I’ve been a long-time fan of Scarpa’s Vapor V shoes, both the original and the 2015 updated version, they fit my feet well and really seemed to have found that Goldilocks zone of comfort and performance. The recently released lace-up version of the shoe, which is simply called the Vapor Lace (or just Vapor), takes the performance of the sport shoe into the realm of crack climbing, all while adding a little comfort.
- Sole: 3.5mm Vibram® XS Edge Rubber, full length
- Mid-sole: 1mm flexan
- Upper: 1.8mm suede, microsuede
- Color: Yellow
- Weight: 215g (20g lighter than the Vapor V)
Fit: The Vapor Lace fits much like the new Vapor V (which is not surprising as the same last was used) meaning that it’s great for people with medium to wide feet. Right out of the box I found that these shoes fit great, a bit more comfortable than the Vapor V which I believe is partially due to the laces which allow the shoe to conform to the foot a bit better but could also be partially due to the fact that the upper is made from a single piece. The heel is very secure and the shoe is surprisingly comfortable for longer periods of time right out of the box. That being said, I still take them off at the odd belay on full-day multi-pitch climbs or my toes get sore.
Stretch: I didn’t find that the shoe stretched much at all, they just relaxed around the wide part of my foot a bit. The fit at the store is really what you get.
Performance: These shoes perform amazingly well, they’ve upped my game by giving me confidence that my feet will stick to what I need them to stick to. In particular they’re stiffer than the Vapor V and so excel at smearing and thin edges while still maintaining the same great performance on steep face climbing and gym climbing. The slight downturn in the toes relaxes with use and so these are not the shoe for really overhanging type climbing where toe hooking is paramount.
Since getting a pair of these shoes to test out they’ve become my go-to for almost all the climbing I do. I still wear a high-top shoe for offwidths and moc for thin Indian Creek splitters for example but for everything else this is the tool.
Pros: Extremely well performing and comfortable shoe.
Cons: The slight downturn to the toe bags out with wear.
Overall: A great all-round technical shoe that provides exceptional performance in a very comfortable package. Whether a beginner or expert, if you have a medium to wide foot and want a versatile shoe that fits well and ups your game look no further. For all you Katana fans, the Vapor is similar but less expensive so you should check them out.
For a review of the velcro version, the Vapor V, click here.
Scarpa provided me with a sample for review but this in no way influenced our opinion of this shoe. Product photos were taken by Bonnie McIntyre of bonsta.ca.