2013 Gear Preview - Scarpa
New boots and the brand's first ever specialist trail-runing shoe from the Italian footwear specialist in spring 2013.
Latest in our series of previews of spring 2013 kit from last week's OutDoor trade show is a look at what's new from Scarpa including a revamped Zero Gravity walking boot range plus the brand's first pure trail-running shoe.
ZG Trekking Range Revamped
Scarpa's ZG trekking boots were the brand's first big step away from leather boots and also the first time they used a Gore-Tex liner and for 2013, the range gets a revamp with two new, uprated models replacing the long-standing ZG65 and Kailash boots.
Scarpa Baltoro GTX
The Baltoro GTX is the replacement for the venerable ZG65 and like it's predecessor, is a suede and fabric uppered boot with a Gore-Tex liner. The boot looks immediately more modern thanks to bright, but not excessive colour highlights on the tongue and the inside of the collar, but there are some significant functional upgrades too.
The boot gets a new MBD last - fit in other words - with a slightly lower volume throughout and also uses Scarpa's Activ fit technology. Underfoot there's a Vibram Hi-Trail sole unit with the latest, improved EVA and PU cushioning inserts, while the design of the upper adds support. There's a Gore-Texs liner too, though you guessed that from the 'GTX' designation.
Anyway, Scarpa says the new design is 'a huge step up in instant fit, comfort and shelf appeal'. The Baltoro GTX will retail for £140 in both men's and women's versions and weights a very reasonable 1260g per pair.
Scarpa Mustang GTX
The Mustang GTX is a direct replacement for the current Kailash GTX and uses the same chassis as the Baltoro with improved EVA and the new last and again has some subtle, brightly coloured bits to lift your mood on a dark Peak District morning...
The main difference from the Baltoro is an upper which simply uses more suede to give a little more support and protection for your foot. We're told the difference is actually noticable in use with a slightly beefier feel. The cost of that extra suede is an additional £20 with the price tag being £160 while weight increases slightly to 1300g per pair.
New Alpine Trail Models
The other big news is in the Alpine Trail range of mountain shoes and, in particular a full-on, specialist trail-running model that's apparently already going down a storm in the US, plus some more life-stylish models.
Scarpa Spark And Spark GTX
Until now, Scarpa has had several shoes it desribes as using 'a runnable chassis', but nothing really aimed completely at trail runners. The new Spark models aim to put that right with a lightweight, minimal structure featuring a 6mm heel to toe drop - 'normal' is 10mm, barefoot is 0mm - allied to a minimal, but supportive upper.
The shoe's already out in the US and getting some great reviews with a focus on the sole unit. This uses wide-spaced, 4mm lugs which apparently grip well and shed fast, mounted on a fabric base, yes, 'material'. Apparently this ups flexibility compared to conventional sole units and gives better underfoot feel and feedback.
Up top there's a gusseted tongue and the light fabric upper is reinforced with an exo-cage to add support. There are men's and women's versions in a Gore-Tex version which will sell for £120 and a non Gore-Tex, £100 model. Can't wait to give them a go.
Also new for spring 2013 is the Rapid. which Scarpa says is 'a linking shoe between classic approach and Alpine Trail', so sort of halfway between a running shoe and an approach shoe. It has the same sole unit as the Spark, but a less minimal upper with more suede and brighter colours.
If you really want a running shoe, you'll go for the Spark, but the idea is that you can run in the Rapid, but you can also use it for lightweight walk-ins, travelling and generally bumming around. It looks lovely and will sell, in a variety of smooth colours, for £95. No Gore-Tex liner, so maybe a good option for hotter conditions.
Last new model is the Enduro. It's a more traditional trail running sort of affair with a 10mm heel to toe drop and a thicker, more subtantial-looking sole unit with big, chunky lugs. Still quite light, looks like you could use it for a bit of walking plus running on smoother trails, though for full-on off road, we'd be looking at the Spark. It'll be £125 in Gore-Tex or £105 without.
All these models in the shops in early 2013, more info on the current Scarpa range at www.scarpa.co.uk.