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Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro Review

This all-around boot is nothing special but gets the job done.
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Price:  $525 List | $419.96 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Good all-around climbing performance, secure lacing system
Cons:  Not as light or warm as other options
Manufacturer:   Scarpa
By Ian McEleney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 2, 2019
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60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 7
  • Weight - 20% 6
  • Warmth - 15% 5
  • Water Resistance - 20% 6
  • Climbing - 25% 6
  • Hiking - 10% 6
  • Lacing - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The single leather mountain boot design has been around forever, and the Mont Blanc Pro is Scarpa's version of it. It sports a lacing system that's secure, though not intuitive. It's warmer and more weather resistant than the lightweight boots, but not as warm as the super-gaitered boots. Our testers found it worked for all types of climbing, but it seemed best suited to moderate to steep ice. We think the deciding factor between this boot and the La Sportiva Nepal Cube should be fit.

Looking for a better performer in cold and stormy weather and on steep ice and mixed ground? Check out our Editors' Choice Award winner, the Scarpa Phantom Tech.


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Pros Good all-around climbing performance, secure lacing systemWarm, light, very water resistantWarm, light, climbs wellLight, climbs mixed and rock terrain wellLight, versatile, great for rock climbing
Cons Not as light or warm as other optionsNon-intuitive lace-lock, priceyLeaks like a sieve, expensiveNot super warm, overly complicated lacingNot very warm, minimal calf support
Bottom Line This all-around boot is nothing special but gets the job done.This lightweight, warm boot will keep your feet dry while getting you to the top of alpine climbs.This is a great boot for cold weather climbing except for one problem, it can't keep water out.This lightweight boot is made for mixed climbing and high-speed mountaineering.These light, versatile boots are a good for all-around performance.
Rating Categories Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro Scarpa Phantom Tech La Sportiva G5 Asolo Eiger GV Trango Tower Extreme GTX
Weight (20%)
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Water Resistance (20%)
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Climbing (25%)
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Hiking (10%)
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Lacing (10%)
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Specs Scarpa Mont Blanc... Scarpa Phantom Tech La Sportiva G5 Asolo Eiger GV Trango Tower...
Style Single Single Single Single Single
Weight 2lb 1.5oz (950g) 1lb 15oz (875g) 1lb 15.2oz (885g) 1lb 13.8oz (845g) 1lb 13.6oz (835g)
Sizes Available 39-47 38-47 38-48 5-11.5 38-48
Upper 3mm leather with silicone waterproofing Schoeller, Cordura, aluminum High tenacity Nylon with Insulating felt and PE barrier High resistance polyamide fabric + microfiber Nylon 6.6 with Honey-Comb Guard and FlexTec 3
Waterproof Lining GORE-TEX OutDry membrane Waterproof membrane GORE-TEX GORE-TEX Performance Comfort
Shank Pro-Fiber 20 Carbon fiber 3mm Honeycomb Tech insulating carbon Asoframe carbon and kevlar 9mm Insulated IBI-Thermo
Midsole PU Insert Micropourous EVA 8-9mm TPU, PU inserts, SBR Airchushion Duel-density Micropourous midsole 6-7mm TPU/ Dual-density micropore EVA
Sole Rubber Total Traction Vibram Zero Gravity Vibram Matterhorn Vibram 1225 Mulaz Vibram "One"

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Mont Blanc Pro is Scarpa's take on the classic single leather mountaineering boot. This type of boot is typically pretty durable and pretty good at most things without being brilliant at anything. The Mont Blanc Pro meets those criteria, read on to learn how.

Performance Comparison


Sam with happy feet at the belay.
Sam with happy feet at the belay.

Weight


This boot weighs in at 2lb 1.5oz (950g). The boot sports a bunch of leather in the upper and a nice thick outsole. Both of these material choices usually contribute to durability, but come at a cost: weight.

Weighing in.
Weighing in.

It's amongst the heaviest boots in our review. It weighs almost the same as the Arc'teryx Acrux AR, which is a warmer and more water resistant boot. It weighs about 3 ounces less than the most comparable boot in our test, the La Sportiva Nepal Cube, which weighs in at 2lb 5.4oz (1060g). Remember that these weights are for one boot (1/2 of a pair).

Warmth


Our testing team found this boot to be one of the less warm boots in our test, though it's warmer than the lightweight single boots (like the La Sportiva Trango Tower Extreme GTX). It's only natural that a single leather boot would be less warm than the supergaiter boots, especially the Arc'teryx Acrux AR, the warmest in the test.

Warm enough most of the time  this boot isn't great for standing around on the coldest of cold days.
Warm enough most of the time, this boot isn't great for standing around on the coldest of cold days.

It's ever so slightly less warm than La Sportiva's single leather boot, the Nepal Cube GTX. We think this is because the leather part of the Nepal comes up higher on our calves.

Water Resistance


Like all of the other boots in our review, the Mont Blanc Pro is fully waterproof up to its "waterline". In this case, that spot is the bellows of fabric that attaches the tongue to the boot. This is about 6.5 inches off the ground. While this point is higher than the bottom of the gaiter, liquid water can slosh up behind the gaiter and down behind the tongue.

Taking the tub test.
Taking the tub test.

While our testers were surprised at how low the waterline is we don't think it's a major problem for most practical mountaineering applications. We did not find that snow was forced up into this space. For the most part, the gaiter did a great job keeping the snow out.

Climbing


Each boot's climbing performance was evaluated in three media: ice, mixed/dry tooling, and rock climbing without crampons. The Mont Blanc Pro held its own on mixed terrain and for rock climbing. The cuff of the boot is slightly lower and slightly more flexible than other single leather boots, like the Nepal Cube and we felt this gave it a slight advantage in these scenarios. We also preferred it to the Cube when using French technique.

Crampon fit. Grivel on the left  Petzl on the right. Note that the Grivel bail is a smaller sized accessory bail.
Crampon fit. Grivel on the left, Petzl on the right. Note that the Grivel bail is a smaller sized accessory bail.

That being said, this boot certainly performs best on steep ice. The supportive cuff and rigid sole do a good job keeping flaming calves at bay. The rocker of the boot strikes a balance between rock climbing and ice climbing performance - less rocker than some boots in our review (the almost flat La Sportiva G5) but more than others (the rock and hiking friendly rocker on the Trango Tower Extreme).

The Mont Blanc Pro in its element.
The Mont Blanc Pro in its element.

Lacing


For boot closures our testing team wanted something that was simple to understand, easy to use, and secure. The Mont Blanc Pro ticked two of those boxes.

Above the lace hook, the first lace attachment point is a webbing loop that's pre-threaded. It took most of our testers an extra second or two each time to figure out which strand of the shoelace to grab. Not the end of the world, but it was noticeable. In the same vein, the gaiter goes under the laces and should be done up first when lacing the boot. Our team regularly got that far in the lacing then stopped to fasten the gaiter.

It takes a second to figure out which lace goes where.
It takes a second to figure out which lace goes where.

These concerns are minor and would probably become more so the more a climber uses the boot. It was easy to use the laces to get the right tension on our feet, and we had no problems with that tension being lost.

Hiking


The Mont Blanc Pro is a just-above-average performer when it comes to hiking. The same cuff flexibility that helped when dry tooling or rock climbing helped us have a more natural stride on approaches. This was enhanced (though not overly so) by the sole rocker. Some of our testers didn't use the top lace hook, for better hiking comfort.

Little rollers made snugging the forefoot easier.
Little rollers made snugging the forefoot easier.

Best Applications


We think this is a good all-around boot for climbers and mountaineers who don't want to spend a ton of money and want to have one boot for everything. Ice climbing is its forte, but it could also do well on summer glacier climbs and moderate mixed routes.

Value


At $500 this is the second-to-least expensive boot in our test. While we haven't had it in the field long enough to make serious comments about durability, the traditional construction and materials are inspiring. If this fits your foot we think it's a good value.

Conclusion


The Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro is a classic single leather boot that gets the job done. Newer boot designs are warmer, lighter, and faster to lace up. If this boot is a great fit for your foot, you may like its climbing performance better than we did. Our testers felt that this boot fit lower volume feet better than the Nepal Evo. While it's not outstanding in any department, we think its all around performance is good.

The cuff gaiter is a great feature if there's some unexpected snow climbing in the middle of your route.
The cuff gaiter is a great feature if there's some unexpected snow climbing in the middle of your route.


Ian McEleney