Scarpa boots reviews

Near high base camp below Mount Whitney's East Face.

Review: Gear For Climbing Mount Whitney

By Michael Lanza

For our spring ascent of the Mountaineers Route on California’s 14,505-foot Mount Whitney—highest peak in the Lower 48—my 15-year-old son (in lead photo, above, approaching our high camp below Whitney’s East Face) and I used technical gear that you would use on many classic snow and glacier routes up peaks from Cascade Range volcanoes like Shasta, Hood, and Rainier to Mount Olympus, the Tetons, and the Alps. Here are my from-the-mountain observations about the gear that got us up and down Whitney, including backpacks, a mountaineering tent and boots, climbing hardware, super warm sleeping systems, and technical apparel.

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Gear Review: Scarpa Proton GTX Shoes

Scarpa Proton GTX
Scarpa Proton GTX

Hiking/Trail Running Shoes
Scarpa Proton GTX
$169, 1 lb. 7 oz. (men’s Euro 42/US 9)
Sizes: men’s Euro 39-47, 48, women’s 37-41
moosejaw.com

Everyone wants ultralight footwear for all manner of outdoor adventures these days, from light hiking and ultra-hikes to trail running and ultralight backpacking. Bonus if you can scramble a peak in them. I feel the same way. But that kind of hybrid shoe can be a challenging find. I put some trail miles on Scarpa’s new Proton GTX, a low-cut, waterproof-breathable trail runner that crosses over to hiking, and found it packs a heap of performance and versatility into one of the lightest pieces of outdoor footwear you’ll find.

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Gear Review: Scarpa R-evolution GTX Boots

Scarpa R-evolution GTX
Scarpa R-evolution GTX

Backpacking Boots
Scarpa R-evolution GTX
$239, 2 lb. 14 oz. (men’s Euro 42/US 9)
Sizes: men’s Euro 40-47, 48, women’s 37-42
backcountry.com

Boot makers are trying harder to design footwear that bridges the divide between lightweight, nimble shoes and heavier boots that have traditionally delivered more support and protection, but have also been stiffer and less sensitive. I personally applaud that trend, and based on what I hear from readers, I suspect consumers will like it, too. Scarpa’s new R-evolution GTX represents a step in this direction. Curious about how well they achieve this lofty goal, I wore them on a four-day, 86-mile backpacking trip in northern Yosemite National Park last September, and for three days on the 37-mile Kepler Track in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park in March.

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Gear Review: Scarpa Zen Pro Mid GTX Boots

Scarpa Zen Pro Mid GTX
Scarpa Zen Pro Mid GTX

Hiking/Scrambling Boots
Scarpa Zen Pro Mid GTX
$199, 2 lb. 4 oz. (men’s Euro 42/US 9)
Sizes: men’s Euro 40-47, 48, women’s 36-42
backcountry.com

On an October hike and scramble up 9,860-foot McGown Peak in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, involving about 3,500 vertical feet and 11 miles round-trip, about half of it off-trail, I put these new boots through every test from scrambling third-class rock to hiking at a fast pace on forest trails. And the Zen Pro Mid GTX passed with flying colors, proving itself an outstanding, all-mountain boot.

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Gear Review: Scarpa Zanskar GTX Boots

Scarpa Zanskar GTX
Scarpa Zanskar GTX

Backpacking Boots
Scarpa Zanskar GTX
$259, 3 lbs. 3 oz. (men’s Euro 42/US 9)
Sizes: men’s Euro 40-47, 48
scarpa.com

I’m a big fan of lightweight gear, including footwear. But sometimes you need boots that can handle anything: steady rain, mud, snow, scree, rocky trail, and the abuse of off-trail scrambling, plus deliver the support and protection for any circumstance, carrying any amount of weight. The best heavy-duty boots do all these things without actually feeling heavy or clunky. On an early-summer backpacking trip in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains and nine days of trekking hut-to-hut on the rugged Alta Via 2 through Italy’s Dolomites in July, the Zanskar GTX did all of that for me.

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