User Review: Scarpa Men's Barun GTX
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $180
No frills three-season boot, very comfortable on rock. Works best with break-in time. Proven methods and materials of impressive performance and quality. All-leather design simply not as cool (temperature) as fabric.
- Clean up really well.
- Can be hot.
- Included footbeds about as thick as a business card.
- Sole tread showing initial visible wear after about 100 miles with a pack.
I have had minor heel blisters along my achilles with these boots but I am willing to write these off to break-in time. My latest hikes using a heavyweight sock over a wick sock have been blister-free. I have Birkenstock 3/4 length orthotics under the footbeds.
Scarpa has served me well for about 10 years now with approach shoes. My feet are medium width. Width is perfect for me in a 46 medium from them. Wide sizes I cannot say.
Ankle support is generous. The boots felt wooden at first but now feel like heavy glove leather molded over my foot. Underfoot pebbles, roots, and pointy precipices are not felt. The sole could be a shade stiffer for me. Steep sections of trail have left little eyelet imprints in the leather from the boot bending. For the other 96% of my hiking sole stiffness is on the money. Scarpa approach shoes are stiffer than most this way. I feel stiffness takes a load off the balls of my feet.
Sole tread pattern looks like its ancestors were Montagnabloc. It has more void area than that classic design. The lugs are deep. The tread compound is sticky on hardpack dirt and just gets better on rock. No guarantees in the rain but these boots give confidence in general. Hike all day on snow and the leather, despite its advanced treatment, will leak. It's a three-season boot. Creeks are a non-issue.
The boot has a Gore Tex lining but you are in the business of wicking sweat up out of your boots through your socks and the system overloads the way the tide comes in. That's the nature of leather—fine in alpine habitats.
Hardware is all metal. Tying laces off for a custom fit would be easy. No need in my case.
The noteworthy feature to me is the traditional design and materials motif benefiting from refinements in these familiar technologies. The upper has the characteristic Scarpa greek sandal swath of roughout leather stitched over the main smooth texture leather. It's like they're showing off how they can cut and stitch. The sole assembly looks right off a Scarpa Attack from 1991 but the innards are a laminate of modern materials to get that nice ride.
I test these boots on a seven mile trail that climbs and descends 2000 ft. with a 25-30 pound pack, closing in on 20 times. One or two small lugs on the sole are losing material. It is not as resistant to scratching as the traditional Montagnabloc. But I have no reason to fear a major failure in the field.