Scarpa ZG 65 XCR
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: £100 +
Very nice boot except poor build quality. Mine disintegrated very rapidly well before they were at all worn out.
- Poor quality
In fact they started coming apart quite soon after buying them (hole in the fabric part). I should have taken them back, but I really didn't expect them to continue to disintegrate quite so rapidly.
Price Paid: $289 Aussie - We get ripped off in OZ
My feet must be made for Scarpa boots as I have had the least problems with blisters and aching feet. I am on my second pair of Scarpa ZG 65 XCR boots and I swear by them.
I recently wore them on the Mt Whitney day trail hike, walking the 22 mile return trip traversing rocks and rubble most of the way and with ice and snow above 12500 ft due to afternoon storms. They performed fantastically and my feet were protected and comfortable.
I will buy a third pair soon as I have worn the Vibram soles right down to almost bald on the ball of my feet - Yes chewed up many miles and the uppers are in very good condition.
Materials: Leather and Fabric with Gore-Tex XCR
Use: Sub 30 lb pack, all trail conditions, 3 season all-weather conditions, day hikes
Break-in Period: About 20 miles in rocky terrain
Weight: Reportedly 2.75 pounds average
Price Paid: $97.50
I worked at an outdoor outfitter and had access to discounts and plenty of time to try on boots (we were encouraged to do so to be able to give mini reviews to customers). These boots fit my higher arch, medium width, low volume foot beautifully once I found the right combination of footbed (Shock Doctor) and sock (Smartwool Adrenaline). They were tight in the toe for the first 20 miles or so, and my heel was just slightly shifty, but once they were worn in to my feet, both of these problems went away.
I chose them not just for the fit, but was drawn to them for certain features: large toe rand, aggressive Vibram sole with hooked heel for downhill traction, Gore Tex XCR for increased breathability and waterproofness, simple but effective lacing to toe, light weight and great ankle support. I have been nothing but satisfied with them, and tried to pass that on to my customers, but never actually sold a pair. They have a unique look that seems to turn some people off, though I really like the look. They also don't fit just anyone - I have found they fit lower volume feet best.
I have hiked Mt. Washington in them with a 29 lb pack, the AT through the Great Smokeys with a 26lb pack and numerous, less notable eastern hikes, including just plain old day hikes. With over two hundred miles on them now, only the soles seem to show any wear and they are as comfortable and waterproof as ever (I have replaced the footbeds once). At one point, they were completely covered in nasty Pennsylvania mud, but with some light laundry detergent, running water and a fabric brush (for detailing car interiors), I cleaned them up easily to look nearly brand new.
They resist scuffs really well and the extended toe rand protects not just your foot, but the boot itself. When these eventually wear out (and that does not seem to be any time soon), I will replace them with an identical pair, no question.
Price Paid: GBP 100.00
This is the fourth and last pair of Scarpas for me. The heel on my pair have insufficient padding, causing severe pain from the hard plastic heel cup. Usually there is only a little padding at the very back of boots but it may have been enough to prevent the pain I have experienced with these.
I can still use them for short walks and wearing light socks without option of a proper insole (Scarpa footbeds are famously inadequate), thus giving space to avoid blisters but with a loose fit.
In the shop I tried on two pairs of the same size, only realizing that they were mislabeled boxes and the boots were actually the same marked size. EXCEPT, they fitted differently (perhaps I got the pair with missing padding on the heel?). They were also designed slightly differently.
I have since looked at another pair of the exact same boot and they are only a little better regarding heel padding.
Thus a badly made boot, with sample variation. Why? Perhaps it is because Scarpa boots are now being made in Eastern Europe. My other three pairs were made in Italy.
Someone has mentioned the poor wet grip of these boots, but I find them to be good, and that includes a lot of stream hopping, wet moss, and such. They certainly have a deeper lugged sole than most three season boots, which is why I usually buy Scarpa. Perhaps it is a sign of product variation in the rubber. I find Asolo rubber (not Vibram) to be awful in the wet, so have tended to stay with Vibram when I can get it.
I'm told they look nice as well, if that helps.
Use: day hikes, backpacks, peaks and scrambling
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: $139
These are the best boots I've ever had, hands down. They fit my narrow, low volume foot well. They are extremely well constructed. Mine have yet to show any significant wear or deterioration after hundreds of miles.
I do quite a bit of Sierra backpacking, on and off trail, as well as occasional peaks and day hiking. The soles have great traction, and the stiffness is just right for talus walking. The rubber toe guard is great for jamming in cracks, and the overall feel is nimble enough that I've felt comfortable on class 3 and 4 climbs.
Materials: mixed outers with gore-tex linings
Use: very long backpacks and treks
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: $169
Excellent fit for me -- my foot is a tiny bit narrower than a typical 11D, and I find the Scarpa last perfect for my foot -- and very comfortable from the get-go, with no break-in period required.
As is usual for Gore-tex linings (in my experience, and as many bootfitters/sellers have told me), they worked very well when the boot was new but gradually lost their ability to keep out water as the boots aged (apparently because of dirt, since Gore-tex loses its efficiency as it gets dirty and it's hard to clean a boot lining completely).
My reason for giving this boot only three stars is that the leather lace loops came un-stitched in two places so that I could no longer lace tightly and then, eventually, I couldn't lace them properly at all. I typically tighten laces before a very long downhill stretch, then loosen back to normal for the next long uphill stretch, the downhill change being to keep me from sliding into the toebox. Note that Scarpa no longer uses the leather lace loops you see on the ZG65, which might be because of this problem.
I wore these boots for about 600 miles -- first about 150 miles of backpacking in Montana and then another 450 miles of trekking in Nepal -- and the tread and support features still had a bit of life in them, but I had to throw the boots away because of the lace loops problem.
Materials: Nylon/Suede leather/Gore-Tex XCR
Use: Rough terrain, mainly rocky
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: ~ $120
- very rigid at the ankle, great support;
- semi-rigid Vibram minimizes the shocks caused by the rocks;
- highly breathable;
- if they get wet inside prepare to wait 4-5 days to dry up;
- pretty slippery on wet limestone;
- feet will hurt after long trips.
Overall they're the best value for the money.
Price Paid: £100
After wearing leather boots for years I thought I'd try the Scarpa ZG 65 XCR fabric boot.
Good Points -- waterproof, light, good heel & sole shock protection
Bad Point -- ok if you have a narrow foot but I find the fitting a little tight compared to other boots I have worn over the years.
Materials: synthetic uppers, Gore-tex XCR
Use: Day, weekenders, 5+ days trips
Break-in Period: @20 miles
Weight: 2.5 lbs
Price Paid: $125
A comfortable lightweight boot that has the support for extended trips. I have a moderately wide, low-arched, low volume foot and the Scarpa line of boots fit me well.
When the salesman brought these out I was a little leery because of all the exterior guard material. This tends to cause pressure spots on the top and side of your foot when you are walking. Not with this boot though. My feet had no problems.
If you are used to ultralights then you'll want a set of cushion insoles like Sorbothane or Spenco. If you've been wearing all leather heavyweights then you'll flip over the lightweight comfort of these boots.
After 250+ miles they show no sign of failure or unusual wear whatsoever and I haven't had a hint of a blister. Use modified lacing to control snugness until you've broken them in, this is common among this level of boot.
Price Paid: $105
If you enjoy slipping on your butt--these are the boots for you. I believe that medium weight hiking boots should incorporate sticky rubber. ZG 65 XCR's, I learned the hard way, do not. On a well maintained dirt trail, they'll work great and make you feel like Ricky Ranger. But if rain, rock, snow or ice enter the picture, you're better off walking barefoot. I had two spills in the first two days of wearing these boots, the first resulted in a ding in an expensive camera lens. I've since taken a tiny drill bit and bore numerous holes in the slippery rubber lugs. Either this will help with traction or it will help wear them out quickly, which will suit me fine.
Materials: Leather and Gore
Use: Backpacking and climbing high peaks
Break-in Period: None
Weight: 2 lbs 12 oz. for the pair
Price Paid: $109.99
My first venture to lightweight boots. Excellent, as they fit me very well. I'm used to wearing Scarpa's heavy duty mountaineering boots and wanted to try a lighter pair to save wear and tear on my body. I typically climb 14ers and high 13ers, do a lot of backpacking and wanted a lighter weight boot that would be able to support my ankles and provide me with excellent traction, grip and comfort. These Scarpas hit the spot! If they fit your feet, buy them! They breathe relatively well and are for the most part waterproof. I like the fact that they are much lighter than my Cerro Torres and I can move a lot quicker in them.
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