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Scarpa SL Active

rated 2.5 of 5 stars
photo: Scarpa SL Active backpacking boot

Sub-standard boot after the Scarpa Kinesis Pro GTX boot. In Australia (at least) I can't get the Kinesis Pro boot anymore and the "next best" Scarpa product is the SL Active boot. But the SL Active lace clasps aren't nearly as good, and the liner causes SEVERE blisters when they become wet.


  • Great Vibram sole
  • Fit is good out of the box


  • Sub-standard clasps that are hard to tie and don't have middle 'lock off' clasp. Liner is now leather instead of Gortex and when it gets damp/wet, causes blisters.

Mainly comparing the SL Active to the Kinesis Pro GTX premium Scarpa boot.  In Australia, as well as many other countries, they are phasing out the Kinesis Pro boot.  I've had three pairs and they have been fantastic right out of the box.  But NOW I can't get them and they are only selling the SL Active.

The differences are only a couple of issues, but they make the boot uncomfortable/painful and not very useful on long hikes.

The clasps are different now.  They are more "open" and don't catch the lace as well when you tie the boot. Then they even sometimes fall off the clasp when wearing them (if they aren't really tight). Then they don't have a mid-level tension 'tie off'. The Kinesis Pro has the ability to have the bottom of the boot tight and the top loose or vice versa due to the clasp halfway up the boot. No big deal, but big deal after a few kms.

The Kinesis Pro had a Gortex lining at the heel. This acted as a type of 'teflon' for the heel and has never given me blisters when wet or dry even after 35 kms on several day.  But now the SL Active has leather.


I've had 3 pair of Kinesis Pro in the past and loved them out of the box.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $450 AUS

A solid boot for the mountains, marshes, and mayhem.


  • Indestructible outside
  • Solid sole
  • Little break in
  • Decent ankle support


  • Soles very slippery on ice
  • A bit heavy
  • Heal pocket formed very early
  • Expensive

As a hiking guide in Banff National Park I needed a boot that was comfy, had good ankle support, and was virtually indestructible. If you waterproof these boots properly they will become just that.

I just wish I could say that about the insides, but then again they would not have been as comfy. So after 5 years I replaced these boots with the exact same boot. Don't ever stop making them.

Revised Review 9/17: It lost a full star because a heel pocket started to form after six days and I had to put Gorilla Tape on the inside to keep it from getting larger.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $250

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half sizes whole sizes
Price MSRP: $359.00
Historic Range: $199.99-$359.00
Reviewers Paid: $250.00
Sizes 40 - 47 48 - 50 - -
Weight 810g / 1lb 12oz (1/2 pair size 42)
Upper 2.7mm Sherpa HS12 Leather
Lining - - Back Half: Leather Front Half: 37.5® Fabric
Midsole Lite PU
Outsole Vibram Biometric / XS Trek
Insole Activ Plus
Last TM
Rand Full
Country of Origin Italy
Product Details from Scarpa »

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