User Review: Scarpa Men's SL M3
In the past 3 years I have worn these boots in a multitude of conditions and temperatures from the Cascade Range to the Appalachian Mountains and a lot in between. I'm ultra critical when it comes to footwear so with that said:
As for construction, these are the best boots I have ever put on my feet. The one piece upper means no seams to bust or leak. As for the fit, although I purchased the wide version I had to have these boots stretched which was not an issue and these boots are really tough. As for size, these are true to fit but keep in mind to allow for natural foot swelling. Also, be sure to break in these boots well before your first hike as the leather uppers are thick!
(The following review of the SL M3s includes a Montrail Enduro foot bed (5 stars!!) that was added and the use of mid-weight wool socks.)
PROS:On the trail, these boots provide superior support especially when packing heavy loads. The Vibram soles traction is impressive on wet, slippery rocks and in wet conditions, these boots, with silicone impregnated leather will keep your feet dry. (I do highly recommend maintaining the waterproof properties with Nikwax, but don't over do it as it makes re-soling a problem!) In the Cascade and Rocky Mountains, on steep descents I have never experience toe bang and after long, extended hikes, I have never experienced hot spots.
CONS: The SL M3s are a bit heavy. This issue does not outweigh the pros, especially in mountainous areas but on flat to moderate trails these boots feel a bit overkill and on long, extended hikes on the AT these are not my first choice (opting for light weight gore-tex). In addition, I find these boots hot in the summer months in the southeast. Being waterproof leather, these boots are naturally not going to breath like gore-tex.
BOTTOM LINE: An extremely well made boot that, with proper care and maintenance, will last you a decade or more! Proper sizing is the ultimate factor to bond and fall in love with these boots and they require a break in period.
If your hikes include heavy packs, mountainous, winter and wet terrain: 5 star.
Flat to moderate and warm summer hikes: 3.0.
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