors out in Indian Creek this fall to test out their durability and crack climbing ability. Stay tuned!