The PureKit Blog

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Scarpa shoes for just about any activity

If you want to head off road and take on the trail at speed, a lightweight pair of trail running shoes is the best bet. The design offers a more athletic feel than standard walking shoes and greater flexibility and responsiveness for tackling highly varied terrain.  If your outdoor adventures often involve a spot of climbing and you like nothing better than scrambling up rock faces, the lightweight design of trail running shoes really doesn’t offer enough protection for the feet, and is far too flexible for climbing, yet a hiking boot often doesn’t have enough flexibility for fast approach walking.  Fortunately mountain footwear experts Scarpa have released a great in between option, as part of their X-Terrain range.

The Scarpa Zen is a new class of approach shoe designed to keep you moving fast on the trail, but offers more protection for the feet abd greater rigidity than a trail shoe. It is designed to give a great performance walking on easy terrain, keeps you moving fast on the trail, yet is up to the task of climbing and scrambling, can be used for light hiking.

It is rare to find such a versatile shoe which is capable of high performance across the full range of outdoor terrain, but Scarpa have really nailed it with the Zen. The design is perfectly suited to the high street, with excellent comfort due to the Vellutina lining which is soft and comfortable on the feet, absorbent to wick away any moisture, and quick drying if it does get wet.  The fit is excellent, being constructed from the BH last, which is slightly asymmetrical and well suited to scrambling over rocks. It gives great hold, whilst being flexible enough for fast movement.

The toe rand offers great grip when climbing, however what really makes this shoe exceptional for such a wide range of off road terrain is the Spyder outsole.  Constructed with a tread pattern to maximise speed, and a super sticky Vibram rubber compound, it gives exceptional grip on rock and lose ground and just sticks to the trail. Scarpa use a PU insert for cushioning, and their Comfort-Flex midsole which keeps the heel rigid and well supported, yet has good flexibility in the forefoot for a nice natural feel. Designed to prevent your feet from getting tired over difficult terrain, and highly comfortable for general wear around town, you’ll struggle to find a better all round shoe for highly varied adventures, and you definitely won’t find one which is better made.

Scarpa are experts when it comes to traversing difficulty mountain terrain, and whilst their mountaineering and hiking boots are some of the most rugged and supportive you can find, the Scarpa Zen offers the utmost in versatility, and its highly likely that once you try them on you’ll not want to take them off again.

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