Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX
Solid classic gets several small but innovative upgrades.
- Very few seams
- Pretty light
- Integrated gaiter
I found myself on a different continent with sudden opportunities to go up to the Mont Blanc and do some ice and mixed climbing. I had some gear with me but not my mountaineering boots. After visiting all the rental shops that were open and not finding a boot that fit me, I had to bite down and buy a new pair. It hurt, but relatively little in the feet.
The Mont Blanc Pro GTX (upgrade from the Scarpa's classic Mont Blanc GTX) is built on the NAG last. I have very narrow feet, and these were slightly wide for me. From what I read is that these do not fit wide (otherwise I wouldn't have bought them), but not overly narrow either. I have to tie them pretty tight, but then do not get significant heel lift, or toes jamming into the front. I do think they fit a bit wider than my normal mountaineering boots - the TNF Verto S6K's.
solid rubber rand, one piece upper
high closure on the calf through integrated gaiter
I also find the inner sole/foot bed of the S6K's a bit more comfortable, but that could have been partly due to the thinner socks I had available. The Scarpa SockFit as Scarpa calls it, is very nice though. There are very little if any stitches or seams on the inside that you can feel. It seems as if the whole inner and outer are constructed out of one piece, which also means there is less to tear or leak or rub and irritate. Very nice.
The tongue has these PU ribs injected in them, which help spread the forces of tight lacing over a larger area. I found this to work quite well, but it depends how you lace. The ribs can also buckle a little, which although noticeable, doesn't hurt. It wouldn't be an issue once on the mountain, but is perhaps something to keep in mind, try out when you are lacing them.
Support is very solid as is to be expected from a boot with a full shank. The Grivel G12 New-Matic crampons that I used fit really well, which was especially good on the mixed climbing sections we did. It felt better and tighter than the same crampons on my TNF Verto S6K's, which are fine but have a tiny bit of play.
Ease of Use:
The boots were very easy to put on and tighten due to the quick lace system. The integrated gaiter is nice, two buttons shut them tight and you have two settings to choose how tight. If you are going to spend a lot of time in fresh or deep snow, I would still use separate gaiters though, as some snow can still get in between your boots and pants. For me ice climbing it wasn't an issue.
Even though these are full shank stiff mountaineering boots, the Mont Blanc Pro's do pretty well on the approach. There are softer PU inserts in the mid sole that absorb some shock and overall these don't feel overly clunky. They are also quite light for what they are.
These boots are meant for winter mountaineering, mixed, ice fall, and somewhat alpine summer. I got cold toes ice climbing, but I can get cold feet easily, and I didn't have the socks that I would normally have in those conditions.
The Mont Blanc Pro GTX's are light but very solid boot, with some very nice new features and a construction that is built to last. I have the feeling the TNF Verto S6K's are a bit better fit on my foot, but this is something that very much depends on each individual. The Scarpas, with their one piece upper and fat rand and overall construction feel more solid or long lasting.
Very much recommend checking them out.
Source: bought it new
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