Ski boots to trail-running shoes, SCARPA is a long-standing brand that pushes the envelope on made-for-mountains footwear.
A brand with a long history and deep roots in Italian shoemaking, SCARPA‘s initial mission was to bring together all the best shoemakers near Asolo, Italy, to make impressive mountain footwear.
“There are very few pieces of equipment that are intimately in touch with your body as your footwear,” said Kim Miller, CEO of SCARPA North America.
“I’ve seen a lot of gear failures, but nothing can be a bigger game-stopper than shoes. It’s worth the time and investment. It’s the foundation of a lot of things as your connection with the Earth.”
SCARPA: Fast Facts
Founded In: 1938
Home: Asolo, Italy (North American HQ in Boulder, Colo.)
Mission: Building 360 degrees of high-performance footwear for every kind of mountain sport — backpacking to hiking, climbing to skiing, trail running to mountaineering and approach, plus mountain-inspired lifestyle footwear.
Buying Tip: “You really have to try footwear on,” said Miller. “It’s tough to guess a size conversion, as your foot is three-dimensional.”
For SCARPA, Miller notes the company uses different lasts. “We state what they are in our product info, and once you find that shape you can look for it across our platform.”
Fun Fact: SCARPA is an Italian acronym that stands for Società Calzaturiera Asolana Riunita Pedemontana Anonima, which means Associated Shoe Manufacturing Company of the Asolo Mountain Area.
SCARPA: Best Selling Products
Origin Rock Climbing Shoe
The Origin is Scarpa’s top-selling entry-level shoe. It’s designed for comfort and performance as new climbers learn the ropes at the gym or crag. It has a leather upper and mesh pads near the straps for comfort. Its flat profile and relatively relaxed contours ease climbers’ feet into a sport that tends to put feet through the wringer.
The Maestrale ‘Family’
The Maestrale and Maestrale RS are the best-selling alpine touring boots in the world. To many, they set a standard for four-buckle touring boots that can handle downhill with aplomb, but remain light enough (and with enough ankle mobility) to climb big mountains at a steady pace. Between the two, the RS is slightly stiffer, and heavier, helping it perform as a freeski boot focused on downhill performance. Both boots also come in a women’s last, called the Gea and Gea RS.
Kailash Hiking Boot
The Kailash GTX fuses leather with Gore-Tex waterproofing and a Vibram sole for traction. Both men’s and women’s models were redesigned in 2016 to improve a perennially popular model. The European-made boot weighs in at 1 lb., 8 oz. for a men’s size 42.
SCARPA: Coming Soon
Maestrale RS 2017-18
For fall 2017, the company will redesign the Maestrale RS, mentioned above. The brand is bullish about the boot, which makes some leaps forward in very substantive ways.
“I’m really excited about the advancements and tech,” said Miller. “But really, as a skier, I’m just excited that it’s a better boot for us to ski in.”
With a unique three-buckle design, the boot shaves a hefty five ounces off its predecessor while adding 23 degrees to the cuff range of motion. And the boot gets stiffer. Look for a full review on this model soon.