Scarpa Super Manta M4
Materials: Leather Heavy Duty Mountaineering Boot
Break-in Period: Fifty Miles (give or take)
Weight: 4.2 lbs.
Price Paid: $239
I purchased these boots back in December after waiting for the new updated model to arrive at the local mountaineering shops. Being that I have been climbing with older Italian classic boots such as Pivetta 8's and Galibier SG's, I didn't know how I would like the new types of boots.
Know what? I absolutely love the new M-4's a whole lot! In the past, I have suffered with vicious heel blisters while breaking in new pairs of mountaineering boots. With the Scarpas, the break-in period hasn't been too much of a problem at all. Granted, I am using state of the art Smartwool Liners coupled with Bridgedale Trekker socks. Nevertheless, after four months and approximately 200 miles, I can easily go five to ten miles without any blisters at all. I have a slight rough spot on the top of my ankles, even with the generous padding. I believe that one of the lacing grommets is rubbing me a bit there. I'm hoping that as the uppers further break in, this slight discomfort will go away.
All in all, these Scarpas are everything I had hoped for in a boot. The boot securely cradles my feet and they feel totally protected. One optional accessory that I added was the SofSole Athlete's Cushioning insole and these make my feet feel fine as well. There's enough room in the boot for this cushy insole and I removed the standard Scarpa insole and put this into my recently resoled pair of Pivetta 8's. I'll be taking the Scarpas for some spring climbing with crampons soon as from what I've heard, the Scarpas perform equally flawlessly with step in crampons. The M-4's are definitely recommended for people who want a stiffer boot without paying the price of the usual harshness of a stiff boot.
If you like to go on a few mountain hikes a year, it's a great boot, I'd give 'em the old five star rating. Fantastic stickiness on the lovely AK granite. Beautiful leather with pretty good water resistance (Nikwax paste is critical).
However, if you seriously use yer boots, prepare for the crappy soles to delaminate...frighteningly fast (8 months). Get 'em resoled with an older M3 sole. These are quite a bit tougher. In addition, the lace loops in the ankle WILL rip out. Oh yeah, one more thing. Carry the old speedy stitcher as the stitched on the heel will start to pop after a while.
In short SCARPA should have never stopped making the Bergell...they lasted 8 years and I miss them.
Materials: Sherpa leather HS12
Use: heavy backpacking/mountaineering
Break-in Period: Moderate
Price Paid: $195
Alright, this review is to set the record straight about this boot.
This boot is for Heavy Backpacking and Light Mountaineering, period! That is why they have the M4 crampon compatable sole, 3mm leather, and a full shank. If you want a boot for casual trail walking, moderate backpacking, or flat trails Do Not Buy This Boot!
This is a great boot, extremely well made, and very supportive. Scarpa (Black Diamond) C.S. is outstanding they helped me through every process of fitting these boots via e-mail.
Please I beg of anyone in the market for a new boot, shop and buy within your activity range and don't give a boot a bad review if you are not using it for its intended purpose.
Use: Light/heavy mountaineering, scrambling, backpacking
Break-in Period: 3 months
Weight: 4.2 lbs
Price Paid: $230-ish
This bot is awesome! I've used them since the early spring of 2003 and LOVED them. When I got em I went on a ski mountaineering day trip only with a few blisters (to be expected). These boots have incredable water repellency after slogging 10 miles in spring conditions. Very good ankle protection in scree, boulder fields, jumps. These boots dampen alot of pounding. Only down side is lacing (finding right fit, abrasiveness of laces), and a little weight. Once you start hiking for about an hour, you barley nocti it though. Overall, i'd buy em again, no doubt
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