Now i have heard that Scarpa has since changed their foot last and the leather is cheaper/thinner.
So I want recommendations that:
1: are leather
2: can take walking crampons
3: NOT fabric boots
4: can last another 20 years looked after and not walking lots. if i had to guess I probably would say these boots have done less than 500 miles, at a guess.
I might also just steal some boots from my brother, he likes to collect, i mean buy, boots quite often lol.
All major manufacturers of hiking shoes have cheaper and higher quality in their range. You have to be clear about how you want to use them. (I have 4 pairs of different walking shoes.) You just have to pay attention to the fit…
Wide or narrow foot, flat or high instep,… there’s hardly any advice (at most tendencies) … you have to try it yourself.
But I can give you one advice: Despite all the perfection in production, there are still minimal tolerances that you can feel. So I put on different pairs of the same size and ended up with a right shoe and a left shoe as two pairs.
Be careful - there are also differences in crampons and not every shoe is suitable for all types
You’re right about Scarpa SLs, I got a pair in 2004 and they’ve served me very well, but they are now very tired. I got a new pair of SLs last year but the fit is different and I don’t like them as much as the old pair. Also, the heel on the new SLs isn’t as protected and I’ve already scuffed the leather a few times.
For Mull I’ve bought a pair of Scarpa Rush GTX fabric boots, I don’t need to be clomping about in heavy B1 boots. For crampons I have a pair of Scarpa Mantas, so it might be that the SLs don’t see much action. The New SLs aren’t a patch on the old ones.
I think it is similar to the situation with rigs: It does not harm to have multiple options .
If Scarpa fits your feet, I can recommend the following assortment:
As an all-purpose hiking boot, also suited for crampons with a basket at the front: Scarpa Ribelle HD. (There is also a “lite” variant with unknown differences.)
I use these for a broad range of activities, including the approach to climbing routes where I will have to carry them up in my backpack if the approach or way home includes snow passages, gravel, or is rather long.
For lighter approaches without the need for crampons and very little snow to expect (or if the climbing will be so difficult that 400 g less in the backpack will matter): Scarpa Zodiac GTX.
For more serious glacier/ice/mixed tours: Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX. Excellent for tours with all-day crampon usage, steeper ice, or mixed passages (crampons in ice and rock). Super boot, but of course on the heavy and stiff side, and not cheap. But will last for decades.
Meindl Bhutan Pro MFS. I’m on my second pair plus I had the previous type before then.
1st pair lasted from April 2008 to mid 2016. Used a huge amount, 40+ weekends/year. The sole came off in 2016. Was glued back but the layer it was glued to started breaking up and it came off again. I bought a replacement pair in 2014 which I started breaking in but main walking was the original pair.
I had the chance to pick up another pair cheap (£175 instead of £225) in Autumn 2017. These get occasional breaking-in usage.
The 2014 pair have many more good years in them. There are some cracks and nicks in the leather but they just get a good “doing” with Graiger’s Wax regularly. Still good amount of tread still. Goretex still working fine. I use them occasionally with Kahtoola Flexible Crampons
As has been said… buy quality boots that fit your feet. I tried Scarpas but they seemed too narrow for my fat feet.
I had my Scarpas resoled last year. Very happy with the service (I think I even managed to activate Pendle Hill on the way to the factory ). All my boots are fabric so not what you want Anthony. A heavy pair of Scarpas for serious winter work (not used much), a slightly lighter pair which are probably my go to set and a light pair of Lowas for summer. Now I’m retired I doubt I’ll replace the heavy boots; 2 pairs will be plenty!
I bought a pair of Scarpa boots from Cotswold Outdoors in 2000 within three years they failed near the top of Cross Fell, the soggy wet acidic ground did for them, I ended up walking down with wet feet and yes I did use to look after them correctly!
As many above I run the Borneo as a work boot for bush work. However I don’t find them reliable for extended crampon use despite being rated for such use. Specifically for steep sidling and front pointing there seems to be too much flex in the sole to keep the boot seated correctly.
But they are a well built boot and one of the few full leather (leather lined) options in this world gone mad for poor quality/durability (sub-90 days of use before failure) goretex linings. And i fully recommend them for all other situations, especially river travel and other wet use where the goretex lined boots fail quickly.
As others have said - fit should drive your choice, especially with a more durable (tougher) leather lined boot.