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Gear Review

5 5

Logan F. Crooks

I have used these boots for a whole week straight in very rough, root-choked terrain, dirt roads and swamps in Rhode Island's Camp Yawgoog. These boots have treads like Alligator teeth to the point where I could stand sideways on a wet, mossy rock without slipping. The reinforced toe is very strong and while not a steel toe, gives you some peace of mind. The laces are the best I've seen come on a boot, but will probably replace them with some 550 Cord anyways. Some other reviewers of this boot said it felt like wearing sneaker, and while this boot is certainly light, you definitely feel that you are wearing a boot, especially when running. However, it probably didn't help that my field testing was my break-in period. Lacing is very secure (especially if you tie your boots Mountaineering style), however, at certain points, the boot was too constricting. This was my fault most of the time, but it was hard to find a happy medium between too tight and too loose. The boots are absolutely waterproof and while people say "Goretex doesn't breath", paired with the right socks (Darn Tough Vermont USMC Issue), the boot isn't overly sweltering, even in Summer heat. While NO structural or catastrophic failures occurred, aesthetic durability was a little bit lower than my expectations. The imaging on the insole and Made in Romania writing rubbed off due to friction and the tan "mooshy" material above the Vibram outsole and right below the greenish area (Pepper and Stone model) is partially abraded. This material is very soft and seems to be there for comfort, I feel this problem could be averted if Scarpa put a Cordura covering over the area similar to the Cordura Hydration Tube Covers for Reservoirs/Bladders on the market and on Source Bladders. Sizing was a little difficult in these boots for me, I am a 9.5-10 yet needed a 10.5 in these boots. I will be replacing the insole with a hard Superfeet one instead of the soft Scarpa one it comes with for more support with less comfort. I'll write a separate review on wash-ability when I see if I can restore the original Sand/Tan color from the current light brown that I got from walking in swamps and getting muddy. I guess my boots have character. I would not have any other boots willingly on the high-ropes, climbing, rappelling and zip-lining "Challenge" course I completed while there (except maybe Corcoran "Jump Boots" for landing shock). While not what they are meant for, they performed superbly. All in all these boots are PHENOMENAL! and worth every penny. As an added factor of cool and as someone already said, apparently these boots are being used by some members of the 75th Ranger Regiment (The U.S. Army's Rapid-Reaction, Special Operations Light Infantry Raid Force) in Afghanistan.

P.S. I'll post a review of how they perform in an upcoming Mountain Hike too.