First Look Gear Review
Street Price: $145 | Compare prices at 6 resellers
Pros: Excellent grip, works as approach shoe, durable.
Cons: Thick sole, no ankle support.
Best Uses: Approaches, easy soloing.
Mendel would be all over this shoe. The Scarpa Zen is a hybrid of hybrids. A casual combination of a light hiking boot and an approach shoe, the Zen moves a bit farther along the shoe-to-boot spectrum. It fills a niche that doesn't really demand filling. Its a mediocre approach shoe, and a poor-to-middling light hiking boot. However, it does have a few redeeming qualities. Its durable as all hell. It endured abuse every day for months without any critical damage. It has better rubber than any hiking boot you'll find, and a comprehensive rand that makes it possible to jam and climb off-widths without shredding the shoe to pieces.
There are better options out there. If youre primarily interested in an approach shoe, heres our approach shoe review. If youre looking for something a bit more boot-ish, try the Merrell Moab Ventilator or Keen Targhee.
The Zen - Women's is the women's version of this shoe.
The Zen Pro Trail, $170, has an upgraded midsole and Vibram Spyder 2 soles. Scarpa makes the claim that these shoes have the feel of a running shoe, with the sensitivity of an approach shoe. The Scarpa Crux, $100, is built for scrambling, smearing, and approaches.
— Atherton Phleger
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: September 27, 2014
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