I was very eager to love these boots. They look great and have a very high level of precise construction. It also seemed like I had finally found a true do-it-all boot that would work great for a mixed bag of tasks when trekking through the alpine backcoutry..
After a few weeks of use, I am not so sure Scarpa delivered on some important aspects of what this boot could have been. Also, while I have not "put it through the wringer" literally in terms of a full season of use, I have enough miles on them in mixed terrain to know how they perform. I've used them more than several times, that is for sure.
Losing rubber and lugs:
At first I noticed that the soles of the boots were loosing rubber at a very rapid rate, even within the first 6 mile easy hike on level trails. The toe area was already shaving down quick and foaming up. This didn't appear to get too much worse as I did easy break-in hikes on dirt trails. Once I started to hit some more rocky trails with some rock scrambles, the rubber just shredded away like it was made of cheese. I think if I lived in an area with only soft soil and no sharp rock, I would have never noticed this problem and the boots would have lasted a long time. But they are designed as an alpine trekking and light-duty mountaineering boot, not a day-hiker for the local dog park.
On one hand, the traction with these boots is amazing in loose dirt, snow, scree, sand, etc. They even grip pretty good on dry rock that has a rough surface. But once they hit any wet, smooth rock, they don't have any grip at all and become rather dangerous to use anywhere with exposure.
One thing is for certain, these boots are perfectly waterproof. They shed off water and the gore-tex extends very high up the ankle. But, when they get saturated from sweat inside, they can take a very long time to fully dry out. Much more so than any other GTX boot I have owned before.
For such a solid and stiff boot, they are really impressive for how light they are. My size 44.5 boots weigh 2.7lbs with the stock insoles.
The stiff sole is highly resistant to bending and provides excellent isolation from standing on sharp rocks. While this seemed like a great feature at first, I find that the lack of support in the ankle, along with the rigid heel cup, can put too much pressure and friction onto the back of my heels. If you have boney heels like me, then these boots might cause some serious pain on the back of the heel and on the tendon. Even just scrambling up short, steep sections, my heels are on fire with these boots, no matter how I lace them up. There just isn't enough leverage in the ankle collar to overcome such a stiff sole. If you have meaty heels and thick ankles, then you might have much better luck than myself.
When these boots are actually put on, they have a decent amount of room for a high instep. But getting them on in the first place can be difficult for my moderately high insteps. The sock-fit system might reduce bulk, but the tongue just does not open up much for sliding the boots on.
I also notice that the tongue itself is not quite wide enough to stay folded under the ankle collar at the top. Mine constantly pull out from under the collar overlap and bunch up under the top laces. This causes the ankle lacing to become loose and makes it a bit uncomfortable.