This is the lightest boot in our review. This means it's great on the hike in to your route. Upon roping up we were pleasantly surprised with how well these boots performed. The sole is very stiff, which is great for technical climbing. The ankle flexibility is generous, as you'd expect for such a light boot. While this was a boot for rock climbing and french technique it meant for a much greater calf workout on steep ice.Keeping the weight low means sacrificing some insulation, and as such this isn't a boot for colder weather (or those with poor circulation). Many of the boots in our review had some sort of gaiter or cuff design to keep snow out, the Rebel Pro lacked this. For these reasons we think this boot is best suited to spring, summer, and fall alpine climbing, and milder winter days.
Scarpa Rebel Pro GTX Review
Cons: Snow gets in easily, poor calf support
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Scarpa Rebel Pro GTX was one of the early ultralight mountaineering boots that was compatible with an automatic (aka step-in) crampon binding and had a sole with enough fore-to-aft stiffness to perform on technical terrain. Balancing these attributes with weight means that something has to fall by the wayside, and in the case of the Rebel Pro it's winter performance.
At 1lb 9oz (708g) in a size 42 this is the lightest boot in our review, barely beating the similar La Sportiva Trango Ice Cube by 0.6oz (20g). Climbers who are used to pretty much any other mountain boot ever made will be pleasantly surprised by the weight. In fact, it weighs less than the Charmoz, Scarpa's uninsulated 3 season mountain boot!
Rock Climbing Ability
Ice Climbing Ability
A rigid sole and good ankle support are two of the most important considerations for ice climbing performance in a mountaineering boot. Both characteristics add weight to the boot. Scarpa had to make a decision when balancing low weight with ice performance in this boot and we think they chose wisely. The Rebel Pro has a pleasingly rigid sole, but not much ankle support for front pointing. This boot can climb steep ice, but climbers will be punished for poor technique and weak calves. That being said, the ankle flexibility allows for proper french technique on moderately angled ice and neve.
Crampon compatibility is an important factor on ice. Not all crampons work well with all boots. The narrow toe and thin sole that let the Rebel Pro climb rock so well means that climbers need to pay attention to toe bail fit on their crampons. It also means that if you're using a semi-auto crampon, you need to watch out for how far forward the toe is driven when engaging the heel lever.
For a boot with such a rigid and not very rockered sole, we were pleased with how well these boots hiked. They were forgiving enough to deal with Sierra talus fields, but we appreciated the stiffness when kicking steps into steep Cascade moraines. And they're light enough that bringing a pair of approach shoes or trail runners for the hike in often doesn't make sense.
Everything has it's costs. Insulation adds weight and bulk to boots. Scarpa has kept the Rebel Pro light with only a minimal amount of insulation. This works well enough for milder days of winter cragging, or more aerobic missions in the winter months. This is not a great boot for colder weather cragging or the stop-and-go rhythm of multi-pitch climbing on colder days, escpecially if you're standing in the snow at belays.
It's worth noting the fit here. Historically, Scarpa boots have been fairly wide in the forefoot. That's not the case with the Rebel Pro. Our testers found it fit more like a La Sportiva boot, that is, narrow in the front. A boot that is too snug will restrict circulation and keep feet unnecessarily cold. Climbers who have always gone with Scarpa in the past should try these on before buying, or make sure their retailer has a good return policy.
One of the trade offs climbers often make when choosing lightweight gear is durability. Our testers did not find that exchange to be necessary with the Rebel Pro. This boot has been quite durable. The materials are all fairly burly, the hardware on the outside of the boot is all metal, and the lace loops on the lower part of the boot are protected from abrasion.
One of our testers used the Rebel Pro as his only boot for a multi-day trip to Boston Basin in the North Cascades in August. That trip involved a steep hike on a rough trail, glacier travel, steep snow, and rock climbing up to about 5.6. We think this boot is a great choice for any mild weather alpinism, whether on snow, ice, easy rock, or especially some combination of those. This is also a great boot for any climber who will approach in boots, switch to rock shoes for the climb, but still need boots to go to the summit or descend, as is sometimes the case in Patagonia or Alaska's Little Switzerland.
At $500 MSRP these are among the least expensive boot in our review. Our testing team thinks they will stand up to more abuse than we would expect from a lightweight boot. Given their high performance we think they are a good value for their application. If you've always used a traditional single leather boot in the summer we think you'll be pleased with this purchase (as long as they fit).
This was our favorite boot for mild weather alpine climbing. Canadian Rockies north faces in the summer, The North Ridge of Mount Baker, and Sierra couloirs are all perfect playgrounds for this boot. That's because it's low weight makes the approach and descent easy, but it's stiff enough to perform well on the route. We wouldn't want to make the boot warmer by adding any weight, but we do wish the top of the boot was better at keeping snow out.
— Ian McEleney