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Modern, attractive, affordable, and durable. However…
Modern, attractive, affordable, and durable. However they are so stiff and high I never felt sure-footed wearing them in dangerous steep country.
- Very lightweight
- Durable (so far)
- Relatively inexpensive
- No wearing in period required (no blisters)
- Not very tactile
- Sole too stiff and too high
I bought a pair of these to replace my Meindl Makalu Pros, which were great boots that I managed to wear out pretty quickly.
Straight off the bat I was impressed with the light weight of the Scarpas. Experienced hikers will know that the lighter the boots you have, the more energy you will have at the end of the day.
I'm always worried about blisters, but these boots came with me to the NZ Southern Alps with virtually no wearing in.
They are a little bit disconcerting to wear as the sole is so high it almost felt that I was wearing some kind of platform boot. It is also very stiff and unyielding and as a consequence I did not feel very confident clambering around very slippery wet and icy country with big falls a distinct possibility if you lose your footing.
This may have been because I have not been in the mountains for quite some time so was out of practice, but they definitely did not give me the sure footed confidence that my Meindl boots did.
However the Scarpas were totally waterproof and I hardly got my feet wet when crossing icy cold mountain streams. They were also pretty comfortable with no toe pinch, though they look quite pointy at the front. Insulation was also good and my feet were never cold at any time.
Despite being largely synthetic they came though a grueling five-day trip only looking slightly worn with no damage at all.
Still in the back of my mind I'm concerned about how I just did not feel sure footed in them.
I'm going back to NZ on another alpine mountain trip in January 2018 so will give them another run. Perhaps I will have more feedback after that trip.
* Update 23rd Jan 2018:
I used the boots again on another hunting trip to the Southern Alps. This time I felt more confident wearing them.
For running down Shingle Slides and moderate to steep rolling country they were great. Once again on the really steep dangerous bits I found them lacking in tactile feel. Mind you, I went into places where I really should have been roped up but wasn't.
I did get some toe pinch going downhill and almost started developing a blister at one point but this was more a bad choice of socks than any fault of the boots.
Once again after five days in the mountain they are still in almost unmarked condition, which for me with my gear is unheard of.