SCARPA = Societ Calzaturiera Asolana Riunita Pedemontana Anonima
(Associated Shoe Manufacturing Company of the Asolo mountain area)
Well... that was a lot of effort! I got my computer back up and managed
to reinstall the minimal things required to get this report submitted. I
know it was due yesterday, and I apologize for the lateness, but I really
did bust my butt to get it in only 8 hours late.
So with that said... Jamie D. Here is the Long Term SCARPA Boot report
for your editing pleasure. Text of the LTR is below, and the entire
report can be found in HTML version at either link provided. I shall
anxiously await your responses.
(James E. Triplett)
LONG TERM REPORT
Test Location and Conditions:
The SCARPA Mustang GTX Mid-Weight Hiking Boots have been the only boots I
have worn during the four-month testing period. They have accompanied me
on backpacking trips to Palisades Kepler Park, Pinicon Ridge Park, Faulks
Heritage Woods (all in Eastern Iowa), as well as on day hikes on both
public and private land near my home on the edge of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Temperatures for the entire test series have ranged from freezing to 95 F
(35 C), and the elevation in this region is approximately 860 feet (262
meters). Trail usage has included dirt trails, brush, rock and gravel
trails, through lots of tall wet foliage, and a few areas of ankle-deep
standing water. The terrain has been flat to hilly, without any dramatic
climbs. These activities have been in a variety of conditions, from cool
and dry, to hot and rainy, with most hiking being done on days exhibiting
warm temperatures and typical summer humidity.
SCARPA Mustang GTX boots at the end of the test period
The SCARPA boots have performed at least to my expectations and maybe a
little beyond. They grip the earth as well as any of the other several
hiking boots I have backpacked in, which makes sense considering they all
have Vibram soles. The height of the boots is perfect for me, and I have
found sufficient ankle support even when traversing a lateral grade which
causes considerable sideways ankle bend. The laces have held up fine, and
are thin and continue to slide through the lace retaining devices
smoothly. They do tend to abrade my pinky fingers when I tighten the
boots, but my hands have become resistant to that over the test period.
The toes of the boots are sturdy and have been stubbed into rocks, logs,
sticks, and roots, and have always provided adequate protection. Where
the boots have gone beyond my expectations is that they have done all
those high performing attributes while weighing in at only 54 oz (1,530
grams). They are just really light on my feet and a pleasure to wear.
Fit and Comfort:
I have become very comfortable with the fit of the SCARPA Mustang GTX
boots. In all honesty they are a little too wide for me, and thus I can't
get them as tight as I would like. That being said, this only seems to
cause negative results when I am hiking down fairly steep inclines with a
rather loaded backpack. In that situation my toes tend to cram into the
ends of the boots with a moderate amount of discomfort. Otherwise, I have
gotten used to the SCARPAs and find them quite comfortable, especially
with the aftermarket insoles as mentioned in my Field Report.
Clean-up and Maintenance
I've worn the SCARPA Mustang GTX boots in the mud a couple of times. With
the aggressive tread, they really do hold on to the mud. I have also worn
them seemingly constantly in heavy dew, where the weeds and grasses get
the boots very wet on the outside, which then attracts dirt and makes for
a gritty, dirty pair of boots. In both situations I tend to pound the
boots together at the end of the hike? and then simply "wear them clean"
when conditions dry out. Using this method the suede has stained, but
otherwise the boots look pretty good. (That is one disadvantage of suede
which I have discovered on other items as well.) Just prior to writing
this final report, I did wash and scrub the SCARPAs so that I could
inspect for damage and see how well they cleaned up.
The tread has worn after many miles of backpacking
Durability of the SCARPAs has proven to be sufficient over the four-month
test period. I estimate that I have taken about 660,000 steps in these
boots, or 250 miles (400 km), some of which was rough enough terrain that
the boots definitely go bumped and scraped. They have been caked with
mud, and submerged in water, and yet they don't show excessive wear. After
cleaning them up with warm water and a brush they look presentable. I
wouldn't say they are new-like, but there are no noticeable severe gashes
or abrasions and the discoloration of the upper materials is subtle.
Continuing on with the subject of durability, I would like to note that
the eyelets and speed hooks for the shoelaces which I was intrigued by in
my Initial Report, have proven to work flawlessly. The speed hooks are
without a doubt the best I have experienced to date. No bending open and
no pinching shut on the laces. They hold their shape and hold the laces
Final condition after a wash and dry
Final Summary and Conclusions:
The SCARPA Mustang GTX boots have proven themselves to be capable in the
easy to moderate hiking exposure I have given them. Based on my
experience as a backpacker, and with many boots over the years, I am
comfortable wearing them for anything I would attempt, short of technical
climbing or use in severely cold weather. The eyelets and lacing system
works quite well, and the support is acceptable. The reinforced areas
provide the necessary protection where I usually need it most? that being
the toes, heels, and ankles. The SCARPA Mustang GTX boots are a
lightweight, attractive, durable solution for my backpacking needs.
This concludes my report series on the SCARPA Mustang GTX boots.
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