Scarpa Mescalito Trail Shoe | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Trail and Scramble Shoes

Scarpa Mescalito Trail Shoe | Review

The Mescalito from Scarpa has been designed to really attack technical routes

The approach shoe is one of those categories that occasionally causes the rolling of the eyes. Is it a marketing rouse? Is there a genuine need for the approach shoe? What are they exactly? Well, the idea is that they allow the walker or climber to get higher up the mountain without either popping on a pair of climbing shoes or, in the other direction, a couple of mountaineering boots.

These are pretty much tailor-made for scrambling, via ferrata, and walking. They are generally defined by a very durable upper that can withstand toe-jamming scrambles, a flat ‘climbing zone’ at the front of the sole for scrambling, and a stiffer sole.

They’re not for trail running, but what we have found is that the approach shoe is an incredibly versatile product. Another consequence, thanks to the nubuck, suede, or leather uppers and solid soles, is that they seem to last forever. These shoes are designed to withstand heavy-duty days on the rocks.

“The uppers are made from a water-resistant suede and with care should last years…”

Scarpa is one of the shoe brands that lead in this category and the team here has been using them for years on all manner of trips. It should also be said, that the styling of an approach shoe tends to be pretty funky too.

The Mescalito is a new shoe from Scarpa designed to attack technical routes, or for people who will be spending a fair amount of time on a mixture of walking and scrambling routes. These would be perfect on the bare rock mountains of Snowdonia.

The lacing and tongue extend right down to the toes for an extra secure fit. Photo: Chris Johnson.
A Vibram MegaGrip outsole. Photo: Chris Johnson.
The upper blends both nubuck leather and suede. Photo: Chris Johnson.

The uppers are made from a water-resistant suede and with care should last years.

These shoes also manage to get around one of the drawbacks that sometimes affect approach shoes, and that is the weight. One of the ways designers have managed to cut weight here is to use a new Vibram ‘LightBase’ sole. This still features Vibram’s proven Megagrip compound and has a climbing zone under the toe and a ‘brake’ on the heel.

The real testimonial for these shoes is how much we’ve found ourselves pulling them on since we completed our initial tests. The Scarpa Mescalito is certainly a regular on our feet.

Tester’s Verdict

“I found the Mescalito wasn’t far off having 100 per cent straight-out-of-the-box comfort – and you don’t get that often with approach shoes. It gives a supportive, close fit that isn’t too restrictive, and there’s just the right amount of flex in the sole for middle distance hikes on rocky and uneven terrain. The tough toe bumper, protective rand and bellowed tongue are all very useful features for technical approaches as well. It’s clear that the materials are all top quality and I suspect they’ll last a long time. It’s good that the insole is removable as it means you can just switch in a new one when you’ve worn out the original.” – Will Renwick, OM Editor.

Price: £160

Weight: 780g (pair)

More info: scarpa.co.uk

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