Hands-on Gear Review

Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX - Women's Review

Mont Blanc Pro Gtx Women's
By: McKenzie Long ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 5, 2017
Price:  $500 List  |  $499.95 at MooseJaw
Pros:  Warm and waterproof, durable, loops on tongue and ankle make putting on easier
Cons:  Hard to lock down the heel tight enough to prevent heel sliding up, webbing lace in between metal catches, double layer but non-removable tongue
Manufacturer:   Scarpa

Our Verdict

The Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX - Women's is a sturdy product which is both warm and waterproof. It looks and acts suspiciously similar to the award-winning La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX - Women's in many areas of the design, including technical and aesthetic aspects. One major feature which sets it apart is the fit: while the Nepal Cube GTX is suited to narrow tootsies, the Mont Blanc is built to fit individuals with larger volume feet. This could be a major factor in deciding between the two models. The Mont Blanc is lighter-weight, which is a plus, but its lacing system is less than impressive and does not lock the heel down for comfortable climbing and hiking. Where the Mont Blanc does seem superior is that it has loops on the tongue and ankle to aid in putting it on, and has more durable toe welts.

Update - September 2017
A new version of the Mont Blanc is available: the Mont Blanc Pro GTX - Women's, pictured above. Scroll down to see side-by-side photos of the new and old versions and more details about the update!


Our Analysis and Test Results

Share:

The Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX - Women's Vs. The Old Scarpa Mont Blanc - Women's


Scarpa has shaken up a few details of the Scarpa Mont Blanc - Women's mountaineering boot. At first glance, the color change from lime green to bright turquoise stands out, but there are also multiple technical updates to speak of. The Sock-Fit technology, which is introduced to many of Scarpa's latest products, "lowers the volume over the instep, giving these a more nimble, modern feel." A waterproof gaiter is an added perk of the Sock-Fit innovation. Additionally, new PU ribbing, which is injected into the tongue of the shoe, reduces lace pressure across the top of the foot. Resulting from these changes is a drop in weight: the new model weighs about 12 ounces less (per pair). Lastly, yet pertinently, the cost of this shoe has increased by $21. Both models are still available on Scarpa's website, the older boot being marked down considerably!

To see the changes mentioned above, glance below at the two models. The latest Pro GTX model is on the left.
Mont Blanc Pro Gtx Women's
Scarpa Mont Blanc - Women's

Here's a summary of the changes:
  • Sock-Fit Technology — This new technology includes automatic fit adjustment and better ankle closure.
  • Waterproof Gaiter — A waterproof gaiter is newly integrated as part of the Sock-Fit technology mentioned above.
  • Increased Price — The Pro GTX version carries a heftier price tag ($500 vs. $479).
  • New Color — The latest model is offered in a bright turquoise hue with orange, gray/silver, and black accents.
  • Weight — The new model weighs in at 27.5 oz per boot, which is 6.29 ounces less than the original Mont Blanc model.

The review below pertains to the original Scarpa Mont Blanc model.

Hands-On Review Of The Original Scarpa Mont Blanc - Women's


Gearing up  rope testing  and boot testing the Scarpa Mont Blanc with Fitz Roy in the background.
Gearing up, rope testing, and boot testing the Scarpa Mont Blanc with Fitz Roy in the background.

Weight


At 33.79 ounces per boot for a size 40.5, the Mont Blanc proves it is signifigantly lighter than the Nepal Cube GTX, which weighs 2 ounces more per boot for a half size smaller. The lower weight is a huge advantage when it comes to wearing the boots all day, and lifting your feet over and over while hiking and climbing. This factor alone greatly increases the comfort of the Mont Blanc.

Warmth


The Mont Blanc's are one of the warmest in our review, warmer than both the Trango Cube GTX and the Mountain Expert.

Water Resistance



After extended periods under snow and wetness  cold and water can leak a bit on the top of the foot in the Scarpa Mont Blanc.
After extended periods under snow and wetness, cold and water can leak a bit on the top of the foot in the Scarpa Mont Blanc.

With the same Gore-Tex insulated comfort lining as the Nepal Cube GTX the Mont Blanc is warm and dry. The only weakness we have experienced is that after extended periods under snow or water, a little cold and wetness leaks through over laces onto the top of the foot.

Rock Climbing Ability



Rapelling a rock step on the approach to Paso Superior in the Chalten Massif  Patagonia  while wearing the Scarpa Mont Blanc. The Vibram sole grips the rock well.
Rapelling a rock step on the approach to Paso Superior in the Chalten Massif, Patagonia, while wearing the Scarpa Mont Blanc. The Vibram sole grips the rock well.

With a sticky Vibram sole and plently of rand rubber, the Mont Blanc is decent at climbing on rock for a stiff boot. If you intend to do lots of climbing on rock in your boots, we recommend the La Sportiva Trango Cube GTX - Women's, which has no toe-welt and therefor offers more precision when edging.

Ice Climbing Ability


What makes a boot climb ice well is a stiff, supportive sole, which every full-shank boot provides, and the way the boot locks the heel down, which is often a function of the lacing system. This is where we were not impressed with the Mont Blanc.

The annoying lacing system on the Scarpa Mont Blanc. Note the fourth lace loop down from the top is webbing  and below it is another open metal lace catch. When the laces come out of the lower lace catch  they are hard to replace due to the webbing loop.
The annoying lacing system on the Scarpa Mont Blanc. Note the fourth lace loop down from the top is webbing, and below it is another open metal lace catch. When the laces come out of the lower lace catch, they are hard to replace due to the webbing loop.
First of all, the bulky, gusseted outer tongue has a piece of leather that is too wide, which makes it almost impossible to tighten enough around the ankle. This lack of tightness results in the heel sliding up when hiking and front-pointing. Especially in contrast to the similarly designed gusseted tongue of the Nepal, which is very secure, the Mont Blanc feels sloppy and loose.

Our biggest complaint about the Mont Blanc is the lacing system. Seemingly to mimic the Nepals, they have a webbing lace loop on top of a metal lace catch, where the Nepal has a webbing loop above a metal lace lock. On the Nepal, this helps to tighten the bottom of the boot and the top of boot separately, which really customizes fit and support.
The La Sportiva Nepal Evo lacing system. Note the special lace-lock grommet that is the 5th down. This amazing feature allows you to first tighten the bottom laces on top of the foot  lock them in  and then lace the top of the boot.
The La Sportiva Nepal Evo lacing system. Note the special lace-lock grommet that is the 5th down. This amazing feature allows you to first tighten the bottom laces on top of the foot, lock them in, and then lace the top of the boot.
By contrast, the Mont Blancs have an open lace catch instead of a locking piece. This results in the laces coming undone from the catch, but being constricted by the webbing loop above it. This does not allow for additional fit customization, but is instead just really annoying. If the lace comes out of the catch, there is no way to fix it with gloves on, so you have to remove your gloves to fiddle with the laces, which are hard to tighten enough as it is.

Hiking Ability


Partially due to the lack of heel lock because of the lacing problems mentioned above, the Mont Blanc is also not the most comfortable for hiking in. The sole is gently rockered, which helps create natural movement while hiking, but is less rockered than both the Nepal and the Mountain Expert. It has a deeper heel on the sole than the Mountain Expert, and a shallower heel than the Nepal. The deepness of the heel helps to brake and provide traction when walking downhill on snow, and the Mont Blanc heel is adequate at this task.

Durability


Made from all leather and with metal lace grommets, this is a durable, long-lasting boot. Our test pair endured many long approaches on trail as well as snow, and the sole is still in good shape.

Best Application


This boot excels at mountaineering and ice climbing in cold and wet conditions.

Value


If you are on a budget but looking for a waterproof insulated mountaineering boot, then the Mont Blanc is a good choice. It is almost identical in features to the La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX, but it costs $50 less. For even better value, check out our Best Buy winner, the Lowa Mountain Expert GTX EVO - Women's.

McKenzie Long


You Might Also Like

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: September 5, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)

50% of 2 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 33%  (1)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 33%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Hiker

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Nov 15, 2016 - 01:40am
Erin · Hiker · New zealand

To be honest I'm a bit disappointed in these boots. I've taken them out on only 3 trips so far but here's what I've found so far. The pros - good at remaining waterproof when crossing creeks and they were stable/comfortable boot while vertical ice climbing. The cons - not good at remaining waterproof after a few hours walking in the snow (the other 5 people on the trip had dry feet) and the back crampon bail is already badly scruffed up because the plastic is too soft. Both of these traits are not great for a full shank winter hiking boot! Some people may put this down to a bad fit, but when going downhill may foot slips forward in the boot. The boot seems to otherwise fit well, as I don't have a heel lift when walking and i have plenty of room to wiggle my toes. I blame the poorly designed heel lock system of the boot for this foot slipping- the sewn on strapping around the heel simple just doesn't appear to be doing anything. I would have expected a better heel lock, especially when comparing these boots to my $400 cheaper summer mountaineering boots which have a great heel lock system.



Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Nov 29, 2014 - 05:22pm
Granite7 · Climber · Kalispell, MT

Great boot. My fiancee climbs hard rock and ice routes with me, but could never find a good fit in a mountaineering boot until she bought the Mont Blanc. She wears a size 6 womens and other manufactures didn't cut it. She has very cold feet and these boots keep her warm even in -20 while belaying for 1 hour. The lacing issue and heel pocket problem described in the OGL review are non-existent. The fit is positive and the lacing works great with a strategically placed barrel knot to hold the foot snug.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


Have you used this product?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...