I’ve been lusting after these shoes for ages – they just look so cool – so it was a delight to finally get my feet in a pair.
The Scarpa Zen Pro is great for tougher hikes over tricky terrain or while carrying a pack: they’re probably the stiffest shoe on test (meaning they offer the most support for the foot), with a huge rubber rand at the toe and a large bumper at the heel. The Vibram sole means serious business too – it’s more like something you’d find on a hiking boot rather than a trainer, with an aggressive lug pattern. All this protection does mean they are quite heavy (880g per pair in a size 6.5), and while I might not choose to wear them for casual use, particularly in summer, this doesn’t mean they aren’t comfy – the tongue and sidewalls feel soft and foamy, and the lacing right down to the toe means you can get the fit just right. The outer is also soft, being made from water-resistant suede – I wore the shoes on a swampy hike, much of it not on a path, on the island of Mull and they kept the wet out well. One strange problem I found was that walking down a very steep hill the insole rode up underneath the foot, but that could have been a one off.
This is a great shoe for tougher hiking and, of course, it’s very stylish. It’s too big and heavy for me to want to wear it everyday or for general travel, which for me keeps it off the very top spot, but it’s highly recommended.