Since teaming up with Barrabes Ski & Mountain I have been sent a couple of items to review from their online shop. First up a rockshoe that I am pretty familiar with as it was my first ‘proper’ attempt at a more technical piece of climbing footwear. Up until 2014 I had done all my climbing in the previous (orange) Vapour V and found it to be a great all rounder so I was interested to see how the newer 2015 edition compared to my trusty old pair.
One thing that was immediately clear was the sizing had changed (or maybe my feet had). I had gone half a size down with my older Vapour V but upon receiving the new shoe in the same size it felt quite slack at the heel and forefoot. I managed to get a pair a full shoe size down which were much better although I still have a slight gap near the heel. I do however have slim feet so also need to pull the velcro right down. These shoes do not need any breaking in, they were really comfortable straight out the box and are well suited to all day climbing.
Once donned I found the slightly down-turned appearance slackened off and the shoe fell almost flat. The Vapour V are not meant to be aggressive, so if your redpointing at your limit maybe you would look elsewhere for a specific fit; however, Scarpa do market these shoes as an ‘all rounder’ and having only used them on single and indoor routes they feel very comfortable yet technical enough for difficult pitches. I haven’t done any outdoor sport climbing in the Vapour V either but the comfortable fit will allow for hot feet, and like my old pair they will be my ‘go to’ shoe for Spain during the Autumn.
A quick look at the Scarpa site will fill you in on all the technical features. I am a big fan of the Vibram XS Edge rubber, as the name would suggest the shoe feels great and responsive whilst standing on small edges. I found the overall structure of the shoe quite stiff and the rubber actually feels supportive. I have to say I personally gravitate towards routes with very small holds so prefer a thinner rubber such as that used on my Instinct Slipper, on which, Scarpa use the Vibram XS Grip.
Expect the Vapour V to last a long time with its great build quality the shoe feels very durable which is what you would expect for a recommended retail price of £115. With its textured heel for hooking, stiff midsole and great rubber, the Vapour V are once again going to be a very popular shoe amongst an array of climbers climbing a wide range of grades and styles. For a very comprehensive list of Scarpa Vapour V sizes, see Barrabes.co.uk