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  • Scarpa - Zodiac Plus GTX Backpacking Boot - Men's - Shark/Orange

Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX Backpacking Boot - Men's

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    11 Reviews


    Left, right, left.

    It's tough to enjoy the journey when you're focused on the slosh and squish that comes with every step. Designed with a waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex membrane, the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTS Men's Backpacking Boot will keep your feet nice and dry if you take a slider hopping between mossy stones during shallow creek crossings or encounter soggy trail conditions after a rain storm.

    Scarpa designed the Zodiac Plus with a slightly softer flex than its more mountaineering-focused Zodiac Tech boot, but made this boot slightly more robust than its more trail-focused R-Evolution GTX—the result is a boot that's capable of handling long-haul trail excursions with a heavy backpack but is still flexible enough for peak-bagging missions across scree-covered alpine environs. Perwanger leather provides extra water-resistance when hiking through mushy alpine meadows, and the rubber randing along the toe and heel offers additional protection from the roots and rocks you'll undoubtedly encounter above and below treeline.

    • A backpacking boot designed for on- and off-trail travel
    • Waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex Performance Comfort insert
    • Water-resistant Perwanger suede upper with rubber toe rand
    • Three-density midsole saves weight and maximizes cushioning
    • Sock-Fit construction reduces bulk and enhances fit
    • Scarpa has been designing mountain footwear for over 70 years
    • Item #SCR004L

    Tech Specs

    Upper Material
    Perwanger suede
    Gore-Tex Performance Comfort
    polyurethane, EVA
    Vibram Drumlin
    Claimed Weight
    [single, size 42] 1 lb 3.2 oz
    Recommended Use
    hiking & camping, backpacking
    Manufacturer Warranty
    1 year

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    Perfect right out of the box

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
    • Fit: Runs small
    • Size Bought: 46 1/2
    • Height: 5'9"
    • Weight: 175lbs

    Had to return the first pair because they really do run small. Received the replacement pair in less than 48 hours, just in time to do a 5300' vertical hike/ climb in the North Cascades the very next day. I did use my custom foot bed and a medium/thick pair of Darn Tough socks. After reading all the reviews on long break-in times, I was ready for an unhappy foot day. That certainly was not my experience. They were very comfortable right out of the box. Dropping down 5300' on steep rock and scree and then a long trail back to the truck is usually a toe jam guarantee. Not in these. I know the "wide toe box" is a new hype now. Anybody who does serious off trail scrambling on steep terrain knows the boot needs to hold the whole foot in place. These were great. Also, a narrower toe profile makes kicking steps in snow easier.

    Needed editing

      The first 100 miles were torture and then I removed the foot bed and cut one of the green super feet insoles to size and then I went out today for another 20 miles and the boots were perfect. I got these specifically because the Scarpa list for their winter boots fits me perfectly whereas the last 40 bucks and other manufacturers have a narrower last. these have a nice wide toebox which is what I was looking for I don’t like my toes squishy even when I have on my summer weight hiking socks. Hopefully someday the BOA lacing system will come to the backpackers’ boot market and make it easier to dial in the exact tension you need. Between these and my Salmon 4 GTX are a tossup right now I’ll report back later in the year.

      Soles falling apart very quickly.

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times
      • Fit: True to size
      • Size Bought: 44.5

      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.

      Bipolar traction:
      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.

      Incredibly waterproof:
      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.

      Stiff sole:
      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.

      Tight instep:
      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.

      Soles falling apart very quickly.

      Weatherproof and great for long hikes

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times
      • Fit: True to size
      • Size Bought: 43.0
      • Height: 5'11"
      • Weight: 160lbs

      I got these as a gift for my brother and he had the following feedback to share:
      "Scarpa did well with the Gore-tex on these guys. They are weather proof through the mud and the snow and during the hot days they are still breathable enough that it takes a very long time before my feet start to sweat. I used them in hiking multi-day sections of the Tahoe Rim Trail and they had amazing support for carrying a heavier pack. I have a slightly wider foot and there is plenty of room in the toe box to accommodate that. The flex is perfect too - it didn't take much to get them broken in. I'm hoping they hold up a long time; they don't show any signs of wear yet. I always love Scarpa's color schemes and these somewhat match my climbing shoes (since that is important ;) .

      Happy feet happy guy

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
      • Fit: True to size
      • Size Bought: 44
      • Height: 6'1"
      • Weight: 210lbs

      I have been a huge fan of scarpa for years. Originally I skied scapra boots and slowly ventured into their summer footwear. As I have gotten older my fore feet have spread. This boot uses a new last that fits my fat feet perfectly. They are light enough to wear using for work as an arborist but still keep my feet warm and DRY hiking around in snow and slope. I did put a pair of insoles with a bit more arch support. The soles have the right amount of flex to them and I would say are right in the middle of too stiff and too soft. I will say that after being in scarpa footwear for many years that I had to size down with the new last because of the extra width. I used to be a 45 (11.5) in all other scarpa footwear but went with a 44 (10.5) for the zodiac. 5

      Light and strong / no heel dampening

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
      • Fit: True to size
      • Size Bought: 13

      Since I have had so many good Scarpa shoes and boots in the past, I took a risk and bought these here online without trying them at a store. Expensive mistake.

      They are very light and made of high quality materials all around, very strong leather and synthetics. I mainly chose them because of how far down the laces go, and that makes them very adjustable for my wide feet. Also they are surprisingly un-bulky, which makes them agile and in some ways comfortable.
      But to achieve this, the sole is thin and fairly stiff. Cushioning is clearly sacrificed for weight and bulk savings. When the heel touches down there is an uncomfortable lack of shock absorption, almost like hitting rigid plastic, and after a while I really start to feel the effects of this heel impact affect the knees. I also have Scarpa approach shoes with a relatively thin sole but they are fine because of the angle/ (slope?) of the sole translates to a more barefoot-style of walking, and a more flexible sole leads to more of a heel-roll. With these Zodiac Plus boots, the sole design seems to lead to a hard-heel landing every time.

      After using these for day-hikes thru spring and summer and experimenting with different insoles and cushioning socks, I've found them to be very fatiguing and the lack of heel absorption is very disappointing. They are fine on technical climbs and scrambles, but extended walking on firm surfaces is just bad.

      ps. Shout-out to Chasen at Backcountry for answering emails on his day off and locating my size! Excellent service.

      Really comfortable and waterproof

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times
      • Fit: Runs small
      • Size Bought: 11.5

      I used them in a 35 miles hike around Yosemite in late May. The boots where really comfortable from the first day and they stayed dry during snow walks and small creek crossings.
      The size runs small. I usually wear an 11 but in this case I went .5 bigger. My backcountry's gear advisor was really helpful helping me to return the small boots I first bought.

      Amazing feel, issues w/ sole (updated)

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times
      • Fit: True to size
      • Size Bought: 12
      • Height: 6'4"
      • Weight: 250lbs

      I was in the same boat as one of the other reviewers here... not a lot of info or reviews online on these boots, so thought I'd drop some feedback here in hopes that I can make someone else's decision a little easier...

      I'll start by saying I'm extremely picky when it comes to boots. I've always been a fan of Asolo and Salomon, but found the Fugitive and Quest 4d 2 GTX to be too bulky and heavy. After a couple weeks of extensive research, I landed on the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX boot and could not be happier. I have a relatively average foot (maybe a touch on the wide side) and these boots fit like a glove right out of the box and are true to size. It's worth noting that (so far) there has been zero break in period.

      The fit and finish remind me of my favorite old Asolos: masterfully crafted with great attention to detail. However, these boots are much lighter than any other boot in its class, without sacrificing support. I'm a rather large human (6' 4", 250 lbs) so a boot with great support is super important to me. The mid-sole was surprisingly more stiff than previous reviews had lead me to believe. It's relatively stiff in the heel and forefoot, while offering great flexibility in the toes for scrambling and good trail feel. Laterally, pretty stiff and great support for edging... Overall, very similar midsole flex and feel to my old Asolo Fugitives.

      If you have high arches, it might be worth throwing some insoles in there, as they have relatively little arch support out of the box. I threw a set of Superfeet Greens in there and took them out yesterday evening for a few miles of light hiking and scrambling. Not surprisingly, the vibram sole was grippy as always, and the low profile fit gave these a pretty dexterous feel while scrambling. These climb like an approach shoe, but feel like a backpacking boot on the trail.

      The only thing I wish these had was a little bit more ankle support. The top of the boot hits me right above my ankle bone, which make these feel more like a day hiker than an actual backpacking boot -- but make no mistake, these are definitely burly enough to land them confidently in the backpacking or even light mountaineering category. (Note: if you need crampon compatibility, go for the Zodiach Tech).

      Planning on taking these out on a handful of Fourteeners later this month, and can't wait.

      Hope this helps!


      6/19/17 - I've reduced my five star review to three stars because after 12 miles over the weekend on fairly moderate terrain (all dirt trail) several of the lugs have ripped off the boot (in the same place on both boots!). The boots only have 15 total miles on them!! As much as I love the way these boots feel and look, I'm extremely disappointed with the quality of the sole. Maybe a bad batch of rubber? Not sure, but they definitely shouldn't do this. Will be contacting Scarpa.

      6/28/17: Scarpa's warranty team was great to deal with. They invited me to their warehouse where they replaced the boots, no questions asked. They said it was, in fact, a bad batch of rubber on a few boots and they have since fixed the problem.

      Amazing feel, issues w/ sole (updated)

      Good to know scarpa worked to replace your pair of boots. Also good to know it was a bad batch that has been corrected as I really like the desig. Of these. Thanks for the I’m seeing your review over half a year later.

      Yes Please

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times
      • Fit: True to size

      May 2017

      I was given these boots to test on a mid-may backpacking trip in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument of Utah. I took them down Harris Wash to the confluence with the Escalante River and back.

      These boots are both lightweight and comfortable. They were given to me at the trailhead with no prior chance to wear around or break in. I wore them for a few days on the trail with a pack and had no issues. Very comfortable. I have wide feet and sometimes struggle finding shoes and boots to fit. Although not super wide, these worked well for me.

      We walked on sand, rocks and in a creek for much of the trip. They stayed dry from outside moisture but I was definitely sweating in them (I do not believe gore-tex can make a truly breathable footwear. Waterproof yes, but not breathable.).

      I doubt these boots were made for sand and the southwest environment, but they certainly did the trick. I am excited to try them in the North Cascades. I have no doubt they will prove great as a backpacking boot. The sole is more flexible than many comparable boots. This should be great on longer/flatter trips.

      I am a little nervous about how this boot will handle on trips with more vertical objectives because of its flexible sole. I plan to take this up a North Cascade mountain soon. I have a pair of flexible Kahtoola k10 crampons I will use with them. I'll let everyone know how it handles.


      June 2017

      I used them early June to hike a 7000' peak in the North Cascades. We hiked on flat, steep, rocks, water, snow and glacier. They stayed dry and were comfortable the entire day. The flexible Kahtoola k10 crampons fit just fine.

      Yes Please

      Initial Impressions

      • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
      • Fit: True to size
      • Size Bought: 9.5
      • Height: 5'9"
      • Weight: 160lbs

      Just got these and wanted to post something since I had a tough time finding anything on them. In terms of background, I've put a lot of miles on different types of boots, and have always felt in general hiking/backpacking boots were too heavy/bulky. These piqued my interest given their look, brand, and weight. Initial impressions are very good (just from walking around the house). Probably the lightest backpacking boots I've put on, and maybe the most comfortable out-of-box boots to boot (see what i did there). Great amount of room in the toe box. Excited to get them dusty!