First Look Gear Review

Scarpa Zen Review

   

Approach Shoes - Men's

  • Currently 3.5/5
Overall avg rating 3.5 of 5 based on 6 reviews. Most recent review: March 9, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $116 - $145 | Compare prices at 6 resellers
Pros:  Burly construction, great laces, durable, good toe rand
Cons:  Take a little while to break in, irrated heel at first
Best Uses:  Hiking, scrambling
User Rating:     
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 (3.8 of 5) based on 5 reviews
Recommendations:  80% of reviewers (4/5) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Scarpa
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ June 1, 2012  
Overview
This review has moved to the Hiking Boot review. You can read about it >>here


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Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: March 9, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (3.8)

80% of 5 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
6 Total Ratings
5 star: 17%  (1)
4 star: 50%  (3)
3 star: 17%  (1)
2 star: 17%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 5 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Mar 9, 2014 - 02:17pm
This is a great shoe for scrambling and bush waking. I don't know how it would do hanging off cliffs in Yosemite (I don't do that), but I can compare it with the Five Ten Camp Four and La Sportiva Ganda. It is the most comfortable of the three for me, as I have big wide feet and the La Sportiva is uncomfortably narrow and the Five Ten Camp four is actually too wide and too tall in the heel - causing some turning of the ankle when walking across a sloped grade. My foot sits lower in this shoe than the Camp Four. It is less of a gravel trap than the La Sportiva, and although the rubber is not quite as grippy on bare dry rock, it grips MUCH better than the La Sportiva on anything wet - including rocks and logs. I think this shoe works nicely as a cross between approach and hiking shoe, and for scrambling up rocks and even climbs up to 5.4 it works great.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   May 4, 2012 - 12:17pm
j-tree · Climber · Classroom to crag to summer camp
Bought these about a month ago. Took them through their paces for a couple of weekends aiding single pitch routes in Riverside, J-Tree, and Yosemite. After three weekends of time in the ladders (~25 pitches total), the stitching near the front on the outer side of both shoes was starting to come apart.

The toe box was very boxy and made them often too big to do any effective jamming.

Otherwise, very comfortable. A good approach shoe that edges relatively well but isn't cut out for bigwall.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 8, 2012 - 07:23am
Solid shoes. I use them for lots of scrambling in JTree and am pleased. Built like a tank.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 7, 2012 - 10:04am
For people with large feet this may be one of the few choices you have (besides other scarpa shoes) since they come in a 14/48 size (I can wear a 13 in some shoes and I have to wear a 14 in this, so it may be small if you are a 'true 14').

Pros: DURABLE! (2.5 years and still very usable and look good)

Stiff sole, great for packing heavy loads long distances! These should be good in aiders as well, they are similar in stiffness to another great shoe of past, the Vasque Pingora (discontinued of course!).

Large Sizes!

Stable platform, unlike some approach shoes (Sportiva Boulder, Asolo Distance) these are not built upon a narrow platform, I rarely roll my ankle in these like I have in other styles of approach shoes (ASOLO are you reading this????)

Comfortable, I wore these out of the box with no problem, but I don't push myself as hard as Chris Mac does, so you may want to heed his advice given above!


Cons: Hot! Hot! Hot! This is not the shoe to wear on summer days, but the other three seasons they are great!

Bulky, I wouldn't even consider dragging these up for a hike-off unless we where bringing the haul bag, which would mean that I would want something this stiff and stable for carrying the heavy load back down.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Feb 1, 2011 - 03:03pm
POTATO · Climber · GRAND JUNCTION, CO
The zen has been my everyday shoe for over a year now, and I have to say i really like this shoe.

I personally have never noticed any discomfort in these shoes. A few highlights:
Direct Exum ridge (with the goldface variation) car to car in a push, no problem and no blisters the next day. Wore them on the appraoch and climb.
10 miles each way to back-country climbing in Montana with a full pack of gear over a weekend, easy.
Numerous days working at height in trees in mid-summer Ohio heat and humidity, never noticed them being to hot with a light sock. And they stood up to the work better than some heavy weight leather boots my co-workers choose to wear.
Probably over 100 days of crag hiking on these guys.

After owning a pair of these for over a year with just about daily use, I'd say they absolutely have lived up to my expectations. When purchasing I intentionally sought out the most durable low top shoe with sticky rubber that I could find. These things are burly, and for my foot very comfortable. That being said I would not, and do not climb aid in these shoes, I prefer a more ridged shoe or a climbing shoe depending on the route.


The bottom is that this is a burly approach shoe that is excellent for hiking, scrambling (especially good on scree), and easier climbing.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Scarpa Zen
Credit: Scarpa.com
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Backcountry $115.96  -  7% off!
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