Scarpa Manta GSB 2008

Trail’s favourite 4-season boot for many years, the Scarpa Manta, has been revamped with a new sole unit that provides possibly the safest and quickest crampon attachment system on the market. A 10 per cent weight loss and a chunky rubber rand are also superb additions. The Manta GSB also sits lower to the ground, making it feel more dexterous on rock when climbing. The boot looks far more modern than the classic version too. The upper is full leather with virtually no stitching, so even though there is no waterproof lining, it should remain waterproof if looked after. Underfoot you get a good, aggressive pattern of lugs to keep a grip when walking on snow and ice. On the foot the boot feels very comfortable with a sound walking action, thanks to the very good ankle flex. But the sole curvature of the Scarpa Manta GSB is not quite as good as the old Manta and the heel tends not to roll quite so easily onto each step, which detracts a little from the performance of this boot when making a long walk-in off the snow and ice. The boot would no doubt be even lighter without that huge rubber rand and still durable enough for winter walkers, I suspect.

Upper reversed crosta leather
Lining Taibrelle/velvetine
Sole Vibram GSB Jorasses, ProFibre midsole
Sizes 40-48 (men’s); 37-42 (women’s)
Crampon compatibility B2
Weight 2110g (pair, size 46)
Made in Italy
Stores in the UK 65
Verdict
This boot won ‘Best in Test’. Superb crampon attachment and ideal for glacier travel, mountaineering and serious winter walking, but could be better for pure UK winter walking.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine December 2008